Election of ONE Parent Governor

Parents of Pupils attending:  Bedwas Junior School

Election of ONE Parent Governor

Governing Body of Bedwas Junior School

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Would you like to be more involved in your child’s education?  If so why not consider becoming a school governor.  All schools have places for Parent Governors and we currently have a vacancy for ONE of these positions at the above School.

Governors make decisions about many aspects of the school including the curriculum, staffing and the school’s finances.  This role is essential to the education of children in the Borough of Caerphilly so please consider standing.  In case you feel a little apprehensive about the responsibilities of the role, we offer training to assist you.

Meetings of the Governing Body have to be held at least once per school term; you can serve as a Governor on up to two schools at any one time and the term of office is four years. If you have parental responsibility for a child at the school then you are eligible to stand, although there are certain restrictions as summarised on the nomination form (for full details please contact a member of the Governor Support Team– contact details as below).

Nominating yourself is simple just complete a nomination form available from the school office, including a short personal statement, and return to your child’s school.  Both parents are eligible to stand for election but because we aim to reduce paper use we only send out one nomination form.  We welcome applications from both parents – please ask the school for another form.  If there are more nominations than vacancies we will hold a ballot and circulate your statement together with voting papers.

If you have any questions about the role of Governors, parental elections, nominations or appointments please contact me on the phone number below.

Yours sincerely

Loren Taylor  – Governor Support Assistant

01443 863221  –  Loren.taylor@sewaleseas.org.uk

Inspection Report

 Following the recent inspection of the school, I am pleased to inform you that the Inspection Report has been published today, Friday 12th May 2017. It is available to read on the Estyn website: http://www.estyn.gov.wales/provider/6762323. If you would prefer to receive a hard copy of the report, then please contact Mrs North in the School Office.

The Governing Body is delighted with the Inspection Report and feel that it is an accurate reflection of the excellent work that is being carried out here at Bedwas Junior School. It clearly demonstrates that all our children are well behaved, motivated pupils who enjoy school and love to learn. I am a very proud Chair of Governors!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone connected with Bedwas Juniors for making this school such a warm and welcoming environment – this applies particularly to all staff and pupils for their hard work and infectious enthusiasm and to all parents and carers for your continued support. It is very much appreciated!

Yours sincerely,

Dr Nicholas Jones

Chair of Governors

 

Complaints Policy

The Governing Body has officially reviewed the school’s ‘Complaints Policy’ which is based on guidance by the Welsh Assembly Government.  There are no major updates to the previous policy.

The policy itself can be located on the school website towards the top of the blog page in the section called ‘school policies’.  Please contact the school office if you would like a paper copy.

Attendance

Thank you to everyone within our school community who continues to support our aim for every child to achieve 100% attendance each year.

Unfortunately, the school attendance figures for last year  were lower than previous years.  Therefore, as a community we have a duty to ensure that all children are in school as often as possible.

Welsh Government legislation has been introduced which aims to improve pupil attendance across Wales. This also includes the introduction of fixed penalty notices for families with children who are persistently absent from school without a valid reason.

To ensure that all schools are carrying out the new Welsh Government laws, the following was introduced in 2014:

  • Leave of absence during term time will be discouraged. Parents and carers do not have the automatic right to withdraw their children from school for an annual holiday and will be reminded of the effect that absence can have on a pupil’s potential achievement.
  • A maximum of ten days per academic year will be authorised for a leave of absence. However, there may be ‘exceptional’ circumstances where absence over five days may be authorised. Governors will monitor the number of ‘exceptional’ circumstances which are granted during the school year.
  • To ensure a successful transition to the child’s new class, no days will be authorised in September.
  • To ensure that the school fulfils its statutory obligation to administer national tests in reading and numeracy, no days will be authorised during the month of testing.
  • To ensure that pupils are fully prepared for the next phase of their education, no days will be authorised on Year 6 transition days to the High School.
  • Holidays will be automatically refused authorisation if a child’s attendance is already below the cluster target of 95%. However, there may be ‘exceptional’ circumstances where absence may be granted.
  • Approval for a leave of absence will be checked retrospectively to work out a full year of attendance data.
  • Parents/carers must apply for a leave of absence no more than one week in advance.

It is important to remember that the above points apply to requesting a leave of absence, not sickness. However, if a child’s attendance is below 95% due to sickness, then a leave of absence will not be granted.

The school’s updated attendance policy can by downloaded from the school blog:www.bedwasjunior.com. It is also available as a paper copy from the school office. Welsh Government information about fixed penalties can be found at this address:http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dcells/publications/130925-guidance-regular-non-attendance-en.pdf

Quality Mark Bronze Award for Governing Bodies

I am pleased to inform parents that the school Governing Body has recently achieved the Quality Mark Bronze Award.  This award is achieved by having effective systems and processes in place.  It recognises the contribution of the Governing Body to the leadership and management of the school and its impact on raising standards.  Congratulations to our Governors on achieving recognition for their hard work.

Governor Vacancy

Letters are also being sent home today with regards to the election of a parent Governor. The Governing Body is seeking a parent who would like to take an active role in the development of ICT across the school.

Governing Body meetings are relaxed, friendly meetings with a clear focus on school improvement. The Governing Body meet six times a year although many Governors also attend a sub-committee meeting once a term.

If interested, please complete the form and return to the school office by Friday 6th February.

Attendance Policy

Thank you to everyone within our school community who continues to support our aim for every child to achieve 100% attendance each year. I am very pleased to inform everyone that last year, the school achieved its highest ever attendance figure. The average child’s attendance last year was 95.8% – a fantastic achievement! Thank you very much!

You may be aware that new Welsh Government legislation has been introduced which aims to improve pupil attendance across Wales. This also includes the introduction of fixed penalty notices for families with children who are persistently absent from school without a valid reason.

The Head Teachers of Bedwas Juniors, Bedwas Infants, Tyn Y Wern, Graig Y Rhacca and Machen recently met to consider a common attendance policy which will apply across the Bedwas cluster.

To ensure that all schools are carrying out the new Welsh Government laws, the following has been introduced:

  •  Leave of absence during term time will be discouraged. Parents and carers do not have the automatic right to withdraw their children from school for an annual holiday and will be reminded of the effect that absence can have on a pupil’s potential achievement.
  • A maximum of ten sessions (five days) per academic year will be authorised for a leave of absence. However, there may be ‘exceptional’ circumstances where absence over five days may be authorised. Governors will monitor the number of ‘exceptional’ circumstances which are granted during the school year.
  • To ensure a successful transition to the child’s new class, no days will be authorised in September.
  • To ensure that the school fulfils its statutory obligation to administer national tests in reading and numeracy, no days will be authorised the month of testing.
  • To ensure that pupils are fully prepared for the next phase of their education, no days will be authorised on Year 6 transition days to the High School.
  • Holidays will be automatically refused authorisation if a child’s attendance is already below the cluster target of 95%. However, there may be ‘exceptional’ circumstances where absence may be granted.
  • Approval for a leave of absence will be checked retrospectively to work out a full year of attendance data.
  • Parents/carers must apply for a leave of absence no more than one week in advance.

It is important to remember that the above points apply to requesting a leave of absence, not sickness. However, if a child’s attendance is below 95% due to sickness, then a leave of absence will not be granted.

It is also important to point out that based on current percentage data, it is highly unlikely that any parent/carer would be issued with a fixed penalty notice. However, it is the school’s duty to inform parents/carers about changes to the law. If requested, the school is very happy to meet with individual families to provide more information about the above changes,

The school’s updated attendance policy can by downloaded from the school blog: www.bedwasjunior.com. It is also available as a paper copy from the school office. Welsh Government information about fixed penalties can be found at this address: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dcells/publications/130925-guidance-regular-non-attendance-en.pdf

About The Governing Body

The school Governing Body meets regularly throughout the school year with the following purposes:

  1. Planning – setting aims, objectives and targets for the school.
  2. Monitoring – using the Head Teacher report, parent questionnaires, pupil feedback and much more to ensure that the school is doing what the Governing Body has planned at the start of the year.
  3. Evaluating – using information such as end of Key Stage 2 targets to ensure that the school is as effective as possible.

The ‘operational’ or day-to-day running of the school is the responsibility of the Head Teacher and school staff.

Membership Of The School Governing Body
Name Role Start Date End Date
Dr Nicholas Jones

 

Chair of Governors

Community Governor

04.12.11 03.12.15
Cllr Brian James Vice Chair 16.09.12 15.09.16
Mr Paul Warren Head Teacher N/A N/A
Cllr Liz Aldworth LA Representative 01.09.12 31.08.16
Mrs Victoria Mulcahy Community Representative 24.01.13 23.01.17
Mr Michael Dearden Community Representative 01.09.14 01.09.18
Mrs G Hollywell LA Representative 08.11.13 07.11.17
Mrs Rachel Barry Parent Representative 04.12.11 03.12.15
Mr Paul Griffiths Parent Representative 09.02.12 03.12.15
Mrs Sharon Richards Parent Representative 24.01.13 03.12.15
Mrs Lorraine North Support Staff Representative 08.11.13 07.11.17
Miss Samantha Hall Staff Representative 10.02.12 10.02.16
Vacancy LA Representative
Vacancy Parent Representative
Clerk to the Governing Body Stephen Cresswell

 

At present, the Governing Body meets six times during the year. There are also two sub commitees which regularly meet each term:

  1. A finance and premises committee;
  2. A safeguarding and pupil wellbeing committee.

During 2013-14, the following policies/aspects of school improvement were discussed and reviewed by the Governing Body:

  • Behaviour management
  • Anti-bullying policy
  • Teaching and Learning and Curriculum Policy
  • Capability Policy
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • ESDGC Policy
  • Bedwas Infant-Junior Transition Policy
  • School Session Times Policy
  • English and Literacy Policy
  • Collective Worship Policy
  • Strategic Equalities Policy
  • Homework Policy
  • Assessment, Marking and Feedback Policy

 

In the next few weeks, information will be sent home to parents who may be interested in joining the school Governing Body as a ‘parent representative’.