The Governors would like you read their annual report to parents which reflects both the work of the Governors, staff, pupils and the wider school community.
Summary of last academic year
Last academic year was an interesting year for the Governors of Eyam in many ways. Mrs Gilbertson started her first full year as head teacher, the Government was pushing their desire for all schools to become academies in ever stronger terms and alongside this the government also introduced a massive change in the way assessment is carried out in schools.
For those of us who have had many years of children going through the system the old levels were familiar and easily understood territories. The new system has caused many hours of pondering and contemplation amongst Staff, Governors and Local Authority advisors alike. Now we have the first year’s results we can start to make better sense of the system. It is fair to say the results, on paper, aren’t as strong as we would have liked. With such small numbers the slightest blip can make a massive difference to the percentage results. But to quote Einstein ‘Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.’ We know how hard the children and staff worked last year and they should all be proud of what they achieved.
Hitting standards is important and there has been a real drive to up the quality of teaching. Our teachers are already dedicated and of a really high standard, with some external help and the fresh eyes of a new head we have been able to up the level even higher. I want to thank the staff personally for their unfailing energy and commitment. The governors also recognise the importance of every child reaching their full potential in more than just academic subjects. It was for this reason that we worked with Mrs Gilbertson to increase the sports provision.
The new school values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience are also starting to be embedded across the school. As Governors we have the pleasure of being able to come in and observe the school at work. It is a happy place. I am sure we are all familiar with the grunt or ‘boring” response when asking our children about their school day, yet when in school they are always positive in their outlook and proud to talk about what they are doing.
As I hand over the reins to Hannah, and revert back to vice-chair, I know the next year is likely to be just as challenging as last. As the birth rate fluctuates year on year so does our school numbers, in a school our size this has a massive impact on our overall funding. Fortunately some careful planning by the finance committee, headed by Rosalind Buckingham, has put us in as strong a position as we could wish to be. But we have to be realistic and there are likely to be some tough decisions to be made. You can be assured they will always be made with the best interests of the children in mind.
Vice Chair Governors (previous Chair)
Plans for the current academic year
We have a really busy year ahead. A summary of our School Improvement Plan (SIP) is on the website. It outlines our aspirations for our children’s achievements over the coming academic year and how we will make it happen. This document drives all the work we will be doing so please have a look at it.
We also have a sports action plan that forms part of our school plan. A central part of this plan is the appointment of Mrs Gaywood who has been tasked with increasing the opportunities for our children to get involved with sports either in a competitive capacity or just for fun and also to help us to use sports to enhance learning through the curriculum. This is important for lots of reasons, not least for those children who gain confidence and enjoy success away from their desks. There has been an increase in the number of opportunities for our children to take part in sporting activities and we know that this is working better for some families than for others. We will be working hard with you over the coming academic year to strike the right balance.
As well as supporting Mrs Gilbertson and the staff team to achieve the aims outlined in the School Improvement Plan, the governing body has a further three areas to focus on this academic year. The first of this is to try to stabilise pupil numbers. Falling pupil numbers and the negative impact that this has on our budget is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving our aims. It is the reason why we have complicated staffing and classroom arrangements and why this changes from year to year. We will be looking at how we can raise the profile of our school in the locality, especially building links with local pre-schools, childminders and toddler groups to work out how we can get more of these children using our facilities. We have amazing facilities for such a small school, mainly thanks to the monumental fund raising efforts of the PTA, Bonfire Committee and local community year on year and so it feels like time to shout about it!
You will also be aware of the government’s drive for all schools to become an academy by 2020. As Phil mentioned in his round up, this is not going away and even if it was we still need to have a plan for ensuring the sustainability of the school moving forward. This might be as simple as sharing resources with neighbouring schools or it might be as complicated as us needing to join a multi academy trust and convert school status. Either way, we intend to spend the next academic year building on the information and contacts that we have made so far to enable us to keep ahead of the game and keep as many options open to us as possible when that time comes.
Finally, we want to get better at communicating with the school and wider community. Hopefully this newsletter is a good start!
- has a minimum of 4 members
- has a quorum of 3
- may have associate governors as members but the majority will be full members of the governing body
- has a chair
- will write their terms of reference- based on those available on the extranet
- will arrange fixed dates for their years meetings, these will be notified to the FGB. These meetings will be timed to coincide with the necessary devolved functions of each committee according to the terms of reference.
- will list the school policies for which it is responsible and ensure time is allocated in the meetings schedule for review of these.
- will review the training needs of its members
Teaching, Learning and Community (TLCC)
- Target Setting
- Gifted & Talented
- Links with the Church
Staffing Committee (SC)
- staff appointments and review of staffing structure
- performance management reviews
- pay policies
Resource Management Committee (RMC) – Finance
Oona Gilbertson, Rosalind Buckingham (Chair), Andy Pritchard(Secretary), Kay Mason, Michael Tinker
Resource Management Committee (RMC) – Premises
- Health and Safety