Once again, so much has been achieved over the past few months by the whole community.
The Premises and Health and Safety committee has revised its remit to include Behaviour and Wellbeing. The committee have worked together to identify a “wish list” of developments linked to the school priorities in order to further develop the provision within the building and around the site. A number of successful funding bids ensure that we continue to have high aspirations for our wide range of learners. We recognise that some of the social and outdoor spaces are in need of further development to meet the changing needs of our learners.
A behaviour approach called Thrive has been adopted in school. This helps to identify need, implement interventions, and track progress for pupils’ social and emotional development and related behaviours. Governors are very impressed with the system and have invested in training 3 staff across school to promote and monitor the approach and intervention.
We are aware of the challenges that some members of our community face in regulating their behaviours. It has been brilliant to learn about, and actually witness, the impact of some interventions, resulting in the huge progress that individual learners have achieved, in terms of managing their anxieties and in communicating their needs and wishes.
Staff are working towards looking after their own wellbeing and a number of brave staff are training towards a local half marathon or alternatively completing a 5 K run. It is brilliant to hear about the regular training sessions and the impact this has on staff teamwork, health and wellbeing. Hats off to them all for their dedication at the end of a working day!
This term all Governors have completed Safeguard Training on Keeping Children Safe in Education and are acutely aware of their responsibilities related to this. We are kept up to date on children in need of protection, and those most vulnerable within our community of learners.
The staffing committee has once again been busy planning and preparing for the growth of school. A total of 3 governors have been involved in the selection and appointment of additional staff including an additional 2 teaching assistants for January 2017, a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) for September 2017, a teacher to cover a maternity leave from Easter 2017, a finance officer and a Child and Family Welfare Leader. These appointments reflect the changing designation and needs of the complex organisation, that is our school.
We continue to monitor the health and wellbeing of staff in relation to staff absence as well as encouraging and supporting all staff in their personal learning journey through professional development and training.
The Curriculum Committee have observed joint planning sessions with primary teachers as well as attending evidence scrutinies for the Early Years, Primary and Secondary phases of school. The amount of evidence produced by learners, supported by careful annotation by staff, is a joy to behold! The creative approach to evidence collection includes traditional methods such as pupil workbooks but also photographs and video recordings as well as teachers assessments.
The Finance Committee has been partaking in Benchmarking exercises with other local and regional schools, exploring how similar schools allocate their budgets to specific areas of need such as staffing, resources and services etc. The school budget is closely monitored including the use of Pupil Premium. We are all aware of the increasing demands on our already stretched resources and we are working hard to ensure that maximum impact is achieved on all spending.
Our school business manager has been working hard to support the Local Authority in its strategic funding arrangements for High Needs learners in partnership with the Head Teacher and her work with the Strategic SEND Strategy for Redcar and Cleveland. We await the outcome of the National Funding Formula consultation with interest. When school budgets are under current pressures we need to ensure that we are able to continue with our school priorities and development work for the sake of the whole community.
Our parent governors have continued to work tirelessly to ensure that regular coffee mornings are available and a warm welcome awaits everyone attending. These informal get-togethers are a chance to get to know each other as well as enjoy the attendance of the School Adviser, and members of the Learning disabilities social care team. Please support the next one!
Once again you can see that our Governing Body are totally committed to the school community.
We have attended training in :
The Prevent Duty
Keeping Children Safe in Education
Managing and Planning Academy finances
Governors as Strategic leaders
The role of Social Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education including British Values
Closing the Gap
We are regularly in school to work in partnership with the staff team and to gain an even more secure understanding of our school and its challenges and many successes.
Dr Doug Thomson.