Governor News 2022/23
Dear Parents and Carers
As the end of another academic year draws to a close, the governors would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, pupils and families for their continued hard work and dedication. It is the community that makes Joseph Hood the success that it is and as governors, we are very grateful to be part of such a thriving school.
Below is an update of the work the governors have undertaken this academic year.
We have spent the year continuing to improve on the skills and experiences within the team. A number of the governors have been on external training and we have also had some in-house awareness sessions led by the staff. We continue to self-appraise the board both from a membership perspective and in terms of the skills we have in the team.
Our clerk, Katy Collins, continues to provide a first-class service and ensures that the board are satisfying the requirements and guidelines that come from central government and Merton Council.
Aside from the more administrative activities that we are involved in as governors, we have also been attending our regular governor Drop-In Days where we can see the school in full operation and are able to conduct discussions with both staff and teachers. These are immensely enjoyable especially being able to lunch with the children and really get a feel for how the school is running.
We try and support Mrs Saville and the staff as much as possible throughout the year and this year we have been involved in a number of ways such as greeting Early Years parents on their first day, supporting PTFA events, and our particular favourite, helping out at the Year 6 Breakfast Mornings before the SATS.
We also say goodbye and thank you to Stephen Hatherall, who has chaired the finance committee brilliantly for the last four years. Stephen has made a significant contribution during his time in this role, and has been an invaluable member of our governing body. We wish him and his family all the very best in the future. Kirti Mehta has expertly stepped into the role and with her commitment and professional background in finance and risk-management, is an excellent new chair of finance for our school.
As governors we are responsible for reviewing and approving a wide range of policies that cover all areas of school life. Policies that we have focussed on this year include ‘positive behaviour’, ‘complaints’ and a number of policies relating to safeguarding, including one for volunteers in school. Policies are available on request from the school office and key school polices can also be viewed on the school’s website. Please do have a look at these if you are unsure about any of the school’s procedures.
Teaching, Learning and Safeguarding
This year, we have spent time looking at the school’s curriculum review in line with new OFSTED guidance and ensuring the delivery of skills across the year groups. When we meet each half term, we review the school’s data and reports from the Merton Education Partnership to discuss ways of ensuring the school’s high standards are maintained. The school website has remained a hot topic and we are investigating ways of making this more interactive, whilst allowing staff to have greater management of it. Safeguarding remains a vital part of our agenda and we have discussed and reviewed several procedures, including volunteers on trips and visits.
As you are aware, Joseph Hood (like many schools), has the financial challenge of meeting its increasing costs and an important part of the Governing Body's work is to work closely with Mrs Saville and Mrs Doel (our School Business Manager) to actively support the school in maximising its budget. Governors have led discussions with Merton Local Authority on how they can support us and are pleased to report that Merton continues to show active support for Joseph Hood and acknowledges the school's approach to controlling costs and maximising income, albeit there is still work to do.
Governors are therefore instrumental in considering all the ways in which the school can be entrepreneurial. Some initiatives from this school year include:
The Governing Body is both aware and grateful for the significant contributions parents make to the school, be it through donating their time, their support and through financial contributions. We work hard to support our school leaders in making best of all these resources and are very proud of the strong partnership spirit which exists between the school and our community.
We would like to wish you all a relaxing and refreshing holiday and we look forward to seeing you in September.
Chair of Governors
on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body
Dear Year 6
The Governors and I wish you all the very best of luck with your SATS exams next week. We know how hard you have been working and how proud everyone around you already is. The progress you have made this year has impressed us all and we know you will do your very best.
We’d also like to thank you for being such a phenomenal Year 6 class. You are brilliant role-models to the rest of the children in the school and represent us so well every day. Each one of you helps to make Joseph Hood the fantastic school it is.
Don’t forget to stay calm, stay focussed, believe in yourselves and be the best you can!
Good luck – It’s your time to shine!
Harriet O’Connor, Chair of Governors
on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governors
In February our school was very pleased to receive a letter from Damian Hinds MP (Secretary of State for Education) and Nick Gibb MP (Minister of State for Schools Standards). The letter congratulates us on Joseph Hood’stest results for 2018 that place us in the top 3% of schools in England for the progress our children make between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.The staff team at Joseph Hood work really hard to support all our children to make as much progress as they can irrespective of their starting point and it is wonderful to celebrate that hard work by staff and children. Thank you to all of our staff for their commitment and dedication andcongratulations to last year’s Year 6 children for their fantastic achievement.As I write I know that families and school are now focussed on the support and encouragement that we can give our current Year 6, as we move towards the Key Stage 2 SATs (the end of Key Stage 2 national tests) in May.
Our total number of pupils continues to rise and next school year we will be two-form entry in every year group. Our school is increasingly popular among prospective parents: as well as being impressed by our results, parents are attracted to our strong community and passionate teachers. Mrs Saville, Mrs Wright and Miss Harrison have led some successful open mornings that have received fantastic feedback and we are looking forward to our next one on Wednesday 1st May. Do pass on this date to anyone you know who is considering applying for a place at our school. We are also planning on promoting this date on social media, so it if you see it, please give it a share or a retweet.
Governors meet twice every term to support Mrs Saville and Mrs Doel, our School Business Manager, in making the budget go as far as possible at Joseph Hood. Governors are confident that our school budget is managed very closely and that the school is actively following up all possible ways to increase revenue and funding. However, the funding situation for our school continues to be very difficult (as with many schools in England). Budget cuts, increased outgoings and rising costs have all contributed to the situation.
We are looking to recruit one or more governors from outside of our school community, particularly those with a background in finance or law. If you know someone who is interested, or who may be suitable and willing to act as a governor, please do let us know and encourage them to get in touch.
All Governors are contactable through the school office or via Katy Collins, our Governors’ Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can either leave a message or email and it will be passed it on.
Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey about future use of the Adult Education/Harris building next door to us. Governors have engaged extensively with Merton Authority officers and councillors to ensure that the interests of Joseph Hood are considered at the forefront of decision making about future use of the building once the Harris Academy moves to its permanent site (expected to be in August 2020). We remain excited about the potential opportunities that this development could offer our school and will continue to press Merton to ensure our school’s best interests are at the top of their agenda.
Chair of Governors
New Chair of Governors Welcome and School Fund Request
Following on from our full governing body meeting on Wednesday 17th October, I am delighted to let you know that I have been elected as the new chair of governors for Joseph Hood Primary School. I am lucky to know many of you already, as a parent, through my involvement with our PTFA and as a governor at our school. For those of you I haven’t met yet, I am currently a stay-at-home mum to two very happy children at Joseph Hood; Dylan who is in Year 3 Toucans and Alannah in Reception Wrens. Both my children started here in the Nursery and as parents we couldn’t be happier with the school we have chosen for them. I have been on our governing body as a co-opted governor for the last three and a half years. I’m often in the school playground and at school events, please do come and say hello if you see me.
Before I had children, I was a teacher and a governor at a primary school in Wandsworth, which achieved its ‘Outstanding’ ofsted while I was there. Prior to working in education, I had a successful career in the television production industry, mostly spent coming up with ideas for new Saturday night entertainment programmes!
I am very fortunate that I will be leading a strong and experienced board of governors with a broad range of skills who are all committed to achieving the best possible education for your children. As governors, we work with the school at a strategic level, helping to define the vision and ethos; monitoring and challenging the academic performance of the pupils; overseeing the financial budget of the school and monitoring the safety and welfare of the children. This work is carried out through committee meetings, full governing body meetings and regular visits to the school.Please do have a look at our section on the school website to find out more about us and the work we do.
As governors, we are extremely proud of the achievements of our children across the curriculum. I would particularly like to draw your attention to and celebrate the recent KS2 SATs results achieved by last year’s Year 6 pupils. These tests are measured by the government in two ways: ‘Attainment’ and ‘Progress’. Progress scores typically range between 3 and -3, with anything above 0 meaning that the children made higher than average progress. Our overall progress scores were 5.14 for Maths, 4.21 for Reading and 3.92 for Writing. These results are not only incredibly impressive but put us in the top 5% in the country for Progress.Our children also did particularly well in ‘Achieving Higher Standard’ in Attainment; scoring significantly above the national average in this for Maths and Reading. I would like to congratulate all the staff, past and present, who have been involved with those children since they started at the school.
Rising costs and changes to education funding continue to affect our school finances and we find ourselves ever more reliant on extra income from other sources. DespoDoel, our school Business Manager has worked extremely hard to secure a number of lettings to external clubs in order to increase our revenue and our PTFA is working harder than ever to fundraise for our school. We also receive financial support from the Joseph Hood School Fund. The School Fund is made up of contributions from parents and carers. Over the past few years, this money has been vital in protecting the education we deliver. The School Fund subsidises rising costs of activities such as trips and events as well as purchasing new resources to enrich the children’s learning and enjoyment of their school day.
Your contribution to the School Fund
For each family, the school is asking for a voluntary £60 annual donation. This can be paid either as a one off annual payment or through a monthly direct debit for £5 to our bank account. If you already have a direct debit set up, then thank you; this will continue to run as normal. Alternatively, we are happy to accept cash or cheques in the school office.
Of course, should you feel able to donate more, then you would not be limited to this amount, and equally we will be grateful for whatever help you are able to give us. This may be a fund that your children’s grandparents would like to contribute to.
Supporting our PTFA
As well as offering your time, there are also a number of ways that you can support our fantastic PTFA raise even more funds. If you shop online, you can shop via Easy Fundraising, at no extra cost and generate a donation to the school every time. As the PTFA is a registered charity, you could also help to secure grants, sponsorship and ‘match funding’ donations from companies. If you work for or have a contact at a company that offers match funding or grants, then please do get in touch with the PTFA at JosephhoodPTFA@gmail.com or via your class rep.
I would very much like to thank the outgoing chair, Posey Furnish for all her hard work and dedication over the many years she volunteered for our school. On leaving the school, her family made a generous donation to our school which has enabled the purchase of the Joseph Hood School Book Hut and new books to replenish book stock levels in school and in the book hut. Thank you Posey.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you and our staff for the support and dedication you give to the school. I feel very privileged to have been elected chair of governors at a school with such a wonderful community at its heart. I am very ambitious for our school and look
forward to working with the rest of our governors, our staff, our pupils and you in maintaining our high standards and raising them even further.
Lastly, thank you in advance for your contribution to the School Fund, which truly does make a difference to our school and to your child’s educational experience at Joseph Hood.
Chair of Governors