Dear Carers and Parents
This is the first of a new annual report to give you some news of the governing body’s work over the last academic year. One of the highlights of the year was in November 2014 when the school was visited by a team from the Barnet School Improvement Partnership. The team rigorously reviewed teaching and learning in the school and interviewed the Chair and Vice Chair of governors. The school was very proud to receive confirmation of its outstanding rating and I would like to thank everyone for their contribution to this great achievement.
Last year we said goodbye to Mr Robin Warren, our Headteacher of nine years. A panel of governors undertook the recruitment of a new Head Teacher and the successful candidate, Mr Paul Church took up his post in September 2015. The Governors would like to thank the acting team of Michelle Williams, Azra Nath and Ceri Renowden for leading the school after Mr Warren’s departure. We also send out thanks to all members of staff for their commitment and hard work during this period.
The Resources & Premises Committee is responsible for setting the school's annual budget, tracking expenditure, buildings maintenance and development, and ensuring value for money is achieved. The committee also receives reports on Health and Safety. We meet four times a year.
The majority of the school budget is made up of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) which comes to us from the local authority. It is supplemented by funds for particular groups of children, income raised by the school and any successful funding bids. The school's total income for 2014/15 was £1.8 million the majority of which was allocated to staff costs. The remainder is used for learning resources, premises, maintenance and operational expenditure. In spite of the DSG not having risen in real terms for many years whilst other costs have increased, the three year plan continues to see a balanced budget. We also received local authority funding for capital projects of £12,000 and this was used as a contribution to the installation of security gates for the pedestrian and staff car park access on Moss Hall Grove.
Staff at the school are very active in applying for additional funding and were successful in a bid for £38,407 of Disability Discrimination Act funding. This money is being used to complete the resourcing of the sensory room and a planned for disabled toilet. Still outstanding is work to resurface the top playground. This is badly needed after suffering wear and tear during the installation of the temporary classroom and then during works to complete the school expansion. We are waiting to hear from the London Borough of Barnet regarding the funding of this work.
Parental support through the fund raising activities of MHSA has played a vital role in providing extra money for projects. In 2014/15 MHSA passed on £10,000 which was added to the fund for improving the outside area for reception classes. The funds raised by MHSA help a range of initiatives and we are very grateful for your continued support of the events it organises.
In November 2014 the school was audited by the London Borough of Barnet. The aim of a local authority audit is to provide a check on financial management. The school received a satisfactory judgement.
The Committee meets three times a year. In the autumn term we reviewed the Key Stage 1 and Early Years results which continued to be excellent. In addition to regular reports on pupil progress, inclusion and safeguarding the committee received a report on the development of the outdoor area for reception from Katie Bevan and a presentation on the teaching of coding from Amy Theophile. Coding is a new element in the revised national curriculum and it was fascinating to hear how young children instinctively put in place coding instructions to create a computer programme. Phonics was a development focus this year and our Literacy governor Joanne Lucas Stone (now stepped down) visited the school to see phonics teaching in action and to attend the parent workshop run by Michelle Williams. Visits were also made by governors for Inclusion, Safeguarding and Numeracy. These visits help us to understand the school and its needs and as a result improve the quality of our governance.
In addition to our usual three meetings a year, the committee met to discuss the arrangements for the recruitment of the new Head Teacher. Through our work we aim to enable all staff to develop their teaching practice and professional development and to share this knowledge throughout the school and with other schools in Barnet. We feel confident that the contributions made by all our staff make this a happy and successful school for the children and for the staff themselves.
With best wishes
Chair of Governors