Governor’s Blog Autumn Term 2017
This is the first edition of what will become a termly report for parents, students and the wider community about the work we undertake as The Governing Body of Blacon High School. It summarises the work of the Governing body over the last term, the issues we discussed and the further work we plan to do.
Introduction -The Governing Body
The Governing Body is made up of 15 people representing Parents, the Local Authority, The Staff of the School, The Headteacher, and Co-Opted Governors from the Chester Area. The current Membership is listed on the Blacon High School Website.
The Governing Body’s main function is to support and improve the school, by holding he Headteacher to account, planning ahead, and ensuring the financial health of the school.
The Governing Body meets 4 times a year and Is supported by Resources Committee and Curriculum, Safeguarding and Equality Committee.
Main Issues Covered Last Term
During the Autumn term we always reflect on our students examination results from the previous year. 2017 was a really good year with excellent results in many areas and students progressing to a range of opportunities including to some of the best sixth forms nationally and locally and to a range of further education and training opportunities. There is a new national measure of how school are performing called Progress 8. This compares the pupil performance from SATs taken in the final year of Primary School with the same pupils’ achievements in Year 11. It gives each school a single score between 0, representing a score in line with national expectations, positive scores better than national and negative scores worse than national. They tend to range between +0.5 and -0.5.
The Blacon score for 2017 was strong at 0.24 (the 3rd highest out of the 24 mainstream secondary schools in West Cheshire).
We have set a target to maintain and if possible improve on this and need for a continued focus on English and Maths as key subjects and also to improve our Foreign Languages results.
Blacon Assessment System
The school have been working very closely with our local Primary Schools to develop an assessment scheme for students, which will provide greater continuity between Primary and Secondary stages. This will allow students and parents to know at any time how they are doing in each subject against a set of key statements, rather like the statements in reports from Primary Schools.
The Governors are monitoring the introduction of this new system, which should provide a greater focus to student work and progress particularly, initially, in Years 7 and 8.
The Inclusion Team make a major contribution to the work of the school by supporting those students who require additional provision to help them make progress in school. This may include some students with Special Needs and some for whom learning in a classroom is more of a challenge. An area of the school with provision for staff and a quiet area for students is reserved for this purpose called The Sanctuary. Governors have recently agreed a restructuring of the team under the leadership of Mr Carr and day to day management of Mr Webster. A small grant has been obtained to improve the furnishing and equipment in the Quiet Area.
The number of pupils in the school fluctuates over time as a result of changes in the birth rate and parent preferences. Governors monitor changes carefully and look at a range of forward projections, particularly important as pupil numbers largely determine the size of the school budget. Over the past 5 years as the school has improved and we have been successful in attracting a greater proportion of available pupils thanks to the efforts of Mrs Yates, Mr Sabri and staff generally in promoting the school. In addition, the total number of 11 year old pupils in the area reached a low 4 years ago but is now on a steady climb. As a result of these two trends,Years 7 and 8 are close to our capacity of 120 pupils but we have smaller year groups in the upper school. We expect to be operating at our capacity of 600 pupils in the near future.
At each meeting of the Governing Body we receive information on the attendance of pupils. We have some concerns about the low attendance of some pupils, which will affect their ability to benefit from their education. There is no doubt that pupils with poor attendance records do less well at school and then have difficulty accessing education, training and jobs afterwards. Governors are looking to ensure that we are doing everything we can to maximise attendance to enable our students to achieve to their full potential.
If you want to comment on the Chair of Governors Blog, or have something that you feel should be discussed by Governors, please contact the school using the email address on the website in the first instance.