I had the honour of being elected to the Chair this year. The board is grateful to Mrs Christine Dalby-Ali who has served as Chair for six years and we are glad that she continues to serve as Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee.
This year we have welcomed our two elected Parent Governors to the Board and co-opted a Governor to the post of HR support. Mrs Anne Barnes left after a long and valued service as a governor and sometime Chair but continues her support as a Trustee for the College. Cllr. Eddie Freeman will replace our Local Authority Governor and we hope to fill our one space at the next meeting.
Focus this year has been mainly on managing finance in the current and austere climate, on ensuring that our governance model is well aligned with the values of the Federation and completion of the building works at Victoria in time to welcome the new students in September 2019.
Finance: Thanks to the hard work of our Federation Business Manager and our Finance Committee we have accomplished the following: Both schools have avoided setting a deficit budget. The Site Team has been re-structured The Finance Chair secured sponsorship funding to equip the new classrooms at Victoria Although redundancies have been considered it has so far been possible to avoid them. The Board has been given full and transparent reports of our financial position to allow strategic planning for the future to take place.
Governance: A working party has met regularly to complete a full Audit of our effectiveness as a board. From this we have produced an amended list of Governor roles and responsibilities Each role has a Job Description A Stakeholder Governor has been appointed to improve communication with parents about the work of the Governing Body A newsletter will be produced at least bi-annually to highlight some of the work we do.
Buildings: The Health Safety and Buildings Committee have successfully achieved all targets set in the 5 Year Plan The new classrooms were completed on time and the Board agreed to 2 extra Teacher days to allow for the move at the start of September 2019. Members of the Committee had a tour of the buildings and were kept informed of progress throughout the process. Parking issues have been eased by the completion of the new car-park. The Upper School playground has been re-surfaced and windows have been replaced. The committee has completed visits and checks at both schools to ensure safety and discuss future needs.
Successes: Cherry Oak underwent an OFSTED inspection and retained its Outstanding status. The new Head of School at Cherry Oak has settled well and improvements continue to be made to the Curriculum and provision of a very exciting Arts and Performance element through the alliance with the Hippodrome.
Safeguarding, always at the top of the agenda, continues to be a strong point of the Federation. ‘My Concern software’ is now in use across the Federation and the regular reports show that it is supporting our staff and young people by easing the reporting and informing of any incidents of concern.
The Governing Body entered a National Governance competition and won the award for Strategy and Vision. We were very proud to go to the Houses of Parliament to receive the award. Thanks to Bill Woodhouse for suggesting the entry and to Anne Barnes, Christine Dalby Ali and Caroline Lane for the work in putting this together.
Monitoring the workload of the Senior Leaders shows that in both schools and the College all have stepped up and continue to work tirelessly for the good of our young people. Julie Fardell does an amazing job in being operational Head of School at Victoria and still fulfilling her strategic role as Executive Principal of the Federation.
General work of the Board: The new regulations for GDPR have been adopted with the appointment of Caroline Lane as Officer.
All policies have been reviewed and new policies agreed where necessary.
The Chair and a committee have carried out the Performance Management of the Executive Principal
The Personnel Committee has overseen the Performance Management Process for all staff and has monitored and agreed pay rises to the Upper Pay Scale.
A new application process for movement to the Upper Pay Scale has been devised and is in use.
The Personnel Committee has also looked carefully at the data for staff absence and has approved the systems put in place by the Senior Management teams.
Staff wellbeing is monitored and we are satisfied that support as well as challenge is available for staff requiring extra support.
The Teaching and Learning Committee is satisfied that the curricula in use across the Federation is fit for purpose and that pupils are making good progress
The Continued Professional Development of all staff is valued and reported on to this committee.
Teaching in both schools continues to be mainly outstanding and the committee is aware of where support is being offered to teachers and of their progress.
Numbers are healthy across the Federation with Cherry Oak having 110 pupils, Victoria 225 and the College achieving 30 young people for the September start.
We have attended many wonderful examples of the rich extracurricular activities at all sites and continue to enjoy the warm welcome from staff and pupils at our attendance at performances, graduation ceremonies and parent evenings. Thank you so much to all the students and staff for allowing us to be a part of the daily life of our schools and college.
Clare Mills Chair of Governors September 2019
Welcome from the Chair of Governors
I would like to welcome you to the Annual Report to Parents and Carers. Firstly I would like to thank you all on behalf of the Governing Body for your continuing support for the Federation.
I am incredibly proud to be a part of this Federation and to work alongside a very dedicated governing body. The staff at our Federation are an incredibly talented group who are dedicated to your children and ensuring that each individual reaches their full potential.
Our websites are:
About the Governors
The Governing Body is made up of 17 governors who are unpaid volunteers. The Governing Body is made up of a number of parents, staff, and others from the wider Community. As a Governing Body, we have three main functions:
1. Ensuring there is clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the Federation;
2. Holding the Executive Head teacher to account for the educational performance of the Federation; and
3. Ensuring financial resources are well spent.
Much of our work is completed through committees which have a smaller number of governors than the main Governing Body. We have committees for:
• Teaching and Learning;
• Health, Safety, Buildings and Behaviour; and
• Personnel and Pay.
In addition, the Chair of Governors meets more regularly with the Executive Head Teacher and they are in regular contact by email and telephone. I can confirm that the attendance of our Governors at meetings is excellent.
In addition to the committees that we have, we have named Governors who monitor specific areas. These governors report back to us at Full Governing Body meetings.
The focus of the Governing Body is directed by the Federation priorities for each setting as set out in the individual School Development Plans.
Your Federation Governors
Co-opted Governors* Christine Dalby-Ali – Chair of Governors, Chair of Finance
Bill Woodhouse – Chair of Health, Safety, Buildings and
Anne Barnes – College Link Governor, Safeguarding
Sue McCorkindale – Curriculum Governor, SEN Governor
Charlotte Bull – Chair of Personnel
Claire Mills – Chair of Teaching and Learning
Parent Governors Maria Abbott (resigned June 2018)
Louise Jervis (resigned October 2018)
Staff Governors Julie Fardell
Local Authority Governor Onos N. Emmanuel-Kokoh
The Governing Body currently has 2 parent governor vacancies and 1 vacancy for a co-opted governor so we are looking for new members if you know someone who might be able to offer skills to the Governing Body. Please contact us through Clare Blackshaw, Clerk to Governors at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*A Co-opted Governor is appointed by the governing body. Co-opted governors are people who in the opinion of the Governing Body have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the Federation.
We bid a farewell to both Caroline Lane and Amanda Jenkins in this school year. Both have given so much to their schools and to the Federation and the Governing Body, have been so grateful to them for their hard work and ability to problem solve. We wish them the best in their new endeavours.
Victoria College has now been awarded its independent status as a Post 16 provider. The college remains a vital part of our Federation and we continue to work closely together.
The Governors have spent much of this year ensuring that they know the financial position of the Federation. There has been much talk in the media regarding school budgets being reduced and this is certainly the position within our Federation. We are expected to provide outstanding education on a budget which is not increasing, even though our costs are increasing. We hope that the Government will soon increase budgets to allow us to have more certainty with our finances.
Priorities Going Forwards – Federation
• Ensure that the Federation continues to work together to provide the best outcomes;
• Maintain budgetary control.
Priorities Going Forwards – Victoria and Cherry Oak
• To develop the breadth and depth of the curriculum;
• Ensure we set aspirational targets which allow pupils to achieve their potential;
• Maintain our Outstanding Ofsted grades.