January 2022 Blog Kate Lee Chair of Governors

Date: 5th Apr 2022 @ 3:51pm

Happy New Year to you all! We are hoping 2022 will be a brave new year, however, the Omicron variant is dominating the focus across the country, with disruption occurring once again. This is a deep concern to all of us in education - the continuity of our children’s schooling is vital, moreover, for it to take place in school, for the best outcomes to be achieved, especially for children’s mental health. 

In light of this the school, as always, has contingency plans should there be multiple staff absence, with virtual whole class teaching being the last resort. Any child (very few at the time of writing) are currently isolating, however, they are able to access the work and class virtually, due to the investment made to ensure any child away from the physical classroom, is still very much included with his/her class, enabling continuity of learning and contact. 

It is almost two years since we have lived with this pandemic - an unprecedented situation for which schools and the nation have had to cope. From the start, BHA have listened and worked with our stakeholders - parents, children, staff and governors, to ensure all comments and suggestions have been considered to provide the best possible outcomes for our children. The school has been at the forefront of technological innovations to provide remote learning, investing in laptops and iPads for children’s personal use, updating staff laptops and setting expected standards whether working in school or from home. This has resulted in little slippage in learning; in fact, results are impressive despite the uncertain times. 

Parent voice is very important to us. Parents can choose which school they send their children to, so their opinion of the school is an aspect we take very seriously. To aid this communication link, we have a Parent Forum, where parents from each year group represent the rest of the parents, gathering others’ opinions before each meeting, usually using the focus sent to all parents through the parent questionnaire, prior to the forum meeting. 

This group of parents is a different role to those parents who are governors. Parent governors are not elected to represent their stakeholder group, but are elected in order to contribute to the work of the governing board in ensuring high standards of achievement for all children in the school, contributing to strategic discussion, holding senior leaders to account by monitoring school performance and ensuring money is well spent. All individuals governing on the board are elected or appointed with one common purpose – to govern the school in the best interest of the children.

Therefore, parent governors are not elected to voice parents’ opinion or their own personal circumstances of their own children; this voice comes through the parent forum. It is an official meeting with terms of reference and agreement (which can be found on the website). School updates are given by the Principal, COVID now being a standard agenda item; then a discussion is held regarding parents' comments from the questionnaires, followed by any other discussions members wish to raise. It is not a moaning forum but a constructive discussion or debate on a variety of issues, which may originate from a particular concern or observation, which has resulted in positive direction for moving forward. For example, the last minutes illustrate:

‘There was lots of discussion surrounding the school becoming more environmentally aware and energy efficient and forum members were keen to explore avenues to support this through funding projects and other initiatives. It was explained by JL that school had experience of this in the past but that it had not been financially viable to do so at the time given the initial outlay to fund such projects had meant spending large sums of school budget which would take too long to recoup ether financially or through other benefits. KL supporting this by reiterating that as public money funded schools, it was required to be spent on the current cohort of children to fund their education and provide opportunities for them.

JL reiterated his commitment to becoming greener at school, and stated that before larger scale projects were sought, it would be best to develop this attitude as part of the school culture and raise awareness in each and every child of the importance of being more environmentally friendly, so that this could be carried on year after year by BHA children even when they had left school.’

This example illustrates the broader aspect of education initiated by our parents. I am sure the school will be looking to invest in this, particularly following COP 26. This example also shows the importance of having a member from the governing body on the forum, to help support where such initiatives if or when taken to the board. 

I find it a very interesting, interactive and valuable meeting and am delighted to be part of it. I would like to thank all the parents who generously give their time to sit on the forum and help our school move forward. 

Kate Lee

Chair of Governors

Happy to hear from you!

Boughton Heath AcademyBeckett's Lane, Chester, CH3 5RW

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Admin Officers

Who We Are

We are proud to be a part of
Cheshire Academies Trust.

Acting Executive Headteacher | Jon Lenton

Acting Head of School | Sally Sumnall

Chair of Governors | Kate Lee

SENDCO | Susan Gell