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Governors Blog


One of the key areas of ensuring that our school runs well and maintains high standards is to develop policies and procedures that are accessible, understood by all and support our central objectives. Not only do policies establish boundaries, guidelines and best practice but allow us to communicate to all in the school desired organisational behaviour and ways of doing things.

The Governing Body reviews policies and procedures on an annual basis to ensure they are up to date and reflect any significant legislative or other changes. We have just completed this task for the current school year. 

It is important that policies are living documents and not simply box ticking exercises and as such we encourage the widest involvement in their development. As we are part of a multi-school academy trust we also work across school boundaries where appropriate to ensure alignment and to capture the widest best practice. An example of this is with our safeguarding policy where a forum has been established including primary and secondary partners to feed regularly into this process.

Our policies can be viewed on the school website. Why not have a look and a read they give a great picture of the high standards we expect and the high quality of activity to enable your son to be educated in the best possible learning environment.

Alastair Megahy
UBHS Governor

Careers Event

Once again it was my pleasure along with fellow governor, Mr Alvy and a range of representatives from local businesses and training establishments to participate with the mock interview programme that is an established event in the educational calendar of Upper Batley High School for Year 10 and 11 learners.

The Careers education at the school is widely recognised as being excellent and forms an integral part of the curriculum throughout all school years. There exists a rich variety of activities to inform and educate our learners about the full range of opportunities that are available to them on leaving school. Such activities and approaches include inviting motivational speakers , focussed careers conventions, organised trips to universities and specific places of interest along with the partnerships forged with local employers. From early on in the life of our school learners are tutored and encouraged to think about what they want to pursue as a future career and what qualifications and skills they need to develop.

Given the commitment to this dimension of the boys education it was not surprising but hugely gratifying to experience the high standard of performance throughout the Year 11 interviews held on January 18th 2019. There were some really strong individual performances and as a whole what shone through was the level of preparation and confidence and good character from all learners. It was also clear that the activities provided at school really did inspire some career choices and were specifically referenced by a significant number of learners as influencing their future training and work plans.

The learners can take great pride from the comments of fellow interviewers. Without exception the comments were genuinely and highly praiseworthy and yet again reflected so positively on our school so a massive well done to our Year 11s.

Finally a huge thanks to Miss Grogan for her tireless efforts in organising such a successful event and for her looking after all contributors so well on the day.

Alastair Megahy
Vice Chairman 
Upper Batley High School Governing Body

Presentation Evening

One of the highlights of the school year at UBHS is the Presentation Evening which recently took place. This is an opportunity to celebrate the many successes across the academy in every aspect of school life. It was so pleasing to see a full school hall of parents and family members who were rightly brimming with pride to see their boys receive recognition for all their hard work, application to their studies and contribution to wider school and community life.

The Deputy Head boy and Head boy spoke eloquently and confidently about their positive experiences of school life and how fortunate they felt to be learners here in the care of such committed staff.

The guest speaker was Kim Leadbeater, sister of Jo Cox who has worked so energetically and passionately to continue the work around community cohesion and loneliness that were so close to Jo’s heart. Her words carried special significance particularly when she spoke of developing character traits such as getting back on track when you’ve had a setback and the difference that resilience can bring. She indeed is such a shining example of this.

Ms Vickers gave a resume of all that the school has achieved in the last year which included recognition for the schools achievements in a Parliamentary Review report, and the announcement of our Careers Hub as we are one of only 20 schools in the country to have achieved this. There is so much happening at our school be proud of that it is no surprise that numbers of first preferences for parents regarding admission continue to grow so impressively.

Special acknowledgement to Mr Farrar for so consummately hosting the event along with one of our excellent learners, Yasmin Fadel who did a tremendous job in assisting him with this.

Alastair Megahy
Vice Chair 
Upper Batley Governing Body

Year Leader

Another great day yesterday this time interviewing for a Year Leader. There were five candidates, three external and two internal, and, after a very thorough all day process involving literacy and numeracy tests, an 'In Tray' exercise, interview with the School Council and interview with Ms Vickers and myself, we selected Joanna Sanderson-Dent. Joanna already works at the school and came through a very strong and competitive field to be selected.

It is very pleasing to see that we are developing our own staff to compete with experienced external candidates as the other internal candidate was also very good. This reflects well on the school and shows that we are developing strength in depth in both our teaching and support staff.

So well done and congratulations to Joanna.

Geoff Alvy. Governor


It was a tremendously uplifting experience to attend the” Indiability “celebration event following the recent trip to the Special school in India that the school has supported for a good many years. The detail around the Indiability programme is well reported elsewhere and the school can be rightly proud to be involved in supporting their fellow learners in another continent who do not have the advantages that many youngsters in our community have.

Education is not just about passing GCSE’s as important as that is. Learning how to treat others, to be kind and to do what you can to improve the lives of all, especially those less fortunate is what we should all aspire to. Loving thy neighbour is right up there as being the most important of life’s values.

The way in which the whole community has come together to support this trip is a testament to the strength and generosity of the local community. Parents, staff, learners, friends, former learners, governors, local businesses and well wishers have contributed to make this trip an immense success. Special thanks must go to Mrs Dent and her team for their superhuman efforts in fund raising in order to make this happen.

The boys who went on the trip spoke eloquently at the celebration event about their experiences and what they had gained from this wonderful opportunity and the following is taken from one of the boy’s speeches.

“On a whole my experience in India has taught me to respect and look after what we have and who we have in our lives. Also it has made me realise there are people less fortunate than myself and they are happy for what they have and how they live.”

It is by giving that we receive and it is clear that all who participated gained enormously in so many ways and I am sure gained experiences that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Alastair Megahy
Vice Chair
Upper Batley Governing Body


Mock Interviews 

I was privileged, along with fellow governor Mr Alvy, to take part in the programme of mock interviews for year 9, 10 and 11 learners. This exercise is part of a whole series of events tailored to prepare our boys to successfully obtain career/training opportunities on transition from Upper Batley High School to the outside world.

The school was generously and expertly supported in this event by a number of businesses and colleges. Thanks and acknowledgements to those organisations for releasing their staff to conduct interviews at our school. Special thanks also to Mrs Grogan at school for going above and beyond in both organising this event but also for looking after our visitors so well throughout the three days of interviews.

It was extremely gratifying to hear the comments of fellow interviewers. To say they were impressed with our boys is an understatement. There were many boys who the representative employers would employ without hesitation. The maturity, politeness, enthusiasm, preparedness, conduct and the way the learners projected themselves was commented on by all. They did themselves and the school proud.

In my experience of working with children and young people our boys would present themselves extremely well within the pressure of competitive interview against any of their peers. Their performance also reflected extremely well on the diligent preparation of the staff team to ensure our learners leave school with highly developed skills that leave them well equipped to take advantage of future career and training opportunities.

Alastair Megahy
Vice Chair
Upper Batley High School

Great Teachers

I was pleased to help again this week with interviewing for three more members of our teaching staff.

We interviewed four candidates for three posts, one in PE and two in English, and appointed three more amazing teachers. 

Two of the candidates are already in school as part of their teacher training so we had a good idea about their abilities and potential. They were, however, still put through the full selection process of being observed teaching, being interviewed by some of our learners and a formal interview with Ms Vickers and myself.

So, congratulations to Zahra Wasib (English) and Daniel Bamfield (PE) who will join our staff team as soon as they finish their teaching courses. Both had fantastic lessons and interviews and it is very pleasing to see that ambitious young teachers with great potential want to join our great team. I'm sure they will both be outstanding and help further improve the already rising standards in our school.

The third appointment is Chris Toole who is a more experienced teacher having joined the profession after a successful career in financial services. He also will be helping to raise standards in English by working with smaller groups of learners. Again, we were highly impressed with his teaching and interviews and look forward to him joining us after Christmas.

It is very rewarding and a testimony to our school that such great teachers want to work with us at UBHS and further strengthen our super staff team.
Onwards and upwards!

Geoff Alvy



An ambition shared by by all associated with Upper Batley High School and not least by governors is to get a rating of outstanding by Ofsted. This is not about attaching a label but in everything the school does there is a great sense of purpose to become better and better so that our boys are given the best possible start in life. To this end the Governing Body has developed a range of committees and regular meetings with the objective of closely monitoring the quality of learning across the school.

This is something that demands the serious attention of any group of governors and I am able to report that Mr Goora and myself attended an excellent training event this term around monitoring standards. One of the things we learnt is that we already do this rather well but nonetheless were able to pick up some valuable learning lessons as to how we can become more effective. As the time for New Year’s resolutions draws near you can be assured that governors are resolute in their mission that we will support and challenge our brilliant staff team at Upper Batley High School to continue our journey to outstanding in 2018.

Alastair Megahy
Vice Chairman
Upper Batley High School Governors


It was a great pleasure to attend the Careers Convention that took place at school on 30th November. The event was part of a continuous programme to help our boys make informed choices about how they can translate their skills, dreams and aspirations into a future career.

There were about 30 providers advising and exhibiting which included colleges, universities, and both local and national employers. It was great also to see so many parents in

attendance. Acknowledgments and thanks to Mr Sherrard, Mrs Brackley and Mrs Grogan for organising and co-ordinating this event. The Governors at Upper Batley High School are proud of how the staff team go the extra mile to enable our boys to reach and expand their potential. This is a shining example of this.

Alastair Megahy
Vice Chair
Upper Batley High School Governing Body 

Presentation Evening 

I was very pleased to attend the Presentation Evening recently when a hall full of learners, parents and families saw some of our amazing boys being presented with awards and certificates for outstanding contributions to school and community life. 

It was fantastic to see so many people celebrating the achievements of the school on such a cold evening.

The whole event was very uplifting with speeches from the guests of honour, Ms Vickers, last year’s Head Boy Atyab Ranguni and this year’s Head Boy Adam Karolia.

My favourite part of the evening was a performance by the school choir accompanied by a drumming group.  I can’t remember even in my long association with the school there being a school choir before so congratulations to the singers and drummers and to our new music teacher Mr Rodwell for organising and rehearsing them. Also thanks to Mr Hazelwood for organising a super event.

Earlier that week I had helped with interviews for an Assistant Head Teacher to further strengthen our Senior Leadership Team.  This was an internally advertised vacancy and two candidates were interviewed.  Both proved to be excellent and demonstrated their strengths, experience, achievement and enthusiasm for the school. It was difficult to separate them.  After consideration it was decided to appoint both so congratulations to Mr Sherrard and Mr Farrar.

Geoff Alvy.  Governor.