Introduction

The Board held its second meeting of the year on April 4th.

Property changes

Many of you will have seen the progress being made in the remedial work to some of our classrooms, this is on track for completion prior to the start of Term 2, meaning that the students that have been temporarily accommodated will be able to settle back into their classrooms.

The next phase of these repairs is the Room 19-21 block; the start date for this hasn’t been confirmed yet but it should take place in Term 2. This will mean some more short term temporary housing of classes at some stage.

In the meantime, the Board is starting on a longer-term property vision, to encompass the modernisation of the rest of the school buildings. We visited one of the nearby primary schools earlier this term to look at some of their recent projects – one of the nice aspects of the education sector is the tremendous collaboration between schools. There is a great willingness to share knowledge and experience which is a bit foreign to those of us from the business sector, where it’s not always the case. To progress this vision, we have got a property “wish list” from the senior management team and will start to compile that into a project terms of reference with which we can ultimately brief some design and building professionals.

We have also tried to be the squeaky wheel to get more attention and funding from central government. We have written directly to the new Minister for Education and received a visit from the local electorate MP who has lobbied the Minister on the school’s behalf. Our message to the government has been that our plans to modernise are constantly being stymied by the need to address more urgent repair and maintenance items; as a result, our bigger projects are not getting the funding or priority they require.

Unfortunately, these approaches haven’t gained any traction, the responses are formulaic and very non-committal. Put in the context of the wider infrastructure issues and spending priorities being addressed by the new government, it’s fair to say that we are not expecting any windfalls of extra funding.

Uniform Review

One of the policies that is regularly reviewed by the Board is the school uniform policy. This includes the contract we have in place to source uniform items, and our pricing. We have just started this work, which will include a tender to test the current market to ensure we are getting the best combination of value and quality for each item. We’ll report back to you in due course.

PTS

Following on from the suggestions boxes used at the Meet the Teacher evening, there have been a couple of meetings of interested parents, plus the Principal and representatives from the BOT and PTS. We are getting some more clarity on what has been working, and what has not been working, and we are developing a new plan to clarify the objectives of the PTS (both fund-raising and friend-raising), and trying new structures to ensure we get enough parent input to be able to deliver regular school events.

We’re very grateful and pleased to announce that Charlotte Houghton has volunteered to act as Co-ordinator for the PTS for the next six months, which will be a great time to test some new ideas and try and develop a model which is sustainable in the long term.

Board Contact Details

You can find the email contact details for Board of Trustee members at the following link; //victoriaave.com/bot/