The challenge and support from St Ann’s School Committee, and through the way in which they hold leaders to account has resulted in strong pupil achievement. Although the end of year SATs did not take place in 2019-20 due to Covid-19, at the end of KS2 this year attainment in Reading would have increased by 16% (13% at the higher standard), attainment in Writing would have been in line at both the expected and higher standard (excluding the child who transferred to St Ann’s one week prior to the school closure), and the percentage of pupils achieving the combined standard would have increased by 9%, and been the highest in at least a 4 year period. Out of the 17 pupils who were Working Towards at KS1 in Maths, 7 had made accelerated progress and achieved the expected standard at the end of KS2. At KS1, attainment would have increased across all subjects at the expected standard, and would have been the highest in a four-year period. 90% were predicted to achieve the expected standard in the Y1 Phonics Screening Check (a 4% increase on the previous year) and 80% would have achieved a Good Level of Development in the EYs (in line with the previous year).
Renewal of Basic Skills Quality Mark
The school has been revalidated for the Basic Skills Quality Mark for the next three years. Evidence was gathered from various sources, including interviewing members of the School Committee. The report evidenced the impact of the work undertake since the two-day review (September 2019). The audit identified that all development points from the previous visit had been achieved. Numerous areas of good practice were recognised with the following being identified as key strengths:
- Accurate identification of school improvement priorities due to robust self-evaluation
- High level of professional dialogue leading to swift action to address areas for improvement such as the new format for reading comprehension in Key Stage 2 and continuing professional development linked to the Writing Journey
- High level of professional support for all members of staff
- Wealth of enrichment opportunities
- Consistency of displays in all classrooms
In order to respond to a staff audit about leadership and management, workload and well-being, the School Committee recommended establishing a mixed staff working party. The staff who volunteered to form the working party agreed the success criteria for areas identified for improvement. Following the response from the working party, senior leaders agreed actions to be taken during the course of the year. The impact of actions undertaken will be assessed following the next staff audit.
Understanding of Role of School Committee
This year, through participating in training, School Committee members have developed their understanding of their role and delegated responsibilities from the board of Directors in line with the Scheme of Delegation. This has enabled committee members to discharge all their statutory duties and to feel confident in challenging senior leaders, by asking probing questions and holding them to account.
The School Committee offered both support and challenge concerning the implementation of a revised Attendance Policy and related procedures. Unfortunately, the impact of which was not realised as a result of the Covid 19 school closure. Evidence does suggest however that the profile and importance of good school attendance among parents/ carers was raised. The full impact will be realised in a year’s time.