Steyning Church of England Primary School
Creating a Brighter Future


Governors Corner March 2018
Spring Term Review
The spring term, has been quite a challenge because of staff sickness and other reasons for absence. I’m very pleased to say that everyone on the staff has pulled together and helped to fill the gaps. It makes me proud when the unique Steyning ethos and work ethic make the difference, we are very lucky to have such a wonderful team.
We have advertised twice for specific teaching cover and both times the candidates were not strong enough to appoint. This is very unusual for SPS we normally have great applicants, but I guess that Christmas and early New Year are always going to be difficult. Who wants to change jobs at that time? This does mean that we are facing some more challenges ahead and I would ask that you bear with us and support the school where you can. Most of the issues have now been resolved and we have started planning for the future rather than reacting to the circumstances we find ourselves in. Well done to everyone who has been involved in the recruitment process.
We have a new minister for education which means that there is some uncertainty about policy going forward. WSCC have stopped all briefing sessions to avoid having to say something different in a few months time. I guess that’s politics for you, there is no continuity with MPs and ministers changing.
School Budget
Every year we are left hanging by WSCC with regard to our school budget starting in April. This year is no different and once again we found out how much money we had from April onwards at the last minute. How they can expect the school to plan ahead is beyond me and as you can tell I find this very frustrating. So what do we know? Firstly we should manage to carry a small surplus from this year which we need in order to set a positive budget. Support staff have been awarded a totally deserved pay rise but this is an additional cost that we have not foreseen and so we will need to make some adjustments to cover the extra costs. The school is working hard setting the budget and the governors will be asked to approve this very soon, so far it is looking ok for another year and we wait to see what 2019 brings.
We will, as always, be reviewing how we use our staff and resources in order to ensure that we get the best for our children from the precious resources we have. This is one of the areas where governors can really make a difference and fulfil our role as strategic leaders.
Just in case you were wondering, it was way back in October 2013 that we last saw Ofsted and based on their published cycle we should have been revisited before October 2017. Somehow we have been forgotten or perhaps they feel sorry for us, nonetheless we are expecting a visit any time. They have changed their system and now will only come for 1 day at very short notice, if they find that things are still good then they will say so and leave. If there is a change in status they will give us a letter to that effect and will come back again in 1-2 years time. We are uncertain how that will work in practice so it will be a voyage of discovery. Governors are coming under much more scrutiny and we are expected to do much more and be more hands on than before. This adds a whole load of pressure to people who are, basically volunteers trying to help. We all have other full time jobs to do also and the demands on us are becoming unsustainable. I’m looking forward to having that conversation with Ofsted when they arrive.
Travel Plan and Parents’ Survey
We are reviewing our Travel Plan and have been discussing with WSCC what are the best ways to safeguard our children when travelling to school. Sadly we have very little influence on things outside of our school and WSCC Highways seem to think that everything is just fine as it is. The Governors believe that we should have Pelican crossings in the High Street, Tanyard Lane & Shooting Field. This is the only sustainable long term solution that will allow children from both SP and SGS to cross roads safely. We are not able to employ lollipop staff and volunteers are just not reliable in the long term. So I ask that you lobby the parish council, district council and your MP to ask for change. I believe it will require a political weight to make something happen, after all I have been a governor here at SPS for over 12 years and we have been asking for safer crossings for all that time.
We have our Governors’ day on 22nd March where we go into school and see all of the great work in action. It is one of the highlights of the year for me and something that I really enjoy. Steyning Primary is a great place for our children, our staff and leaders are all committed to improving and making the place even better. The governing body is very strong and I am proud to play a small part in making the school the warm and friendly place that it is.
Kind regards,
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Ms Mary Smith

Chairman of the Governors

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Mr Chris Webb

Mr Webb is a Co-opted Governor and is also Vice-Chair of the Governing Body. He sits on the Pay & Staffing Committee and also has a particular interest in literacy. End of term of office - 22 Jul 2020.

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Mrs Alison Scott

Mrs Scott is the Clerk to the Governors. 

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Mrs Nikki Evans

Mrs Evans is Co-opted Governor, and her skills are in Management and HR. End of term of office - July 2021. 

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Mr John Gadd

Mr Gadd is a Co-opted Governor. He sits on the Pay & Staffing Committee and also has a particular interest in Science & Literacy. End of term of office - 22 Jul 2020.

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Dr Malcolm Donaldson

Dr Donaldson is a Foundation Governor and has a particular interest in SEND issues within the school, literacy and RE and worship. End of term of office - 16 Apr 2019.

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Mr John Downe

Mr Downe is a Foundation Governor who has been nominated to sit on the Governing Body by the Parochial Church Council. He has a particular interest in RE and the Travel Plan. End of term of office - 1 Sept 2018.

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Mrs Ellie Yurtsever

Mrs Yurtsever is Co-opted Governor. End of term of office - July 2021. 

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Mrs Emma Bailey

Mrs Bailey is a Parent Governor and has a particular interest in Health and Safety. End of term of office - 10 Jul 2021. 

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Mrs Claire Stocks

Mrs Stocks is a Parent Governor and has a particular interest in the Travel Plan and early years. End of term of office - 6 Jul 2020. 

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Mrs Sue Harrison

Mrs Harrison is the Head Teacher and is therefore automatically a crucial member of the Governing Body (ex-officio).

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Mrs Emily Scozzi

Mrs Scozzi is the Staff Governor for the Governing Body. End of term of office - 23 Sept 2021.