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Governors' Blog

Autumn Term 2020

I am delighted to have been voted Chair of the Local Academy Committee at Stoke Minster, on 29th September this year. Having David Morgan as my vice-chair is fantastic as he has held the role of chair very successfully for many years and I know he will be a huge support to me. I would like to extend my thanks to David for all his hard work in the past few years. He always remains a stalwart supporter of Stoke Minster C.E. Primary Academy.

This term we have worked as a LAC in setting up schedules to ensure that we will accomplish our core functions of: setting and supporting vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school; holding senior leaders to account for educational performance and overseeing the financial performance of the academy and making sure money is well spent. 

We have also agreed link roles to support the monitoring of safeguarding, health and safety, pupil premium and SEND. These roles will be carried out by pairs of committee members to ensure succession planning.

(For further information, see the documentation on LAC Action Plan.)

Carol Barber, Chair of LAC, November 2020

Autumn Term 2018

I am very pleased to be back as Chairman after a break of two years. Also I am delighted to have as vice chair Mrs Carol Barber, whose knowledge of the school and her experience of education in general will be invaluable to me and the Committee. We are already working on improving the role of the link governors utilising their skills to the best advantage of the school and the children. The governors’ web site has been updated and will be reviewed at least once a term in all its aspects.
Many thanks must go to Mr Graham Hutton who has been Chair for the past two years. Graham has worked very hard for the school and always has striven to achieve the best for the school. We appreciate all that he has done.
Since academisation we have been accustoming ourselves to new systems and working with St Chad’s Trust. We have found them very supportive and understanding and look forward to a happy working relationship.
The governors have been reviewing all aspects of the school and their combined work has seen the creation of a central governors’ file for the dissemination of information which is essential if all governors are to play a full part in the life of the school. I am grateful and impressed by the quality and amount of work undertaken. 
We are very pleased to have the CEO of St Chad’s Multi academy Trust on our committee. Mrs Sue Wedgwood is very experienced, having been a Headteacher herself and also has worked for The Local Authority. She has another tremendous advantage in that she comes from Stoke and understands and empathises with us.

David Morgan, Chair of Governors, November 2018

Governance Review

The school undertook in January 2016 to have a full Governance Review, conducted by Jill Wilkinson. This proved very helpful and has assisted the governors in many aspects of our role as can be seen in the Ofsted judgements. A MAT self-review is planned for September 2019.

Autumn Term 2016

Just before term started the Chair of Governors (David Morgan) was informed by the Diocese of Lichfield that the school must consider moving to become an Academy in line with the Government's wishes.  David Morgan and the Headteacher (Lynne Willis) asked the Chair of the Finance Committee (Graham Hutton) to write a report on becoming an Academy and to give a recommendation for the Governors to consider.  The new rules mean that we have to join in with other schools in a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). 

Graham worked through September and much of October undertaking the research and interviews and wrote a paper for the governors.  The recommendation accepted by governors at an Extraordinary Governors Meeting on 19 October is that we join the Diocese MAT, St Chads.  Please see www.cecet.org.uk for further details.  The staff unanimously supported this decision and parents have generally been in favour.  Graham Hutton conducted two meetings with parents in November to explain about Academies and those that attended were very satisfied with the reasoning and decision making.  The Local Authority also approved the decision.  The school's approach on this is being held up as best practice by the Diocese School Improvement Manager.

This term also saw our OFSTED inspection.  The result is exactly as the Senior Management Team predicted.  Our Key Stage 2 results were not as good as they should have been.  We urge parents to read the report.  The inspectors found much to be cherished in the school and were clear that the school was well on the way to being a successful school.  They recognised our difficulties.  Parents can make a big difference and we urge those that do not get their children to school on time to try harder as this affects your children's education.  The OFSTED inspectors made a special note on this.

We were pleased with OFSTED's view of Governance of the school.  They said "The governance of the school is effective. The school’s governors have an accurate understanding of the school’s performance. They understand why standards have dropped, but do not present any excuses and are focused on finding solutions. To this end, they have carried out benchmarking exercises with other similar schools and sought external advice. They have identified some key levers needed for school improvement and are providing constructive challenge in order to bring about the necessary changes. There are a few vacancies on the governing body. Nevertheless, the governors in post possess a helpful set of skills and an ability to think and plan strategically. They do not shy away from tough decisions but also make sure that everyone is treated fairly. Governors are ambitious for pupils to reach higher academic standards but also value the school’s successful attention to pupils’ well-being and social development. Governors attend regular training, are outward looking and responsive to new ideas. They are alert to their responsibilities under the ‘Prevent’ duty and liaise with other agencies if need be."

Spring/Summer Term 2016

Mr Morgan has conducted a Learning Walk for RE in February.  He also carried out pupil interviews regarding Safeguarding in January.  Mr Morgan comes into school regularly to help children with their reading and has been bringing in other volunteers who are also willing to help with reading.  He has also attended a Pupil Progress Meeting with staff.  Mr Morgan meets with Mrs Willis on a weekly basis whenever possible and recently attended Parents' Evening on Wednesday 10th February to chat to parents.

Reverend Durose runs an after-school weekly Chess Club for Key Stage 2 children which has been ongoing for a number of years.  He also attended Parents' Evening on Tuesday 9th February to chat to parents.  Rev Durose also came into school to speak to our RE co-ordinator (Mrs Chubb) and attended a recent assembly on the subject of being ECO friendly.

Mrs Sheldon comes into school every week to help in the Nursery giving the children the opportunity to play games and learn the important life skills of turn-taking and sharing. She also reads with the children and carried out the Safeguarding interviews with Mr Morgan.

Mrs Sheldon and Mrs Shah joined Y6 pupils during a lesson on on-line exploitation on 21st June. With the internet becoming increasingly important in children's lives, the school believe that it is imperative to educate our children about the risks.

Safeguarding Report by Governors - May 2016

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