16th March 2011
I’m greatly looking forward to the Dance Showcase at school tonight. Our students performed at the North Somerset Schools Dance Festival in Weston-super-Mare last week and they will be reprising the Alice in Wonderland piece that has been praised so much. It’s been tremendous to have so many positive comments from people in the community about the standard of dance in the school and I know that Miss Lloyd has been greatly encouraged.
I wasn’t able to attend the festival last Wednesday because I was at the Town Council meeting in Portishead briefing Councillors about the issues raised by Academy conversion. That has been one of the themes in recent weeks. Our governors met on 28th February and had the feedback from the first phase of the consultation. We all felt that we would like to do more to engage with some of the other organisations in the town on the issue. Adele Haysom, one of our governors, and I have now visited all our main feeder schools to spend some time hearing their views. This has been very positive and we will be sharing their views with governors at the 31st March meeting.
One of the other issues that we have been investigating is the likely cost of replacing central services currently offered by North Somerset. The Council have now published their prospectus of services and we have been able to calculate the amount of funds that we would need to return to the council from the Central Services Grant were we to convert. Of the £577,000 grant we would need to spend just over £200,000 replacing services which might leave the balance available to maintain our high quality provision and invest in our buildings. The advantage of Academy status is not purely financial but this does give us confidence that the school would benefit from a change in status.
Other funding news is less rosy and the senior staff are putting plans together for next year’s budget. We will probably receive about £400,000 less income. It is going to be a real challenge but changes to the curriculum and the end of some government projects mean that we can spend less too. I will return to this subject in the blog again next month to give some indications of any changes that finances will force on us but I would ask parents to rest assured that I am confident that Gordano will thrive and continue to deliver a great education to our students: our staff have high motivation and total commitment to their work with the young people of our community.