Market Deeping Community Primary School

Willoughby Avenue, Market Deeping, Lincolnshire PE6 8JE

01778 343654

admin@marketdeeping.lincs.sch.uk

Governor MessageS

Governor Impact Statement: September 2019.

In order to keep you up-to-date with the work of the Governing Body, we produce this update each term on the school website and in Parent Mail.

We have three key roles as governors:

• to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

• to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and

• to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

 

 

This September, two of my grandchildren have started at new schools: one at a local secondary school, and another joining Reception in his village school. Their parents have been preparing them with new uniforms and equipment, and their schools have gone to great lengths to make the transition as smooth as possible.  Many of you will have just gone through the same experience in anticipation of a new year at MDCP.    May I particularly welcome those parents and carers whose children have just joined our Reception classes, and reassure them that past experience suggests that they will have an amazing time at our school!

However, it’s not just the children, parents and carers who prepare for a new school year.  We welcome Mrs Helen Kay, who is our newly appointed parent governor and wish her well in this role.  As governors we have much to do at this time. During our early meetings this year we review last year’s results, and reflect on how we can further support our students.  We celebrate their successes, and have very good reason to do so this year.  

Also at this time of year, Mr Ratchford and his Senior Leadership Team prepare a School Development Plan which encompasses a range of priorities to be introduced through 2019-20.  The governors support this process through our meeting structure, our Strategic Plan, and our monitoring processes. 

As part of this, we have a number of sub-committees, including:

     - the Learning and Progress sub-committee, which focuses primarily on the attainment and progress of your children, ensuring that targets are met and, where they are falling behind, encouraging the introduction of new strategies to improve.

    - the Finance sub-committee, which as you might expect scrutinises expenditure as well as approving a budget.

    - a number of other sub-committees which meet as the occasion demands.

 I always find the start of a new school year fills me with anticipation and excitement. There is always so much to do and achieve and I truly believe that, working together, governors, staff, and parents and carers will support your children to “grow together to be the best”.  As you know, this phrase represents our vision statement, and it drives much of our work as a Governing Body.

Mrs Sue Bryars, Chair of Governors

Governor Impact Statement: June 2019

You may recall that my last Governor Impact Report in April focussed on the work of two of our relatively new governors, Mark and Becky.  I am pleased that they were so positive about their experiences so far, because we have a vacancy for a new Parent Governor!  Amanda Sylvester joined the Governing Body four years ago, and her term of office has now come to an end.  Amanda's contribution has been invaluable, particularly in developing our Safeguarding and Child Protection processes in school. On behalf of the whole Governing Body, I wish to thank her for her time and effort.

I very much hope that a number of you will be keen to volunteer to become a governor, and a re-read of previous Governor Impact Reports will give you a flavour of the work we undertake. It is not so much your particular skills that we are looking for, (though we will make use of them); it is rather your commitment, interest and time that we will find most valuable.

Each of my previous reports begins with these three statements, which describe succinctly the core roles of the Governing Body:

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

At this time of year, of course, we focus on all three areas simultaneously!  The financial year has come to an end so the budget needs to be balanced and a new one needs to be drafted, incorporating the planned developments for next year. As part of our Five-Year Strategic Plan, the Governors’ 2nd Year Statements have been developed to support Mr Ratchford and his Senior Leadership Team in preparing the  School Development Plan.  We have included a commitment to review our long-term vision, and your suggestions will be sought.  We are constantly seeking ways to capture your views over a range of issues: indeed you will be hearing from Mr Ratchford and myself in the next couple of weeks in relation to this. 

In the meantime, we hope that all our pupils and staff will enjoy the next few weeks of the school year, before a well-earned rest for the summer.

 

Sue Bryars.

 

Chair of Governors

 

Governor Impact Statement: April 2019.

During the past year or so, I have been outlining various ways in which governors discharge their duties with respect to their three key roles: namely

 

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

 

I thought you might be interested to hear from other governors this month, so that they could provide you with their perspective on our work.  On this occasion, Mark Currier and Becky Roberts “volunteered”!

Recently, as governors who are new to the Governing Body, we have all had the pleasure of coming into school and meeting staff and pupils on one of the ‘Governors Monitoring weeks’ mentioned in previous reports. Our personal areas of focus for these visits have been SEND, Safeguarding,  Pupil Premium and Sports Premium spending. The School Development Plan highlights areas for development: SEND focusses on individual children’s particular needs, whilst Pupil Premium and Sports Funding are special grants which we are duty-bound to ensure that they enhance the educational opportunities of our pupils.  Safeguarding is a particularly important aspect of our work which rightly absorbs a lot of the school’s, and our, energy.

 

Our monitoring visits into school have been a hot topic of conversation at recent meetings as we were all impressed with not only the new buildings and facilities the school has to offer but also by the engagement from children, enthusiasm from staff, and the general feel of the school. There is definitely a buzz of excitement around the place, which was really pleasing to see! However, school isn’t just for the children: parents and carers form a big part too, as does also the wider community.  We are really keen to establish strong links with you all and have recently been discussing how we can make this more possible.  We would be really keen to know how, so if you have any suggestions, please let us know.

 

A recent meeting analysing data has provided us with some pleasing results, showing that improvements implemented by the head teacher and the senior leadership team are having a positive effect. Outcomes for all pupils continue to be scrutinised closely by the leadership team and monitored by the governors.  As governors we need to challenge and question where we feel necessary, to ensure that our pupils are receiving the best education, which they deserve.  The data we are analysing shows this.

 

As new governors we have learned that this role requires us to quickly gain an understanding of the issues faced by the school and to be determined and persistent with our challenges. It is an important responsibility which we execute with the interests of the whole school community in mind.

 

Many thanks to Mark and Becky for their observations.  I shall be intrigued to see which governors “volunteer” next! 

 

Sue Bryars.  Chair of Governors

Governor Impact Statement: March 2019

In order to keep you up-to-date with the work of the Governing Body, we produce this update each term on the school website and in Parent Mail.

We have three key roles as governors:

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well

 

 In order to ‘hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school’ we have numerous strategies.  Perhaps the most significant is our role in monitoring the activities of the school, as mentioned in previous reports.  Mr. Ratchford has streamlined this process by introducing three ‘Governor Monitoring Weeks’ which are identified early in the year, and linked to our Meeting Cycle.  This has proved to be very effective.  Staff are able to plan for this, which means we governors can meet with staff and pupils to discuss progress of the school, encapsulated in the School Development Plan.  Each governor, following their visit, prepares a report focussed on a particular aspect of the plan.  These in turn are considered in Governing Body Meetings where we celebrate success, challenge, and note issues for further consideration.

The last such week was held in January of this year.  One aspect we discussed concerned parental involvement.  It is quite evident that our school is increasingly encouraging you to come into school to learn about activities taking place, the breadth of opportunities available, and the richness of experiences afforded to our children.  Those parents and carers who are able to attend have universally valued these occasions: we would love more of you to come and enjoy.  To that end, the school is trying to develop avenues to enable more parents and carers to be engaged; for example, communication through the website, Parentmail, questionnaires.

We all know how much our children love us to come into school to encourage them, learn more of their efforts and celebrate their success.

It would be easy to take the view that governors are only concerned with the progress and development of our school.  However, it is important to recognise that we are part of a wider community, which we very much value.  I regularly meet with other Chairs of Governors of local primary schools, which gives us an opportunity not only to network and offer mutual support, but also to share good practice and training.  For example, we recently hosted a training session on ‘Safeguarding’ at MDCP for around 20 local governors, and soon we shall attend another local school to learn more about good practice in terms of Governor Monitoring Visits. It is through partnership of teachers, and the community, including parents, carers and governors, that we are most likely to be able to provide the quality of education our children deserve.

Sue Bryars, Chair of Governors

Governor Impact Statement: January 2019

In order to keep you up-to-date with the work of the Governing Body, we produce this update each term on the school website and in Parent Mail.

We have three key roles as governors:

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well

Happy New Year to everyone: I do hope that you had a lovely Christmas, and are looking forward to 2019.  Time does fly, unless you are waiting for the completion of new buildings, as we have since last September!  The hand-over of the buildings may have already occurred as you read this …. or perhaps not!  As you might imagine, this delay has posed significant difficulties for the school, and I have been amazed by the ability of bothstaff and pupils to cope under such duress.

One positive change as a result of not having a hall, was the holding of the KS2 Christmas performance in St Guthlac’s Church and the KS1 performance in the Coronation Hall – magical experiences both.  I’m sure we were all moved by the performances which were a wonderful prelude to Christmas.

On reflection, and bearing in mind the three key roles of governors as outlined above, one significant aspect of governance is to ensure clarity of vision for the school.  The Governing Body, working with the Headteacher, senior leaders and staff, agree a Strategic Plan.  It is then for the senior staff to translate this into a School Development Plan which is updated each year.  The school then implements the plan, and it is for the Governing Body to monitor and scrutinise that work.

The cycle is:

     School Stragey  to School Development Plan to Implementation in practice.

On the face of it, this seems very dry and academic.    However, this process is anything but: rather, it is a privilege and a joy.  Three times a year, the school arranges what are called Governor Monitoring Weeks when each governor, armed with pencil, paper and their parts of the School Development Plan in their head, visits the school to ascertain the progress made in various aspects of this plan. Their observations are then discussed with the Senior Leadership Team at subsequent meetings.

As you might imagine, the integration of the rhythms of the school year with the meetings of the Governing Body is quite a complex process. Should you actually be interested, we have published the meeting cycle for this academic year on the school website, in the Governing Body Information section.

I am delighted to tell you that we have welcomed two new governors recently: Mrs Becky Roberts as a Co-opted governor, and Mrs Ellie Gibson as your Parent governor.  They have already focussed on elements of the School Development Plan, ready for their next meeting!

Governor Impact Statement: November 2018.

In order to keep you up-to-date with the work of the Governing Body, we produce this update each term on the school website and in Parent Mail.

We have three key roles as governors:

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

In previous reports, we have focussed on each element in turn: the one at the beginning of the school year, you may recall, considered finance. 

A particularly important role for governors is to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.  There are many strands to this, and one entails gathering information. 

Last April, our Safeguarding governor spoke informally with a number of pupils and staff in each year group about their perception of behaviour in school. There were a number of interesting points identified, including the need for greater consistency in the application of the behaviour policy.  Mr Ratchford undertook to review and introduce a new system of ‘Behaviour: Rewards and Sanctions’, which he told you about in September through Parent Mail.  The governors are currently monitoring its implementation, and are due to revisit the new policy in January 2019. 

In June, two of our governors undertook to develop and analyse a questionnaire for Y6 parents, carers and pupils.  Our intention was to learn from their experiences: it was thought that such pupils would have a more extensive view of their time at our school, and would be happy to reflect on their experiences.  We were very pleased to note that your children were extremely positive about the school and felt well prepared for the next stage in their education.  Parents, likewise, valued the education that their children had received,and those few concerns which were voiced centred on behaviour and bullying.  In particular, some parents felt unclear about the school’s strategies for challenging poor behaviour. 

We very much hope that you will have noted a considerable improvement in the behaviour of all pupils already.  Later in the school year, we shall seek opportunities to establish your views on such matters.  Your views are important to us as governors, and help us set the strategic direction of the school.

Sue Bryars, Chair of Governors

Governor Message, September 2018

I would like to welcome all new parents and carers to our school and hope that your children will thrive and enjoy the many opportunities available to them at Market Deeping Community Primary.  I normally write to you at the beginning of each term, outlining the work of the Governing Body and its impact on the development of the school. In other words, what have the governors done to support and challenge the development of our school, and thereby ensure that the children under our care are receiving the best possible education?

To guide us in this endeavour, we have three core principles:

  1. To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. To hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school.
  3. To oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

In previous reports, we have focussed on each element in turn: on this occasion we consider the third responsibility, namely ‘the financial performance of the school ’.

The Full Governing Body formally approves the annual budget developed by Mr Ratchford and his senior staff.  This is a detailed account of how the school’s income will be allocated, based on previous experience and our future needs.  Last year, one of the aspects we focussed on was to continue our preparations for the expansion of the school, which enabled us to develop our library, for example. We also carried on with our programme of classroom refurbishment: the new look of Y5 classroom is well worth a visit!

Most of the budget, of course, is spent on staffing.  Our recent appointments have expanded and substantially strengthened the school team and we are really looking forward to benefiting from their contribution in this coming academic year.

 Much of the detailed work relating to monitoring the budget is carried out by the Finance and Resources sub-committee which considers issues as they arise. This committee meets with the Headteacher and the School Business Manager at least four times a year, reporting directly to the Full Governing Body. 

 Many of you will be aware from newspapers and television reports that numerous schools in Lincolnshire have experienced difficulties over the last several years with the financial services provided for us by Lincolnshire County Council: our school has been no exception.   We are therefore seeking ways to resolve this in order to enable us to have more accurate and timely information and so better manage the school budget. 

On behalf of the governors may I express the hope that your children have a happy and very successful year.

Sue Bryars, Chair of Governors

18th June 2018

Governor News.

 In order to keep you up-to-date with the work of the Governing Body, we produce this update each term on the school website and in Parent Mail.

We have three key roles as governors:

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

 This is the fifth report I have written to you this school year. Formally described as Governor Impact Reports, they provide us with a platform for outlining to you the activities the governors have undertaken over the previous term. You will notice that I have highlighted, once again, the three key roles which we fulfil as governors.  The first of these is “to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction”, and this was considered in my last report when I outlined the development of a ‘Five-Year Vision’ for our school.  The second is “to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school”.

We have now completed the ‘One-Year Plan’ - a step toward our ‘Five-Year Vision’, and this will guide the Headteacher in the writing of his School Development Plan for 2018-9.  It is against this one-year plan that the Governing Body will monitor the success of the school over the next year.  This is an important function of the Governing Body, and provides a check that the commitments which the school makes are adhered to.

A second way in which the governors hold the school to account is through the information which Mr Ratchford provides concerning the attainment and progress of the children in school in each year.  We have ample opportunity to question and challenge.

A third way is in our monitoring of this year’s School Development Plan: for example, a governor recently undertook a survey of behaviour throughout the school.  We were very satisfied with the outcome of the report, particularly within the teaching environment, where the behaviour is generally exemplary.  However, in the freer environment of outside play, we can report that additional steps are being taken to further improve behaviour.  Supervision will be strengthened, and a Learning Mentor has just been appointed to focus on those few individuals who would benefit from additional support.

Two of our governors, Mrs Brisbane and Mrs Hart, are leaving the Governing Body at the end of this term.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support and hard work as governors over many years.  I am pleased to report that Mr Mark Currier will join us as a Co-opted Governor from September.  We feel that Co-opted Governors enable us to identify, and fill, gaps in our skill set to enable us to better support the school and the wider community.

 

Sue Bryars.  Chair of Governors

Monday 23rd April 2018

Term 5

This is the fourth report I have written to you this school year. Formally described as Governor Impact Reports, they provide us with a platform for outlining to you the activities the governors have undertaken over the previous month or so, on your behalf.  You will notice that I have highlighted, for the second time, the three key roles which we fulfil as governors.

The first of these is to ‘ensure clarity of vision, ethos and direction’.  There is a clear distinction between the strategic oversight undertaken by the Governing Body and the day-to-day running of the school by our Headteacher.  We guide the direction of the school through communication with the Head, the staff and yourselves.  We also engage, as you know, in regular visits to the school and the oversight of its work.

However, the focus for the governors this term has been the development of a clear Five-Year Vision for our school.  We began this work a year ago, engaging parents and carers, staff and governors in a ‘Visioning Exercise’ which identified our priorities.  These were further developed in September, last year, again involving staff, governors …. and importantly our new Headteacher! This gave rise to our School Development Plan (influenced, of course, by Ofsted) and our new Values, Vision and Mission statements which I hope you have noticed on our website.

We have developed all this work to produce our Five-Year Vision for the school, which is currently being refined as I write.  Once adopted it will serve to underpin the annual School Development Plan and help to guide the strategic direction of the school.

 

Sue Bryars.  Chair of Governors.

Message from the Chair of Governors, Sue Byrars:

Governor News, 18th February 2018

In order to keep you up-to-date with the work of the Governing Body, we produce this update each term.

We have three key roles as governors:

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

TERM 4

As you would expect, the governors have been busy since Christmas, planning for the future.  Already we have been developing an integrated cycle of meetings which incorporates not only the normal business of governance, but also strengthens our monitoring role, focussed on the School Development Plan.  To that end, we have re-structured our individual roles, with, for example, a governor responsible for Human Resources and a second one whose main concern is to lead our analysis of school data.

Governors also enjoy visiting school, particularly when it involves events which celebrate the achievements of our pupils.  For example, just a few weeks ago I enjoyed watching a Y 5 and 6 Parliamentary debate concerned with whether, firstly, all pupils should be provided with computers/ipads (as Chair of the Finance committee, I was rather anxious about that!), and ‘should snacks be banned”? There was a predictable result to that particular vote.

KS1 pupils and staff created a wonderful pop-up restaurant, serving such delights as fruit flapjacks (yummy) and magic muffins (worrying).  I was delighted that so many of you could come to support the children on this occasion.

Y3 and 4 held a session where they were working on an Indian theme, many with relatives and carers: much artistic skill was shown here, and not only by the children!

But surely the highlight of my visits was the Talent Show.  Who will forget such a joyous occasion when we watched our children impress us with their many and varied skills?  I smiled from beginning to end.

Sue Bryars.  Chair of Governors.

January 2018

 We have three key roles as governors:

 to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  • to hold leaders to account for the educational performance of the school; and
  • to oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

 In pursuit of this, we have completed the External Governance Review which took place during the autumn term  (2017), and have now developed an Action Plan which will help to guide us in future activities.  This dovetails well with the development of our governor monitoring roles, which each governor will undertake through 2018.

 The analysis of school data is obviously a major aspect of governance.  All governors have recently attended two training sessions on the interpretation of information from various sources, including the new assessment model introduced by the government for reporting on school performance.  In addition, two governors have also attended training on Financial Management and Budgeting.

We have recently welcomed a new governor, Mr James Stubbs, who joined the Governing Board as a Co-opted Governor.  He currently teaches at a local secondary school and brings a wealth of experience to his new role.

Have you noticed the significant improvements around the school?  Mr Ratchford and all the staff have been working hard to create a more welcoming environment for visitors and pupils alike. We look forward to meeting you at one of the exciting events which are being organised to further enhance your children’s education.

 

Sue Bryars: Chair of Governors

NOVEMBER 2017

 

It’s hard to believe that it is nearly Christmas already: so much has happened this term.  The governors have been delighted with the difference made by our new head, Mr Ratchford.  He has already had a real impact on the school and our pupils, introducing numerous changes and initiatives which we know are making a real difference to your children.  

 

The rather unexpected Ofsted inspection at the beginning of term has also rightly identified further developments for the school, which we are eagerly implementing.  In September, the governors and staff met to re-clarify our values and vision as part of our strategic overview for future.  The School Development Plan, which has been drawn from the issues identified by the governors, staff and Ofsted, will stand as a template for our future development.

Currently, we are undertaking an External Governor Review to further clarify the internal structure of the Governing Body, and to identify some strategic objectives to further support our work. We very much feel that we are all moving forward together.

 Sue Bryars: Chair of Governors

 

Spring 2019 Priorities and Actions
Spring 2019 Priorities and Actions
Autumn 2018 Priorities
Autumn 2018 Priorities
Summer 2018 Priorities and Actions
Summer 2018 Priorities and Actions
Spring 2018 Priorities and Actions
Spring 2018 Priorities and Actions