Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body
Settle C.E. (VC) Primary School

October 2017

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the Settle C.E. Primary School Governing Board are: 

1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

 

Governance Arrangements

The Governing Board of Settle C.E. Primary School re-constituted in January 2015. The Board of Governors for Settle C.E. Primary School is made up (as per the Instrument of Government) as follows:

  • The Headteacher
  • One Local Authority (appointed) Governor
  • One Staff Governor(elected)
  • Three Parent Governors (elected)
  • Two Foundation Governors (elected)
  • Four Co-opted Governors(appointed)

Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Board and are members who, in the opinion of the Board, have the necessary skills required to effectively contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

All Governors undertake a comprehensive Knowledge and Skills Audit on an annual basis, in order that the Board can continue to identify an appropriate and expert skills base. This exercise also assists identify any potential ‘skills gaps’ should there be any future governor elections.

All four co-opted Governors are members of the local Community. One is a retired Primary School Headteacher, the others being the owner/ manager of a local Nursery, an office manager and the school’s senior supervisor. The parent Governor cohort at present consists of two local businessmen and a working mum. 

Governors are expected to confirm that they have no business interests in the school, receive no gifts or any form of hospitality and are eligible to serve as a Governor (Statutory Declaration) . 

Governor Declaration of interests

We can confirm that, at October 2017 there were no business or financial interests declared.

Roles in other schools 2016-17 were declared as:

• Rev Hilary Young: Chair of Governors Rathmell CE Primary School
• Rev Stephen Dawson: Governor Horton in Ribblesdale CE Primary School.  

Training and Safeguarding

All Governors undertake extensive safeguarding training on an annual basis. They hold an enhanced DBS Certificate and conform to the Disqualification Disclosure criteria. The full Governing Body is scheduled to meet four times per academic year (once a term as well as the annual AGM).

In addition, there are a number of sub-committees which meet during the academic year, the two main committees being Resources, and Assessment Standards and Curriculum. 

Constitution
The constitution of Settle Primary School’s Board for the Academic year 2016/2017 is, as follows:

Headteacher
Mr Richard Wright
Foundation Governors
Rev Hilary Young (ex officio Priest in Charge)
Rev Stephen Dawson
Local Authority Appointed Governor
Rev Neil Kendra (term of office ends summer 2017) - replacement expected to be in post January 2018
Staff Governor
Mrs Alison Hulse
Parent Governors
Mr Chris Eccleston
Mr Michael Gudgeon
Mrs Amanda Dawson
Co-opted Governors
Mrs Gillian Gape
Mrs Diane Horsfall
Mrs Helen Monks
Mrs Emma Carr

Associate Member

Mrs Hannah Latty 

There are many ‘layers’ to the schools Board of Governors and in addition to Committees, the school has a number of identified Link Governors.These Governors have been identified as having an expertise in priority areas and are the ‘link’ between members of the school
and the Board of Governors in areas such as Special Educational Needs (SEN), Safeguarding, Premises / Health and Safety, Pupil and Sports Premium.

Foundation Governors also have a Church link role to support Collective Worship and RE.

Link governors provide a specific over-view to the Board by reporting their observations and findings. Members of the Board regularly visit the school and undertake a programme of class visits and learning walks alongside the Headteacher. Governors are not however responsible for assessing the quality of teaching or undertaking lesson observations.

Just Attendance

The Governors of Settle Primary School have an excellent attendance record. To date the school has NEVER had to cancel a Governors’ Meeting due to it not being ‘quorate’ (this is where the number of governors needed are in attendance to ensure that legal decisions etc. can be made at the meeting).

The work that we have done on our committee and as the full governing body

The Governing Board has had a particularly busy year, following on from a successful Ofsted inspection in January 2016. In our last Inspection the school was judged to be “good” in all areas. In our previous two Ofsted inspections our school has been judged as Good with Outstanding features.

Prompted by our recent inspection the governors take note of the areas for further improvement and work in partnership with the headteacher and staff to proactively address any  areas that have been identified. 

A skills audit is undertaken to identify governor strengths and areas for development.  Committees are set up to reflect governor expertise.  

Governors continue to be concerned about “vulnerable groups” of children and continue to focus on reviewing how Pupil Premium funding has been spent by the school, together with what impact the funding and subsequent additional curriculum support for appropriately identified individuals has had on outcomes.

Governors consider the outcomes of ALL children and continually challenge the curriculum. Additionally, Governors also question what provision the school makes to support the progress of those who are considered ‘Gifted and Talented’. 

The Premises link governor, carries out termly checks of the premises alongside the Headteacher and Mr Dale Barton, the school’s Health and Safety Officer from North Yorkshire County Council.

Since the Summer Term 2016, the Resources Committee have had the responsibility of approving the budget plan for Settle Primary School in compliance with the Schools Financial Value Standards. Governors are pleased to report that, at the present
time the school is in a satisfactory financial position.

One of the major concerns for Governors is the safeguarding of children. The Board’s Nominated Link Governor for Safeguarding is Mrs Helen Monks. In this role, Mrs Monks is responsible for the delivery of a termly report to the Board as a whole about any
safeguarding matters/issues. The whole Governing Body is proactive in securing a safe environment both in and outside school.

One of the many roles for a governor is reviewing and agreeing school policies. This year, and in accordance with review schedules, the Board have considered and up-dated a number of key policies, including SEND (Special Educational Needs), Behaviour Management and Child Protection.

In regard to attendance, the Board is very pleased to be in a position to report that attendance figures at the school remain favourable when considered against National comparisons. Attendance is also very good at Settle CE Primary School.

The Board regularly consider the School Development Plan and in addition receive reports from the School’s Senior Leaders. In 2017 the  Senior Leadership Team attended a Full Governors’ Board meeting to present an update on assessment and use of progress tracking procedures throughout the school. This was received with gratitude by all governors and agreed that the training and information had been very useful. In 2018 the governors are looking closely at the  strategic direction of the school to take into account a 3-5 year plan that will further strengthen the provision that we currently offer to families.

A Performance Management of the Headteacher is conducted annually, and targets set for the future regarding further raising standards and school improvement. 

Minutes of Governors’ Meetings are public documents. If you would like to inspect any Minutes from meetings, you can do so by requesting copies of the same from the Clerk to Governors.

The Board of Governors are looking forward to the challenges which are already being identified in 2017/18. Governors are also looking forward to working on their own training resources. The role of the Governor is not only a responsible and demanding one, but is also constantly changing.  Due to work commitments it is not always possible for Governors to access training courses that are delivered during the working day. As a result of this, the Board have established an excellent ‘web’ of additional support and guidance through the Local Authority, the National Governors Association (NGA) and Ofsted.

As such the Board always welcomes suggestions, feedback and ideas from the school community, indeed the Governors are proactive in their encouragement of engagement between members of its body and the parent community.  The Governing Body serves the school and as such every member of the Board is approachable.

Should a more formal approach be desired, then individuals are encouraged to write to the Chair of Governors, Mrs Gillian Gape. Any correspondence should be handed into the School Office and will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Finally, please note that the above is not a comprehensive list of duties and responsibilities undertaken by Governors of Settle C.E.Primary School. The information given is merely a brief overview of just a small proportion of the roles and responsibilities of a
Governor but we hope it is helpful in providing you general information about what we do.

Thank you for reading!