Welcome from the Chair of Governors

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Rachael DownsI joined the Governing Body last year and have thoroughly enjoyed being part of a team who are centered around the best interests of the children, parents and staff at Bells Farm. I am thrilled to have been nominated, and then elected, as Chair of Governors and I am confident that the Governing Body has an excellent skill set to fulfill its role.

I want to take a moment to thank Jill Hughes for her term as Chair of Governors. Jill has worked with great enthusiasm and dedication, alongside Mrs Butterworth and the other Governors, to support the enriched learning experience and environment provided for all pupils at the school. We are pleased that Jill will continue as a member of the Governing Body and will continue to be a familiar face around the school, as well as being the designated Safeguarding Governor.

The Governing Body, which is made up of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, has a strategic role in the school. The key functions are:

● To ensure the school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction
● To set policies for achieving the aims and objectives
● To work with the headteacher to set targets to ensure a quality education
● To carefully monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achieving the goals
● To support and challenge the school around both educational performance and financial performance

Using the skill set of the Governors as a strength, we have developed four committees. These are; Pay and Staffing, Finance and Resources, Safeguarding and SEND and Curriculum and Standards. The three main committees meet each half term, with members of staff, to monitor and discuss the progress of the School Development Plan and report back to all the governors, via a full Governing Body Meeting, again held every half term.

Having been a class teacher and Senior Leader at Birmingham schools for the past 17 years, I specialise in Pupil Premium Fund spending, alongside standards, data and assessment in schools and as such I am the designated Governor this funding. My role is to provide challenge to the school to ensure that all disadvantaged pupils reach their full potential.

The Governing Body is committed to providing constructive challenge to the school in order to evaluate the standard of education the pupils receive. Each member recognises the trust parents place in the school they send their children to and will engage actively through regular meetings and visits to ensure each pupil can achieve their absolute best in a positive environment.

My aim is to be a visible presence in school and I look forward to meeting you all. Please do come and chat to me when I am in school or contact me via the School Office or Mrs Butterworth if you would like to.

Best wishes
Rachael Downs
Chair of Governors