I hope you all managed to get some sort of rest over the holiday period. I expect 2020 will be as busy as ever. We start the year with our annual surveys of staff and families and start to look ahead and draft our improvement plans for 2020-21.
During the election, it seemed that every political party was making promises to inject cash into school. Meantime in the real world our and despite ever-increasing employment ‘on-costs’ our funding formula has not increased since 2016 and we will probably end this financial year in deficit. We are working hard for that not to happen. Now that we have a new government we will wait and see if there is a real increase in schools’ budgets for 2020 -21 – I really hope so.
Our Governors have successfully recruited a new headteacher who will start work in September. Her name is Sandra Chaaya and she has a wealth of SEN experience in schools just like us. That means that I will be leaving Mapledown after 25 years when school breaks up for summer. That will be quite a wrench for me but I feel it is time to step down after 17 years as head at Mapledown. I’m sure Sandra will bring her drive, experience and vision and take the school forward to what I am sure will be a very bright future.
Is any parent or carer interested in joining our Governing Body? We have one vacancy and it is open to any parent/carer of a pupil currently at Mapledown. Please call the school office and ask to speak to Kristina who will be more than happy to talk you through the role.
Would you mind going to this link and filling in Ofsted’s Parent Questionnaire too – it’s also very short - thanks.
Sharon St Louis to come into school every other Thursday morning to provide practical support and advice to parents and families. If you have any issues that Sharon can help with please call the office and we’ll make an appointment for you.
Our next Governing Body Meeting takes place at 7pm on March 23rd. All Governors can be contacted via the school office or website.
Friends of Mapledown
The Friends of Mapledown will meet to discuss future fundraising plans at 5pm on Wednesday February 5th. Please come if you can. The Friends have raised thousands of pounds over the years and so many of the good things that we have are due entirely to the efforts of these volunteers. Last year we started to raise funds for a new mini-bus but had to stop this appeal as the school could not put any money towards the project – we need £17k. We start the year with a new appeal for £17k which is half the cost of a new Sunshine Bus.
Please contact the school and join ‘The 100 Club’ – please buy as many numbers as you can – family and friends can join too.
Annual reminder …………. Snow Days/School Closure
Almost every pupil at Mapledown is bussed into school on a minibus or taxi. The decision to close the school is made by the headteacher but largely rests with the Transport Department. If they feel that the roads are unsafe or will become unsafe, all school transport is cancelled. In the past this has happened even when the main public transport system remains open as most people live on side roads which take time to grit and make safe. Once Barnet Transport tell us they are not running school we will text all families with the news that school is closed – usually before 7:30am. Fortunately most years pass without a ‘snow day’ so please be understanding if this happens – better safe than sorry. ‘Snow Days’ are very rare.
Happy New Year