These notes are to give parents a flavor of what happens at a Governor’s meeting. The formal approved minutes of each meeting will be posted on the website in the month following the meeting, once they have ben ratified by Governors.
Vivienne Thorn, Chair of Governors
Chair’s Blog January 2018
Happy new year to you all. I have returned from my long holiday in Brisbane where I was visiting my daughter and her family. We had temperatures of between 30 and 37 C degrees most days, which made entertaining two small children quite difficult as you cannot spend any length of time outside due to the risk of sunburn and dehydration. I haven’t quite made up my mind whether I prefer the cold grey rainy Devon skies to the blazingly hot blue ones in Australia!
Parents will already know from the letter I sent home at the beginning of this week that Mr. Caddy is returning to work next week. This will be on a phased return which means he will start gradually and increase his working hours until he is back to full time working by around half-term. I am sure you will all join with the Governors in welcoming him back, but also give him a bit of time to get his feet back under the desk before bombarding him with queries. During this transition period, the school will have leadership support from a local senior teacher. I would like to thank Miss Crathorne for stepping up to take the Named Leader role since the new year. She has done an excellent job and the Governing Body is extremely grateful to her.
We have decided to set up a parent’s forum which will be held once a term and will be the vehicle at which parents can discuss any aspects of school life, either from a strategic or operational perspective. The first parents’ Forum is going to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 31st January in the school hall. All parents are invited, so please come along if you have something you want to discuss or want more information on. I will distribute the terms of reference for the forum at the first meeting and would like some input from parents on the Healthy Eating Policy and on Homework!
This month in the full Governors’ Meeting we discussed Homework, Pupil Restraint, Positive Behaviour, Anti-bullying and Health and Safety policies. The Governing Body ratified the Pupil Restraint policy which will shortly be published on the web-site, but are still making adjustments to the other policies. We will publish the draft copies of these on the web-site so that parents can read them and if you have any comments or input, please come along to the parents forum meeting.
We were delighted to welcome Mrs. Lynette Chapman, our new parent governor at this months meeting. Mrs. Chapman has agreed to join me and Rev. Church on the Teaching & Learning sub-committee.
I understand the new school app is working well and I would encourage all parents to subscribe to this as it will greatly enhance the communication between school and parents.
Every year, the school publishes the School Action Plan- a document which sets out targets for the school’s development for that year. Governors have been looking at the SIP and formulating how we will satisfy ourselves that the school is making steady progress to achieve these set targets. One of the ways in which the school measures individual pupil progress is by a tracking system. This starts off with a baseline assessment of the child’s ability at Key Stage 1 and then monitors their progress through the school on a red, amber, green set of traffic lights, where green is at or above their target, amber is working around their target and red is falling behind their target. This helps to identify those children who may require additional support or need more challenging work. This will be discussed with parents at the next parent interview day.
Our lovely school building presents something of a challenge when it comes to outside space and we have recently had a visit from an early years advisor to see how we can maximize it’s potential for our reception pupils. Since the move to Ash classroom, the reception children have had better access to the outside space that is a requirement in the EYFS legislation. We have also ordered new equipment for outside and Mrs. Forte is currently spending a week observing how EYFS is delivered in another school to enhance her knowledge in this area.
We were also delighted that Mrs. Clark, chair of SPLAT, attended the governors’ meeting. Mrs. Clark has indicated that SPLAT may be able to raise several thousand pounds this year through their fund-raising efforts. She presented us with a Funding Request form so that the teaching staff can apply for equipment they would like for their classrooms. Many thanks to Mrs. Clark and all members of SPLAT for their valiant efforts and enthusiasm.
As ever, if anyone has any queries about the work of the Governing Body, I am happy to discuss these with you. Contact Mrs. Johnson in the office who will forward your telephone number to me or arrange a meeting if that is more convenient.
(Chair of Governors)
Chair’s Blog October 2017
October was the first open Governor’s Meeting and we were delighted to have two parents, Steve and Mark attend the meeting. We also welcomed Stephen Epps, as one of our new parent Governors.
As many of you will now be aware, Mr. Caddy is currently off sick and so was not present at the meeting. Since the full Governing Body meeting, The Governing Body has secured the services of Mrs. Karen Strachan to act as temporary head until such time as Mr. Caddy is well enough to return to work. Mrs. Strachan is a very experienced deputy head at Kingskerswell school and will be joining us from Monday 6th November. I am sure you will all want to join with me in wishing her a very sincere welcome to the school.
This month, the Governors reviewed our Behaviour Principle statement, the Positive Behaviour Policy, Child Protection and Pupil Restraint Policy. Ratification of the Homework Policy and Health and Safety Policy were deferred to the meeting in November. We delegated Sex and Relationships and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) to the Teaching and Learning Sub-Committee. The Pay Policy was delegated to the Finance, Resources and Pay Committee. All these policies will be made available on our web site.
The Governors also reviewed the Capability, Grievance, Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary policies. As these are internal management policies, they are not on the website but have been through consultation with Unions and DCC.
Governors reviewed and ratified two of the governor related policies, Governor Allowances and the Governors Code of Conduct Policy.
Should parents require printed copies of policies please contact Mrs. Johnson.
Dates have been set for the Teaching & Learning and Finance sub-committees.
These sub-committees are currently not open to parents.
I am shortly flying off to Australia to visit my daughter and her family. Mr. Spencer-Small, the vice-chair of the Governing Body, will be holding the fort till I return in mid-January. So, I would like to wish all staff, pupils and parents a very Happy Christmas and Joyful New Year. I will see you all in 2018!
Vivienne Thorn ( Chair of Governors)
Full Governor’s Meeting- September 2017
The first meeting of the Governing Body each scholastic year is largely taken up by housekeeping duties, the election of the Chair and Vice-chair and allocating Governors to the Finance or Teaching and Learning Sub-committee.
The Governing Body is made up of eight Governors- one elected staff Governor, two elected parent Governors, one appointed Local Authority Governor and four appointed co-opted Governors , plus the Headmaster and the Clerk to the Governors, Mrs. Johnson. Dates are set for the monthly full Governors’ meetings and those of the sub-committees. The terms of reference for these committees were circulated and any comments or suggested amendments will come back to the next full Governors’ meeting.
Governors must operate under an agreed code of practice which is reviewed on a yearly basis. They must also complete a register of business interests and should such interests be discussed, they must declare the interest and withdraw from any discussion or vote.
The Governing Body cannot make any decisions unless the meeting is quorate- ie 50% of Governors in post are present.
In future, Governors’ meetings will be open to parents and guardians of children at the school. This will be in an observatory capacity and parents will not normally be able to take part in a debate unless expressly invited to do so by the chair. Should a parent wish an item to be included on the Governing Body’s agenda, they should contact Mrs. Johnson, Clerk to The Governors, who will give them advice as to how to proceed.
At each full Governors’ meeting, the Headmaster gives a report on what has been happening in the school. This month Mr. Caddy informed the Governors about the changes in funding for children with Special Educational Needs. These payments come in two forms, as part of an Educational Healthcare Plan and secondly as part of the Devon Assessment Framework. (DAF). The DAF funding will be phased out this year. In Devon, because historically DAF funding has been more expensive than anticipated, Devon is top slicing £33 of every child’s funding that is given to the school, so for our school this means losing about £3000 from our overall budget.
During the last academic year, we have received three Governor resignations, and so we are seeking one local authority appointed Governor and two parent elected Governors. If anyone is interested in becoming a Governor, then please contact Mrs. Johnson in the school office. New Governors will be given an induction program, be appointed a mentor and have access to external training.