Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body of Fairstead Community Nursery & Primary School July 2015
In accordance with statutory requirements, the main functions of Fairstead’s Governing Body are;
- To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- To hold the headteacher and senior leaders to account for performance of the school;
- To ensure good use of school funds
The Governing Body (GB) for Fairstead is made up of 10 members;
2 parent governors, 2 staff governors, 5 co-opted governors and 1 local authority governor. We are currently carrying 2 vacancies; 1 parent governor and 1 co-opted governor. During this year we successfully recruited 3 governors but lost 2. Recruiting more governors, particularly parent governors and parent governors for whom English is an additional language is one of our priorities as a Governing Body. In order to guide our recruitment as well as to better understand our strengths and collective skills we undertook a skills audit this year.
Each Governor has a link role as well as a portfolio role. This means that each Governor is linked to a year group and also “champions” a topic / policy area for e.g. safeguarding or SEN-D. Governors come into school at least once a term to see staff about their policy area and their link role. Governors are asked to write a brief report about their visit to inform the GB of any issues. This might include the need for further resources or a change to policy. We think that this approach supports and strengthens our ability to challenge school leaders and ensure good use of resources.
As we are a small governing body we have decided for the time being to not have committees but to conduct all our work together. We meet at least once a term and in the autumn and spring terms we hold a meeting which focuses solely on performance against priorities set in the SIDP.
The only exceptions to this way of working are the staffing committee and head teacher performance review committees.
Attendance of Governors
All of our meetings this year have been quorate.
Our Work This Year
Our work this year has really focussed on supporting our head teacher, school leaders and children to achieve our SIDP vision and achievement targets; to be an “Outstanding” school. We have concentrated on supporting our school leaders to prepare for an Ofsted inspection and in making sure that we as a Governing Body are ready for an inspection too. This has included;
- Refining data and bringing together data to show pupil progress, including case studies.
- Ensuring Governors understand the different data that is presented to us and the main trends and stories for our school. In February we had a meeting dedicated to the FFT governor dashboard and RAISE on-line.
- Focusing the work of our external advisor on what we need to do to be an “outstanding” school.
- We have supported the Headteacher in decisions to ensure the quality of teaching at our school is of the highest standard; investing in small class sizes, 1:1 intervention and re-organisation of staff members during the year to ensure that skills and experience were placed where they are most needed.
- We have recently agreed the budget to recruit additional teaching assistants to help with the lunchtime period and spend some time before /after in classes to support learning.
- We agreed to continue and broaden the focus of the writing project to include reading.
- In terms of budget and resources our priority this year has been to manage our budget surplus and avoid a surplus over 8%. As part of this plan we have invested a considerable amount in improving our outside area for play and learning. Alongside these physical improvements we have agreed to award a TLR to a staff member to widen the potential for teaching and learning outside the classroom.
- This summer will see a major overhaul of the School Hall area, the last part of the school to be improved.
- Safeguarding and making sure that our safeguarding procedures are robust and to the highest standard has been another key area of focus for the governing body.
Future Plans for the Governing Body
We will continue to challenge and support the school to continue to be “outstanding”, in particular to support the Head teacher in her role as a local leader and to develop a succession plan within the senior leadership team.
As a GB we will recruit members to fill our vacancies. We will also explore how we can better gather feedback / input from EAL parents.
How to contact us
We welcome feedback and suggestions from parents; please contact the Chair of Governors via the school office.