Governors made many visits into school last term; learning walks in the classroom, as well as monitoring health and safety and finance policies. Our other main task was for admissions, with governors coming in to rank all the applications for places in September. As I mentioned in my update before Christmas, the policy for 2020/21 (which was published on our website in the first half of last term) sees the "bulge" class leaving Year 6 roll over into Reception, thus offering 60 places. Look out over the next two terms as we promote these places to the local community!
We also had a focus on communication, especially our own engagement with parents. For myself, it was great to speak with many of you at the parents' consultation evening in the first half of last term. I would also like to thank all those parents who responded to our recent governance survey; the results have been illuminating, and I look forward to sharing a summary with you once we have reviewed them in committee this week. Governors also enjoy following the school's Twitter feed which is a great way for us to learn more about the school when we're not able to visit in person.
Education budgets continue to be in the news, with National Governance Association following the lead of Headteachers to descend on Parliament in February. We can only hope that the Government takes notice of these committed professionals and volunteers, and looks to address the forecast budget shortfalls in the next comprehensive spending review.
Governors enjoyed attending our PTA's events this term, and we were delighted to hear that over £5000 has been raised so far this year. This wouldn't be possible without all the hard work of the PTA committee, those who help run events, and of course the parents and friends who support them. We can't stress enough how much difference this makes to the education of the children. Those of us who didn't have much luck at the recent Race Night were at least consoled with the thought that the children would still be winners!
Retirement of Mrs Wildey
The penultimate day of last term was a wonderful celebration of all that Mrs Wildey has given to St Catherine's over the last 20 years. We are very grateful that Bishop Paul, Fr Fortunato, Fr Pat and Fr Terkura were able to take time from their busy schedules to celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving. Governors were privileged to be invited, along with past and present staff, parents, pupils, and representatives of the Diocese and Local Authority. We send Mrs Wildey every best wish for a long and joyful retirement.