The Headteacher's Blog


Welcome to Lydgate Junior School.

We aim to ensure that all children receive a high quality, enjoyable and exciting education.

We feel that our school is a true reflection of the community we serve. Lydgate children are well motivated and come from a range of social and cultural backgrounds. Within the school community we appreciate the richness of experience that the children bring to school. This enhances the learning experiences of everyone and it also gives all pupils the opportunity to develop respect and tolerance for each other by working and playing together. We want your child's time at Lydgate to be memorable for the right reasons - that is, a happy, fulfilling and successful period of his/her childhood.

Yours sincerely,
Stuart Jones

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Welcome to Year 3!

The Y3 teachers are Mrs Dutton & Mrs de Brouwer (3D/deB), Mrs Holden (3SH), Mrs Noble & Mrs Finney (3N/R) and Miss Wall (3AW). We have several Teaching Assistants who work with Y3 children at different times through the week: Mr Jenkinson, Mrs Proctor, Mrs Hill, Mrs Allen, Mrs Dawes and Mr Gartrell.

We will use this blog to keep you up-to-date with all the exciting things that we do in Year 3, share some of the things that the children learn and show you some of their fantastic work. We hope you enjoy reading it!

The Y3 team.

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Welcome to the Y4 blog. 

The Y4 team consists of the following teachers: Mrs Purdom in Y4JP, Mrs Smith and Mrs Smith (yes, that's right) in Y4SS, Mrs Wymer in Y4CW and Ms Reasbeck and Mrs Drury in Y4RD. The children are also supported by our teaching assistants: Mrs Proctor, Mrs Cooper, Mrs Hornsey, Mr Jenkinson and Mrs Wolff. We have help from Mrs Farrell, Miss Lee and Mrs Grimsley too and some of the children are lucky enough to spend time in The Hub with Mrs Allen. What a team!

We know that the question children are mostly asked when they arrive home is 'What did you do today?' The response is often 'nothing'! Well, here is where you can find out what 'nothing' looks like. In our weekly blogs your children will share with you what they have been getting up to and show some of the wonderful work they have been doing. Check in each weekend for our latest news.

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Welcome to the Year 5 Blog page.

The Year 5 teaching team includes our class teachers, Mrs Loosley (5NL), Mrs Rougvie and Mrs Jones (5RJ), Mrs Webb and Mrs Ridsdale (5WR) and Miss Cunningham (5EC).  Many children are supported by Mrs Hill, Mr Swain and Ms Kania (the Year 5 Teaching Assistants) who work with children across the 4 classes. Our Year 5 teaching team aims to create a stimulating learning environment that is safe, happy, exciting and challenging, where each pupil is encouraged to achieve their full potential.

As a parent or carer, you play a massively important role in your child's development and we'd love to work closely with you. Please feel free to make an appointment to see us if you want to discuss your child's attitude to learning, their progress, attainment or anything else that might be on your mind. We'd also love to hear from you if you have any skills that we could use to make our Year 5 curriculum even more exciting. Are you an avid reader, a talented sportsman, a budding artist, a mad scientist or a natural mathematician? Would you be willing to listen to children read on a regular basis? If so, please contact your child’s class teacher. Similarly, if you have a good idea, a resource, a 'contact' or any other way of supporting our learning in year 5, please let us know.

We are working very hard to ensure your child has a successful year 5, please help us with this by ensuring your child completes and returns any homework they are given each week. If there are any issues regarding homework or your child finds a particular piece of homework challenging, then please do not hesitate to come and speak to us. In order to help improve your child’s reading skills, increase their vocabulary and develop their comprehension skills, we also ask that you listen to your child read and ask them questions to ensure they have understood what they have read.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on the exciting things that we do in year 5 through our year group blog.

The Year 5 Team

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We are the children in Y6 at Lydgate Junior School. There are 120 of us and our teachers are: Mrs Shaw and Mrs Watkinson (Y6S/W), Mr Bradshaw (until Mrs Parker returns) in Y6AP), Mrs Phillips (Y6CP) and Miss Norris (Y6HN). Also teaching in Year 6 is Miss Lee (Monday - Y6AP, Tuesday - Y6HN and Wednesday - Y6S/W) and Mrs Grimsley (Tuesday -Y6CP).We are also very lucky to be helped by Mrs Ainsworth and Mrs Biggs. We use this space to share all of the great things that are happening in our classrooms. Join us each week on our learning journey....

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31 Jul 2020

Pay rises (for teachers)

The education news this week has been heard before, and I’m pretty sure I have written about it previously on these pages;

  • Covid-19 outbreaks and schools’ responses,
  • changing guidance,
  • potential mental health impact and response,
  • obesity and the effectiveness or otherwise of strategies in response,
  • cycling and other green means of travel to school (and other work places),
  • funding inequalities and a ‘fair funding formula’.

It’s true that I’ve never written about ‘teachers’ pay rises, and this has been in the news this week; the Secretary of State accepted the recommendations of the independent pay review board and so teachers will receive, eventually, a pay award of 3.1%.

Well, no; not quite.

There seems to hardly ever be decisions or issues that are that simple – the only one I ever come across is when the fire alarm sounds: we all get out of the building, no matter what we are doing. Everything else is far more complicated and layered.

There will be delay as various levels of responsibility and accountability either refuse to make a decision or are not in the position of authority to make a decision:

The local authority is not the employer in academy schools and so it has absolutely no power to set pay levels there.

The DfE decision will set a minimum – not a fixed point - so someone else has to decide what that is.

Local authorities will want there to be pay equality across the maintained school sector, to avoid claims of unfair pay, so they will want all Governing Boards to set the same pay scales / ranges. But as each Governing Board is separate they make separate decisions, so there is a risk of difference.

A school that has the cash and the need to attract staff might consider going it alone and setting higher rates in order to attract more or better applicants.

Las are not supposed to instruct the individual Governing Boards on what their pay policies and scales / ranges should be, but as I said above they still want them to be the same.

HR services merely advise; they do not set policy or guide in that way, so asking them each year, as I do, is fruitless.

So LAs say ask HR, HR say ask the LA or Trade Unions, and Trade Unions, funnily enough, say ‘implement it in full and as high as it can be done in the framework set’.

Payroll is not supposed to start paying it until authorised and directed by each individual school – so it certainly won’t happen in September’s pay check (as the first GB meeting next academic year is not until October).

Then there’d the little matter of detail and the devil; it is not a blanket ay rise at all.

That 3.1% is an average of some sort. (I don’t know if it’s mean, mode or median, and I very much doubt that whatever sort of average it is it will not be so for each school as the teacher profile is considerably different in any set of schools. We have most of our staff at the top of their relevant pay ranges as they are experienced in their roll.)

Some (maybe only one) of our teaching staff will get a 5.5% pay rise, and the rest may get 2.75% as the top of each pay range is going up by that much.

I won’t say ‘no’, obviously, and I will happily accept any rise agreed and awarded.

The slightly galling part, and slightly concealed, is that there is no ‘new money’ to cover the cost to schools – the ‘historic’ rise in school funding that seeks to ‘level up’ funding in poorer-funded areas will have to meet the cost of this pay award, recognised and agreed in full by the Secretary of State and the Chancellor on the back of the profession’s heroic efforts during response to the Coivid-19 pandemic.

As usual it has been announced in the summer holidays (it is simply the annual timetable of things, I have never thought it convenient that teachers cannot gather to protest or have admin staff crunch the numbers to see the impact until schools return, and then the steam has gone out of the situation). We will know how it impacts on our school budget (that was looking good enough for us to have engaged an extra Teaching Assistant, an extra day a week of teacher time, a shed-load of learning resources and a couple of thousand pounds worth of new chairs (for classroom use by Year 6 children). These were good decisions at the time – and hindsight would only be of use if you could utilise it before events.

This story, too, is not new – all I have described happened last year as well, and the year before, and so on, back to the years when there was no pay rise. So again, it isn’t really ‘new’ new news.