You spoke, we listened!
Thank you to all of you who took part in the Communication Survey put out by Lisa Wootton recently.
Lisa is the elected Parent Governor for Cherry Oak and is also our Stakeholder Governor. We have been working together to see how we can improve communication with our families and ensure that you feel more involved with your child’s or young person’s education. The results will be shared with Senior Leaders and where we can make improvements, we will do all we can to get things right for you.
One of the areas you said you would like more information on was about Governors. You felt that you didn’t know who we were and what we do. To respond to this request, I will ensure that you receive an update from me every half term.
I will include a list of the visits we have made to school, what we have been monitoring and give a more detailed description of one of the roles covered by one of our Governors to give you a better idea of the role that we play in the strategic direction of the Federation.
We do have a Governors’ Page on each of the School websites which gives an outline of how we have organised our Board, what each committee does and photographs and short biographies of all our members. I would suggest that you have a look at this if you wish to know more about us and you will find out how to contact us should you wish to. I have also added the general job description of a school governor and some of the specialist roles that our governors hold. I hope that this will give you a clearer idea of how governance is managed on your behalf.
Working together for success
What have we been doing this half term?
Most of our work this half term has been centred around the recruitment and appointment of the new Executive Head Teacher for September.
We held a number of extraordinary meetings to look at the best way forward for the Federation and set up a working group to oversee the recruitment and elected a panel of experienced governors to conduct the final interview and propose the most suitable candidate to the full board for their approval. We also engaged the services of an external Human Resources advisor as is required for a post of this level.
Almost all of the governors were involved over the three days of interview where we gave tasks and tests to establish the candidates’ qualifications, qualities and skills needed for the role. On the final day the candidates were required to present to the panel on their vision for the future of the Federation and were subjected to in depth questions from the Panel.
The successful candidate was unanimously agreed upon and the Full Board ratified the decision in a special meeting that evening, subject to all the necessary legal checks being completed successfully.
The general work of the Governors has had to continue alongside this time consuming, but essential exercise.
Safeguarding: Mrs Sadie Bolton has carried out Safeguarding Checks at both schools to ensure that we are compliant with the law and that your children and young people are safe and happy at school.
Buildings, Health and Safety: Safety walks have been undertaken to check both schools and to ensure the progress and provision of the maintenance plans in place.
Pupil Progress: Mrs Ann Ellis has met with the leaders in charge of data and progress to ensure that your children and young people are making the progress expected of them. Pupil Premium spending has also been regularly scrutinised and the use of any catch-up funding provided by government for Covid-19. It is our job to ensure this money is being used to enhance the educational experiences of our most vulnerable pupils. I can safely say that extremely careful records are kept and the money is being used to provide extra help where it will have the most impact.
Chair of Governor Visits: I visit both schools regularly, even through the Covid period. I meet with Julie Fardell and Ross Ashcroft to discuss any successes or concerns and to provide support where possible. I regularly visit classrooms and speak with staff during my visits and have kept a close eye on the welfare of students and staff during this difficult period.
During this period obviously no special events are able to take place but pre Covid you would always have seen me and other governors attending Parents’ Evenings, shows and other occasions. You can recognise us by our badges and Governor lanyards.
I hope this has been of some use to you and I am happy to receive suggestions via email of ideas for future newsletters.
If you speak, we can listen. Please see this as a move towards a more open-door policy to your Board but please remember…
If you have a concern about your child’s education you should always approach your school first and speak to the people who know you and your child’s needs. It is not the role of the Governing Board to be involved at a day to day level, we are here to ensure that when you do need support it is given according to our policies and upholds the mission and values of the Federation.
Thank you so much for pointing out that you wanted more information and keep taking part in our surveys. They really do help us to help you.
Chair of Governors
Contact me: Via email firstname.lastname@example.org
In writing or by telephone via the school offices at Cherry Oak or Victoria.