Governors’ Update

Posted 20 July 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Firstly, and most importantly, as a somewhat challenging academic year draws to a close, we are sure you will join the Governing Body in offering our sincere gratitude to Mr Hooley and the staff for their efforts this year, both throughout the remote working period and also in welcoming our pupils back to School.

Our staff have risen to whatever challenges have been thrown at them and for that we are extremely grateful. Our School is a safe and happy learning environment where our pupils can grow and flourish, and that is down to our committed and talented staff.

It has been a very difficult start to Mr Hooley’s time with us. Despite the challenges he has faced, we are beginning to see real improvements in our School and are certain that these will accelerate in September and over the new academic year. We are sure you will have seen the recent article in the Ashbourne News Telegraph in which Mr Hooley talks about his plan for the future – if not then this is well worth a read.

One of our key roles as Governors is to hold leaders to account, so we are carefully monitoring Mr Hooley for progress on the improvements that we know need to be made and he is rising to the challenge. The Governors and staff are working closely together as we start out on the path to a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, which we are confident can be achieved. We have already seen tangible improvements with the new whole-school approach to behaviour, weekly rewards for pupils who have been ‘role models’ or shown ‘growth mindset’ behaviours, and the new School mission, vision and values.

Raising the profile of our School and improving communication with parents are important, which is why we have recently redesigned the school website. We hope you have found it easier to navigate. As and when circumstances allow, the School’s intention is to reinstate regular events and activities to improve our links with parents and carers, as well as the wider community.

There have been some changes in the Governing Body since we last wrote to you, which we would like you to be aware of:

We are very happy to welcome both Dee and Mr Greatorex to the Governing Body.

We currently have a vacancy for a parent governor – Mr Hooley will be running an election in September so please do contact either Mr Hooley or Lynda Joyce, Chair of Governors, if you are interested or would like to discuss the role further. We also have the ability to appoint co-opted governors where we believe they will enhance the skills of the Governing Body. If you or anyone you know is interested, then please do get in touch.

So, despite what has been a challenging year, we strongly believe the future is bright for Ashbourne Hilltop School and would ask you to join us in supporting Mr Hooley and his team and in promoting our school to the wider community in any way you can.

We wish you and your families a happy and safe summer, and we wish Mr Hooley and his staff a well-earned rest so that we can return to school in September, ready for a flying start.

Ashbourne Hilltop Primary and Nursery School Governing Body