Chair of Governor's blog
We've started the New Year with a few changes in school, not least of which being Mrs Shelley stepping up to be Head of School on the 2.5 days a week that Mr Turvey is in his role of Executive Head at Bayton. While we spent a fair amount of time in the autumn term preparing for this and getting structures in place so that all staff know what to expect, there's still an element of challenge and unknown. However, nothing unexpected has cropped up so far, and the staff and pupils seem to have settled into the new routines well.
In my weekly sessions with Mr Turvey we have covered the impact that the new Bayton role is having on him as a leader, and how we can try to turn the challenge into a learning opportunity, and also discussions on how to work out not only what could be changed in both schools (with half an eye on Ofsted frameworks and requirements), but what should be changed, given the limited duration of the Executive Head role.
We have also visited many of the classrooms and seen how the children are learning and being challenged. In particular this month I spent some time in a year 5 science lesson where they were testing the absorbency of kitchen roll - the children have such confidence in explaining what they are doing, and demonstrating the scientific approach to investigations.
We have had a Finance Committee meeting, and as we are fast approaching the end of the financial year we are starting to get a true picture of the income and expenditure across the year, and how the final budget might look. There are always some new challenges in managing the school's finances, and some budget areas that don't match up to the amount expected, either for income or expenditure. But overall we are confident that the end of year budget will be positive, which gives a little confidence for the near future.
We also held a Full Governing Body meeting, where amongst other things we discussed the Safeguarding training that many of the governors have recently completed, the governors' Skills Audit, which outlined opportunities for succession planning and enabling governors to take on additional responsibilities as they arise. The Headteacher's report as always produced a lively discussion, and has led to two governors being invited to an additional session with Mrs Gregory to look at the school's assessment management software.
At the start of all of our Full Governing Body meetings we have an opportunity for reflection, and this week we heard about the experience of being at the Young Voices concert for the first time, and the incredible sense of participation, belonging and community that is shared, not only between the thousands of children participating in the concert alongside world-renowned musicians and performers, but also the opportunity for parents to be part of that shared experience. We are so lucky to be able to give our children these opportunities, and to make memories that will stay with them for years to come.