Update from the Governors - Spring 2019

Date: 30th Mar 2019 @ 8:48am

It has been a while since the last blog from the Governors. Since then we have spent a lot of time developing a new School Development Plan which will drive the development priorities for the next two years. We identified seven priorities and based on this the senior leadership team developed a detailed action plan. This was finalised in the Autumn term and since then we have spent time monitoring the implementation of the actions and their effectiveness. You can find the School Development Plan in the "School Improvement" section of the website.

With the financial year coming to a close in April, the Finance committee has spent considerable time looking at our financial performance this year and the budget for next year. After two years of careful cost control the school in now in a relatively strong financial position which will allow us to increase our staffing levels and curriculum resource expenditure next year in order to support our development priorities. However, our grant from the government continues to fall year-on-year and other costs continue to increase, meaning that we must continue to look at maximising other sources of income and exercising careful cost control.

Our Standards committee has undertaken a number of in-depth reviews of key priority areas over the last term, including the teaching of maths, our special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision and our pastoral support. All these areas have seen significant change this year, with a new maths system being introduced across the school, a new Pastoral Lead role created and Ms Scott being appointed as our new SENCo. It is pleasing to see that improvement in all these areas is already evident. 

We have also developed a new Risk Register this year to ensure that we are properly identifying and monitoring the key risks that the school is subject to. This was a very useful exercise and provided a framework for the governing body and senior leadership team to consider additional actions needed to mitigate some of these risks.

Finally this term we started to look at the work the senior leadership team is doing on developing the curriculum to ensure that it is broad and balanced with creativity as a driving factor (another priority in the School Development Plan). This work is absolutely fundamental to ensuring that Chestnuts provides the experience and educational opportunities that we want for our children. To support this work, the Governing Body will spend some time over the Summer term looking again at our Vision Statement for the school, to ensure that it clearly sets out the aspirations for childrens' experience at Chestnuts (i.e. what they will learn and how they will learn it).

If you have any questions about the governing body then you can contact me via email at: [email protected] or leave a note with the school office who will pass it on. Please also have a look at our "Meet the Governors" webpage which includes details of who is on the governing body, how we function and our meeting minutes.

Hugh Merritt (Chair of Governors)