Week beginning 13th January 2020
It has been a busy week of meetings.
Mrs Clougher and I completed all of the appraisal meetings with our Teaching Assistants. The TA team has become a vital part of any school and class teachers have come to rely on them to support the learning of all children and to offer additional support to those who need it. We have been lucky that in these days of austerity, we have been able to maintain these staff and continue to receive their excellent support. Some schools within our authority have had to cut staffing in order to balance their books and I am afraid that these are the most vulnerable jobs in schools. I am optimistic that school budgets will be looking a little bit healthier next financial year and therefore we won’t have to consider such difficult decisions. I would like to thank the Teaching Assistants for all of their hard work and dedication to Ravenswood.
On Tuesday morning I went to a briefing with the Assistant Director of Education for Newcastle. He spoke positively about how our schools are working together to provide for all children across the city. One concern for him is that the city has poor attendance results compared to other areas in the UK. This is a subject that you all know is close to my heart. If a child misses school, then they are missing part of their education. All absences have an impact on learning and it is still our goal to have every child achieving at least 95% attendance in a year. This would mean no more than nine and a half days of absence in a year. We are working hard to get this message to all families. Please do everything that you can to help us achieve this.
On Wednesday, we had a Year 6 SATs meeting for parents. This was really well attended, so thanks to everyone who came along. Year 6 children should have received their order forms for SAT revision books. Please let your child’s teacher know if you didn’t get one of these as we are wanting to get the order sent away early next week.
On Thursday, the Governors’ Curriculum, Communication and Community Committee (I know it’s a bit of a mouthful!) met. We looked at expectations of Ofsted and shared some Science books, which everyone loved seeing. We also discussed how best to communicate with parents. I am going to spend some time understanding how the School Gateway system works and we hope that with a bit of support and information, we will be able to encourage more parents to use it. I will be blogging about this again soon.
And finally, I spent all of Friday with the other Ouseburn Learning Trust headteachers, discussing where we are as a group of schools and how best we can support each other. Since losing Heaton Manor as a member, the Trust is changing its organisation and Ravenswood is leading on a lot of this work. We are trying to make the work of the Trust more effective at a school level and less procedural. Part of this reorganisation was to no longer employ a Trust Manager and ask the headteachers to take more of a lead. There is a huge amount of great support work happening across our schools and one of our jobs is to communicate this to parents, which I hope we will be able to do in the near future.