Governors’ Newsletter to Parents July 2013
Dear Parents and Carers,
We are coming to the end of a busy academic year which has seen several staff changes, some extreme weather and lots of exciting and memorable events in school. Staff and governors have been working together to raise standards, and we thank all parents for their continuing support. We hope we have been successful in keeping you informed of the changes that have taken place during the last year.
We’ve held two routine governors’ meetings this term. We continue to pay close attention to children’s attainment and progress, and this is the main focus of the work of the governors’ Children’s Learning and Attainment Committee. Members of this committee are given detailed information on how teaching and learning are being updated and improved and they will be embarking on a series of school visits to monitor these developments. They are supported in this undertaking principally by Mrs Christine Bristow, our new Deputyhead Teacher who is taking a leading role in raising standards in the school.
Our school budget, is approximately £1,150,000, and the Finance and Resources Committee, led by Don Monk, work with the Head Teacher and Bursar to allocate this budget for the year. We are required to set budgets for 3 years in advance, but inevitably there is some adjustment year on year influenced by the number of children in the school and staffing changes. We receive additional funding known as Pupil Premium, which must be used to improve outcomes for children who fulfil the eligibility criteria. You will find more information about this on the school website
Foxhills Junior School Association
The governors congratulate the FJSA on their most excellent Summer Fayre, and their enormous support to the school throughout the year. Our children will benefit from the purchase of netbooks financed by the FJSA’s fundraising. A big thank you to everyone in the FJSA.
New government regulations concerning holidays during school terms
New legislation coming into effect in September 2013 states that headteachers no longer have discretionary powers to allow children to take up to 10 days out of school for family holidays, or any other reason unless it is truly exceptional. The government believes that good school attendance is vital to raising standards in school; a child who takes 2 weeks off for a family holiday will miss 5% of their tuition for that year. Whilst this may not seem a lot, the rest of the class will move on with their learning during that time, and the child who has been away will be disadvantaged.
Therefore, in accordance with government legislation, the Headteacher will rightly refuse requests for time off during the school term, and the Board of Governors totally supports him in this. Attendance figures are scrutinised in any Ofsted inspection, and if we drop below 96% this may compromise the grade we get.
We sincerely seek your cooperation in attaining good attendance figures for our school by ensuring your child improves his/her academic chances by not having time off for any reason other than illness. Thank you for your support in helping us achieve this goal.
Our current website no longer fulfils the school’s needs and we are working with a website designer on a new, improved website. We’ve asked the designer to incorporate a facility whereby pupils, with supervision from teachers, can make an input to the website. Look out for our new image at the next term at Foxhills-jun.hants.sch.uk
A busy term with governors attending training sessions on Raiseonline, a database which uses anonymised data to provide information on progress and attainment in our school, and is a valuable tool for informing us where we need to concentrate in raising attainment levels, Pupil Premium and how governors should monitor its use, Induction Courses for New Governors, Child Protection, Performance Related Pay for teachers, and the Annual Governors’ Conference. Governors have undertaken all these courses with enthusiasm, and have provided written feedback to the Board, so that all may benefit. I would like to thank all governors for their commitment.
Membership of the Board of Governors
Two governors have decided to resign at the end of this term due to work commitments. John Morris has been a Community Governor for 3 years and Alan Gray a Parent Governor for the same time. We are sorry to lose them and thank them both for their input. Meanwhile we are looking for a new Community Governor, and at the beginning of the Autumn Term will be sending out information for the election of a two parent governors. We welcome enquiries about these voluntary positions, and if you would like more information please contact me, - email address below.
Proposed development by Barker Mills Estates on land adjacent to the school
Public consultation on this project is due to take place during the Autumn Term, and we have asked that parents are included in this consultation. We will let you know details as soon as these are available.
And finally …
The governors would like to thank Andrew Shore and all teachers and teaching assistants at Foxhills at the end of a year when they have been working hard to raise standards. This has resulted in a noticeable rise in progress and attainment, as evidenced in the Headteacher’s termly reports, but we recognise there is still some way to go.
We wish Year 6 leavers every success in their new schools, and parents, children and staff a relaxing holiday, We look forward to welcoming our new Yr 3 to an exciting new term in September
Chair of Governors, Foxhills Junior School, for the Board of Governors
Please remember you can contact the governors by email at