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Governors

The Board of Governors work tirelessly throughout the year to support the school.

The Full Governing Body meets five times a year. There is also a range of sub-committees which meet twice per term to oversee the progress made with the school development plan, the implementation of our various policies and to help determine the strategic direction of Furze Platt Senior School.

Welcome message from our Chair of Governors  - October 2020
 

Since my last article in the school's newsletter so much has happened but the most important is that the school has re-opened to welcome back existing students as well as new ones.

The School has done an amazing job of making this re-opening work effectively and had to adapt to a very new way of operating amidst challenging circumstances. Full credit for this goes to Dr Morrison, the SLT and all the teaching, support staff and site personnel.

 

Our students have missed out on so much since lockdown earlier this year and it was so important for their mental and physical wellbeing to get them back to the school environment.

It is of course frustrating and disappointing for them that the school’s great selection of extra-curricular clubs and activities remain curtailed for the moment but I know the school will start to re-open these as soon as it is safe and prudent to do so.

 

I usually have the opportunity to welcome new parents in person, particularly Year 7  and always look forward to this event. Unfortunately circumstances have conspired against being able to do this face to face so I am afraid for now I will have to stick to the medium of the written word. Firstly to all new FPSS parents, whichever year group, thank you for choosing Furze Platt and entrusting us with your son or daughter’s education.

We never forget you have a choice or take it for granted, every student matters and by joining the school they and you have become part of a great community. A community which is committed to helping them; learn, develop, grow, try new things and leave the school well equipped to seize life’s opportunities and make the most of their potential.

 

For Year 7 students and parents the change from a Junior/Primary school environment to a Senior school one is huge. Moving from a smaller school where you know everyone to a much larger campus and knowing probably only a handful of people from the previous school is daunting for the whole family. Parents in particular please do take the opportunity to get involved when you can and covid rules allow.

Our fantastic team of parent volunteers on the PTFA (click here for details) always need more help and support and do an excellent job of raising much needed funds and would love to hear from you.  

If you are interested at any stage in becoming a governor do get in touch with me through the school (click here for details) and we can talk further about the role and what is involved.

I also usually have the opportunity to welcome new staff to the school, congratulate them on their excellent choice and wish them well with their careers here. So a warm welcome to you all from Governors, we hope you really enjoy your time here and make a real difference to our students and your careers.

 

School Governance has of course continued throughout the lockdown and we have had to adapt to Zoom meetings instead of face to face ones. Our agendas have remained as full as ever and we have been kept in the loop on the day to day operational issues and the impact of covid on them.

I recently sneaked a preview of the new Theatre and it is a fantastic space and facility which will make such a difference to the school community. I am very much looking forward to seeing it being used and us being able to get together again as a community.

In the meantime I hope you and your families are managing and continue to stay safe and well.

 

Gavin Tisshaw, Chair of Governors

FPSS Governors Annual Statement to Parents - July 2020 

This academic year has been a mixed one for all of us but despite the Coronavirus challenges it has remained one in which both the school and the governance surrounding it have been able to move forward successfully.

We have been particularly impressed with how well the school responded to the pandemic and the rigour with which it has undertaken to keep our students and staff safe. The ongoing provision of education to our students has been challenging but the school staff have done everything possible to ensure the continuation of a meaningful and worthwhile education.

Our 5 year Strategic Plan has now been finalised (see the school website) and Year 1 priorities have been firmly embedded in the latest School Development Plan.

A Governance Development Plan is also in place and regularly reviewed to monitor our progress and effectiveness as a governing body.

We have a strong and developing team of Governors in place with a wide range of skillsets who are able to hold the school to account and ask challenging questions when needed. However, it is vital that we continue to strengthen these skills by ongoing training and effective succession planning.

A Parent Governor election was held in the Autumn and resulted in the appointment of 3 new governors, Roberto DaSilva, Emily Tomalin and Janet Fitzgibbon. Unfortunately we are shortly losing Michele Scott and Hugh Boulter who have both played an integral and valuable role on our governing body during their respective terms in office.

Our main committees meet regularly throughout the year and our respective Chairs have provided a brief summary of their activities.

Pupils & Parents

The Pupils & Parents Committee acts as the link between pupils, parents and the governing body. The student leadership team has continued to attend meetings to ensure that pupils’ voices are heard. Throughout the year the committee has also invited key staff members along to discuss plans and review progress. Discussions this year have included issues such as attendance, extra-curricular activities and provision for our most vulnerable students. This year the school launched ACHIEVE and one of this committee’s roles has been to monitor the progress of this ethos and how well it is being assimilated into all aspects of school life. One of the main policies the committee oversees is the Behaviour for Learning Policy. This year the policy has been rewritten and its new title, the Relationship Policy, reflects a change of emphasis towards building relationships with students, understanding what might be behind certain behaviours and putting in place systems which allow students to make reparation where necessary. Recently committee meetings have inevitably focussed on school provision during lockdown and plans for opening in September.

Staffing

The Staffing Committee meets three times per year. Our purpose is to oversee policies and strategic aspects of school life relating to personnel matters and staff development. We have been very conscious of staff wellbeing, particularly over the past few months where life at school has changed rapidly and have discussed restrictions and provisions in place to ensure the demands of staff are balanced. We have been impressed with the commitment of all staff during this time and applaud their adaptation and innovation with the changing circumstances.

Professional development is key to ensuring that our students continue to receive the very best provision, whether it is during partial closure or when students are fully back onsite. We have heard how staff are continuing to access quality professional learning and have been able to take advantage of the vast array of professional development available online. 

We are pleased that despite restrictions imposed due to Coronavirus, we have been able to recruit, interview and confirm new staff for September. We are delighted that we currently have a full teaching team in place for September. 

Our teacher training programme, in conjunction with other secondary schools in Maidenhead, has been successful again this year, with trainees securing NQT roles for September at Maidenhead schools and new trainees starting their training in September.

Teaching & Learning

The purpose of the Teaching and Learning Committee is to ensure our school provides high quality teaching and learning. 

Earlier in the academic year we reviewed the impact of the Pupil Premium funding from the government. Funding is provided to support eligible students to access all aspect of school life. We are pleased to see the outcomes improving for these students as strategies are developed year on year. Further details of the impact review can be found on our website as well as the strategy for this year.

We monitor the progress students are making at each stage of their time at FPSS through committee meetings and Raising Standards Leaders (RSL) meetings. This enables governors to understand the strategies where additional support may be required for prevention and intervention as well as for stretch and challenge to ensure that all students succeed at FPSS, no matter their starting point.

Since March, much of our time has been spent understanding the government guidelines and advice for schools and keeping abreast of the ongoing provision for all students whether at home or in school, as well as the process for exams and assessment this year. 

We are delighted that students have the opportunity to engage with GCSE Pod to enhance their learning, and have been very impressed with the activities that students have been undertaking during their time at home recently such as the weekly Food Tech challenge, volunteering in the community, house challenge, music, design and art projects, green activities, charity work and fundraising. Above all, we are impressed with how students have been engaging with their learning, seeking new learning opportunities and how well they have adjusted to these circumstances.

Resources

The resources committee had a busy year, aside from ongoing budget monitoring and policy reviews we finalised the specifications and funding for both the new teaching block and the new hall, both of which will be state of the art facilities that will enrich the school and local community for many years to come.

Thanks are due to the PTFA who raised over £36,000 towards this project and all those who were able to support them in this journey. 

We have also been advancing development of the school’s IT strategy to ensure we are using IT to its fullest capability to enrich teaching and learning in school and at home. Our IT and computing teams’ recent excellent rapid response to the lockdown gives us confidence that we are building on a great foundation for the future.

Governance

This committee comprises the Chair and Vice Chair of governors together with the Chairs of the respective committees. Its broad purpose is to ensure; cohesion and best practice between committees, best use of governor skillsets, monitoring and review of processes and effectiveness, succession planning and maintaining the distinction between strategic and operational issues.

The Committee has continued to ensure; every aspect of best practice governance is maintained, greater levels of collaborative working between governors and staff (in particular through the Raising Standards process) and the continuing evolution of the long term strategy for the school.

Summary

Governors were delighted to see the culmination of many years of hard work come to fruition as the new teaching block was formally opened by Teresa May in January. We are also very much looking forward to the new hall being handed over to the school by the builders so that it can be properly fitted out for use later in the new academic year. It offers many opportunities within our school and the local community and will be a huge asset for our students.

Finally, we would like to thank parents for the ongoing commitment, support and understanding they have shown to the school during the pandemic crisis.

 

Gavin Tisshaw MSc

Chair of Governors


       

Furze Platt Senior School Governing Body 

The Governing Body works in a committee structure. Governors are members of the full governing body and belong to one or more committee, depending on their skills, experience and interests.

Committees 

Teaching & Learning (T&L)

Pupil & Parents (P&P)

Governance

Resources

Staffing

Governing Body as of January 2020

Name

Position

Appointing Body

Date of appointment

End date/

Leaving date

Committee

Mr Gavin Tisshaw

Member/Chair of Governors

FGB

26/09/2018

25/09/2022

Resources

Governance

Dr Andrew Morrison

Member/Headteacher

FGB

01/09/2018

 

All

Hugh Steed Vice Chair of Governors FGB 26/09/2018 25/09/2022

Chair Resources

Chair Governance

Staffing

Mr Michael Clayton

Governor

FGB

19/05/2016

18/05/2020

Resources,

Staffing

 

Mrs Katie Donnison

Governor

FGB 27/09/2017 26/09/2021

Chair T & L

Chair Staffing

 P & P

Governance

Mrs Jacqui Edwards

Parent Governor

Parents

07/10/2019

06/10/2023

T & L

P & P

Mrs Laraine Holdsworth

Governor

FGB

24/09/2020

23/09/2024

T & L

Roger Smith

Governor

FGB

27/09/2017

26/09/2021

Resources,

Staffing

Jo Lackovic

Staff Governor Staff 09/05/2019 08/05/2023

T & L

Resources

Diane Flood

Governor (Co-opted) FGB 27/09/2017 26/09/2021

Chair P & P

Governance

Lucy Naylor Staff Governor Staff 24/09/2020 23/09/2024  
Shane Woodhatch Governor (Co-opted) FGB 09/07/2019 08/07/2023 Resources
Yvette Shervell Governor (Co-opted) FGB 09/07/2009 08/07/2023 P & P
Roberto Da Silva    Parent Governor           Parents   07/10/2019  06/10/2023        P & P
 Janet Fitzgibbon   Parent Governor           Parents    07/01/2019  06/10/2023       T & L
Emily Tomalin   Parent Governor           Parents   07/01/2019  06/10/2023    Resources

Pecuniary interests:  No Governors declared pecuniary interests. 

No governors declared a governorship at another school