We are writing to you with an update as we approach the end of the first year as our newly formed College. We have had to deal with many changes, some have been exclusively about the forming of our new school, whilst others have been national, such as planning and delivering new exam courses and guiding our students through these. We would like to thank all the hard working and dedicated staff for their continued hard work and the support of all the parents whom we have met and spoken with over the course of the year. Your feedback has been invaluable in shaping our school and our continuing evolution. Most importantly we must give credit to our students who have worked extremely hard and have dealt with all the changes.
New pathway and fencing
With regards to the new pathway and fencing, we learnt during the course of the year that specific movement times were extremely congested. We therefore extended the width of the pathway and erected fencing alongside it to stop students walking on the grass. This has proved to be very positively received by our students, who now have more room to move between the two sites and has also created additional distinct spaces to use at break and lunchtimes. Our site security has also been increased. Our key focus in all this work has been the safeguarding of all our students.
Schools all across the Country are expressing their deep concerns about school funding and the impact on school budgets.
As a College, we have had a huge reduction in our income due to a number of cuts which includes reductions in sixth form funding, a reduction in the level of grants given by the Department for Education and a 1% cut on school funding imposed by the Local Authority.
In addition, we have had additional costs imposed on us by the Government. These include increases in employer pension contributions, increases in National Insurance contributions and annual pay awards.
The total impact of all of this has had to be managed without the required level of additional funding. The Department of Education is fully aware that schools across the country are facing a serious financial crisis, but as yet has failed to address these concerns or indeed, publicly acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.
A recent survey indicated that 92% of secondary schools either have a deficit budget or will move into a deficit position within the next two years.
Countesthorpe Leysland Community College would have been in a position of having a deficit budget if we had not been through our recent Staffing restructure. This has been an incredibly difficult time within the College. Regrettably, we have found ourselves in a position on having to make staffing cuts. Whilst the loss of colleagues who have made a significant contribution to the College is unfortunate, we are confident we have the depth of talent within our existing staff to deliver quality provision.
We have acted promptly in response to the changes in funding. We have had no option but to reduce our teaching and support staff budget to ensure we do not have a deficit. We have also had to look at our curriculum offer and ensure that we can deliver a broad and balanced curriculum. As part of this process along with many other schools, we have had to reduce the time allocated to A level subjects, increase the average class size, consider removing some subjects from our post-16 offer and to review our financial commitment to non-academic aspects of the organisation e.g. sports, Arts etc. None of which we are happy to do, but we have to ensure the long term viability of the College within the financial constraints imposed upon us.
We are working tirelessly to avoid the continued funding crisis preventing us offering a wide and diverse range of experiences for students.
We are well into the exam season now and students from Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 have all been working extremely hard preparing for and sitting their exams.
We wish all the students taking their exams the very best of luck. The other year groups will be doing their final assessments for the year during this half term, so it is important that they prepare for them in order that they achieve their best.
As many of you know, the examination system is going through a vast number of changes and this year’s results cannot and should not be compared with those of previous years. The new grading system was introduced explicitly to avoid that. A summary of the many changes at GCSE and A level can be found at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual.
It is important that all students continue to attend College every day as evidence shows that attendance is linked to achievement.
Parents of Year 10 Students
Students in Year 10 will receive their results on Thursday 8th June 2017. This is a new process for our College and one that is highly recommended as good practice in line with other schools across the country. The students will receive their results as they would for their GCSE results. This is part of the process to prepare them for future examinations as we want students to be aware of their current progress and ensure they are on track to achieve their full potential.
We continually look for ways to improve and enhance our work. This coming year, we have decided, to allow us to more sharply focus on academic progress and in the interests of providing supportive pastoral care, to introduce a “House” system. Each House would only have a maximum of 60 new students each to induct into our College. This, we feel will provide a more supportive welcome into the school and help with learning the new systems and routines. We want all students to have a sense of belonging and to be proud to attend our College. The House system will see students from Year 7 to Year 13 placed in a specific House.
Each House will be made up of Tutor groups from each year group (students will still be in Tutor groups with students of the same year group) and it is hoped that their tutor will stay with them for the seven years they will be at the College. There will be seven Houses in total with approximately 220 students in each. Siblings will be in the same House.
Over the year, all students will be representing their House in terms of attendance, merits and in other competitive events. In the forthcoming weeks, students will be allocated into their House and getting to meet their tutor. Before the Summer break they will be deciding on their House name and electing students to the various leadership positions on the student council and leadership team.
To improve the smooth running of our College day we are changing the timings of the lessons to take place from next academic year. We will trial the new timings during the last two weeks of term beginning Monday 3rd July. The beginning and end of the College day will still be to arrive by 8:25am for an 8:30am start in registration and the College day will end at 3:00pm.
|Leysland Building||Leysland Building||Countesthorpe Building||Countesthorpe Building|
|08.30 and assembly||Registration||08.30 and assembly||Registration|
Students will eat their lunch at whichever site they have their Period 4 lesson.
Lunch will therefore be served at each site at different times.
Vacancies for parent governors
Our College really values the time and commitment that Parent Governors give to our Governing Board. They support and challenge our school to be the best it can be. Parents need to commit to attending meetings, both full Governing Board meetings and the meetings of one of the Committees. These will total 10 during the year, each lasting about two hours, plus any additional meetings. Parents must ensure that they are able to read all the paperwork before the meeting/s and be able to challenge and support the leadership and strategic direction of the Trust.
If you would like any further information then please contact Suzanne Uprichard, Chair of Governors at email@example.com
As you are aware, the College will not be providing free transport. We have been through a rigorous tendering process to ensure the best value and Confidence Buses will be running the contract. We are aware that there are other providers who will be running a service, but these are not contracted with ourselves and therefore we cannot deal with any issues associated with those services. In the event of any queries, please contact the individual companies directly.
Thank you once again for your continued support and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or comments.
Mr J. Sleath