GOVERNING BODY NEWSLETTER - OCTOBER 2020
Welcome to our termly newsletter which aims to keep you up to date with what the Governing Board at Sherston School have been up to.
Firstly we would like to let everyone know that there has been a few changes within the Governing Body. Nicholas Manassei who has served as Chair of Governors since 2017 has stepped down as Chair at the end of his second Governing term. We would like to thank him for his huge contribution and commitment during his term as Chair and 8 years on the Governing Board. Belinda Robinson has been nominated to replace him as Chair of Governors and was elected at the FGB on 23rdof September. Belinda is a parent at the school and has been on the Governing Board for 2 years. Her commitment to the school and her business background mean she is well positioned to oversee and contribute to the successful Governance and strategic development of the school.
We would also like to thank Neil Carpenter and David Curry, who also stepped down from the Board in September, for their dedicated contributions to the Governing Board. The good news is that Neil will be staying on as Clerk to the Governors so the Board will continue to benefit from his support.
We would also like to welcome a new Governor to the team. Martin Smith has come on board as Vice Chair of the Governing Board and Chair of the Teaching, Learning and Staffing Committee. Martin and his family have lived in Sherston for 28 years and raised three children here. He has lots of experience to bring to the team having served as a Governor previously and as the Vice-Chair of Malmesbury School Governors
The rest of the team continue enthusiastically in their roles. You can meet all the Governors and find out more about their roles here
What Have We been Up To
The last 7 months has seen unprecedented events brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and its sudden arrival. For the school navigating the constantly changing landscape has been extremely challenging and we would like to congratulate and thank the Headteachers and all the staff for managing this with such calm and efficiency. We would also like to thank the parents and carers for their support during this time.
Throughout this crisis, the focus has always been on the safety and wellbeing of the children and staff and the desire to see the children back in their classrooms. Unfortunately, this took longer than anyone anticipated but it was lovely to witness the excitement of the staff and children as all the classes returned this term. Huge credit to all the staff for making the school feel as ‘normal’ as possible for the children when things couldn’t be less normal.
As governors, on top of our normal responsibilities, new COVID-19 related priorities have come to the forefront as follows:
Safeguarding: Our Safeguarding Governor has been working closely with the school with regards to new safeguarding procedures.
SEND: Our SEND Governor, the teachers and the School INCO have been ensuring support for SEND pupils during and post lockdown.
Health and Safety: New Risk Assessments have been carried out to reflect the new safety guidance to ensure the safety of pupils and staff.
Wellbeing: As staff face new challenges and fears, their wellbeing is a priority. We have therefore elected a Wellbeing Governor to act as a contact point and support for the staff.
Website and Publicity: We have been busy looking at new ways to promote the school for reception 2021 intake.
Finance: Budget continues to be immensely tight and the COVID-19 cost implications have presented new challenges. The Finance Committee are working closely with the school to monitor this and strategise for the future.
Evaluation: The Local Authority visits all maintained schools at regular intervals throughout the year and the Chair of Governors and Headteacher met with them in September to assess the school and highlight its strategic priorities. This appraisal included a ‘learning walk’ around the classrooms so the Advisor was able to see the teaching in action.
We are proud to say with no exception the teachers and pupils excelled themselves. In the words of the School Improvements Advisor the school showed …
‘teaching that is consistently good or better that leads to outcomes that are above average’
‘Teaching seen today was lively and engaging with children showing impeccable behaviour for learning’
As the road remains hugely unpredictable over the next few months, the Governing Board remain committed to supporting the school through this very challenging and anxious time. This is going to be a balancing act of maintaining as much normality as possible and driving progress but prioritising the safety and wellbeing of the children and staff. We would like to thank the parents and carers for their continued support and patience during this uncertain time and the staff for their positivity and for bravely keeping this amazing show on the road.