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Impact Statement & Newsletters

Trustee Impact Report 2022/23

Vision

The Trustees of the Academy work alongside of 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 school does.

The Trustee Board reviewed both the Vision and Ethos, as well as the Values, and determined that these continue to reflect the culture of the school and remain relevant to our children today.

 

Organisation

The Trustee Board underwent a number of changes during the year, however the position at the end of academic year 2022-23 was:

6 Trustees, consisting of 3 parents and 3 co-opted.  These are in addition to our 3 members.

The Chair of Trustees is Mrs Clare Quinlisk.

The Vice-Chair of Trustees is Mrs Katy Tyrrell.

Our Co-Opted Trustees are:

Mr Peter Buckley
Mrs Katy Tyrrell
Mrs Deborah O’Toole Quinn

Our Parent Trustees are:

Mrs Clare Quinlisk
Mrs Jenny Legg
Ms Nava Flower

In a change from previous years, we now operate following a circular meeting structure, meaning the Board of Trustees meet monthly during term time to cover all areas of concern.  This has streamlined the board, reduced duplication and enabled us to progress items within a more timely manner.  The change was well received by Ofsted during their inspection this year.

Due to our academy status, we have maintained a separate Finance & Audit Committee.  This is led by Mr Peter Buckley.  This committee meets alongside the full board, however also has delegated responsibility for internal audit.

Our members join us annually.

All our Trustees work on a voluntary basis and have specific monitoring responsibilities that they conduct on behalf of the wider board.

Priorities for 2022-23

  1. Quality of Education

Following some significant changes and investments to the phonics and reading schemes in the previous academic year, trustees have continued to focus on the progress the pupils are making in these areas.  This is a two-year programme, and outcomes are currently looking good. The board are particularly focused on the lowest 20% of children, as we believe these children are the ones who have been most significantly impacted as a result of school closures during the pandemic.  Improved phonics and reading also has the positive impact of these children being better able to access the wider curriculum.  Data indicates that all the children identified as within the lowest 20% made at least expected progress.

It was identified that outcomes in writing do continue to need strengthening, and this will be a key priority for the forthcoming academic year. 

The Trustees were delighted to receive a comprehensive update from the Deputy Headteacher regarding a key piece of work on the overall cohesiveness of the curriculum, pulling together the excellent work already done by teachers within the Academy to ensure the school maximise all opportunities for knowledge to ‘stick’ and embed.  As a long term project, this will continue to be a focus for the trustees moving forwards, alongside further developing Subject Leadership within the Academy.

  1. Well-being and Therapeutic Behaviour Management

Thrive has been successfully launched and ran throughout the 22-23 academic year, with pupils demonstrating strong progress within identified areas.  This has been a significant area of investment, and Trustees are pleased to hear the first year has been successful.  Our Thrive practitioners continue to undergo training and development to support them within this key area.  Trustees will continue to monitor outcomes as the scheme now begins to roll out to the wider school and embed across the academy. 

Staff wellbeing has been reviewed and new policy launched during the year.  Trustees were delighted to be advised that the academy were nominated and won  ‘Well-Being School of the Year’, which demonstrated the huge progress made in this area, since the staff survey was issued last year.  All the staff within the Academy are critical to our success, so their well-being is crucial to enable the great learning to continue.    

Finance & Audit

The Finance & Audit committee continue to meet regularly, and as with all schools, increasing costs mean budgets are increasingly under pressure.  Whilst school reserves are currently in a positive position, falling pupil numbers in conjunction with increased costs means we may not be able to sustain this longer term.  Trustees plan to ringfence a proportion of the reserves to see us through the next two academic years, and also plan to open consultation in 22-23 to reduce the PAN numbers.  This reduces the risk of having to open up four classrooms (with all the associated costs) with low pupil numbers, which impacts the budget significantly. 

Internal scrutinies reviewed the current PAN, and reported to the Board on the financial risks vs advantages of maintaining or reducing this.  The Trustees were also keen to understand and ensure that Southwater Infant Academy will continue to offer sufficient places to children within the Village, and were reassured that this would be the case on projected numbers provided by West Sussex County Council.  Pupil attendance was also reviewed, and work continued on Cybersecurity, with an external audit taking place in Autumn term.

Other

Work on the Academy Improvement Plan for 2023-24 took place over the summer term with input from SLT, wider staff and Trustees.  This has been approved ready for next academic year, and the monitoring schedule aligned to this.

Focus for 2023-24

  • Improving outcomes in writing for KS1
  • Improve outcomes in communication and language for EYFS
  • Embed Thrive across the wider academy
  • Embed behaviour policy reflecting ‘ready, respectful, safe’

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