The role of the Governing Body is an intrinsic part of the leadership of the school. This impact statement is one way in which the Governing Body articulates their role in school leadership and the impact we have had on school improvement. The Governing Body is made up of a group of dedicated volunteers, who invest a huge amount of good will, hard work and time for the sole purpose of improving the education of every child in our school. The Government expects us as your Governing Body to be a dynamic group of highly skilled individuals who focus on supporting the Headteacher and all the staff to shape the strategic direction of school. As Governors, we are accountable for the performance of our school and we are measured by three core strategic functions:
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction
• Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
• Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure the money is spent well
Governors work co-operatively with the Headteacher and senior management in the writing and monitoring the School Improvement Plan. The School Improvement Plan (SIP) sets aims for the forthcoming year. The current SIP is based on priorities identified from data, school self-evaluation and Ofsted priorities. The SIP is set out with clear aims, the key tasks that will be completed in order to achieve these aims and the success criteria in order to measure outcomes. The SIP is monitored and reviewed and presented to governors as part of the Headteacher report.
Members of Governing Body have and continue to have training. The impact of this is that the Governing Body are kept abreast of their responsibilities regarding the latest requirements and expectations. Alongside the whole governor body training, governors attend individual courses and training.
Impact of Full Governing Body Meetings
Governors attend two full governing body (FGB) meetings each term. In addition, some governors meet three times a year as a Finance and Resources Committee. Governors are linked to areas of the School Improvement Plan and have regular visits and meetings with staff to monitor progress against the SIP objectives. Governor visit reports, which are supported by an agreed report form to help Governors maintain and appropriate focus, are written and presented at full governing body meetings. The visits and reports impact greatly on the governing body’s ability to effectively ask important questions, support but also hold senior leaders to account.
Each full board meeting the board discusses and updates our impact document that is informed by research and school context.
Governors provide strong support for the Headteacher. We now have a strong senior leadership team leading high quality teaching and learning throughout the school. More recently, governors have provided strong support to the Headteacher and senior leadership team during Covid and the school closures. The wellbeing of staff has been a priority and this has remained positive throughout the pandemic. This has resulted in children feeling happy and settled at school and able to focus on their learning at school or with home learning.
Impact of Finance and Personnel Committee Meetings
The school budget is scrutinised and reviewed in detail at these meetings. On this committee, we have governors with strong finance skills who review end of year budgets, attend pre-budget meetings and question deficit/surplus balances. Using benchmarking information, the committee scrutinise the effect of pupil numbers on the budget and how this impacts on staffing and resources.
Careful monitoring and planning of the budget by the Finance and Resources Committee has impacted positively on subsequent years where budgets have enable the school to have a strong and effective staffing structure to drive school improvements.
The Finance and Personnel Committee ensure ‘best value’ when purchasing items or services. The governors ensure that the school provide three quotes for items or services over £1000. Ensuring best value has seen the successful installation of a new play equipment, security fencing, running track and reading shelter for the primary school.
Pupil Premium Funding
In comparison to other schools, St Mary's CofE Primary School receives similar percentage of Pupil Premium (PP) Funding.
The Finance and Personnel Committee approve the planned spend of PP funding each year and challenge the Headteacher and senior leaders on the impact of the spending. Details of the impact of Pupil Premium spending can be found on the website.
Sports Premium Funding
Alongside the PP funding, the Finance and Personnel Committee monitors how the schools spends the Sports Premium Funding. The Primary PE and Sport Premium is ring-fenced and must only be spent on physical education and sport provision in schools. The funding aims to achieve improvement in all areas of PE, from the standard of physical education to introducing health focused physical activities and after school sports. Details of the impact of Sports Premium spending can be found on the website.
The governing body and Finance and Personnel Committee have recently used capital expenditure to agree the installation of a running track and redevelopment of the Early Years environment.
General Data Protection Regulation
Governors are responsible for ensuring the data protection policy is in place and being followed. Governors ensure the school has a Data Protection Officer (DPO) and that they attend refresher training.
The monitoring of safeguarding practices is a key priority for governors and is ongoing throughout the year. Along with the Headteacher governors conduct an annual safeguarding audit and monitor the actions identified from the audit. Safeguarding reports presented at FGB meetings provide an opportunity to challenge the safeguarding culture of the school and ensure robust procedures and practises are in place. Safeguarding questions are asked during governor visits through pupil conferencing. The impact of this challenge and monitoring is a confidence in the strong safeguarding ethos at St Mary's CofE Primary School.
Members of the governing body have completed “safer recruitment” training and have contributed to the successful recruitment of a strong team.
School Improvement Plan and Governor Visits
Link governors have responsibility for specific areas of the SIP. Each governor has conducted monitoring visits to review their area and have produced governor visit reports identifying strengths and next steps. Reports are shared in full governor body meetings and result in greater accountability of staff. Action plans are updated regularly and success criteria is met. This is shared with governors during their visits.
Governors review and approve policies annually. This takes place throughout the year in FGB meetings and Policies Working Group meetings. The Headteacher is asked to give examples of when the policies have been used to ensure the policies are being followed and practiced and to ensure policy review is not just a paper exercise. Policies are updated on the school website.
More recently, the governors have reviewed the Health Eating Policy in collaboration with other stakeholders (Parent Group) who wanted more detailed expectations. Governors have ensured the policy includes a more detailed expectations. A senior member of staff, who is also a staff governor, is working alongside the Headteacher to ensure actions are implemented and outcomes are achieved.
Governors are responsible for undertaking the Headteacher’s performance management review each year. Governors, supported by the local authority, set annual targets, which are reviewed at points throughout the year.
The Headteacher completes an annual performance management report for the governors evidencing that performance management has been completed for all staff and that staff have meet performance management targets. Governors scrutinise the report and use evidence to approve pay recommendations given by the Headteacher.