Knowing Your School

How does the school mission statement affect your role and responsibilities?

The aims and values of my school emphasise the strong partnership between parents, pupils, staff and the local community. These aims are embedded in all the ways in which the school works and are promoted in our daily life at school.

These Aims and Values (the ethos of our school) affects my role and responsibilities in many ways. Within one of my roles as receptionist/ telephonist I communicate with all stakeholders effectively, being tolerant and patient when dealing with concerned parents and children and being approachable, kind, caring and understanding in general. I take an interest in children's welfare by listening to their needs and/or observing children when they are sad and ensure that staff are informed if I have concerns.

My responsibility of working on the schools' Pupil of the Week Award and Award Certificates enables me to demonstrate to children involved how we all value and recognise their skills and celebrate their achievements and good behaviour.

As a school we all work and pull together and are enthusiastic about the future.

How does your day-to-day work contribute to achieving the school's overall aims?

Are your personal objectives in your Personal Development Plan SMART? How will you know when you have achieved them?

The three targets in my Professional Development Plan are SMART as I have chosen particular areas that can be gauged, they are achievable within a short space of time and I have the resources available to complete the tasks

1. I have chosen to develop and improve the website in order to improve communication with parents more easily. This area of development will be fairly easy to meet within the next few months due to assistance and advice via our ITSS SLA and also 1-1 training sessions with myself and the website specialist during the next couple of weeks.

2. Due to my promotion and discussions with the headteacher regarding my job description it has been agreed that I will gradually be able to transfer more menial tasks to another member of staff.

3. With regard to the FMSiS Audit and conversations with their office I will be better equipped to ensure that I am more informed about the Lettings Procedure and in turn policies will be followed when lettings are required.

I will know that I have achieved my objectives due to gaining positive feedback from the relevant bodies and headteacher and I would notice a more improved and smoother workflow within the office environment.

Activity 1b

Who else is a stakeholder for your school?

* Pupils

* Parents

* Staff

* Governors

* PTA

* Outside agencies

* Local authority

* Extended schools

* Nursery schools

* Secondary schools

* Colleges

* Universities

* Local community

* Local businesses

* Police

* Contractors including kitchen, bus service etc

Activity 1c

Identify the main stakeholders in your school.

Which stakeholders do you have most contact with?

* Staff

* Pupils

* Parents

* Governors

* Outside Agencies

* Extended Schools

For what reasons do you come into contact with them?

* Staff - administration tasks, ICT maintenance, advice regarding school's policies and procedures, concerns regarding children's health, resources, personal issues

· Pupils – illness, photographs, pupil of the week, ICT problems, messages from members of staff, birthdays, work reward stickers

· Parents – concerns including illness, bullying issues etc, payment collection, information regarding school events etc

· Governors – school visits, meetings, information

· Outside Agencies –pupil information including SEN, FSM, attendance and contact information, room bookings etc

· Extended Schools - conferences, courses, administrative duties

Activity 1d

Look at the most recent OFSTED report for your school and identify what inspectors have commented upon in relation to the effectiveness of the school. What contextual factors affect the value for money that your school provides? You may find it helpful to discuss this with your mentor.

OfSTED's conclusion to an inspection in 2007 was that Escomb Primary School was a good school that it had many outstanding features, including care, personal development and inclusion. It reported that we provided equal learning opportunities and created a vibrant and happy atmosphere, where all pupils could thrive and make good progress going onto mentioning ‘every child matters' being central to our school's philosophy.

Children learned well from the start of Reception and staff provided a well-balanced and imaginative range of learning experiences inside and outside the classroom and good routines provided a secure basis for the class. Achievement for all pupils was reported to be good and pupils reached above average standards by the age 11. Planning was found to be focussed and teaching was good and our clear tracking of achievement ensured children made further progress.

Pupils' behaviour was found to be excellent and pupils enjoyed well-planned curricular experiences. Pupils made great steps in their personal development, which was assessed as outstanding. It was also reported that Escomb School took good care of its pupils and gave every pupil the chance to participate fully in everything that the school had to offer, in and out of the classroom.

The school was said to be well led and well managed. Staff and Governors shared a strength of mind that all pupils would succeed and they worked together to identify improvements and took the correct measures. They also shared a strong commitment to raising standards and worked effectively with outside agencies, which has placed the school in a good position to make further improvements.

Contextual factors affecting the value for money our school provides are that there are some forms of deprivation in the area, although the proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals are below the national average. When children start school in the Reception class, their standards are below those expected for most children of this age due to some not attending preschool. The school also has a slightly higher than average number of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Activity 1e

Reflect upon your role; is it specialist or general?

Role

* Website

* Durham Learning Gateway

* Typist

* Computer maintenance

* Reception

* Assessment

* Budget

* Professional development

* Student placement

* Educational Visits

* Lettings

Some areas of my role are specialist and some are general. I have developed expertise in managing the school's management system and am confident in my ability when new challenges arise e.g. new systems are introduced or problems occur. I am competent in the use of ICT which is useful as my role is mostly ICT based. I am also a trained touch typist and this skill is vital in my role due to dictation work with the headteacher and SMT. Tasks within the above roles also include general administration work such as filing etc which could be done by the majority of school staff.

Produce an Organisation Chart of your school or, if it is very large, your own site or department. Show your own role in relation to the structure as a whole.

I am directly responsible to the Headteacher but also support everyone in the school. I prioritise my tasks to ensure that I am available to the headteacher due the nature of my role e.g. I may be required to take dictation without notice. Due to this I have learnt to ask staff to wait until I am able to complete their task and now prioritise these in order of importance or deadline.

Activity 1f

How does the culture of your school encourage you to present a positive image of yourself and your school to a range of stakeholders (for example, through reception duties, telephone manner and communication with others)?

The culture of Escomb School is dominated by co-operation, support, valuing difference and respect as well as being part of a team and having shared aims. Its culture affects the way in which staff and pupils carry out their roles and respond to situations. Escomb School's culture also helps to influence and manage children's behaviour. Due to our school's culture and using an example of my role during reception duties I would present a positive image of myself and my school in the following way;

* Friendly

* Well-mannered

* Happy

* Smart, clean and tidy appearance

* Helpful

* Caring

* Hard-worker

* Team-worker

* Respectful

* Trustworthy

* Tolerant

* Good time-keeping

Activity 1g

Within your own role, to what extent are you able to use your own initiative in the interests of providing an excellent service?

Within my role, due to training and experience and by having knowledge of many of the schools' policies and procedures I am able to make day to day decisions and use various systems without supervision. Due to this I am able to provide an excellent service as I act promptly and efficiently in order to complete the current task.

To what extent is trust able to replace supervision in professional administration? Discuss with your mentor

On discussions with my mentor it was established that due to us working alongside each other for over ten years I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience and have produced work of high quality and am able to prioritise tasks to meet deadlines. My mentor therefore feels confident that he can trust me to complete a variety of tasks without supervision being required. In turn my mentor is also confident that I am able to learn and take on new tasks and procedures.

Activity 1h

Identify a policy or procedure that you are involved with for dealing with parents and carers. What is your role?

Educational Visits Procedure

My Role:

* Liaise with staff regarding visit requirements and ensure that LA policies and procedures are followed

* Seek permission from DCC for permission for the visit to go ahead using the online programme and/or telephone and email queries

* Book venue

* Contact bus companies for quote for transport

* Book transport

* Create and distribute letter to parents informing them of the visit

* Deal with any queries parents have regarding the visit

* Collect money

* Liaise with parent helpers, volunteers if required

* Ensure risk assessments are in place

* Ensure pupil's medicines are taken

* Ensure Indemnity forms have been received

* Ensure kitchen staff have been informed and packed lunches have been ordered – inform them of the number changes

* Ensure that supervisory assistants are informed

* Ensure that music staff are informed if applicable

* Arrange supply cover arranged if required

Activity 1i

Looking at the examples in Unit 1, can you identify a policy or procedure in your school that could be improved? How could this be done?

The Educational Visit procedure could be improved by producing a yearly indemnity form for low risk visits. On discussions with the LA Educational Visits Department and on reading the Educational Visits Policy Booklet, I have learnt that this is good practice and I have now implemented this for all new reception children for visits such as walks and the Christmas Concert etc. I now need to implement this change to all pupils in school. By changing the procedure it will lessen the time administrative staff has to follow up non return of forms and will reduce resources used.

Activity 1j

Identify a policy or procedure for dealing with colleagues or the wider community that has a positive impact on your role. Why is that so?

I deal with the lettings procedure in school which entails dealing with members of the public, LA and extended schools. Dealing with this area and being familiar with the procedures has given me a positive impact on my role as I am able to deal with queries etc professionally and quickly thus giving me more confidence in my ability as a whole, which also motivates me to improve and sustain my involvement in this area.

Activity 1k

When you need additional information and support to carry out your role, who do you turn to?

When requiring additional information and support to carry out my role I would either refer to the headteacher, extranet advice, speak to school staff, contact outside agencies, use help guides or contact the relevant department at County Hall.

What particular skills and expertise do you have that support others in your school?

Due to my school being small I am involved in most administrative tasks this has enabled me to acquire skills and expertise to support others including organisation, ICT and network problems, SIMS systems, knowledge of policies and procedures, typing, desktop publishing, display and dictation.

Activity 1l

Ask your own manager or team leader what activities occupy most of their time, and see how it compares with the factors discussed in Unit 1.

How does it differ from the activities that occupy most of your time?

The headteacher's time is mainly occupied by managing the budget, liaising with governors, personnel issues, parent concerns, safeguarding, government targets and bureaucracy, submitting bids, attending meetings regarding new initiatives etc. The difference between the activities I do and the ones that he does is that his are more complex, involve problem solving and he remains responsible for the quality and quantity of work undertaken within the school

Activity 1m

Think about your relationship with your own manager or supervisor, and identify examples of each skill – delegating, monitoring, coaching – and how they help you to improve your own performance.

* Delegation is a “power sharing process in which individual managers transfer part of their authority to a colleague” The headteacher delegates certain tasks to me in order for him to cope better with his own workload, enabling him to focus on his main activities. Due to tasks being delegated to me has offered me learning opportunities, challenges and has increased my skills and experience, this in turn giving me confidence and expertise in the areas of which I am responsible and motivation to learn more.

* Monitoring – By monitoring my work and performance it provides the headteacher with information about my performance and capability and whether targets and objectives have been achieved or are achievable. When tasks are delegated to me the headteacher does not continually monitor my work but sets targets/deadlines so I have clear objectives and goals set. Due to this, intervention is not usually necessary. On rare occasions when tasks have not been completed, usually due to excessive workload the headteacher offers support and encouragement and gives me the power to delegate more menial tasks to other members of staff. Due to my experience and training, the headteacher is confident that monitoring is not usually required. By not monitoring excessively indicates that he trusts me to complete the task and is confident in my ability, thus making me feel valued and empowered.

* Coaching develops skills and confidence of those who work for them. The headteacher provides me with positive feedback and we share experiences and agree on learning goals and identify any change required, thus improving my performance and self esteem.

How can you develop these skills in your supervision of junior employees or trainees?

I could develop these skills by using them in the teaching and supervision of new members of staff. New employees would be expected to complete tasks using the schools' database system and various other school based programmes. The role would also involve learning new systems and procedures and I would set clear objectives, offer support, training and regular monitoring and coaching to enable them to complete the tasks. The individual's experience and education would have an impact on how much delegation, monitoring and coaching would be required.

Activity 1n

Which qualities do you most admire, or find most inspiring, in a leader?

* Vision

* Expertise and Knowledge

* Enthusiasm

* Communication

* Negotiation

* Developing good staff relationships

* Delegation

* Confidence

List qualities which you possess and which make you a valuable support to your manager.

* Conscientious

* Dedicated

* Hardworking

* Good listener

* Good Team worker

* Commitment

* Sensitivity to others

Activity 1o

Look at the list in Unit 1 – how do you contribute in promoting value in the work place as an example for pupils?

As an example to pupils I communicate with all stakeholders using respect, professionalism, enthusiasm, manners and displaying good team work and willingness to help. By demonstrating kindness and compassion when dealing with ill or injured children it shows to them and others around them that everyone is valued and cared for and displays to children the need to care and value others. When children are sent to me for help for tasks or resources I am friendly, helpful and use my manners, expecting good manners in return, good manners are rewarded by stickers. I am conscientious and strive to complete all tasks asked of me as soon as is possible. My work is neat, tidy and accurate. I have a thirst for knowledge and am always looking for ways to improve. When dealing with children using the internal telephone system I am happy and comment on good manners. I dress smartly and my appearance and hygiene are important to me. My attendance is excellent and I am always at work on time. I am friendly, polite and helpful to visitors. During extra curricular activities such as fayres etc I try to attend and support the school and its event.

Does your school's Mission Statement refer to its ethical and social values?

* ‘we grow in respect for each other, our school, our homes, our villages and town, our land and the wider world'

What actions does it take to show that it is aware of its social responsibilities to its stakeholders and the wider community?

* ‘We grow as a community of service to each other, interdependent and aware of each others' views and need'

Activity 1p

Think of some indicators which would show improvement in administrative effectiveness?

* Fewer complaints

* Positive Feedback

* Lower turnover of staff

* Content staff

Activity 1q

Consider a system you are involved with in school that requires you to collate, analyse and/ or evaluate information. What part do you play in it? What information do you need from others?

I am involved in organising all educational visits and sporting events etc. which involves a lot of collating, analysing and evaluating information. The part I play in the educational visits system requires a lot of organisation. Due to the extent of arranging a visit I have developed an educational visits procedure form which helps me to organise a visit from start to finish

Procedure

* After discussions with teachers requiring visits to be organised I begin by making enquiries about venues, prices, risk assessments etc. and then book the date required and liaise with the teacher involved about my findings.

* I then contact our local approved coach companies for quotes and availability to transport the children to and from the venue.

* After prices are collected I then devise a letter to parents informing them of a forthcoming visit and the charges involved. I may also ask for other information e.g. packed lunches required if the visit is all day. An indemnity form is attached to the letter as all parents must have completed an indemnity form before their children are permitted to leave the school premises.

* The above information is then inputted into the LA educational visits programme (EVOLVE) for authorisation from the Headteacher for the visit to go ahead. Visits are usually authorised without question as long as all legal requirements are adhered to.

* Staff/children ratios are discussed with the teacher (group leader) and supply cover is arranged if required. Risk assessments are discussed and drawn up by using a bank of risk assessments that I have collected.

* I then inform the kitchen staff that a visit has been organised and inform them of what is required e.g. early lunch, late lunch, packed lunches etc

* Information is then returned by parents and it is collated and analysed on a spreadsheet. Included in the analysis are children's medical conditions, returned indemnity forms, packed lunches required and contributions received.

* When all of the information is collated, the kitchen staff are informed regarding numbers of packed lunches required etc, Supervisory Assistants are informed regarding lunchtime arrangements, teachers are informed about children's medical conditions and medicines required. A check is also made for missing indemnity forms and further copies are given to the children if this is the case.

Activity 1r

Keep a diary for a day – note down how many administration processes you have taken part in during the day. Then list them against the end products listed in Unit 1. Which one have you been involved in most?

Operating equipment

* Operate the SIMs system to check on a pupil's attendance

* Check network backup and schedule today's backup

* Computer Check and reply to headteacher's email

Check and reply to schools email

Check and reply to personal e mail

Check extranet and distribute information to relevant staff

* Answer telephone –deal with a query re forthcoming event

* Update website

Maintaining records

* edit a parent contact no

* Update CRB database

Assuring quality

* Deal with printer breakdown, order toner cartridges

* Incorporate individual timetables to whole school timetable

Applying knowledge

* Download assembly photographs and print out for display work

* Book PD course and arrange supply cover for teacher

* Discuss with deputy headteacher, timetables, diary dates and supply cover

* Assist teacher with excel spreadsheet

* Input Foundation Stage Profile data and supply print out to teacher

* Check on family leave policy re staff member requiring leave of absence

* Type performance management targets

* Discuss educational visit and arrange for letters to be given to additional children

On reviewing the list above I have been involved mostly in using my knowledge of the school's systems.

Activity 1s

Consider a system in place in your school which you are involved with. Who do you depend upon for the appropriate inputs?

Assessment, recording and reporting is an important aspect of school life and I am involved with the input of all Assessment Data and the analysis of such data to enable the Headteacher and Senior Management Team to monitor pupils' progress. I depend on effective technological systems and if required backup from ITSS to enable me to perform this task efficiently. I also rely on all teaching members of staff for their input by providing me with accurate data. I also require opportunities to improve my knowledge such as access to training and development and regular contact with the Assessment Co-ordinator.

What processes are in place?

The assessment process involves

* Knowledge of the LA Assessment process

* Teamwork - Collecting data from staff and other departments, working together to achieve the objectives set

* Space – confidential and quiet area due to the nature of this task

* Technology – computer and SIMS System

* Technological skills - operating the SIMs system to input data, creation of reports, uploading data to outside agencies

* Accuracy – proof reading data

* Analytical Skills and knowledge of individual pupil's circumstances e.g. SEN or FSM – to review targets

* Meeting deadlines – school and LA for analysis purposes, parents (reports)

Who is affected by the outcomes of your work?

Many stakeholders are affected by the outcomes of my work such as

* Staff – to enable them to efficiently monitor pupils progress, to realise their performance management and government targets

* Pupil's and parent's for realising achievements

* Governors, LA and Outside Agencies – for monitoring school improvement

* Myself – job satisfaction, recognition, professional development, job security and promotion opportunities

 

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