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ST PETER’S SCHOOL GOVERNORS

NEWSLETTER MARCH 2018

ADMISSIONS NEWS

 

Following the admission of 60 Reception children in September 2016, we only admitted 45 children this year. The Governors are in urgent discussion with the County and It seems that it may now be possible to admit more than this in 2018, depending on the resolution of those discussions. The position will be clear in mid-April, leaving enough time for planning.

 

THANKS

 

I must pay tribute to those who worked so hard to keep the School open during the bitter weather occasioned by the “Beast from the East”. We believe we were the only school (or one of very few!) open during the week of February 26thand again on the week of March 14th – 16th. This was only possible through the outstanding work of a few people, led by Mr Gunn and especially supported by Andy Rose as a volunteer and Errol, our Site Manager. We were also indebted to the Crossing patrols, who turned up in appalling conditions to try to ensure our children’s safety. It is very sad to have to report that Gerry and Brenda will not be returning. I am aware that many parents have sought information and sent cards etc to them. They will be very much missed, not just for their actual work but for their cheerfulness in carrying out a very difficult job, poorly paid, with exemplary dedication and good humour. They were much loved and will be much missed. It would be really good if we could extend our volunteers as, having attended a meeting with Essex CC tonight, I learned that, across the County, there is a review of this service and little likelihood of replacement of any vacant post “any time soon”. Please see “Parking” below for more on this.

 

GOVERNOR UPDATES

 

We have continued our programme of Governor Visits to monitor progress on all of our Priorities. We will have our next School Development day on Maundy Thursday, March 29th. I have met the School Council, who play a significant part in the Day, on 3 occasions and they were full of ideas!

 

Carole Robertson, who has been our Administrative Officer (and right hand woman!) for many years, agreed to take on the Clerk role in September. She is doing a magnificent job – thanks Carole.

 

SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

 

My continuing thanks to all of you who continue to support the wonderful School Association in raising the funds to allow us to remain an Outstanding school. I do not say this lightly as it is the additional funds which the Association brings to the school, which enable us to offer provision which is rich, varied and appropriate. The monthly tuck shop continues to thrive and there are always new ideas, such that we appear to be well on target to raise unbelievable sums yet again! I must again pay tribute to the work of Vicky Dorrington (Chair) and Kim Johnson (Vice Chair) and their team during this academic year. I cannot speak highly enough of the value of the work all the parents do in supporting your children’s school so well. THANK YOU.

 

PARKING

 

Matters do seem to be improving and I am clear that the vast majority of parents park really sensibly. However, there continue to be a few selfish parents who think that the strategies which assist most people are not relevant to them. It is perhaps human nature that the Church provision is taken for granted and abused but sad that this should be the case at our school. However, we still have irresponsible parking on Wigley Bush Lane, endangering the lives of our children. This is further exacerbated by the fact that we are currently unable to “police” both crossings at all times, as I indicate above. Further volunteers would be very welcome – training and a free uniform (with a very fetching hat) are provided. I would also remind people that we do also have free parking at drop off and pick up at the cricket ground car park of Weald Park. Vouchers are still available from the School Office and are valid until July 2018.  It is vital that parents make efforts to collect these vouchers. We hope to be able to make some small changes to upgrade the path in the near-ish future. Please also think about using the walking bus and take note of occasions when the church is using the church car park. Particular dates to note are the fourth Thursday of each month when “Thursday at Two” meets from 2pm to 4 pm. This caters for some 25 of our older members of the congregation, who may not be entirely aware of the needs of parents. In short, please think carefully about the needs and safety of us all.

 

FINALLY – EASTER 2018 AND MR GUNN

 

As I write, on Wednesday March 21st (Vernal Equinox!), we are still seemingly just emerging from winter. However, I did manage to make the Dress Rehearsal of “Daniel”. Yet again, your children excelled themselves. I had to remind myself that these were children, some of whom were still only 7 years old and yet coming up with a Performance that would have done credit to Year 6 in most schools. Superb work all of you, especially the lead “Governors, King Darius and Daniel himself”! We will move on to Holy Week, Spring Stars and then Easter itself. I can reflect on another splendid Term, with Education Sunday on January 21stparticularly memorable for the level of involvement of the children!

 

Lastly but perhaps most deserving of all, I am delighted to report that Mr Gunn was selected as Essex Headteacher of the Year earlier this term, Very well done!

 

I feel both very proud and very humble to be in my 9th year as Chair of Governors. It’s a wonderful school in which to be involved!

 

I do hope that you have a refreshing and reflective Holy Week, Easter and some holiday time with the family and your remarkable children!

 

 

Chris Luck Chair of Governors

March 21st   2018

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