Bulge class update
As you know, we announced that the school will accept an additional reception class for 2013/2014 for the reasons set out in the school’s letters of 13th February and 25th February. Our decision reflected the increasing demand for places at the school and would also bring financial benefits at a time of funding cuts and financial uncertainties. We always realised that this would raise concerns with parents/carers but felt on balance that it was the correct decision for the whole school.
Since we announced our decision many parents/carers have been in touch to express their views – both in favour and against. We also held a Parents’ Forum last week to provide more information about the decision and to allow parents/carers the opportunity to ask questions and express their views.
Those of you who attended the Parents’ Forum will have heard why we think the decision makes sense but also will have heard some parents/carers (and prospective parents) tell us that they are very concerned about some of the implications of the decision. As governors, we felt it was important to listen to all points of view and therefore agreed to meet and discuss these at our full Governing Body meeting last night.
Whilst we continue to believe that admitting an additional class is still the correct decision, we do understand why some parents/carers have genuinely held concerns. We have therefore decided that we should defer the additional class until September 2014. Whilst acknowledging that deferring the additional class will increase the financial pressure on the school in the intervening year, in deciding to postpone we took into account the following:
- Any prospective parent/carer viewing the school for a place in Reception would be made aware of the additional class before they submitted their application.
- The school needs to update its ICT provision this year and we are committed to replacing the current outdated computer suite with classroom-based integrated ICT provision. We feel it is essential for supporting the curriculum and to keep our children’s ICT skills current. Staff and pupils will therefore be able to adapt to utilising the new equipment next year through a combination of in-class and ICT suite use.
- This deferral will allow the school to test their proposed smarter timetabling through ‘mock simulation scenarios ‘ throughout the year. This will allow the staff to identify any areas that may need reviewing or further work. This further level of detail will also help to reassure parents/carers.
- We appreciate the many offers of help from parents during this process, particularly with regards to raising funds. The school has always been well supported by the tremendous work of the PTA which has provided valuable funds for many years. During the next academic year we will be delighted to explore any new, additional ideas from parents, particularly those generating long-term sustained income, and we are looking at starting an initiative in this respect next term. More details will be provided shortly, along with other ways that parents/carers can be involved.
We understand and share some of the concerns that have been raised by parents/carers, and acknowledge that there will always be some parents opposed to the concept. This is a time of financial uncertainty and austerity and difficult decisions must be taken that will enable us to provide sustainable high levels of teaching and resources for all the children in the school as well as protecting our most valued asset, the staff.
We are very aware that parents share our passion about the success of the school. Our only interest is to do everything we can to protect and enhance the education and experience of all children at the school, which also means protecting our funding position.
We will keep parents/carers updated with financial and implementation developments starting in the summer term.
We thank you for your input and would like to thank the many parents/carers who have supported the school. We hope this will continue through these challenging times.
Mrs. Tricia Spedding
Chair of Governors
Mrs. Shirley Clench
Vice-Chair of Governors