A special welcome to all new families, pupils and staff. This is the first of our termly Newsletters
PLEASE NOTE ….. the May Day Bank Holiday for 2020 has been moved from Monday May 4th to Friday May 8th. That means that school WILL be open on the 4th but shut on May 8th. This change was introduced by the Government to align the Bank Holiday next May with celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
We have one new teacher – Julio Lopez in Class Six and many new Learning Support Assistants working across the school. Welcome to Mary Webb, Ali Said, Charo Manansala, Dilek Opuz, Jennoir Simpson and Laila Elmoudden.
We start the year with a ‘new’ Deputy Headteacher – Caroline Garvey who did a great job as our ‘Acting Deputy’ for all of last year - has now been confirmed as our permanent Deputy. Congratulations and welcome to all new staff.
After more than seventeen years as Headteacher at Mapledown I am planning to retire next summer. Interviews for a new Headteacher will take place in November and we hope to have a new head in post for September 2020.
This annual event is scheduled for Wednesday September 25th from 6 until 7:30 pm. All class teachers will be available to parents for discussions and there will be a ‘Market Place’ of various organisations in the school hall to provide information about a range of services within and beyond Mapledown. Given that 97% of families came to our Annual Review Meetings last June/July many of you may feel that you have all the information you need regarding your child BUT there will be a number of providers and services coming to the ‘Market Place’ that you might find useful especially if you are new to the school or if your child is leaving Mapledown in the next two or three years.
Friends of Mapledown
The Friends of Mapledown is our Parent-Staff Association which is a Registered Charity and raises funds for the school. The FoM will be holding their Annual General Meeting at school on Wednesday October 2nd (5pm). Please come if you can. The Friends raise a lot of money and run events through the year in support of pupils and families at Mapledown. At the last meeting the Friends have pledged £4,000 to help the school replace our oldest minibus. If you have any contacts or bright ideas for fundraising please contact Sue Hart – our ‘2019 Friends of Mapledown Fundraising Leaflet’ can be printed from the website.
Many families receive free school meals and we think that many others could also be entitled. If you think you could claim FSM please contact Kristina or Andriya in the school office and they will explain the process. The price of meals remains at £2.34 per day. Paying for school meals : £2.34 a day or £11.70 per week - if you would like to set up a Direct Debit to spread the payments over 12 months please contact the office staff (again).
‘The Comfort Zone’ Holiday Playscheme/Short Breaks
Congratulations to ‘The Comfort Zone’ who successfully ran a three week play scheme over the summer holidays. Comfort Zone will be running a play scheme through our next half term so please book early and contact Mary Kilcoyne at: firstname.lastname@example.org If you have any questions regarding funding for ‘short breaks’ please contact the Short Breaks Team on 0208 359 7374 or 0208 359 3353 and they will send you some forms or direct you to their webpage.
In common with many schools our budget is the tightest it has ever been. This is mainly due to a combination of factors – the funding formula has not increased since 2016 and our employer costs have risen time and time again. In simple terms it costs a lot more money to employ staff and these increases have mostly NOT been funded by central government. We have reduced our staffing costs to make ends meet and Mapledown has more pupils than ever before. Our overall funding has grown to reflect the growth in pupil numbers but it is nowhere near the true costs of running the school. The answer to our money problems would be for the government to increase the funding formula so we could have a budget that actually matched the costs of running the school. This is true for us and almost every other school in the country.
Have a great year.