Attendees: Andrea Waddington, Emma Evans, Vikki Evans, Kaarina Ruta, Shellie Harries, Beci Turner, Vicki Judd
EE welcomed all to the meeting. No set agenda.
EE began meeting wanting to discuss the recent letters received by parents on funding. EE would like to know from a Governors/School perspective how the process works, what communication is available? Do we want to make changes? How do we go about it? Long term campaign? PTA partnership is there a long-term ambition?
VE explained the letter EE had written to the Governors on behalf of the concerned parents and parent forum had been brought to the last Governors meeting and discussed at length. VE assured EE that the financial situation of the school is always discussed at length and any staffing cutbacks are always avoided where possible. It was highlighted in recent years we have been ‘lucky’ that several teachers on higher pay scale have retired which has inadvertently helped the school budget but clearly this will not always be the case. VE reminded the parent forum that as a school we have been very proactive in finding alternative funding sources namely being a Hwb school for modern foreign languages, NQT mentoring and SW recent secondment. AW expanded advising that we have been in a similar situation in the past 4/5 years. AW confirmed we will no longer be a HWB school in modern foreign languages as the income it generates versus the output is no longer beneficial to the school as it had been in previous years. We will however continue teaching MFL and in fact looking to expand languages. AW advised us to continue with the lobbying as it has had proven success in England.
EE – advised she thinks that it is important to keep communication open and suggested the school sends further letters in relation to the same to keep the momentum going. Also, to offer reassurance to parents as some of the cluster letters were sensationalised! It was agreed another letter would go out in July.
VJ advised that at Governors it was agreed to have a Q&A session with parents but not until the staffing issues and budget had been finalised. Questions should be pre agreed before the session. AW clarified this and advised due to historic poor attendance of meetings it may be more appropriate to do a Q&A sheet and for parents to raise questions they wish to be answered before the next Governors meeting and then a fact sheet could be prepared in response.
AW confirmed that standards within our school are being maintained and will continue to do so regardless of financial difficulties. We have an experienced staffing team and standard of teaching are excellent and our results demonstrate this.
VE confirmed all monies raised by PTA is gratefully received but will not dent the deficit. It was concluded that more respect is needed for education in Wales by Government. Continual lobbying is all we can do at the moment and hope that they change the formula for funding!
Questions to Parent Forum to be sent in Newsletter tomorrow (24th) to have response mid June with view of having responses for approval at next Governors meeting (1st July).
EE – update on Gazebos outside reception – AW confirmed work starts on Tuesday.
VJ – mentioned a concern raised by a parent regarding reminder to keep dogs under control near school grounds after a recent incident. Agreed a reminder would be put in the newsletter.
KR – raised play facilities for younger children within the village. DO the school support idea? AW confirmed that they are aware of a number of grants which the school itself cannot apply for but happy to support. Grant Wales Sport funding needs to be in by 26.6.19. Muga pitch place for sport and Capital Grant funding. Contact is Karen Davies – PTA apply as opposed to the school and James Redford on board. AW passed on details to KR.
Also discussed opening school to outside agencies and open to General public. AW has no issue with opening up the school grounds but would need to check insurances as with caretaker. Reluctant to open up hall as so central within school and access to classrooms could be a huge risk. VE raised is there a demand given other facilities within Sully? Was agreed probably not for hall but maybe for field and playground. AW to give consideration.
KR asked if we can do a survey of the kids wants as far as play equipment concerned. Agreed happy to support a survey if provided.
VJ = asked whether the school will be involved with the Sully fest which is going to be a community event. AW advised she had not been approached but liked the idea of school playing a part.
VE – wanted to give positive feedback of the enrichment activities and felt the balance was much better than previous formats. AW & SH confirmed they are learning from it all the time and continuing to appraise the format but are pleased to hear positive feedback.
EE – how did the recent assessments go? AW&SH confirmed all tests have finished. the new computerised testing has encountered some difficulties with the program freezing, systems crashing etc. This is a problem with all schools not just ours. As a result, the tests have taken longer and more time consuming than had hoped but it is hoped that these issues will be ironed out and that the feedback our school and others have given will be listened to. Results will be available to parent’s tomorrow for this assessment only.
KR – asked whether we would be interested in a German language grant as she has details of> AW confirmed despite not being a HWb for MFL we will continue to learn languages and a new project with Italian embassy and Confucius learning.