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Governors Newsletter 09.05.16

Dear Parents
I wanted to update you on changes since our last newsletter, as your newly appointed Chair of Governors.
Paula Simpson, our previous Chair, stood down due to work commitments and her impending house move. After over six years as a Governor and Chair for the last three, I would like to thank her on behalf of all the governors, staff and parents for her fantastic contribution to the school, and wish her all the best in the future.
As Chair I want to work with the teaching team and parents to ensure Old Stratford is an outstanding school that provides our children with a high quality education and the opportunities to develop their talents fully. I know that working together we can do this and look forward to making progress in the months ahead.
The above change has further resulted in the following moves:

  • Mark Ashmore, who has been a governor for over two years becomes Vice Chair. Mark is also Chair of the Management & Resource Committee bringing his significant business and commercial experience to bear on financial and resource matters at the school.
  • Phil Webster takes over my role as Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee. This group has an important role to play in reviewing the development of the school and education of our children. Phil being not only a parent but a Primary School Head means he brings a huge amount of knowledge and expertise to this role.

We have also had a number of other changes to the governing group and we welcome Alison Shemwell, Paul Leather and Dane Gowlett to the team. Sadly though we say good bye to Kerry-Ann Wallis and Andrew Metcalfe who have stepped down in recent weeks. We thank them both for all their hard work and support.
We are producing a Governors picture/ info board at school so parents know who we are. This is essential as some governors are not involved in the school directly as parents or teaching staff as they have volunteered as part of the community. It’s also useful to know which parents are governors so you can spot us in the playground!

School Update
In the last newsletter we promised to keep parents updated on progress by the teaching staff and governing team on the school development plan, improvements in communication and responding to parents concerns and I just wanted to take this opportunity to update you on these areas.

One of the areas highlighted by parents and reinforced by OFSTED that needs improving is our website. The good news is that the site is currently being built and we are hoping to have it ready for launch after half term. This will be a big step forward and we will look to link this to an Old Stratford face-book page as suggested by parents to further improve communication. More on this nearer half term.
In our last newsletter we also committed to listening to parental concerns, and class assemblies have now been moved back to Friday as that fitted with the majority of parent views.

School Development Plan
A key focus has been on embedding the new assessment system and providing development and networking opportunities for the teaching staff. This has included specific development for the teaching assistant group, subject leader support packs and training on the new assessment process. On the networking side we are working closely on with a number of local cluster schools and the Fairfield teaching alliance.
We have also committed resources as a governing group to improving writing at the school and this new system will be purchased ready for the new school year in September.
We are confident we are on track with improvements and will be ready for our interim assessment from OFSTED in the autumn.

Vision and Values
We feel that our school can be outstanding and know from your responses to the values questionnaire and other feedback that you share this view. While OFSTED is important we don’t want it to dominate our thinking.
Asking for your input on our school values is part of a piece of work we are doing with teachers and parents to set out a vision of the kind of school we want to be, our values, our ethos and what makes us an outstanding school.
We will continue to seek your input and feedback to this process as we want to have this ready for the new school year.
That’s all for now, look out for the governors notice board at the school shortly, and I will be back in touch soon. In the meantime if you need to get in touch my email is

Kind regards
Andrew Brodie
Chair Of Governors