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Impact Statement & Newsletters

Trustee Impact 2020/21

Trustees Impact across the The Southwater Infant Academy

Vision 

The Trustees of the Academy work alongside the Senior Leaders of the school to ensure the Vision and Ethos are developed and delivered.  We are striving to nurture and develop our children from their own starting points to grow creative global citizens that aspire and achieve.  To achieve this, we use a creative curriculum, to support the development of core skills that are enriched with memorable experiences and opportunities. 

We also use our Values of Respect, Kindness and Honesty, alongside our Learning Powers of Resilience, Reflectiveness, Resourcefulness and Relationships.  These Values and Learning Powers interweave across everything the academy does. 

Organisation 

The Southwater Infant Academy has 11 Trustees, consisting of 3 parent trustees and 8 co-opted trustees.   We also have 3 members. 

The Chair of Trustees is Mr. Andrew Harker. 

The Vice-Chair of Trustees is Mrs. Clare Quinlisk. 

Our Co-Opted Trustees are: 

Mr. Andrew Harker 
Mr Peter Buckley 
Mr Jay Shekleton 
Mrs Claire Hurdle 
Mrs Agnieszka Mason 
Dr Steven Romans 
Mrs Katy Tyrell 
Mrs K Davis 

Our Parent Trustees are: 
Mrs. Clare Quinlisk 
Mrs. Jenny Legg 
Ms Nava Flower 

We operate 3 committees and these include: 

  • Resources, chaired by Clare Quinlisk, has delegated responsibility for people, premises and safeguarding. 
  • Curriculum, chaired by Aga Mason, has delegated responsibility for monitoring delivery and quality of the EYFS and KS1 curriculum, to include pupil progress and attendance. 
  • Finance and Audit, chaired by Andrew Harker, has delegated responsibility for financial governance and compliance, including authorisation of the annual budget statement and internal audit. 

We also meet termly as a full board, with our members joining us annually. 

Trustees have specific monitoring responsibilities that they conduct on behalf of the wider board. 

Impact of Covid 

Throughout lockdown, meetings continued to be held remotely, but with a focus on immediate priorities.  The Head, Chair and Vice-Chair met weekly to review latest government guidelines, assess the impact on the academy, make key decisions and ensure aspects such as the risk assessments were robust.  On-site monitoring was restricted during lockdown, however data continued to be reviewed where available as well as online meetings with appropriate staff members.  The board continued to monitor child welfare, including home learning and key worker provision.  During this time, the academy provided a critical role within the community, sign-posting parents and carers to wider support, ensuring all children had access to learning and supporting key workers.  The success of this was due to strong leadership by the Headteacher and tireless efforts from all the staff. 

Academy Improvement Plan 

Due to unprecedented times, the SIP was paused and focus was switched to: 

  • Remote learning and key worker/vulnerable child provision 

  • Risk assessments and safety for all children and staff 

  • Catch up provision for lost learning 

Trustees were updated on remote learning delivery, and how this differed across our year groups.  The academy was able to confirm it was regularly contacting children and families who may be struggling in uncertain times, and was providing resources for those who may not have access to laptops, stationery and internet. 

The Infant Academy were able to remain open for Key Worker children, and for children who may be considered vulnerable. 

Consideration was given to both the safety of the children, and the staff.  Staff who were unable to attend the academy site were effectively redeployed to support the remote learning offering.  A robust risk assessment was developed and regularly reviewed, with the inclusion of additional hand washing, deep cleaning of classrooms and introduction of bubbles were some of the key changes that were introduced. 

Trustees were able to meet remotely with year group teachers, to understand how they were identifying and closing gaps in learning due to lock-down.  It was useful for the Trustees to understand that the teachers were prioritising core skills required as a foundation for the following academic year.  One key gap that was identified was reading and phonics.   

The lock-down periods significantly impacted the programme for our transitioning pupils, including our new reception starters and year two moving onto the junior academy.  Adapted programmes were developed by the academy, working in conjunction with the Southwater Junior Academy and new parents, to ensure smooth transitions, whilst working within government guidelines and reducing the risk of exposure to Covid.  The trustees were satisfied that this programme was as robust as possible within the restrictions. 

Staffing and Senior Leadership 

To ensure the academy has strong and strategic leadership, changes were made to the Senior Leadership Team.  This team now consists of the Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher and a part time SENDco.  The separation of the Deputy and SENDco positions will enable more dedication to our children with special needs, whilst also providing more deputy leadership time to focus on longer term strategic plans over the next 3-5 years.  To enable this structure to be financially viable, the Assistant Head position was not replaced when vacant. 

The annual appraisal process was amended, as key data was unavailable.  A robust and fair process was carried out, using in-house data and teaching observations.  The individual appraisal goals for academic year 2021-22 were delayed until the start of the following academic year, to enable a greater understanding of the restrictions. 

Finance and Audit 

Trustees continued to monitor expenditure against budget, and whilst there were savings in some areas, additional and unexpected costs were incurred, particularly around additional PPE, cleaning materials, gas usage, and necessary pupil intervention groups to assist with curriculum catch up.  This resulted in a small revenue SURPLUS; however this will continue to be monitored through the following academic year as we continue to close gaps in academic progress. 

Other 

The new mobile classrooms were finalised, despite some delays due to Covid.  These are a great asset to the academy and provide a good quality learning environment for our pupils.  Due to the building work, focus will now be on resurfacing the playground and car park areas, including refreshing the playground markings.   

It has been noted that there has been an increase in behavioural issues across the academy, in part, we believe, due to the number of young people not able to access playgroups and nursery settings, and the ongoing impact of lockdowns on mental wellbeing.  This has been identified as a key focus for the academic year 2021-22.   

Priorities for 2021-2022 

  • Refocusing on the Academy Improvement Plan, as restrictions and lockdowns ease. 
  • Ensuring our disadvantaged learners make progress through effective and targeted provision. 
  • Moving to a therapeutic behavioural management approach, and strengthening our mental health support for pupils. 
  • Reviewing the reading and phonics provision to ensure strong outcomes are maintained. 

If you would like to get in touch with our trustees please contact: clerk@southwaterinfants.co.uk

Newsletters
 

Trustee News - February 2022
We are a voluntary group who work closely alongside senior leaders and teachers at the academy assisting and supporting with the academy strategy, and ensuring we are well positioned to off…
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