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Welcome to our Open Forum Thank you for coming Wednesday 14 th May 2014 The BAWB Collaboration Bainbridge, Askrigg, and West Burton Primary Schools Mid-Dale.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to our Open Forum Thank you for coming Wednesday 14 th May 2014 The BAWB Collaboration Bainbridge, Askrigg, and West Burton Primary Schools Mid-Dale."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to our Open Forum Thank you for coming Wednesday 14 th May 2014 The BAWB Collaboration Bainbridge, Askrigg, and West Burton Primary Schools Mid-Dale Excellence in Education

2 The aims of our forum tonight… To share the purpose, reasoning, and benefits of our planned operational changes To clarify our financial position To explain the national picture in education To share the outcomes of the Local Authority’s School Improvement Commission and the future of North Yorkshire Schools To answer your questions and to plan solutions Next steps

3 Firstly, to clarify… Timescale:  This opportunity was presented to us earlier than expected, when we heard of Mr Moore’s new post  There has never been a hidden agenda  We are also having to respond to the pace of change in education and new information as it presents on an almost daily basis (this is the climate at the moment) Communicating this to parents:  Parents views / opinions are very important in establishing the operational details  ‘Open Forum’ and face-to-face was always recognised to be the most important way of achieving this  Formal consultation is not a requirement as this is operational change Mr Armstrong’s Departure:  Not ideal timing (we didn’t want to lose Mr Armstrong) but this is great professional development for him  Staff turnover is healthy (though rapid turnover leading to instability is not ideal)  The most important factor is ensuring that teaching quality is of the highest standard  We’re committed to recruiting an outstanding teacher to replace him (teaching quality, extra-curricular interests, leadership skills)

4 Purpose, Reasoning, Benefits Strive for sustainability and protection from the threat of closure due to our vulnerability (more details to follow) To create a better educational structure for the children (especially class groupings). To widen social experiences To broaden staff development opportunities To reduce the negative impact of tiny cohorts (e.g. social isolation, learning opportunities, transition to new classes and schools) The structure provides parents with more choice around their preferred model

5 The Financial Picture The majority of school funding is based on the number of pupils Funding is (and will continue to be) based on the number of pupils enrolled at each school (not where they are taught). Certain elements of the budget are ring-fenced (e.g. our ICT project) Both schools had (worsening) deficit budgets predicted for the next three years, based on the national funding formula and declining pupil numbers We are not allowed to set a deficit budget unless there is a strategic plan to recover it (until now, there was no plan) The Local Authority pursues closure when schools are not actively seeking financially viable solutions to establish sustainability The LA is aware of our budgets and was ready to pursue action, had we not done so already The EHT has been asked by Strategic Services if our governing bodies are actively exploring the option of school closure. My response was ‘no’, and this is the reason why Doing nothing is not an option

6 The National Picture The LA has no control over the funding given to schools (it is a national formula). However, it has the authority to streamline provision through instigating the closure of financially unviable schools Generally, ‘outstanding’ schools are not closed We do not benefit from sparsity funding Rural schools are increasingly vulnerable (in all authorities) – town / city schools are over-subscribed We have the opportunity now to be proactive rather than reactive

7 The School Improvement Commission A focus on the benefits of collaborative work between schools (based on extensive research) An expectation that schools will engage in active collaborative work A reduction in LA-based services We have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this

8 But we’re not alone… Reeth and Gunnerside have remained open by establishing this model Bigger schools have been closed (or have been ‘consumed’) by not being proactive (by doing nothing) Snape and Thornton-Watlass are going through exactly the same process at the moment

9 Your Questions Who will be teaching my children? September 2014 Potential Structure Bainbridge Nursery and EYFS: Mrs Hey Mrs Metcalfe, Mrs Iveson Y1/2: Mrs Johnston Mr Stokes YR,1,2: new appointment Mr Stokes, Mrs Askrigg Y3/4: new appointment Miss Calvert Y3/4: Mrs Johnston Miss Calvert Y5/6: Mrs Uca Mrs Fawcett Y5/6: Mrs Uca Mrs Fawcett Meanwhile….

10 Your Questions How will we maintain the Church School ethos for Bainbridge pupils, and the VC for Askrigg pupils? Communication with staff, parents, children and diocese is essential Took advice from diocese in the first stages of this plan Met yesterday with new diocesan advisor (with Sam Parfitt, Di Clegg, MaryRose Kearney, Rev. Ann Chapman, Natasha Johnston) In recognition of feedback from parents over the last week, and discussion yesterday, suggested solution = returning to home school for collective worship each day Joint (optional) church services each term with input from Ozzy’s Crew

11 Your Questions How / why will the timings of the school day be affected and how will this be managed? We need to meet statutory requirements around the number of hours pupils need to be taught We want to avoid disrupting children’s learning with transport arrangements We would like to open a consultation on this

12 Your Questions Who is in charge of each school? The headteacher The school administrator will be the first point of contact for all parents A named base-leader will be available to address issues around education, behaviour, etc (things which cannot be dealt with at an administrative level) School administrators and base leaders have a clear understanding of when it is appropriate or necessary to contact the headteacher

13 Your Questions What does governance look like and are the budgets going to be combined? Currently the governing bodies are constitutionally separate but meet together (this has been developed under the guidance of the LA Governance Manager and with agreement by the governing bodies) The budgets are separate but we can take advantage of collaboration to benefit from bulk-buying, and the re-charging of costs Governors have corporately agreed to work as a collaboration, with pupils being at the forefront of this commitment, and will continue to uphold this view, but of course will take into account parents’ views

14 Your Questions cont… What does governance look like and are the budgets going to be combined? The following is from ‘Welcome to Governance’ 6th Edition – published by the National Governors’ Association ©2014: The role of all governors is to contribute to the work of the governing body in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children in the school by: Setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction; Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

15 Your Questions What happens when the transport budget runs out? The budget for this financial year has been set (with further projections for the next for two years). It includes transport costs, and sits now in a surplus position. We have budgeted for significant investment in the environment at Bainbridge (EYFS, ICT, decorating). This demonstrates our commitment to keeping schools open – ensuring that they are fit-for-purpose and offering a modern and appealing learning environment.

16 Next Steps Consultation on timings of the school day Date set for parents’ forum Please remember that we welcome your views in person, by phone, or by (remember the Chair of Governor / Headteacher open surgeries on Thursday) Comment / feedback form We want you on board!

17 Your Questions My child is really worried about this? What can we do to help? We all have questions / queries / worries / concerns – that is a normal reaction to change We should see this as an opportunity to develop our children’s resilience and their reaction to, and management of change (we have a responsibility to do this) Highlight the positives, of which there are many Maintain very open communication channels between home and school

18 Thank you


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