The Governing Body is looking for new governors. We are seeking people who are committed to improving education for all pupils, willing to learn, committed to the school’s vision and ethos and who able to work as a team and take collective responsibilities for decisions. Governors don’t have to be parents or involved in education as full training and support will be provided. We currently have vacancies for people with knowledge of finance, performance management / HR, facilities management or early years education. It’s important that we have a balance of parents and non parents on our governing body, so if you are interested in becoming a governor yourself or know a friend, colleague or neighbour who you think might fit the bill, we’d love to hear from you. Please email email@example.com to arrange an initial chat. Click here to find out more details about what governors do.
In the last few weeks, governors have taken the following actions to support school improvement:
- The Salary Review Committee received and agreed salary recommendations for the staff from Mr Catchpool and considered initial feedback from senior staff on how successfully the new pay policy has supported the school’s improvement drive.
- Governors have discussed the school’s strengths and opportunities for development with Morley’s school improvement partner who is part of Cambridgeshire’s Primary School Improvement Service. This forms part of the school’s regular self-assessment and helps to clarify that our development targets are focused on the most appropriate areas.
- Approved a revised “Sickness Absence Policy”.
- Met with the incoming head teacher, Nikki Brown, as part of her planned induction.
- Agreed the design brief for the outdoor space.
- Formally agreed the re-constitution of the Governing Body (GB). Under new government regulations, governors must now be primarily appointed because of the skills they bring and not because they are representatives from different stakeholder groups (e.g. parents, staff, community etc). GBs have been encouraged to become smaller. Appointing governors because they bring specific expertise and experience will enable the GB to better fulfil their roles of:
- Ensuring the school’s clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and it’s pupils
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure the money is well spent.
Before half term, the governing body formally agreed the school’s Raising Achievement Plan. This outlines priority areas the school is going to focus its attention on over the next year. The areas identified were:
- Ensuring the new curriculum, which came into place nationally in September 2014, is successfully introduced so that it challenges and inspires all learners. The new curriculum brings considerable change in some subjects. For example, in ICT, children will now be taught programming skills from age 5. We are aiming for changes to be introduced smoothly and to maintain our focus on providing a creative curriculum.
- Establishing a system of assessment which does not use national curriculum levels but which allows careful monitoring of pupil progress. This is a challenge that all schools face as the government has removed national curriculum levels and level descriptors from the new curriculum. Schools may continue to use national curriculum levels but are being encouraged to identify their own methods of assessment.
- Continuing to raise achievement in spelling and grammar. The 2014 Year 6 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar SATs results showed a marked improvement on the year before. We are keen to further embed good practice.
- Continuing to improve the quality of teaching, to ensure every child is provided with appropriate support and challenge. Teaching is already solidly good and we now aspire to develop more outstanding teaching.
Throughout the year, the governing body will monitor the progress of the school in meeting targets linked to these areas. We will discuss progress at meetings, look at data and visit the school to talk to staff and pupils. We will also ask for feedback from parents in the annual parental questionnaire.
- For more information about the work of the governing body, see our regular governor blog. This initially appears on the home page of the school website and is then archived under “Governor News”.
- For full details of how governors communicate with parents, see “Governor Communication” on the school website.
The Local Authority have recently given us a firm commitment that following the re-development of the school site, they plan to refurbish the Early Years building and turn it into a state funded nursery. The governors have agreed that in principal, provided there is suitable investment, Morley would be very interested in submitting a tender to run the nursery. Click here for more details about the proposed re-development.
Improving the outdoor space is a priority for children, staff, parents and governors. Last academic year, our plans to develop the playground were unexpectedly delayed due to issues around drainage. There were big implications for cost and the various suggested solutions impacted on how we could use the space. We now have enough information from surveyors to be able to move ahead with developing firmer plans. A playground working party with representation from staff, governors, parents and Friends of Morley was set up last term. It is developing a clear design brief based around our vision for the school. The design brief will be formally agreed by governors later this term and we will then ask a number of playground designers to come up with some initial thoughts. We will ask the designers with the most exciting ideas to present more detailed plans, from which we will choose the best. We are looking forward to have something concrete to show parents and children in the near future.
Governors have been looking again at how we inform parents about what governors have been up to. Instead of a governor newsletter, we will be using the website, weekly newsletters and noticeboards as our main methods of communication. We hope this will enable parents, carers and the wider community to better understand what we do, who we are and how to contact us.
The school website is the main method of providing up to date communication between governors and parents.
On the website you can find the following information about the work of the Governing Body.
- Minutes of recent Governing Body meetings.
- Information about key decisions governors have taken. For example, you can find info about the proposed re-development work and the recruitment of a new head teacher. You can also find information about the parental questionnaire and the vision for the school.
- Governor blog. New blog posts are posted on the home page and are then archived under “Governor News“. The blog was introduced in Summer 2014 and the intention is to use it to provide more regular updates about the work of the governing body.
- Details of who the governors are, what our role is and how to get in touch.
- The annual governance statement, which summarises the work of the Governing Body over the previous academic year.
- A summary of how the Governing Body aims to communicate with parents.
Governors will use the weekly newsletter to give brief governor news and to inform parents that they can find further details on the school website. We hope to include a clickable link for those receiving the electronic version of the newsletter that will enable parents to click straight through to the relevant page on school’s website.
There is a “Governors News” section on the noticeboard outside the main office with pictures and names of all the governors, information about how to contact us and the latest governor news.
Letters and Parentmail
Where appropriate, governors will use Parentmail and letters in book-bags to keep parents informed of particularly important pieces of information.
Face to Face
Governors sometimes meet with parents face to face to discuss particular issues. For example, in February 2014, governors were available on three separate occasions to talk to parents about the proposed re-development work.
Morley Matters Newsletter
In the past, the main method of communication between governors and parents was via Morley Matters, the governors’ newsletter. The governors have decided to replace Morley Matters with communicating primarily through the website, weekly newsletter and noticeboards. We believe this will enable news to be given to parents more frequently and will provide a more rounded picture of the work of the governing body.
Back copies of Morley Matters are available to view here. Scroll down to the section on “Morley Matters”.
The governing body regularly evaluates our practice and actively thinks about how we can introduce improvements. If you have any suggestions or ideas about how governors could improve our communication with parents, please feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org