Tracy Watson - Headteacher, Overfields Primary School
Carl held a very informative session with the Governing Body where he talked about the work Ironstone does across the schools, the changes there may be and the things that will stay the same - using Normanby as an example. Governors were impressed by the strong, genuine message coming across that it was all about making a difference to the lives of the children in our community and felt Ironstone had a complimentary ethos to ours.
Carl also met with staff on 2 occasions. In the first meeting 3 staff from across the MAT ( a teacher / TA & Admin) came along and talked informally about what joining Ironstone had meant personally for them. This was really useful for staff and allayed a lot of initial fears and questions. It made the meeting with the union reps easier as a lot of questions had already been answered.
Personally, I have been warmly welcomed into the group of HTs and am excited by the opportunities and challenges being part of IAT will bring for staff and pupils .
The actual process of joining, for Overfields has been quite challenging due to our site circumstances and being a Foundation school however the IAT solicitors and Carl have been very supportive.
Through becoming a member of Ironstone trust, Zetland Primary has been fortunate to work in a collaborative and developmental manner with a range of very successful schools. This has improved our own provision within each phase of school due to the in-depth work carried out across the Trust which is consistently focused on developing ways to improve teaching and learning through analysing effective practice. As a result staff do not feel they work in isolation but work within supportive networks which work towards a common goal of improving the educational provision offered to all. In addition to this pupils have benefited from shared educational experiences which have allowed pupils to form new friendships and work alongside other pupils from differing backgrounds. These real experiences help improve aspirations and raise individual expectations.
Zetland Primary has also benefitted from the financial support provided to the school which means that we are able to gain best value for money for key services to school enabling pupils to benefit from cost savings which can then be used to support staffing and curriculum resources.
Governor Involvement within the Trust
Members of our Local Governing Body have a crucial role to play within our Trust. They are actively involved in our schools, helping school leaders to understand the needs of their community and providing challenge and support. They are free to visit their schools, and have a consistent set of reports which help them understand school performance and share good practice. All Governing Bodies undertake self-review exercises, and are supported by annual training provided by the Trust. Additionally Governors benefit from the support of an experienced professional Clerk.