Annual Effectiveness Statement for Brooklands School Governing Body - July 2017.
It has been another busy year for the governors at Brooklands School. In the autumn term we were delighted to welcome two new governors – Christine Patient as a parent governor and Helen McClure as our Local Authority (LA) governor. Both governors were selected following skills audits in which we identified areas where we would like a little more knowledge and expertise. With their appointments we currently have no vacancies. Both Christine and Helen have had comprehensive inductions into the role of governor. They were also assigned a mentor from within the governing body to help them hit the ground running.
Shortly before Christmas we were nominated by our then clerk to the governors for a national award with the National Governors Association. Several of us were interviewed in March after we had successfully made it to the short list. In early May we were advised we were finalists and invited to the House of Commons for the award ceremony. This was delayed until September 5th when we will find out if we have won the National Award. A massive thank you to everyone on the Governing Body who have contributed so much to the school over the year with the added bonus of making it to the finals of a national competition.
During the school year much has happened with the academies agenda. The removal, in spring 2016, of the requirement to convert has given us time to once again consider a range of options. To date no proposal has offered us anything where we feel that Brooklands would gain from any academy partnership. We are however, mindful that there is likely to come a point in the near future when we will have to consider which academy group to join as more and more schools become academies and the LA support services begin to disappear. Currently we have a good relationship with the LA but we will continue to evaluate all options going forward.
It has been a challenging year for governors, holding the school to account whilst also supporting the leadership in a period of considerable pressure on the school budget with an ever decreasing amount in real terms. Our priority continues to be the provision for the children but as staffing costs account for an ever greater percentage of the total available, these are testing times for us and the school as we look at ways to use the budget creatively to maintain the staffing levels our children need. This is an area that will continue to challenge us over the next few years.
Our Headteacher, Mark Bryant, was successful in the spring term in securing a promoted position. We thank him for all that he has done to lead the school over the past five years and wish him well in the future. As governors we are responsible for recruiting a new Headteacher to the school. Following a rigorous and challenging recruitment and selection process we were delighted to announce the appointment of Teresa Prior to the position from Sept 1st 2017. Teresa comes to us with lots of experience of Special Needs education and we were really impressed at interview with the way she understood and enthusiastically engaged with the ethos and values of Brooklands.
One of the key priorities of the governing body over the next year will be to support Teresa as she takes on her new role. As such the governors have agreed not to rotate our roles and responsibilities which we do on a bi-annual basis. This will provide stability and expertise for Teresa to draw on as she settles into headship.
As governors we are never complacent and always like to receive constructive feedback. Christine Patient is our dedicated parent champion governor and she can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org - this address is on each school newsletter. Alternatively please feel free to contact me directly via the school office.
I am extremely lucky to have a fantastic team of governors who work so tirelessly for the school. It is a real recognition of their commitment that we have been nominated for the National Governors Award. On behalf of the school community, I would like to thank each and every governor for their contribution and professionalism.
Alastair Hitchman (Chair of Governors) July 2017.