Autumn Term 2015
During the Autumn Term 2015 we have held a meeting of the full Governing body and also a meeting of the Finance and Personnel Committee which looked at the school’s budget. In addition we held a meeting to consider extending the age range of the school and, as a result of this meeting, we are currently engaged in a consultation process on this matter. I would like to thank those of you who came to the consultation meeting for stakeholders in November and also thank those who have completed the questionnaire. In January we will be making the decision on whether or not to proceed with the change and will let you know the outcome once it has been formally agreed. We also met with the Bedford Borough Travel Plan Officer as we are hoping to develop strategies to deal with the parking issues along Church End.
School visits by the Governors this term have included an audit of the excellent IT equipment that is in use in the classrooms and also a PE visit to discuss how the sports premium funding is being utilised and to look at future plans in this area. The Governors have also attended the excellent Christmas concerts; I am sure that you will join with me in thanking the staff and children for all of the hard work that went into making the plays so enjoyable. We currently have a vacancy for a parent Governor; nominations are open and we hope to complete the election process by the end of January so that we will be up to full strength.
Spring Term 2016
The Spring term has been quite eventful for the Governing Body. We welcomed Brad Dooley as a new Parent Governor and now say goodbye to Natalie Booker who has been on the Governing Body since February 2013 and is moving from the area. I would like to thank Natalie for all of her work as a Governor. We are currently looking for Natalie’s replacement.
There are some very significant changes on the way for the school over the next few years. At the start of the term we produced the report on the consultation into extending the age range of the school and voted to go ahead with the proposal; a link to the report is available on the school website. Planning for the change has already started and a group of Governors attended a briefing detailing some of the issues involved given by the Headteacher of a school that has already converted from a lower school to a primary school. In addition, as you may be aware, the government has published a white paper on changes to the education system which includes a proposal that all schools will have to convert to academy status. Prior to this announcement several of the Governors attended a presentation on forming a Multi Academy Trust with other schools in the cluster. We are at the earliest stages of considering this at the moment and will keep you informed of any developments as they occur.
As well as the usual termly meetings, Governors have attended a variety of training courses at the Borough and also visited the school to look at pupil safeguarding, special educational needs and disability provision and PE and school sports funding and provision. They also came to watch pupils compete in the tag rugby competition held at Alban Academy and take part in the wonderful dancing at the Sandy Dance Festival – well done to all of those children who took part!
Summer Term 2016
The governors have been busy again this term. With the transition to primary school status on the horizon, a working group of governors has been established to assist the school’s management with all aspects of the conversion. A feasibility meeting was held with the architects, builders and a borough representative to start looking at the sighting and design for the new classrooms. We also visited a couple of schools who have recently had new classrooms built to look at some of the design options. As you will all be aware, space in the school grounds is limited so it is vital that we make the most of what is available. In about a year’s time the building work will have to commence in order for the new classrooms to be ready for September 2017.
As well as the termly full Governing Body meeting we have had meetings of the General Purpose and Finance Committees. Examples of items on the various agendas included the 3 year budget plan (this requires careful consideration as it includes the transition to primary status), how the school uses the Sports and Pupil Premium to ensure maximum impact is generated by this income and the purchase of additional security systems for the school. Another item that we have been monitoring is the requirement to change to Academy status - at first it appeared that all schools would be forced to do so by the Government but it now appears that it will remain voluntary. As you may be aware, a new Secretary of State for Education has just been appointed so it may all change again. Hopefully it will be left for the school management teams to decide what is best for their particular circumstances.
School visits by the governors this term included maths, literacy and the forest school. The school visits enable the governors to get a close look at all aspects of the provision at Renhold. Two of the governors were also interviewed by the assessor as part of the renewal of the school’s Quality Mark for Basic Skills. Governors also attended the excellent Summer Fayre, Sports Day and Leavers’ Concert - well done to all who were involved!
We also welcomed a new governor; Sarah Tomlinson has joined us as a foundation governor, appointed by the parochial church council. Our links with All Saints’ Church are very important to us and it is very good news that we are able to maintain these links even though the position of parish priest is currently unoccupied.