Statement of Governance - July 2015

Letter from Eddie Jones, Chair of the Academy Council



Dear Parents/Carers,

This year has seen a number of changes and challenges for the school. In terms of building development, we have seen the completion of the Primary Games area and associated improvements to the top playground, the improvements to the Key Stage 2 Area and the addition of outdoor learning environments for Years 1 and 2. During the summer holidays, the school's main entrance and offices will be remodelled and made more secure. All these changes are about improving the environment and facilities for the benefit of the children. We would like to make additional changes to the top pedestrian entrance, when finances are available, to make it a more welcoming area. Any suggestions on design and how this could be achieved would be welcome!

We have seen the full implications of Academy Trust membership and closer working relationships with the Diocese this year. The demands of Mrs Lubomski's secondment have raised challenges and understandable concerns, but these have been met, and everyone has responded extremely well. Sacred Heart School has a strong senior leadership team in place and as we go forward, this new model of leadership is likely to become more common-place across the Trust and the Diocese. Despite these challenges, the emphasis on improvement has continued. The school has undertaken a School-to-School Review (in effect a Mock-Ofsted), this was very hard work for all the teaching staff but proved to be very beneficial. In addition we also recently had a Pilot Canonical Review from the Diocese. Internal monitoring procedures are fully embedded through regular learning walks, work scrutinies, subject specific lesson observations and pupil interviews. The Academy Council is aware that there is no room for complacency and will continue to hold all school leaders to account.

During the past year the Academy Council has undertaken a Governance Review (a newly required piece of work for all Governing bodies) As a result of the Governance Review we have developed amongst other things, the Mission, Vision and Values of the school, and over the next year the staff will continue to bring these values to life in a meaningful way for the children.

To reflect the closer working relationship with the Trust, the Academy Council is reducing in size and will be made up of five Foundation Governors, one staff governor, one parent governor and the headteacher. I want to take this opportunity to thank Stephen Burrows, Sarah Joyce, Adrian Fitzpatrick and Caroline Hyde, who is now also standing down, for all their hard work and the time that they have given to the school. Although Hilary Shaw is also standing down from the Academy Council, she remains an integral part of the school's senior leadership team where her vast experience is invaluable.

I would also like to express my thanks to the SHSA for all their hard work. It is important that all parents support this element of the school's life and as we move into the new year we will see closer working relationships developing between the SHSA, the Academy Council and the senior leadership team.

The Academy Council will continue to challenge, support and seek the best for the school and all of our children. As I said at the beginning of the year, I would encourage all of you to voice your concerns so that we can listen and deal with them appropriately.

Finally, thank you to Mrs Lubomski and all the staff for everything that they have done for our children throughout the year.

Best wishes for the summer holidays.

Eddie Jones
Chair of the Academy Council