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Chair's Blog




With the days at their shortest, and with the rain steadily falling it would appear there is little to celebrate. But then I look up from my keyboard, see our Christmas tree and decorations, and am instantly reminded that we are fast approaching that magical time of the year that excites our children so much. Of course this poses a big challenge for our teaching staff to keep little minds engaged with their learning and not distracted by the thought of Santa lugging an X-Box or iPhone down the chimney on Christmas Eve on his inexorable twenty four hour journey from Vladivostok to Vermont. They do so by cramming the day with their curricular obligations interspersed with Christmas fun but also with time to reflect on the religious and spiritual significance of the season rather than its materialistic attractions.


I was privileged last month to spend a little time in each class watching our children absolutely absorbed in their learning. I was struck by the consistently high standards of behaviour from Reception through to Year Six. By that I mean an almost total lack of low-level disruption such as pencil-fiddling and origami which distract not just the individual child but compromise the learning of others. One of our school's priorities this year is to hold high behavioural expectations of every child in our school for we know that without them we miss valuable education time. It was great to see that the strategies employed to raise standards are working and that children are not just merely compliant but appear to really enjoy their learning and are contributing fully to their educational journey.


Despite the consistently wonderful commitment of all of our school staff both inside and outside the classroom, the future for schools like ours is not rosy. It is a fact that despite government repeatedly quoting educational investment figures, virtually all schools in the country are having to spend much more than our income. Our governing body is committed to maintaining staffing levels as we know our teachers and support workers have the biggest impact on teaching and learning. However, we cannot continue to guarantee those levels, the breadth of curriculum, class sizes, and investment in resources without a change in funding policies. To that end can I please ask you make a New Year's resolution to campaign on our school's behalf for the money we need to give your children the start in life they deserve. If you reside in Rishton I can assure you our MP, Graham Jones, is fully supportive of our cause which he reiterated in a visit earlier this year. However, it is important we fill his postbox or in-tray with reminders. Perhaps you might consider writing to Justine Greening, the Education Secretary to tell her just what you demand for your children from her department?


It is remarkable that despite these budgetary pressures our school leaders and staff remain so positive every single day. The workload of our nation's teachers is unsustainable and they are increasingly being taken away from the classroom to deal with issues previously handled by external agencies. Our staff have the eternal gratitude of all our governors for their fortitude and tireless commitment. We must also thank our parents and carers for their ongoing support of the school. The home-school contract remains critical to your children's development and we appreciate the hours you take supporting homework, reading to children, and attending extra-curricular events. Last but not least I would like to place on record my appreciation for the work of my colleagues on the board of governors who are talented, experienced, but most importantly wholly committed to making St Charles school the best it can be in every way.


God bless to you and your families and I hope you have a blessed and peaceful Christmas


Neil A Yates

December 2017