Information for Parents:
Below are thoughts on the position of education at Lanivet School and the wider community. These are issues which the Senior Management and Governing Body will seek to address through the year.
- We were graded ‘good with outstanding features’ in 2007. High standards were maintained so inspection was deferred to 2013 when we were again graded ‘good’.
- We do not expect inspection in the near future.
- Currently we assess children regularly against National Curriculum expectations, however, we have to create a new system in which there are no levels to assess against. It is unclear how inspections from September 2015 will assess standards within a school.
- Satisfactory has been replaced with the term ‘requires improvement’. Satisfactory is not good enough.
2. School future:
The school has to plan for the future in a situation in which the backdrop includes;
Local authority: The LA services are contracting rapidly. The LA is moving to a commissioning service with schools having to negotiate for their external services. Economies of scale in large group.
Budget: In 2010-11 we had major budget cuts with a loss of all funding for Extended Schools (£14,000), 1 to 1 tuition (£5,000) and most devolved capital (£21,000). Since then there have been further cuts. In 2013-14 we were the worst funded school of our size in Cornwall; one of only six schools, out of about 280, which received less than £4000 per pupil.
Pupil Premium: There is a new emphasis on additional funding for Free School Meals places. Cornwall LA officers recognize this is an urban tool, for recent surveys showed 1 in 6 families in rural areas live below the poverty line and rural families need to earn £2500 more to have the same standard of living as families in urban areas. Cornwall has amongst the lowest average salaries in Britain and has EU Objective 1 status yet is rated as an affluent area when free school meals are used as the tool to measure deprivation. As a school we encourage all parents to still apply for Free School Meals if eligible. All children receiving Pupil Premium funding will be given a new sweatshirt at the start of each academic year and will have focused support and intervention to enable them to excel.
Small school: With budget cuts small schools are increasingly vulnerable to closure. The Government and LA are encouraging schools to form partnerships to establish the economies of scale by which they remain viable. 20 years ago the Conservative Government stated small schools have less than 220 pupils, there has been no statement to change this figure.
Governors have investigated:
Federation: Since September 2013 Lanivet School has moved closer towards a federation with Cardinham School. Mr. Jelbert is executive head of both schools. Governors of both schools are monitoring the partnership and will consult with staff and parents before any decision to formalise the federation is made and this will only occur if there is positive feedback for a move to make the federation formal. http://www.cardinhamschool.co.uk/
Trust status: The Government has emphasized their desire all schools should move to trust status. The choice of trust includes federations, academy, cooperative trust and free schools. The school investigated co-operative trust status with 5 other Bodmin schools. Whilst retaining close links with this group, governors chose to defer the process for further investigation.
Academy: A number of local Academy chains have approached Lanivet to invite us into their chains. At present governors have chosen to wait till education policy becomes more clear after the next election. Some schools with standards below floor targets are having forced ‘academisation’ as a means to raise standards. Lanivet has maintained the highest standards in the area so have never been in this position.
Expansion: The School expanded to five classes in September 2012 then six classes in September 2014. The LA and Governing Body requested agreed our PAN (published admissions number) should be increased from 15 to 20. Well over 100 children have been turned away in the last five years.
Despite this we continue to have to refuse children places.
3. Classroom organization 2014-2015
Establishing an additional class has enabled us to reduce class sizes.
Class 1: Early Years P. Powell S Horsfield
Class 2: Y1 S. Keen & A. Bentley K. Holland
Class 3: Y2. D. Jones J. Dale
Class 4: Y3 M. Heard K. Fouracres
Class 4: Y4 + Y5 J. Phillips K. Verran
Class 5: Y5 + Y6 M. Doherty M. Birch
SEN TA Vacancy
With six classes it does mean there has to be a point in which an age group is split between to classes, currently this is in Year 5.
Classes will be registration groups; but may change for teaching groups to reflect pupil needs, maturity, achievement, social groupings etc… This will give staff greater flexibility in the way we teach.
Smaller classes will enable teachers to have more focused teaching and raise standards further through the following:
Time: Teachers and TAs will have more time supporting each group and to support individual needs (Special Needs, Gifted & Talented). Teaching Assistants are trained to deliver support programmes in Speech & Language, Reading, Physical needs and Maths. Timetabling to deliver these programmes will be considerably more effective.
English teaching: All English in EY, Y1, Y2 + Y3 will be taught through the Read, Write, Inc phonics scheme. Children will be taught in small groups of children with similar ability. They will not be taught as registration groups
Differentiation: Maths and English are always differentiated and taught in ability groups. In Class 4 & 5 maths and English will be taught in ability groups – children should expect to work with different groups in each subject. This enables increasingly focused and differentiated work to be taught.
Specialism: There will opportunities for specialist teaching with one teacher planning and teaching a subject for two classes. This has happened for a number of years with ICT and PE in Classes 5 & 6, and also occurs through the employment of a specialist music teacher and having teaching assistants qualified to as sports coaches in swimming, hockey and gymnastics.
Curriculum organization: Following national changes to the Curriculum for September 2014 we have adopted the LA written Inspire curriculum. This will be monitored to ensure we cover all aspects of the National Curriculum effectively and maintain our high standards of provision. At all times we will work to ensure equal access and opportunities for all children.
Planning: Class 5 & 6 teachers will have planning time together to ensure all Y5s have equal access to opportunities and to the curriculum.