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Governors' Impact Statement

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                                          The Kemnal Academies Trust  - Impact Statement

                                                        Academic Year 2020-2021 (COVID)

 

Academy

Royal Park

Chair of Governors

Zoe Faragher

Date

9th September 2021

 

Governance at Royal Park Academy within TKAT

 

Royal Park Academy is part of TKAT, a Multi-academy Trust. The Trust is a charity and its board of
trustees must ensure that it complies with its charitable objects which relate to the provision of
education in its schools. As such it is the Trust board which is accountable for the performance of the
Academies in the Trust, and in turn, it is held to account by the Department for Education. The Trust has chosen to appoint committees for each of its academies and these are known as a local governing bodies (LGBs). The LGB’s responsibilities are set out in a document known as the Scheme of Delegation which is available on TKAT’s and Academy’s website.

 

Vision

 

The LGB is responsible for ensuring that the Academy’s long-term vision reflects the needs of its community beyond current postholders and in line with TKAT’s vision and values.


At Royal Park we believe that every child can succeed. We will ensure that our children develop high aspirations, self-belief, respect, compassion, and an understanding of their world and their community. We believe that growing competence and mastery of reading, writing and mathematics are the foundations that allow children and young people to build a happy, self-determined and fulfilled life.


At Royal Park Primary Academy, we fundamentally believe that a set of strong moral values is essential to building character in all members of the school community, to achieving success and securing children’s futures. Therefore, Royal Park upholds six core values in every aspect of school life. The core values we uphold within every aspect of school life are; Aspiration, Resilience, Respect, Equality, Compassion and Honesty and these are at the heart of everything we do with Royal Park and it’s wider community. The LGB ensure that they uphold these and along with the school’s improvement plan we ensure that we address these core values through our challenging questioning.

 

Organisation of LGB

Royal Park’s LGB has 6 Appointed Governors, consisting of 3 parents (only one of whom is a parent governor),1 Staff (excluding Headteacher), 6 appointed & 1 Headteacher.


There is currently 1 vacancy for an appointed governor.


The Link Governors are:
Zoe Faragher – Safeguarding & Behaviour
Rachel Holley - Disadvantaged (Pupil Premium), ACE & SEN
Meera Tiwari - Health and Safety and Finance
Eleanor Lucas - Curriculum (T&L) including reading & literacy
Yemisi Saromi and Cathi Barker - Attendance and Well-being
Early Year - TBC


The LGB is run without sub committees and each meeting is a full governing body meeting.

 

Impact of Covid on the work of the LGB

Throughout lockdown LGB meetings still took place but they were all successfully held remotely. In future, we intend to give Governors the option to attend in person or remotely if they choose. There have been some effective visits to the school and in cases where this has not been possible, link Governor meetings have continued remotely. As part of our role during lockdown, we have reviewed the school’s risk assessments and monitored home learning and pupil welfare contact. Evidently these have shown how closely the school have thought about their community and worked closely with government and TKAT guidance to ensure LGB were still able to effectively meet.

 

 

Represent the Academy’s local community and stakeholders by ensuring that the Academy’s policies and practice meet the community’s needs

Each LGB meeting the Governors reviewed the reported safeguarding incidents and we assured they school took them seriously and acted appropriately. In addition to this regular safeguarding reviews by the local authority, trust and link governor for safeguarding took place. Royal Park undoubtedly and rightly holds safeguarding central to all that they do and all governors are in strong agreement about safeguarding which ensures not only is statutory guidance followed but the safeguarding processes and day to day running of the school promote the welfare of children.


This school effectively updated its behaviour policy and Governors were assured that it tackled behaviour issues that might arise from COVID. Policies developed this year included Remote Learning. We were able to challenge the school to ensure the offer during lockdown was comprehensive and met the needs of all pupils. We were pleased that additional support was provided to the school’s SEND pupils and this along with catch-up continues to be a focus as school returns.


Impressively during this time TKAT along with the Director of Education and myself managed and fed-back to the LGB, the school and wider school community a shift in leadership. We were able to effectively interview and promote an internal acting headteacher during a time where the school needed to remain stable and well-led. This was undoubtedly well-received and supported by all.


More collaboration has started to take place between local schools and professional stakeholders who have a vested interest in the school and the senior leadership team. We were informed at a LGB meeting that more collaboration will take place between Royal Park and Cleeve Park School in regards to transition as this is currently the main feeder school. The governors feel reassured that collaborative working is pupil focused and strives to meet the needs of everyone.

 

Support Directors of Education to improve Academy outcomes

Due to the Covid Pandemic, the implementation of the 2020-21 Trust development plan and our Academy plan was suspended. Instead, the school’s priorities shifted to:
Ensuring the implementation of the school’s risk assessment
Remote learning and safeguarding
The safe return for all pupils
Catch-up for learning lost learning
Governors regularly reviewed the risk assessment after each update and received regular feedback on the school’s successful implementation.
Governors received updates on the impressive take up of remote learning, we challenged the school on the support being given to pupils who had limited access to technology. We were assured by the school that they were in regular contact with all pupils and their families and that disadvantaged pupils were supported to engage and make progress. Over time this was evident through the participation and submission figures for all online learning and work submitted. At times this work creatively carried out.

 

For example, those the school thought as being the most vulnerable or key worker children we invited to work in school along with a huge amount of technology and paper resources being handed out and sent home. Royal Parks’ approach to online learning through google classroom and use of live lessons was exemplary and regular praise by families was received by the school. This was also reinforced through positive communication to parents/carers through newsletters, twitter feeds and web-site updates.


The school shared its plan for how it was going to help the students to catch up on learning lost during lockdowns. Governors questioned how staff would be able to manage this as well as teaching pupils on their return. Governors were satisfied that the Covid catch-up fund was being used to help pupils without overburdening staff.


As a result of the Covid pandemic there have been no SATs exams this year therefore Governors have not been able to monitor and challenge the schools academic performance as we normally would. Instead, in consultation with the Director of Education, we have reviewed phonics scores and reading scores. Governors were very pleased the scores had improved for phonics and those that needed to had re-taken their test. Governors heard that the school maintained its focus on reading and that the school was able to identify and support those children who were falling behind. This is not a target for the next academic year and as such we will appoint a link governor for reading to support this initative.

 

Support the Senior Leadership Team to ensure staffing is efficient and effective

Due to unforeseen circumstances, there were some staffing changes in the leadership team. The Chair of Governors worked with Trust and Director of Education for TKAT to ensure that the stability of the leadership team was upheld and appointed Penny Holmes as acting Headteacher. Support was put in place by an experienced Executive Headteacher of a local “good” school along with weekly meetings with TKAT, Bexley Local Authority, The Chair of Governors and TKAT. The governing body are more than satisfied at this appointment, the need, the impact in regards to value for money and are pleased with the engagement of the parents/carers and wider community throughout this transition.


Governors have continued to monitor the school’s budget to ensure that spending was on track. We are pleased to inform parents/carers that despite COVID disruption the school is projecting a small surplus. This has meant that this academic year we have been able to support the leadership team in its expansion along with a newly appointed SENCO to further strengthen the work for our SEN and disadvantaged students.


The Governors requested an overview of the Intent, Implementation and Intent of each curriculum area within the Royal Park. This not only supported the staff at Royal Park in their professional development but enables the subject leads in working closely with the LGB. The LGB are able to challenge and evidence key points in the curriculum and ensures we are all aware what is being taught when in order to give all of the LGB a deeper understanding of the school’s curriculum. This academic year this will be overseen and effectively supported and challenged by our link governor for curriculum and reading.


Although performance management processes were revised this year with most staff having automatic pay progress due to Covid, Governors did review the process at a pay committee meeting and were reassured it was fair and correctly administered.

 

Equality Diversity and Inclusion

The TKAT Trustees have asked each LGB to select an Equality Diversity and Inclusion priority in consultation with their school and to take action to embed it in the culture of their school.


We had difficulty selecting one priority so as a school Royal Park have embraced them all. From Autumn 2021 we will be exploring these through all aspects of school life at LGB meetings through rigorous questioning and quality assurance. Governors are aware of the diversity of the school’s community and the specific challenges within these groups. We will and continue to ensure that all groups within the
Equality Diversity and Inclusion priorities are and feel supported in every aspect of school life and beyond.

 

Other areas of Impact

At Royal Park inclusion is fundamental to the beliefs and values of the school and as such they have been lucky enough to secure a grant from the Local Authority to have a brand-new SEN HUB built. The governors clearly ensured the spending for this HUB was effectively used. We also questioned and ensured that the HUB enables students with a variety of leaving needs along with those who need some additional support to be taught in smaller learning spaces, nurtured in a quieter environment as well as explore a range of other state of the art break out rooms. In addition to the sensory room, children will be able to use the HUB for academic and enrichment activities such as learning games, games, cooking and a wide range of intervention. The governors have been impressed by the plans and some of us have seen it in full swing this academic year and it is undoubtedly having a positive impact on allocated students within Royal Park.


Governors were particularly impressed with the use of technology throughout COVID and have been pleased to see that google classroom is now used school wider on a day-to-day basis. All children have been able to access their virtual classroom and for those that prefer to work on paper since returning resources have been provided. The feedback from parents/carers in the community has only been positive.

LGB meetings have been included in discussions around the maintenance and refurbishment of various external areas within Royal Park and took time to discuss the best options for the school. We have been pleased with the efficiency of the school’s leadership team and business manager in getting these areas changed over various school holidays, the collation of quotes s evidenced in LGB meetings along with the creativity for the pupil’s and look forward to seeing the new playgrounds in action this academic year.

Governors were all too aware that enrichment during this challenging academic year through COVID has meant that some children have had little or no enrichment opportunities. As such Royal Park have worked hard on increasing the amount of enrichment clubs on offer after school and have appointed a full time PE teacher from one of their existing school contracts with Zambezi Sports School contract.

 

LGB Priorities for 2021-22

At our summer LGB meeting Governors reviewed the school’s improvement plan and agreed to focus on the following priorities:


• Reading - Governors will be reviewing the implementation of the schools Reading strategy. We will be particularly interested to monitor the progress of pupils who are not yet at their reading age and how reading for pleasure is developing across the school.
• The school is developing its support for its most vulnerable pupils through a programme called Ambition Tutors, Governors will be monitoring its implementation and challenging the school on its impact.
• Working with SLT to increase the number of staff, student and parent/carer voice surveys to ensure we are meeting the needs to all and addressing any suggested areas for improvement.
• Ensuring the integrating of the HUB within the whole school community to ensure that pupil’s with additional needs have some access to intervention and break-out sessions within the Hub.
• Supporting the leaders with building improvement ideas such as increased shaded areas, access/fob areas and entrance work in negotiation with an adjoining school.
• Increased collaboration with local schools, leaders and specialist professionals within the local authority to ensure the school is driving forward its ambition and progress and attainment for all.

These will be monitored by link governors for reading and pupil premium. As a Governing Body, we will be focusing on ensuring our link visits to the school are effectively quality assuring these strategies in line with the school’s improvement plan.


The Trust has asked LGBs to consider how they represent and engage with the school’s community, we intend to produce an action plan to address this.

 

 

Downloads Date  
Summary Impact Statement RP 19th Oct 2020 Download
Impact Statement 2020-2021 (COVID Period... 24th Oct 2021 Download