Thomas Willingale School and Nursery

Governor Blog

December 2015


This is a new item on the website.  A blog from the Governors, designed to give you an insight into what we do and why! We are going to blog half termly from now on, with a different governor letting you know what they and we have been up to.

You might see some of us around the school regularly, but perhaps wonder – “What do the Governors do and why?”


We are a group of volunteers who give up our own time to come into the school regularly to ensure the school is providing the best possible education for the pupils.  We are the Champions of the Children, who regularly monitor, challenge and support the school.


We have had two Full Governing Body Meetings this term, which we always have in the Autumn Term, due to returning to school in September after a long break over the Summer and it being the beginning of a new school year there is lots to discuss and then again closer to the end of term when decisions need to be made regarding what’s to come!  We update and amend policies at every meeting too. 


I have had a very busy term, writing to parents to inform you that we had two vacancies on the Governing Body for Parent Governors, and am delighted to inform you that we had two nominations and have accepted them on to the Governing Body and look forward to working with them in the future as part of our team. In my role as Chair of Governors so far this term I have also met regularly with Miss Phillips to discuss various issues and activities that are taking place in the school.  Miss Phillips updates me on a weekly basis by email too regarding anything Governors need to know and I have responded to parental correspondence directed to Governors.


Several Governors have conducted their monitoring visits to school.  We do this to focus on different areas of the school.  All Governors have a responsibility to an area of the school, for example; Safeguarding, Maths, Literacy, Boys, Pupil Premium, Special Educational Needs, Early Years, Community Liasion, to name but a few.  Our focus is to a specific area which we visit and monitor during the school year, reporting back to Governors and asking questions of staff while on the visit and the Headteacher or other senior staff after the visit. 


Monitoring visits are a vital part of our role, as they give feedback on decisions we have made, such as new teacher appointments. Whilst we support the school, we also challenge where we feel it is necessary. 


You can help us with this, by giving your feedback in surveys and attending Parents forums and you can pass a message on to us via the office if you want to discuss anything.


At our first meeting of the year in September we elect our Chair and Vice-Chair on an annual basis and so this was our first action of the evening. I was delighted to be re-elected Chair and Gary Barrett was elected as Vice Chair.


We were pleased with the results from SATs and end of EYFS, KS1 assessments in July, although there are still some areas for focus.  The targets for the School Improvement Plan (SIP) have been set and are robust enough to ensure the school builds upon the successes of the last year, bringing about improvements where they are needed.


We are delighted with the infill work that took place during the spring and summer terms and is now complete. The impact is already clear.  The children are benefitting from the use of a properly equipped medical room, which is a fantastic addition to the school and ensures that when children are feeling unwell they can be treated privately and comfortably until they are either ready to return to class or go home.  The Sensory Room and intervention rooms are getting so much use; in fact it is difficult to find a spare slot!  We will be continuing to monitor the rooms as part of our visit.


Also this term we have had a Committee Meeting for the Resources, Curriculum, Pay and Headteacher’s Performance Management. 


We had Essex carry out a review of the school in early November and Gary and I met with them in our role as part of the Leadership and Management of the School.  The evaluation helped us to identify any areas for improvement and arrange an action plan accordingly. We felt that whilst there are areas we can further improve, the Governing Body is meeting all of the statutory duties placed upon us. The governors have a clear direction in which we are going, and our aims for the school for the future.


We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very restful and peaceful Christmas and New Year.


If you would like to get to know us a bit better, please take a look at our ‘Meet the Governors’ section on the website!


Rhian Jenkins

Chair of Governors