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Chair's Report - Summer 2021

Governors’ activities this term have centred on three major areas: operational continuity in the school, Centre Assessed Grades; and financial management and budgeting.

On the first of these, it is good to report that the discipline of the bubble system, supported by the one-way corridor plan of moving around the school, has been maintained. I have had several opportunities to see it in action, and the strictness of the regime, and the good behaviour of our students, have been entirely commendable. After nine months of operation, one would expect some fraying at the edges, some grumbling among staff and students. But whatever their private feelings, I have only seen a calm and orderly approach. I am sure the benefits are evident in the low rates of infection among students and staff and our very high student attendance levels – about 6% - 8% above national averages.  Governors have received reports on the operation of the systems, and I have kept up to date via my regular round-ups with the Headteacher where this is always item 1 on our agenda.

Linked to the continued effects of the pandemic, Governors have been anxious to ensure that the Centre Assessed Grade system is working well for Year 11 and Year 13 students. Advice from the examination boards has been tardy, and their demands for examples of students’ work have been precipitate. But the school has responded magnificently. Our Standards & Quality Committee have been able to assess and challenge senior leaders and are well satisfied that teachers, Heads of Department and the Senior Leadership Team are moderating and calibrating grades correctly and securing fair outcomes for our students. We await this year’s results from the exam boards with interest.

Thirdly, our Business Committee have signed off the school budgets for this year and for the next two years, as required by the local authority. The past year has been challenging because of the extra expenditure caused by the pandemic, not always matched by timely incoming funds from the Department for Education. But it is good to report that the school finances are proceeding to plan and that we remain confident that we will remain out of deficit for at least the foreseeable future.  

Finally, I cannot end this report without welcoming our three new Parent Governors, who were elected at the end of June. Chris Hopkins, Oduwa Idehen and Hiren Patel join us at a good time and bring our Governing Body up to full strength for the first time in some while. It was great that we had a good contested election, demonstrating the increased parental engagement that we all want to see and deepen.

 

Michael Ross

Chair of Governors

July 2021