FGB December 2017
The meeting commenced with a warm welcome to the three new Governors: Sara Sampson (Parent Governor), Cat Young (Teaching Staff Governor) and Tom Jenkins (Support Staff Governor). In the Head Teacher’s report, Mrs Bennett updated governors regarding staffing changes and the consultation on the school Mission Statement and priorities of the School Development Plan, indicating that a follow-up meeting will take place in January. With regards to the uniform consultation, the HT confirmed that no new uniform changes would be introduced before September 2018. The FGB also discussed the outcomes of the September parent questionnaire and while the response rate was low (15%), Mrs Bennett explained what actions were being taken to respond to some of the concerns raised. The FGB also formally approved the new earlier start time for KS1, which will come into effect in January.
The Chair updated the FGB on developments within the Camino Partnership which facilitates cooperation among local Catholic schools, both maintained and independent. Cooperation across Mission/Ethos, Resources and Quality and Standards committees continues. The schools are also looking at ways in which they can better support each other through shared services, such as CPD. The Chair then reported on his recent meeting with Bishop Declan and Mrs Bennett, looking in particular at how the school can enact the Bishop’s Mission – Future Full of Hope – within the school community.
In the meeting’s main business, FGB approved a number of new/revised policies, including Attendance and Punctuality, Health and Safety, and Safeguarding. (Policies will be available on the school website shortly.) Finally, on the resignation of Michael Proulx, the FGB its expressed its warm thanks to Michael for his service as Vice –Chair and Chair of the Curriculum Committee for the last four years.
FGB September 2017
Having welcomed, St John’s new Head Teacher, Angela Bennett, to her first Governing Body meeting, FGB re-elected Giles Mercer as its chair. Following the resignation of Michael Proulx as FGB Vice-Chair, Karen Neate, was elected to this role. FGB then approved the governing body's Standing Orders, Memorandum of Understanding, and its Terms of Reference together with those of its committees, as well as agreeing committee membership and chairs. The main FGB agenda item was the Head Teacher’s report, which included updating the FGB on the school’s 2017 provisional progress results. The data for St John's, which records the average progress made by pupils from the end of key stage 1 to the end of key stage 2, are broadly around the national average, apart from writing which is just below. The FGB discussed the Head Teacher’s proposed development priorities for the school which include continuous improvement in the quality of teaching and piloting a new Age-Related Expectations Assessment System for RE. The Head Teacher also updated the FGB on the school’s new leadership structure and current recruitment plans. In other business, the Chair reported on his presentation in the Local Authority hearing regarding the proposed Wansdyke new- build, where he set out the school’s opposition to the proposals in particular in respect of safe-guarding and traffic concerns.
FGB July 2017
In the last meeting of the academic year, the FGB received an informative presentation from Mrs Donkor on Thrive - an initiative designed to support emotional and social development through positive relationships. Mrs Donkor explained that this whole-school approach complemented a recent initiative from the Local Authority, aimed at promoting positive mental health across the school community. The FGB also approved a range of policy updates including: Child Protection, E-Safety, Social Media, Online Safety and Anti-Bullying.
The Head Teacher reported to the FGB the outcomes of the 2017 KS2 SATs. The percentage of children at St John’s who gained the expected standard for reading, writing and maths (combined attainment score) was 55.6% (national average of 61%). In reading, the percentage was 77% (national average 71%); in maths 77% (national average 75%); and in writing 70% (national average 76%). (The school’s progress score, showing the progress reached by pupils from the end of key stage one to the end of key stage two - the second government accountability measure - is communicated to schools in September.) The FGB Chair updated the Board on co-operation with the Camino Partnership of 12 local Catholic schools, maintained and independent, primary and secondary, which are now beginning to work together across areas including resources, mission and school improvement. In other business the FGB formally finalised the budget for 2017/18 and noted the Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings. Finally all members of the Governing Body expressed their heartfelt thanks and presented gifts to Mrs Sessions and Mr Coleman for their tireless devotion and service to the school. Mrs Sessions has served the school for ten years, as teacher, Assistant Head, Deputy Head, and RE Co-ordinator. She moves on to the headship of St John’s Catholic Primary School, Trowbridge. Mr Coleman has been Head Teacher for fourteen years and given outstanding leadership. Both Mrs Sessions and Mr Coleman were thanked too for their service as members of the FGB.
FGB June 2017
The primary focus of the FGB meeting was to discuss the schools budget for 2017/18. Following discussion with the Local Authority (LA) on the school’s deficit position, the FGB approved a two-year deficit plan, which was agreed to with the LA. The FGB also discussed the staffing structure for 2017/18, including temporary arrangements for the position of Deputy Head.
FGB March 2017
The Full Governing Body on 21st March mainly comprised child protection training for governors. In other business the Chair updated FGB on developments towards closer cooperation of schools within the South Clifton Catholic Federation, where several committees have been formed to focus on different aspects including curriculum/standards, resources and RE. The governance of these new arrangements is to be reviewed after one year. Key items in the Head Teacher’s report concerned the Local Authority Categorisation of St John as (2) Good+; and decrease in school funding. Following a review of income, staffing and a discussion with Angela Bennett – incoming Head Teacher - a draft budget for 2017-18 will be presented to the next FGB in May. Finally the Committee expressed its sincere thanks to Laurence Swan who has now stood down after 15 years of membership of the FGB including one as Chair.
FGB December 2016
A new associate governor, James Henderson, was welcomed. James’s professional background is in the banking sector and he will provide additional financial scrutiny for the school. Laurence Swan retired from the board after fourteen years, during which time he has given the school magnificent service, chairing the governors and supporting the Head during a period of change, progress, and challenge, especially during the move to the new site. A huge debt of gratitude is owed him.
It was agreed that, in addition to existing discussion of results and progress data, the FGB would look at the provisional data on pupils’ progress sent to the school in September. The School Improvement Partner from the Local Authority made a routine visit to the school in November and gave a wholly positive report on the school’s development priorities with regard to standards and progress. Particular focus is being given to SEND pupils in all phases and to KS2 provision and progress. Governors warmly commended Mrs Sessions for organising a very worthwhile whole-school pilgrimage. The Chair reported on progress in regard to further collaboration between the schools in the South Clifton Catholic Hub, having met his counterparts and the diocesan director for schools. The Admissions Policy was adopted. The Governors reviewed their own attendance of diocesan and local authority courses.
FGB - SEPT 2016
The first Full Governing Body (FGB) of the academic year opened with unanimous support for the re-election of Giles Mercer and Michael Proulx as its Chair and Vice-Chair accordingly. The FGB also welcomed a new Foundation governor, Michèle Tayler, to her first meeting; and recorded its thanks to Peter Daly, who has recently resigned from the Governing Body. In receiving an update on the 2015 summer fayre, the FGB expressed its thanks to the PTA for all its hard word in organising this successful event. The chairs of the FGB committees were also approved and this will be updated shortly on the school website. The FGB finalised arrangements for an open meeting about the up-coming election for a parent governor. This meeting will take place after school on Wednesday 14th October for any parent or guardian wishing to find out more about this important role. The FGB also received an update about discussions within the Diocese on possible future moves to academy status, given that this appears to be the direction of government policy. The Diocese is understood to be considering possible options for schools to operate within a multi-academy trust. This issue will be the focus of the FGB’s next training and strategy day. Finally, the Head presented an up-date on the school’s Strategic Development Plan.
FGB July 2016
July 5th's FGB focused on plans to create a hub of co-operating schools within the South Clifton Catholic Federation (SCCF). Under the agenda item, the FGB approved a Memorandum of Agreement respecting the wishes of the Bishop for schools to work together to achieve mutual goals in the benefit of Catholic Education. (A separate communication on this will be made to parents next week.)
The head teacher also briefly reported on the end of Key Stage Two outcomes, which were published by the DfE on Tuesday. (This year’s results are the first to be released following the introduction of a more rigorous curriculum in 2014 that raises the bar in terms of expectations of pupils’ mastery of literacy and numeracy.) At St. John’s, 66% of YR6 pupils (44) met the expected standard across all areas, compared to the national average of 53%. In reading, writing, and SPAG, St John’s attainment was higher than the national average. The FGB commended the entire teaching staff for this success.
In other matters, the FGB reviewed the revised School Development Plan, amended from the last Governor Strategy Day. And the FGB expressed sincere thanks to Father Michael for his work at St. Alphege’s over the last 18 months and wished him well for his future role at Wonersh Seminary.
Finally, the FGB approved the following revised policies: SEN; School Information Security Policy; Internet and e-mail acceptable use procedures; and on anti-bullying and behaviour.
FGB - MAY 2016
The purpose of the last meeting of the Full Governing Body was to approve the school financial accounts for 2015-16 and the budget for 2016-17. The Chair of Governors, Giles Mercer, also updated the FGB about Diocesan plans for closer partnership of schools within the South Clifton Catholic Federation. The FGB will continue to keep parents informed of developments in this area. In other matters the FBG discussed the proposal for development of the Wansdyke Business Centre. The FGB is seeking to attain more information on this proposal from the Council and will respond accordingly.
FGB - MARCH 2016
The last meeting of the Full Governing Body focused on moves towards academisation. Schools within the South Clifton Catholic Federation continue to discuss how they might engage in closer cooperation. In other matters, the FGB also received a report from St John’s School Improvement Partner which provided helpful comment on developments within the school and current improvement priorities, for example in the area of assessment and higher-level challenge. The Head additionally updated governors on applications for admission to the Reception Year.
Governors expressed their support for school staff who had worked to make the recent visit to Skern Lodge so enjoyable. Thanks were also expressed to the staff and parents who supported pupils’ involvement in the Mid-Somerset Festival, especially Mrs Parsons.
An updated Health and Safety Policy was also adopted by the FGB, with thanks expressed to Mr Gaisford for his work on this. In addition to receiving the minutes from the Personnel, Curriculum and Resources Committees, the FGB approved policies on Severe Weather, Critical Incident, Physical Intervention and LA Personnel.