Spring Term 2018
Hello All! With all the snowy weather behind us, it seems spring is in the air. Even with the recent inclimate weather, the governors have been busy! The following is a highlight of some of the work the governors have been discussing and monitoring since my last blog.
OFSTED Action Plan Continues
The governors have been receiving updates on the Post-Ofsted Action Plan for the school, monitoring the progress that the Senior Leadership Team and teaching staff have been making to ensure we address and improve in all the areas pointed out by OFSTED. The school has been working very hard to improve teaching, ensure that all groups of pupils make consistently good progress, and improve leadership and management.
The action plan includes relevant milestones for each term, as well as observable impacts, so that we can all see whether or not these measures are actually improving the quality of the learning. The governors were pleased to see that many of our statistics are improving. Where they have not appeared to improve, the school is putting targetted resources (e.g. additional teaching, tailored teacher training, identifying special needs) into place to aim for rising statistics in the short-term future.
The school has also had visits from the local authority’s Merton Education Partner to independently assess the accuracy of the teacher’s markings, as well as how the pupils are progressing. These visits help us to ensure that we are on the right track.
When will OFSTED next inspect?
OFSTED have changed their rules in December 2017. Under the old rules, the school would have received a follow up visit this academic year. However, under the new rules, OFSTED will return for a general inspection within 1 to 2 years. Thus, the school will not be re-rated until 2019, at the latest. Many have been hopeful for a quick and positive follow up, with all of the dedicated changes put into place. A delayed rating notwithstanding, we hope that you will continue to see improvements to your children’s learning.
Governors are encouraged to make formal visits each year to check that the policies and improvement plans are being implemented, and allow us to see for ourselves how our vision and plans for the school are working in practice. In the spring term, Governor Frances Cresswell visited to observe how the school promotes mental health and wellbeing. Chair of Governors, Sandy Cowling, visited to discuss and observe the SEND (‘Special Education Need or Disability’) provision in relation to the OFSTED report. I (Governor Mamie Barden) have visited the school with a focus on Safeguarding, to learn more about what the school is doing in practice to keep our children safe and to ensure their well-being.
Other policies and papers reviewed:
Please note that these updated/reviewed policies will be added to the website in due course, in case you would like further information on these policies.
Please feel free to get in contact if you would like further information on any of the above highlights. Alternatively, you can contact the school office to request the minutes from our governors meetings.
Mamie Barden, Governor
Chair of Children, Families and Community Committee
Autumn Term 2017
Welcome to the very first Governor’s Blog! My name is Mamie Barden, and I am currently serving as a parent Governor for the school. In an effort for governors to stay connected with parents, I will be writing a blog post once a term that highlights some of the policies and issues that the Governing Body are discussing and monitoring.
What does a Governor do anyway?
Generally, governors take part in strategic discussions about the priorities and targets for the school, as well as ensuring that all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. They also hold senior leaders to account by monitoring the school’s performance, and ensure that school staff have the resources and support they require to do their jobs well. In other words, a governor examines the ‘bigger picture’ of the school strategies, structures and vision. Now, on to the highlights from last term…
Before we broke for summer, the governors were very focused on the recent OFSTED report. A Post-Ofsted Action Plan has been compiled using the key development points from the Ofsted report. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) have involved contributions from teaching staff and have listened to the concerns of parents in post-Ofsted parent meetings. For example, a review of the curriculum and how the teaching at the school is organised has been incorporated into the plan. In addition, the school is continuing to use guidance from the Merton Education Partner to tighten up on statistical targets. The teaching staff, Senior Leadership Team and governors are all enthusiastic about putting the plan into action to improve quality of education for our pupils and be recognised for this by OFSTED.
End of Year Results
The end-of-year results show a significant improvement from the results in 2015-16. The school is now much closer to the national average in all areas of assessment and has exceeded the national figure in working at greater depth in maths. This shows the school is moving in the right direction, and governors will continue to monitor the data to ensure this upward trend continues.
Governors are encouraged to make formal visits each year to check that the policies and improvement plans are being implemented, and allow us to see for ourselves how our vision and plans for the school are working in practice. In the summer term, Governor Frances Cresswell visited the school with a focus on literacy. Governor Sanjay Hatwal had a visit to look at teaching assistants and how they have been focusing on strategies to help children be more independent. The Chair of Governors, Sandy Cowling, also formally visited to support the Headteacher after the OFSTED report. It is also worth noting that Governors are in touch with its local housing community, the High Path Community Association. There is proposed regeneration that will have an impact on the school, especially considering the increase in the estate’s density. The governors intend to keep updated as things progress.
Governors Impact Statement
The governors are working on a ‘Governors Impact Statement’ that is for parents and staff to explain how Merton Abbey’s governing body met its responsibilities in 2016/17. This should be released by the end of the term. It is a great resource that summarises the bulk of the governors’ work throughout the academic year.
Other policies and papers reviewed:
LA Merton Education Partner Report
School Development Plan
As mentioned above, these are only a few of the highlights from last term. If you would like more in depth access to what the governors are doing, you are always welcome to request the minutes from the school office.
Mamie Barden, Governor