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Westonzoyland Primary School ‘Achieving, Learning and Growing Together’

Our Governor Impact Statement

  

GOVERNORS’ IMPACT STATEMENT 2020 – 2021

 

Our governing body is made up of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds ranging from education, the local community and parents who are all committed to the aspirations of the school.

Our purpose…

Is to ensure that our children make good progress in their education by providing independent oversight of the management and operation of the school. Our role is strategic, we do not run the school on a day-to-day basis; this is the job of the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team.

As set out by the Department for Education (DfE) we have 3 strategic functions:

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

 

 

 

We want our children to:

  • Reach their full educational potential
  • Have the skills to be life-long learners
  • Be happy and healthy in mind and body
  • Be a force for good in the world 

 

 

 

To enable this to happen…

We need to ensure that the school is well led and managed by a competent leadership team, supported by motivated staff who work together towards a collective vision and purpose.

 

 

 

 

To meet our first function…

  • Through strategic leadership we help determine what the school wants to achieve by working with the staff and Headteacher to determine a clear vision and values.
  • This is further supported through agreeing an appropriate School Development Plan (SDP) and a robust policy framework.
  • We monitor and evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of these through school monitoring visits.

 

We have done this by…

  • Meeting as a full governing body with staff to collectively review the vision and values at the end of the last school term.
  • We revisited the SDP, celebrated our successes in a particularly challenging year, and reprioritised areas for improvement.
  • Establishing a regular planning cycle.
  • Approving the SDP for the coming year focussing on:
  • Achievement and attainment
  • Parental Relationships
  • Wellbeing
  • Behaviour
  • Adapting to change
  • Continuing to maintain a clear policy review schedule with appropriate updates.
  • Obtaining insights from parents and staff through surveys. Following up on the feedback with clear actions communicated through newsletters and email respectively.
  • Undertaking the Headteacher appraisal.

 

 

 

To meet our second function….

  • As a governing body we act as a ‘critical friend’. We need to ask relevant and probing questions when examining evidence, to effectively assess the educational progress of the children.
  • We celebrate successes and help to find ways of making improvements when expectations are not achieved.

 

We have done this by…

  • Holding regular full governing body meetings throughout the year. This provides insights from the Headteacher through their termly report on all aspects of the running of the school such as the quality of teaching and learning, educational progress, attendance, behaviour and safeguarding. In the last year this has been our primary mechanism to improve our knowledge and understanding of the school in a virtual world. This provides an opportunity to challenge and question the performance and review progress against the SDP.
  • Allocating link governors to each element of the SDP. Face to face visits were limited in the last academic year, however we maintained a virtual relationship with the school in order to continue to maintain our responsibilities.
  • Allocating link governors to each member of the teaching staff to provide a listening ear and support. This led to reinforcing key messaging through a termly governor newsletter.
  • The appropriate link governor carrying out a review of complaints procedure in response to parental concerns; the outcome of which was the school was managing issues appropriately.

 

 

 

To meet our third function…

We must be accountable for the financial performance of the school.

 

We have done this by…

  • Having regular standing agenda items on Finance. This ensures the full board can ensure monies are correctly allocated and spent accordingly. We hear directly from the Finance Officer. We collectively approve draft and final school budgets. The Headteacher ensures we are fully informed as to how the Sport’s Grant and Pupil Premium Grant is spent to allow us to ensure the best possible outcomes for these children. This year this has included agreeing the appropriate use of catch-up funding which we have invested in an additional member of teaching staff.
  • Effectively monitoring spending on school buildings work to ensure the school remains safe and well maintained.
  • To ensure that the school is able to provide wraparound care to support our families without financial impact to the school budget.
  • Supporting the Headteacher to improve the effective running of the pre-school setting through the appointment of a pre-school manager.
  • To ensure that the pre-school finances remain solvent and ensure that we are able to provide high quality early year’s education without financial risk to the school.

 

 

Future plans…

  • We will continue to fulfil our responsibilities as we have outlined above.
  • The Governing body leadership structure is new with two new co-chairs appointed. They will be looking to be proactive to ensure future succession of governors.
  • We have newly appointed governors with no hands-on experience due to COVID restrictions. At the right time they will need to attend school visits to see the evidence in practice that supports the data we talk about. We will also consider the training needs of our Governing body as a whole.
  • Implementation of governor buddies to provide peer on peer support and development.
  • Utilise the skills audit to appropriately target governor vacancies.
  • More targeted feedback surveys throughout the year covering staff, parents and children.

 

 

Information on our governance structure in addition to roles and responsibilities can be found on the Governor page on the website.

 

Impact of COVID

Our role has focussed on the strategic direction of the school during this period with a strong focus on health and safety, understanding and reviewing the COVID risk assessment. There has been a strong focus too on the wellbeing of everyone in the school.

We held 6 virtual full governing body meetings throughout the year and whilst our monitoring visits continued, these too were in a virtual setting. It has been a very unusual year and we hope that we can start to come into the school again soon to see first-hand the learning environment, with the ability to observe lessons and review the great work that the children produce. In the absence of any data from base line assessments for reception and SATs, we used informal assessment data that the school collated throughout the year to help assess progress.

These have been exceptional times as a result of the pandemic and the staff, children and parents have shown incredible resilience and adaptability. We’d like to pay particular thanks to Alison who has done an outstanding job of guiding the school through these tough times.

On a final note, we are always interested in hearing from anyone with an interest in becoming a governor. If this is something of interest contact the school office in the first instance.

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