Draft Governors newsletter. March 2020
The Governing Board
We are pleased to say that we have now recruited another new Governor, Ms Jussie Kaur who lives in Watford and works as a Civil Servant. This takes our Board up to 11 so there is now just one vacancy and we would particularly like to recruit someone with experience in Health and Safety. Although we have filled all the Parent vacancies, if you have a friend or neighbour who would be interested in joining us, please let the School Office know and we will send them more information.
Our Vision for the school
Three Governors were able to join the teachers for part of their INSET days in September and January. On the first of these days we reviewed our school’s Vision and Values and on the second day we examined the new curriculum plans. We now have a clear explanation of our Mission and Aims on the website.
Developing confident, enthusiastic and happy learners
has been expanded in the Aims which are encapsulated in the pledge our children say at assembly. If you have not looked at the website for a while do have a look at the ‘Values and Ethos’ page.
Governors recently attended a training session provided by Herts for Learning on Effective Governance. This has helped us to ask more challenging questions at meetings and to understand our role better. Our Chair also attended a very interesting Conference of Governors from all over the County which enabled her to network and keep up to date with the latest developments in Education. There was much talk of the new Ofsted Inspection Framework and useful advice on how to prepare for our next Inspection.
The Governors visit the school often, meet with the various subject leaders, review Finance, the work of the SENCo, the use of Pupil Premium funding, receive feedback from the Hertfordshire Improvement Partner, and other aspects of the school’s work and development. It has been encouraging to have our own impressions of the school confirmed by professionals who have praised the school for the progress being made.
We have recently completed a self-assessment of our financial procedures and areas of expenditure, as all schools are required to do annually. This included a comprehensive benchmarking of our levels of expenditure compared with a group of similar local schools. It was good to see that we are broadly in line with these schools and not spending excessively in any area. The budget preparation for the coming year has now started and we are examining all costs to see that the funds allocated to us are used to best effect.
We are keeping an eye on the advice given about Corona virus and will act under the guidance of Hertfordshire County Council. In the meantime, please do all you can to make sure your child is attending school. 12 fixed term penalty notices have been issued to parents this academic year as a result of poor attendance.
Safeguarding appears on the agenda for every Governors’ meeting and at our last meeting Mrs Johnson explained about the reminders staff received recently to talk to their classes about Online safety. This is something about which Governors are concerned and we repeat what has been said before that parents should be proactive in ensuring their child’s safety online.
At the February parents evening, we asked parents to complete a short survey for the Governors to give us your assessment of the school. Thank you to the 110 parents who completed these. The results were very encouraging as the satisfaction rates have increased further from last year. 99% of parents agreed with the first three statements (I feel the school keeps me informed of my child’s progress, my child is making good progress and Kingsway expects my child to work hard, achieve their best and be independent.) We are also pleased to note that there have been overall improvements to the percentages who understand the role of the Governors (88% this year compared to 78% last year), those who believe the school is well led (97% this year compared to 89% last year) and those who feel happy with homework (85% compared to 78% last year). Last year 26% of parents ticked ‘don’t know’, or ’disagree’ to the question about provision of clubs whereas this year those who are don’t know or not content with clubs has reduced to only 12% of respondents.
We appreciate the comments of those who made suggestions about Clubs and the school will look into these. We would like to remind parents, however, that our staff offer clubs in addition to their normal working day and do not receive any extra payment for these. Parents may sometimes wish that clubs went on for longer, and we know that working parents may struggle with picking up their children after school, but we would not want our hard-working teachers to go home exhausted after a long working day.
We enjoyed reading all the comments on the surveys and would like to share a few with you.
“I’m over the moon with my daughter’s progress and happy with the school”
“Big hands up to Mrs Akers who has improved my child’s willingness to attend school”
“My daughter’s teachers are amazing.”
“My daughter loves coming to school – a great credit to all who work at Kingsway”
“Great parents evening. Great information provided about my son’s progress”
“Miss Martin has been a great teacher for my son”
“Miss Emmanuel is amazing!”
Although the survey was intended to be completed by parents, we were delighted to read this comment from a pupil:-
“This school is really helping me improve my work. I feel really happy and safe in this lovely school.”
If you have any other comments please feel free to email the Chair of Governors at email@example.com.