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Governor Newsletters

Governor News

December 2022



Dear Families,


We would like to begin by thanking all the school staff and the PTFA team for working so hard to make this end of term so special for the children and their families at Joseph Hood. Between the pantomimes, the performances, the Christmas lunch, the beautiful displays, the bazaar, the fair and all the other wonderful activities, it really has been a Christmas time to remember. And thank you to all of you who have supported these events; It has been wonderful to see so many of you at the school recently, we are so lucky to be part of such as fantastic community.


Our School Leaders

As governors, it has been fantastic to see Miss Shepard and Mr Smith flourishing in their roles as Acting Heads of School. As well as running the school day-to-day, they are both working on developing areas of our school curriculum and are ensuring that our high academic standards are raised further still. Mrs Saville is also very much involved in the management of Joseph Hood and although we are seeing less of Mrs Wright, she is still part of the leadership team behind the scenes. It’s great to see everyone working so well together and to hear how passionate and ambitious they all are about Joseph Hood.


School Finances, Breakfast Club and After-school Club

As I’m sure you are all well aware, the cost of necessities such as gas, electricity, school supplies and insurance have risen significantly in recent times and this has put a great deal of pressure on our budget. We are working very closely with the school to ensure that we are getting the best possible value for money on all of our outgoings and that we are maximizing all of our alternative revenue opportunities but things do remain difficult. Your contributions to the school fund and the Amazon wish-list really do make a big difference as does the fundraising efforts from our PTFA; once again, thank you to all of you for your support.

One of the charges that we have had to carefully consider is the price we charge for breakfast and after-school club as the costs associated in running these clubs have notably increased since these prices were last reviewed. We have however decided not to raise these prices for the rest of this academic year but will have to consider doing so from September 2023. Although we are struggling with higher costs at school, we are very much aware that all of you are also facing higher costs in your family budgets and we felt that it was important to give you as much notice as possible of any increased costs that are associated with the school. So the cost of our extended services will remain the same for the rest of this academic year but may need to rise from September 2023.

We will be in touch again in the new year with a date for our governors coffee morning and we hope to see you there. With all best wishes for a great holiday season,


Yours sincerely

Harriet O’Connor

Chair of Governors

on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body

October 2021


Dear Families,


Welcome to the new academic year on behalf of all the governors at Joseph Hood. We would like to extend a particular welcome to all the new pupils and their families who have recently joined us. We are delighted that you have become part of our school community. 


Over the last 18 months we have been working closely with Mrs Saville and the staff, actively challenging and supporting them as they expertly negotiated these extraordinary times. However, due to the Covid restrictions, we have been unable to talk to most of you face-to-face and to introduce ourselves personally to those of you who have joined us over this time and so we thought that it might be a good idea to let you know who we are and what we do.


What is our role in the school?


Joseph Hood currently has 11 governors. There are various routes into school governorship.  We have parent governors, staff governors, co-opted governors (people from our local community that can bring particular skills to the Governing Body), and a governor appointed by our Local Authority.  All the governors have different backgrounds and experience, but we work closely together to fulfill our responsibilities, which include ensuring that:


- The school’s ethos and ambitions reflect the community’s needs.

- High educational standards are set and are achieved.

- The financial performance of the school is properly overseen and its money well spent.


We also help to appoint the school leaders, and we’re the last port of call for any complaints that haven’t been resolved by the Headteacher.


While we are responsible for high-level and long-term decisions about the school, we do not manage it. All the day-to-day decisions for the running of the school are undertaken by Mrs Saville and the staff and all routine enquiries should therefore be referred to them.


How do we conduct our business?


We spend time at the school; asking questions; meeting teachers; talking to children and holding formal meetings with the senior leaders. We look at the school’s performance data; have input into and approve policies; analyse trends and reports and scrutinise the school budget. We also lead our Headteacher’s appraisal.


Our current strategic priorities

We are very proud that Joseph Hood is currently recognised as ‘good’ by Ofsted. But we also know that the school has grown notably in strength since that visit. As a Governing Body we are working alongside the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that our school is in the best possible place to become ‘outstanding’. 


We are also prioritising the embedding of a culture of health & wellbeing across the school. Staff know that children can’t thrive and learn properly unless they feel safe and happy at school. But the same goes for the staff, and so our school leaders are making sure we have a work-place in which their wellbeing is prioritised. Which leaves us, the governors, to ensure that the Leadership Team’s health & wellbeing is also properly supported. As we’re sure you realise, leading a school is a stressful job at any time but has been a quite incredibly demanding one over the last year and half. The Head, and her team, have had the almost total support of one another, the Staff, the children and all of you. The governors are there to make sure that this support continues to be the driving force in the success of Joseph Hood.


Who are we?

Each of us is appointed for a term up to four years. To find out more about us and our roles, please have a look at our governors’ section on the school website.

Harriet O’Connor is our Chair of Governors and is a Co-opted Governor

Chris Fox is our Vice Chair of Governors and is a Parent Governor

Anita Saville is our Headteacher

Gemma Anderson is a Co-opted Governor

Joe Foulds is a Co-opted Governor

Ben Fullbrook is a Parent Governor

Sophie Ireland is a Co-opted Governor

Kirti Mehta is our Governor appointed by the Local Authority

Miranda Newson is our Staff Governor

Sam Soo is a Co-opted Governor

Bhonae Tayali is a Co-opted governor


Get involved

We will soon have a vacancy for a Parent Governor. Chris Fox is coming to the end of his four year term, and we have voted to keep him on as a Co-opted Governor. This is great news for our governing body as it means we will continue to have Chris on board for another four years, but also because it gives us the opportunity to welcome another parent onto the team. We’ll advertise the vacancy in the new year, but in the meantime, if you think you might be interested, grab one of us to grill us on what’s involved and whether being a school governor would suit you.

As we said at the start of this letter, we know we haven’t seen nearly enough of you all in the last 18 months. But we’re going to rectify that. Do look out for us at school events, and keep an eye out for an invite to a governors’ coffee morning later this term.


Best wishes from all the governors at Joseph Hood Primary School

July 2021


Dear Families


The Joseph Hood Governing Body would like to begin by thanking all of you for all the support you have given our school team this year and the incredible job that you did during the school-closures. We would also like to voice a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all staff for their outstanding work this year and since the covid crisis began. The teachers, learning support staff, administrative team, site staff, kitchen team, cleaning team and all of those that keep the school running every day have been inspirational in their dedication to the wellbeing, safety and educational progress of each and every pupil. As I’m sure you will agree, Joseph Hood has been led and managed exceptionally well during this year. Our school community, whilst being challenged as we have never experienced before, has also developed and flourished, by working in new and exciting ways in order for the very best outcomes to be achieved. We would like to extend huge congratulations to the pupils who have responded with such resilience and positivity to new ways of working and have demonstrated determination to maintain their success and development. As governors we are extremely proud to be part of the Joseph Hood Primary School community.


Our Role as Governors

Although arrangements may have been slightly different this year, all our work and duties have continued without interruption and we have challenged and supported the school with the highest of standards in mind at all times. We are also delighted to have recruited a new co-opted governor, Bhonae Tayali to our board. As well as her professional experience in technology consultancy, Bhonae brings a wealth of experience in the field of inclusion and diversity to our team and has already taken on the role of ‘equality governor’ for Joseph Hood. Please do have a look at her profile on our governors section on the school website. This year, among other things, our governors have scrutinised policies, budgets, teaching arrangements, safeguarding measures and risk assessments. We have also analysed our pupils’ academic data with a particular emphasis on the potential impact of covid.


Academic Progress and Attainment

I am extremely pleased to be able to report that despite the challenges our pupils and teachers have faced this year, we have found no negative trends in this area and that the vast majority of our pupils are at or above the levels we would expect them to be at by the end of this year. Any individual support needed has been identified and swiftly put in place. We feel that the positive academic success that we have seen this year is due to a combination of strategies. The outstanding online teaching our pupils received; the targeted high quality support that individuals have received and the emphasis that the school has placed on wellbeing have all contributed the positive academic outcomes we’re seeing. Looking forward to the next academic year, we are very fortunate that we will to continue to have additional teachers at Joseph Hood who will work with individuals and small groups of children throughout the school.


The Joseph Hood Community

We have felt very proud and inspired this year by all of the additional ways in which the school and the community have gone above and beyond. The setting up and success of the food bank demonstrates the spirit of our school’s values so well. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to it this year and of course to Mrs Saville, Mrs Wright and the staff for running it so well. The school has worked incredibly hard this year to share information online with all of you. As well as day-to-day information, the school website contains a wealth of videos, photos, resources and support that I thoroughly recommend having a look at if you haven’t recently. The school’s warm ethos really comes through and it’s a wonderful insight into life at Joseph Hood. We’d like to say a special thanks to the PTFA and to all those who have helped with their fundraising this year. It hasn’t been an easy task and all of your efforts are very much appreciated. Finally, we’d like to say goodbye to our year six pupils and wish them best of luck when they move onto their next stage of education. I hope our school has nurtured and encouraged them to believe and achieve; good luck year six and enjoy the end of year activities.


Wishing you all safe and happy summer break


Harriet O’Connor

Chair of Governors, on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body




December 2020


Dear Families

In what has been a challenging year for all, both in school-life and at home, the Joseph Hood Governing Body has been inspired by the resilience and cheerful spirits of the Joseph Hood staff, pupils and parents.


As a Governing Body, we are grateful to Mrs Saville and all the staff at Joseph Hood for the time and dedication they’ve shown in keeping the school running.​​ Their enthusiasm and innovative approach has really shone through during this time. From navigating online learning using Google Classrooms, to all-new experiences at school such as social distancing, new class bubbles, and regular hand washing- the past nine months have been a real learning curve. Pupils, staff and parents have had to work together to keep the school environment as normal and stable as possible and we’ve seen how the school has seamlessly pivoted its approach to online activities such as the online book club and online welcome events for new parents. We have been particularly impressed by the live-streamed lessons that children who are isolating have received and this has also been highlighted by our Merton Education Partner, Katharine Davies as “particularly noteworthy” and she adds that she is sure “they would be willing to share this approach further with other schools”. We are very proud to be able to say that Joseph Hood is one of the schools leading the way with their online teaching and learning during this time.


None of this could have been achieved without the on-going support from you, the parents and carers. We thank you for playing your part in following the new guidance, be it the controlled drop off and pick-up times, or helping your children understand the new behaviours at school and why these are so important for their own safety and that of others around them.  The generous donations to the Food Bank have also shown how alive the community spirit is and we are delighted to see the school spirit shine through in the way that it always has.


Although this has been a very different end of term to usual, it has been a pleasure to see the whole community pull together to make it a special time. Between the incredible fundraising efforts from the PTFA, the wonderful films being made in class and the generous donation ensuring that all children had a Christmas dinner, the Joseph Hood family has made a fantastic effort and we know that you will want to join us in thanking them all.


Wishing you all a safe and peaceful break and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

From all the Governors on the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body




September 2020


Dear Families


Welcome to the new academic year on behalf of the governors at Joseph Hood. Seeing all your lovely children back at school has made the start to this year feel particularly special. We would like to extend a very warm welcome to the new pupils and their families who have joined us and we very much look forward to a time when we can welcome you in person.


We’d like to start by thanking all of the staff at Joseph Hood for the work that they have put into preparing the school for the return of the children and for the enormous effort they are putting in every day to ensure that the school remains as safe as possible. And as always, for doing it all with huge, welcoming smiles on their faces. We’d also like to thank all of you for your patience and support for the new measures and changes that have been needed in order for the school to make things work in the best way they can.


As governors we continue to work as a team, meeting regularly and supporting the school in a number of key areas, including pupil progress and achievement, wellbeing, safeguarding, finance and budgets. As the term progresses, I look forward to updating you in all these areas. You can find details of the whole governing body and our roles on the school’s website:

I know that this remains a very unsettling time but please be reassured that the school is following all government guidelines, is taking action accordingly and will continue to keep you all informed. I meet regularly with Mrs Saville, who keeps me updated on the stringent measures in place to keep our children and staff safe. Your child’s safety, wellbeing and continuing education are in good hands.


Even in these unusual times, there is much to look forward to and an exciting curriculum awaits your children this year.  As well as welcoming three new class teachers, we are delighted to say that we have also welcomed a specialist PE teacher, Mr Lockwood, a specialist French teacher, Ms D’Cruz and a PPA Class Teacher Ms Cragg as permanent members of staff. We also have the new outside classroom ready and raring to go and we are planning to spend time reviewing our school’s core Aims and Values, a task that will involve all members of the Joseph Hood community.

I hope you and your families all keep safe and well and I look forward to keeping in contact with you. Take care, everyone.


Harriet O’Connor

Chair of Governors, on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body





July 2020


Dear Parents and Carers


As the end of the academic year approaches, we’d like to take this opportunity to update you on the work the governors have been involved with at Joseph Hood.  As I’m sure you’ll all agree, it’s been a year like no other.  Few of us could have predicted what the year would have in store and the challenges we’ve faced as a school, as families and pupils have been unprecedented.


 I’d like to begin by thanking all of you for your continued support, kindness and patience during this challenging time.   We know how tough things are for many of you and appreciate all of the effort you have made to keep your children learning and in supporting each other through this.   It is the community that makes Joseph Hood what it is and that has been evident this term.


I’m sure you will all support me in thanking the unfaltering effort, passion and commitment of all the staff at Joseph Hood. Almost overnight, Mrs Saville and her team organised the virtual classrooms to ensure the continued learning of all; whilst, keeping the doors of Joseph Hood open to our key-worker and vulnerable families.  I have been in constant touch with Mrs Saville since March and know that she and the staff have been working ceaselessly both in school with the children of key workers, and out of school, preparing work for children at home, as well as contacting parents and supporting our more vulnerable pupils and families. They have also kept the school open and welcomed our children of key-workers throughout the Easter holiday and the May half term. Just like so many of us, a number of the staff have also had the challenge of working whilst looking after and homeschooling their own children and have had all the health concerns and worries that have dominated this time.   This has been a term that we could not have foreseen and prepared for and I’m sure you’ll agree that the leadership, resilience and professionalism of the school staff has not faltered.


It might surprise you to learn that schools don’t get any advance notice when the government makes its announcements. So within moments of us all hearing about the plans for wider-reopening, the new guidelines and the implications of them, our Senior Leadership Team began planning and preparing. We are very proud that Joseph Hood was ready to safely open its doors to more children at the first possible opportunity.


The normal school business hasn’t stopped and in the midst of dealing with all these new challenges, Mrs Saville and the school leaders have hired three fantastic teachers, have remotely welcomed all our new Nursery and Reception families, are creating plans for September and are organising a special, COVID safe  leavers’ event for the Year 6 children.


Plans for September

It is the school’s aim that we will be able to reopen to all in September; however, we must prepare for every eventuality and plans are being made accordingly.  As Mrs Saville has said, a school without all of its children feels like a strange place and we hope that all children are able to return safely, next term.  


When the children do return, staff will assess and address any knowledge gaps individual children may have and are planning creative and engaging ways to begin the school year that will focus on ensuring that the children feel secure and happy at school. The School’s aims and expectations remain high and staff will be striving for high levels of academic achievement.

The health and safety of all remains our priority and we will await further government guidance regarding wider reopening and update you in due course. As soon as the school has any updates from the government about September, they will be able to implement their plans and give you all the information you’ll need. They are also looking at ways they could further improve the home-learning should there be a situation where it is needed again.


School Finance

Governors on our Finance and Premises Committee support Mrs Saville and Despo Doel (our School Business Manager) who together manage the finances of our school very closely. Since the end of March, Despo has worked harder than ever, managing our school budget, the admissions for September and all of the additional admin that has been created as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Through her diligence, our school has been able to set a tight but balanced budget for this financial year. Considering recent circumstances, this is an incredible achievement and we would like to specifically acknowledge and thank Despo for all her hard work and commitment to the school.


In my last report I drew your attention to the relationship between funding and pupil numbers and I am delighted to say that we are not only full in Reception for September but also have a notable waiting list. As well as having a positive impact on our budget, this is obviously a very positive reflection on our school’s reputation.



Governor Business

Since the end of March we have continued to meet, mostly via video conferencing, by phone and email. Our support has been focussed on the school’s response to the COVID-19  pandemic. We have helped analyse the comprehensive risk-assessment for the wider-reopening, reviewed and approved the school budget and supported the school’s plans for managing staffing at school and home-learning.  Our school leaders have had to make a huge number of important and difficult decisions over this time and as a governing body we fully support all the decisions made.

Moving into the new school year we will continue to support the school in adapting to the guidance issued by the government and ensuring that we fulfil our duties as governors with an emphasis on supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of the children, families and staff.

As a governing body we are pleased to have welcomed Ben Fullbrook as a new parent governor, and voted Gemma Anderson in for another four years as co-opted governor. A brilliant addition to our team, Ben is a barrister with a background in education and planning law. Ben's daughter was in our Nursery last year and will be starting Reception in September. Gemma is a senior leader at a local private prep-school, and brings with her a fantastic insight into the broader education system.


Update on the PTFA’s fundraising for the new classroom

Finally, we have an exciting update from our PTFA.

Thanks to all the fundraising efforts that took place up until March, they have been able to place the order for the new outdoor classroom and it will be arriving over the summer break.

Thank you to everyone on the PTFA team for all your efforts and contributions, you have done an incredible job; this is such brilliant news to hear and we’re all looking forward to seeing updates about it over the summer.

The funds raised so far have been spent on the building itself and so once the building is in place, the PTFA’s fundraising efforts will be re-focussed on equipment and furniture for the new space.

Wishing you and your children a safe and healthy summer.


Harriet O’Connor

Chair of Governors

on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body






March 20, 2020



Letter from the Governors on school closure due to COVID19


Dear Families


We understand that you are all in the midst of trying and uncertain times yet we would like to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to you for your support of your children, the staff and the school.  As we know, what makes Joseph Hood special is the people and the community environment that we foster.  Now more than ever, we must band together to support each other, be patient and remain positive.


As governors we must extend our thanks to the entire staff body for their tireless efforts and quick thinking in what has been and continues to be an ever-evolving situation.  We’re sure you’ll agree that they’ve acted with kindness and professionalism throughout and in your children’s best interests.


Even though the school building may be closed to most of your children, the staff and governors will continue to work. Please be reassured that we are in close communication and will monitor the situation carefully, keeping you abreast of updates as and when they occur.


Our PTFA’s Facebook page will continue to be active and you can use it as an opportunity to keep in contact with fellow Joseph Hood families.  Please can we draw your attention to the group’s rules so that this remains a positive forum.


Once again, thank you for your support and patience.  For the children now at home, we look forward to seeing you as soon as we can and in the meantime – a little challenge from us.  Please draw your own version of the school’s logo and display it in your front window.  That way when people go out for a walk, they can play ‘I Spy’ and be reminded that we are all still part of the Joseph Hood community.


With best wishes from the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body


Harriet O'Connor, Anita Saville, Gemma Anderson, Chris Fox, Jo Grinter, Clare Alder, Kirti Mehta, Sam Soo, Claire Hudson, Ben Fullbrook, Joe Foulds and Sophie Ireland

December 2019


Dear Parents and Carers


As the Autumn Term draws to a close we would like to take the opportunity to update you all on what the governors have been doing. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, children, PTFA and all of you for the ongoing commitment and enthusiasm you show to our school, particularly at this busy time of year. The Christmas events have been truly wonderful and we really appreciate the time and effort that has been put into them behind the scenes. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful school community.

Governors have been in school a lot this term. We’ve attended full governors meetings, meetings about the curriculum, safeguarding, finance and personnel. We’ve also been in to the school for governor visits where individual governors have met with external advisors, parents, councillors, staff and our school council. As always our focus is to support and challenge the school to deliver the best possible education to all of our pupils.


Governor Appointments

The Governing Body is delighted to welcome three new governors to our board. Ben Fullbrook, a parent at our school and Joe Foulds and Sophie Ireland who are both from our local community. All three governors bring with them an exciting skill-set and experience. As well as being a parent and a local resident, Ben is a practising lawyer with experience in education and planning law. Joe comes from an IT and technology background and has recently sold a company that he started and ran himself. Sophie has a finance and commercial background and currently leads the strategy team at a well-known European travel company. All three of them have expressed how impressive they think Joseph Hood is and what a friendly and positive atmosphere the school has. You can find more information about all our governors on the school website. We also say goodbye and thank you to Dave Archbold, who is our outgoing Parent Governor. Dave has made a significant contribution to the positive growth our school has seen over the last four years and we shall all miss working with him.


Academic Results

Once again, our school achieved an impressive set of Key Stage 2 results. 75% of our Year 6 pupils achieved expected levels in Maths, Reading and Writing combined. This score is 6% higher than Merton’s average and 10% higher than the national average. We also achieved a fantastic score for children working at a ‘higher level’ at 21%; this is compared to the Merton average of 16% and England’s average of 11%. We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the staff, parents and of course pupils in achieving such excellent results.



Governors on our Finance and Premises Committee support Mrs Saville and Mrs Doel (our School Business Manager) who together manage the finances of our school very closely. We continue to work in a strong partnership with Merton Local Authority which has a high level of confidence in the way that money is managed at Joseph Hood. Nonetheless school funding is very tight and particularly so in schools which are not full, like ours. School funding is allocated per number of pupils and so it is vital that we maintain our high level of Reception admissions. One of the strongest drivers of applications to our school is through personal recommendation by current Joseph Hood parents.  Your personal connections to prospective Joseph Hood families in our community are vital and powerful. Thank you all for being such great champions of our school and please do continue to share your views and recommendations in the community; they really do make an impact. If you have any ideas about new ways in which we might connect with prospective local families please do let us know.


Governors continue to support Joseph Hood to maximise income through letting the school premises when possible and through looking for ways of attracting alternative sources of funding to our school either directly or via the work of the PTFA.   


I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all of your contributions to our school whether through donating to our School Fund, through purchasing items from our Amazon wishlist, through supporting our PTFA fundraising events or through volunteering your time to support school activities like trips and weekend gardening/fixing days. Your support in all of these ways is wonderful and our school is stronger for it.


I know that this has also been a very difficult term for many members of school community with the incredibly sad loss of a wonderful and much loved parent at our school. Our thoughts are with all those affected, particularly the family at this time.  I know that our school community will do everything they can to support them.


I would like to wish you all a happy, peaceful and restful Christmas break and look forward to many more achievements in 2020.

Yours sincerely

Harriet O’Connor

Chair of Governors

on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body




July 2019


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.


Governor Business

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:


  • introduction of an Amazon Wishlist for the purchase of extra school resources;
  • encouraging a more pro-active approach to letting opportunities when the school is not in use, resulting in an increase in lettings;
  • changing the administration of the School Fund, into which parents voluntarily donate, to make it eligible for Gift Aid. This will increase the income from this valuable source of funding.

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.


Yours sincerely


Harriet O’Connor


Chair of Governors


on behalf of the Joseph Hood Primary School Governing Body





May 2019


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



March 2019

Governors’ Newsletter

Dear Families,

We would like to begin by warmly welcoming the pupils and their families who have joined our school community this term.  It’s been a very busy and exciting term at Joseph Hood and as governors we’ve worked closely with the school in a number of key areas.

Joseph Hood is in the Top 3% in England for Children’s Progress

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 school is growing

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.

School Finances

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.

Thank you to all of you who have helped to support our school financially in extra ways this year. Whether it’s been by donating an item from our Amazon Wish List, by supporting the PTFA or by contributing to the Joseph Hood School Fund, it really has made a big difference and we are extremely grateful. If you haven’t already and would like to donate to our School Fund which supports activities that enrich our children’s school life like trips and visiting authors, then you can do so at any time. For each family, we suggest a voluntary £60 annual donation but this is purely a guide: we appreciate all donations. Donations to the School Fund can be paid either as a one off annual payment or through a monthly direct debit for £5 to our bank account (details at the bottom of this letter). A link to our Amazon Wish list can be found on the hompage of our school website.

Governor Recruitment

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.

How do I contact a Governor?

All Governors are contactable through the school office or via Katy Collins, our Governors’ Clerk ( You can either leave a message or email and it will be passed it on.

Future use of the Adult Education/Harris School Building

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.

Let me sign off by wishing you all a wonderful Easter break and thanking you for all the ways in which you show your continued support to our school and our community.

Best wishes

Harriet O’Connor

Chair of Governors



October 2018



New Chair of Governors Welcome and School Fund Request


Dear Families,


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.


Academic Results

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.


Our Budget

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 or via your class rep.


Thank you

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.


Best wishes

Harriet O’Connor

Chair of Governors