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Flying Bull

Governor's Blog - Bill Webber

An update from our Vice Chair of Governors

We have now entered the second term of the academic year which feels like a good time to give a little insight into activities as a school governor at The Flying Bull Academy.

This is the beginning of the fourth year of my tenure as a governor and I have learnt that a key part of the role is to help where you can but make sure that you do not get in the way of the smooth running of the school. At the same time governance (the clue really is in the job title) is to bring an independent overview and monitoring of key areas of the every day running of the school and is a key part of the role. But, as previously stated, we must always remember that the teachers and staff are the professionals and we governors are there to help, not hinder.

I was pleased, at the beginning of the current academic year, to be asked to chair the Finance and Resources Sub-Committee, which hopefully takes a little of the weight of responsibility from our very capable Chair of Governors Mike Swann. People such as Mike bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team, putting in a lot of personal time, while also juggling this with a very demanding day job and people with those characteristics should never be taken for granted.

The Finances + Resources Sub-Committee deals with reviewing all aspects of the financial health of the school, ensuring that all budgets are spent wisely and to the maximum benefit of the pupils and staff. The Governing Body is fully focussed on ensuring that short, medium and long term plans are fully funded and budgets are allocated always with this in mind. The Business Manager provides detailed reports and these are reviewed and endorsed at the meetings.

Another function of the F+R Committee is to review all reports, plans, policies and procedures for relevance, including updating as necessary, which are fundamental to the smooth and structured running of the school. An area of particular importance is the maintenance of "The Central Record" which seeks to ensure that all adults who work within and for the school are accredited with all the relevant DBS checks and certification, as there is nothing more important than doing everything possible to ensuring the safety of all pupils and staff. Prior to each meeting, I review the process and documentation with the school Business Manager, who takes this whole activity very seriously indeed. But I would remind everyone that no process is 100% guaranteed against the truly determined therefore it is the responsibility of all, involved in the life of the school, to be constantly vigilant and report any concerns that they may have.

I attended the school on the day when the theme was around "Homelessness in the Community" and spent some time with Y5, who debated many of the causes of homelessness. They then enacted many of the aspects that contributed to people ending up on the street or in hostels. The children's ability to differentiate cause and effect was very impressive, and the way they took it so seriously was very commendable. I then joined the Y3 classes who had the task of putting together food parcels for homeless families and they recognised the need to not only provide food but also include some small gift for any children within those families. A very sensitive subject which I thought was handled with compassion and common-sense.

I visited the school once again, on the first day back after the Christmas break, to sit in on the pupil progress review for Y3 (I am the designated governor for that year group) attended by the Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher, plus the two class teachers. This is no five minute tick in the box exercise and takes a number of hours to review the capabilities of the 59 pupils in that year. Strengths and areas for greater focus, for each child, are discussed in some detail and form the basis of action plans for improvement. I have joined in a number of such reviews in previous years and am always impressed by the desire of all those involved to do the very best they can to help each child reach their full potential.

That is all from me for now, but I hope it gives an insight into some of the "behind the scenes" work that seeks to help the school in reaching its aims and goals.