Welcome back - January 2019
I hope you all managed to get some sort of rest over the holiday period. I expect 2019 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 2019-20.
In the September Newsletter I announced my planned retirement in July 2019. Those plans have now been pushed back and I will remain in post until July 2020. Plans to recruit a new Headteacher will now take place over the autumn term. If everything goes to plan we will know who will be the next headteacher by November 2019.
There has been a fair bit of media coverage surrounding school funding and you may remember the letter that Barnet Headteachers wrote last November. Money is very tight right now but we are expecting to finish the year with a balanced budget – i.e. NOT have an overspend for 2018-19. Having said that it would not take much to tip the school into the red, the margins are very fine. The budget that we receive from April for 2019-20 could be the tightest yet.
Every Little Helps If you know that your child is unable to come to school on any given day would you please phone the school before 8am and let us know – this will help us with our daily staff rotas. A voicemail works just as well – thanks.
Sharon St Louis will 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 school office and we’ll make an appointment.
This term Sharon will also be hosting workshops for parents under the ‘Positive Behaviour Parents Group’ programme – dates and details to follow shortly.
Our next Governing Body Meeting takes place at 7pm on March 25th. 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 6th. 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 raised almost £10,000 to help the school replace various expensive bits of physio equipment – specialist seating, standing frames and walkers.
There will be a form included with this Newsletter which invites you to join ‘The 100 Club’ – please buy as many numbers as you can – family and friends can join too.
Safeguarding - when visiting the school please switch off your mobile phone. If you have to make a call please stand outside our front entrance. Thanks.
Key Dates from now until July are attached to this newsletter. If ever you are unsure about when term starts or finishes or when we have a training day – just check the website.
Just in case ……… 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 although we did have three last winter – the last one before that was six years ago.
It’s really important that the school has your most up to date contact details so if you have a new mobile phone number, email, emergency contact or change of address, a new doctor or ANY other detail please let the office know so we can update our systems. Thanks.
Happy New Year