Governors’ Newsletter Spring Term 2016

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Reflections on the Spring term

This term has been a particularly busy one for everyone involved in the running of the school. It has also been a very rewarding one, given the recent excellent reports we received from Ofsted and SIAMs. Congratulations Liz for leading the team so well and for keeping a sense of perspective when under the spotlight.

I met personally with both Inspection teams and was witness to comments, not necessarily mentioned in the reports, which paid tribute to an extremely conscientious and competent team of people working in school –staff, governors and parent helpers. Conversations also included many encouraging remarks about the pupils, linked to their positive attitudes to learning and the way they relate so well to each other and to adults.

The team spirit in school was particularly evident on the afternoon that the Ofsted Inspector gave his verbal feedback. Normally this is done to the Head and Chair of Governors. In true Chagford style, however, we had a far more Community approach – about 30 teaching and non-teaching staff, plus governors, all cramming into a classroom to listen to the outcomes of the visit.  For me, this truly demonstrates the passion everyone feels for the school and our children.

Building news

In the past week it has been confirmed that Kier is the contractor appointed by the Education Funding Agency to develop designs for Chagford School. If all goes to plan, the EFA will then enter into a contract with them to complete the building works. The exact timetable has yet to be confirmed, but it is likely things will now move quite quickly.

Academy Status and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs)

The recent White Paper announced the Government intention for all schools to become Academies by 2022. Academy schools are funded directly by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control. A multi- academy trust is where a group of schools is governed through a single set of members and directors.

Liz and the Governors have already attended several meetings with staff and governors from local schools in anticipation of this decision. Our current thinking is to continue working in partnership with our colleagues in the successful Dartmoor Community Learning Trust whilst at the same time exploring the various opportunities available to us, should we become an academy and join a Multi Academy Trust. Fortunately we are now in a strong position to make choices, given our recent successful Inspections and the prospect of a new building with reduced maintenance and running costs.

The Governing Board

Due to work commitments, Imogen Clements has stepped down from her role as a Co-opted Governor. We continue to benefit from her wealth of expertise, however, as Imogen has agreed to become an Associate Governor linked to Communications. With a background in marketing, her skills have already proved invaluable to us.

Having looked closely at the Governor Skills Audit, a need for support in Special Educational Needs, Teaching and Learning and Knowledge of the Community were all high on our list of priorities when replacing Imogen. I am delighted, therefore, to announce that Ali Hirst has agreed to join the Governing Body. Ali lives here in Chagford and until recently was Head Teacher at a local school.

 With thanks, as always, for the many ways in which you as parents continue to support Chagford School,

 

Sheila Mead

Chair of Governors