The Governors have been busy this autumn with several initiatives to improve the Academy in collaboration with the Headteacher, Richard Hedge and the Senior Leadership Team. Although there were some bright spots in the GCSE results, such as Science, some Humanities subjects and the Arts, much needs to be done on the journey towards recovering our OFSTED Good grade. All staff have put in extra hard work on improving attendance as well as the outcomes for our students. At the Governor level, we commissioned a Pupil Premium review in the early part of 2018 carried out by Richard Middlebrook, Headteacher at Alsager School (OFSTED Outstanding). We have extended Richard’s role to become the school external advisor. Richard has given advice on a variety of topics including assessing pupil progress and is now reviewing management. His advice is being taken on board by the senior leadership team and we hope to see the impact of this guidance in improved GCSEs in 2019.
This autumn the Governors reviewed the ‘Small School’ and “Diverse Curriculum’ strategies which are strengths of the Academy. Evidence from GCSE results and staff and student surveys all pointed towards these strategies being valued, so these will continue to be the Academy’s policy which is well received by parents (and OFSTED). However some of the implications of the diverse curriculum in 100 minute lessons and GCSEs exams being taken in years 9, 10 and 11, did causes concern as ‘one size does not fit all’. Some students may find year 9 GCSE daunting, especially since the exams have become harder in recent years. The conclusion was that better guidance in Pathways and GCSE preparation was required and this will be taken up by the senior leadership team.
We have welcomed two new members to the Governing Board this term: Mrs Semina Thomas who was elected as parent Governor and Mr Giles Beswick who becomes a co-opted Governor. Two governors have resigned after serving the school for many years Mrs Valerie Herbert and Mrs Anne Thompson. Their contributions will be sorely missed. We are now looking to recruit two new Governors, so if any of you wish to be involved, please contact me or the Headteacher, we can co-opt Governors who have appropriate skills and backgrounds in business or the public sector.
In spite of the adverse funding for education, to say nothing of the political uncertainties, the Academy is in good shape. Our bank balance is positive, we have a dedicated staff, recruitment for 2019 is buoyant and results are on an improving trend. The Governors are determined to accelerate this improvement and we welcome your involvement and suggestions, either directly to myself, or through the Parents forum.
With my best wishes for Christmas and New Year
Chair of Governors