Governor update from Kerrie Holland and Azhar Qayum, Co-Chairs of Governors
The Park Hill governors have met as a full group three times this term, and there are additional committees where governors look at important aspects like staffing and finance or achievement and attainment in more detail. We wanted to give you a short update, and you can find more information on the website too http://parkhill.bham.sch.uk/Governors/Governing-Body/.
This term, we’ve looked in detail at the data about how well the children are learning and progressing. There have been some great results early in the school – Early Years children are achieving a Good Level of Development in line with national results, and Year 1 Phonics was 3% above the national average. Reading, Writing and Maths for KS1 are also very good. In Key Stage 2, we saw some good outcomes too – the Year 6 SATs scores for Reading were a new high for the school. We had our best scores for pupils working at Greater Depth in Writing and our second best ever Higher Scaled score in Maths. We also looked at how different groups are achieving to make sure all the children are making the progress they need to, and in detail at the impact of the additional Pupil Premium money we receive. The data showed some areas which should be better too – Maths in Year 5 and 6 and progress for some of our children with SEND for example - so the Link Governors for those areas will work closely with the senior leaders in the school to make sure these are addressed.
We received updates on the school’s finances, which due to good financial management are currently in a satisfactory position even with budget reductions, and governors are paying particular attention to pupil numbers. The school has now reduced to two form entry in several years after expanding to meet a temporary need for more school places from the Local Authority, and we expect this to continue so it is important we keep a close eye on our budgets. We’ve reviewed the pupil questionnaires which were overall very good – the highest scores were for teaching and learning: 96% said they learn a lot in lessons all or most of the time, and 95% said that the school helps them to do as well as they can. The scores for behaviour were the lowest - 71% said behaviour is good in school all or most of the time and 85% behaviour is good in lessons. We monitor exclusions at governing body meetings, and observe behaviour when we come in to school too. Governors have visited school throughout the term to look at particular areas of focus e.g. Safeguarding, Maths, and Attendance. Meeting the children and listening to what they think about Park Hill is always very enjoyable - they have lots to say!
We are expecting a follow-up visit from Ofsted before the end of the school year, and continue to work hard to make sure the issues they identified at the last inspection are resolved and that we have the evidence they need to show this. We’ve had external experts from the local authority and other schools working with us and they have been extremely positive about the school and our progress.
On behalf of all of the Governors, we’d like to thank you for your support of the school this term and wish all the Park Hill families a very happy and restful break over the holidays.
Kerrie and Azhar
Co-Chairs of Governors
My name is Kerrie Holland and I am one of the Parent Governors here at Park Hill. We want to keep you up to date with the work of the Governing Body, so here are some headlines from this half term you might be interested in.
Following the OFSTED inspection, the school leadership developed a Raising Attainment Plan (RAP) to address the areas we need to improve, and the Governors review this regularly. A huge amount of work has been done so far. One example is where OFSTED questioned how we assess children’s levels when they join our school – in the last week of half term we had Birmingham Nursery School Teaching Alliance review how this happens. We were pleased that they agreed that our assessments were accurate so we can be confident these are carried out correctly
We have also had an external review of our governance and have made a number of changes to improve the way we govern the school. There are link governors who will focus on key areas:
- Safeguarding – Chris Lawrence-Pietroni
- Attendance – Terry Glasspool
- Pupil Premium – Azhar Qayum
- Early Years Foundation Stage – Sylvia Williams
- Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – Mike Midgely
- Key Stage 1 – Kerrie Holland
- Maths & cross-curricular links – Suado Jabrel
- English & cross-curricular links – Razwan Ali
The link governors will visit the school regularly to monitor their area in particular.
We looked at assessment data and questioned any areas which suggested children were not achieving as they should, to ensure the school is taking appropriate action. An example of this were some indications that boys were not doing as well in literacy in Early Years and KS1 – the school has identified that some are struggling with their writing so are doing extra practice and fine motor skills to help them improve. We also talked about how the school tries to work with families to encourage boys in particular to read at home – your ideas are welcome!
OFSTED wanted us to be more clear about how we spend our Pupil Premium money to support disadvantaged pupils, and we have had an external review and developed a Pupil Premium Strategy which is available on the school website for you to look at. We spend this money on a wide range of initiatives including learning mentors, subsidised trips and breakfast clubs, but we needed to be clearer about the impact that these activities have. This will now be monitored through the year by the Achievement & Attainment Committee, chaired by Azhar, our Pupil Premium Link Governor.
We also reviewed attendance which is currently very slightly under national average – we know this always needs to be a focus for the school and we are very grateful to all the families and children who work with us on this
PARENT GOVERNOR VACANCY
Finally, we did not receive any interest in the current Parent Governor vacancy so we will also look externally. We are particularly keen to hear from anyone with experience in governance, education, HR or legal settings. If you are interested (or you know someone who might be) please contact Mrs Khan for an informal chat. Being a Park Hill governor is challenging, interesting and an opportunity to be part of a group who care deeply about the children and Park Hill school and to really make a difference. I would recommend it!