Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body 2018- 2019:
In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the Governing Body of Drighlington Primary School are:
To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- To hold the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
- To oversee the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
The constitution of the Governing Body of Drighlington Primary School is made up as follows:
- 1 Head Teacher
- 2 Parent Governors appointed by ballot of the parents at the school
- 1 Local Authority Governor appointed by the Local Authority
- 1 Staff Governor appointed by ballot of the staff
- 8 Co-opted Governors appointed by the Governing Body
Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
In 2018-2019 we welcomed 5 new Governors on to our Governing Body, 3 co-opted members, 1 parent Governor and 1 associate member appointed due to her specific skills in relation to child protection and safeguarding. The appointment of new governors has brought us new energy and skills and further strengthened our team. 3 Governors resigned from their posts in 2018- 2019, including Sue Roberts, a long standing and much valued member of our team. We thank her for her time and commitment over the years.
In 2018 – 2019 we restructured our Governing Body meetings. Teaching and Learning (T&L) Committee items were incorporated into our full Governing Body meetings. This meant that we did not hold separate T&L meetings but continued to have a Resources committee to focus on finance and premises and a committee focused on Headteacher’s performance management. The new structure demonstrated our collective commitment to helping the school make the progress needed and enabled the whole Governing Body to take a broader and more informed view of the school.
During 2018-2019 the Full Governing Body met 4 times; Resources met 3 times. Minutes of meetings are available on request. The Governing Body is determined to ensure that statutory requirements are met and minutes are taken by a Local Authority Clerk.
At the start of the year we also engaged in Joint Review Group (JRG) meetings. This sub- committee consisted of 4 members of the Governing Body, including the Head Teacher, a School Improvement Advisor from Leeds City Council and a National Leader of Governance. We met once in October 2018. The main focus of the JRG was to help us make rapid improvements following our 2017 Ofsted inspection and to develop Governors knowledge and understanding of school data and assessment.
Following self evaluation and consultation with Governor Support at Leeds City Council, this committee was disbanded and the items covered by this committee became business as usual for the full Governing Body.
The Governing Body and the committees all have clear terms of reference and all Governors are required to abide by a Code of Conduct.
In June 2019 the school had an Ofsted inspection, we are very proud to be a ‘GOOD’ school. The Governing Body met with the lead inspector on the second day of the inspection. The vast improvements made to school governance since the 2017 inspection were recognised.The Ofsted reports states that
‘The governance of the school is strong. Governors hold school leaders rigorously to account and check carefully that all the information they receive is accurate.’
Governors visited school during the year to monitor key priority areas identified in the School Improvement Plan. Governor monitoring visits allow governors the opportunity to observe and communicate with staff and pupils and ensure that actions agreed in the School Improvement Plan are being actively undertaken by the school. Governors met with Phase Leaders to discuss pupil progress and actively monitor the impact of new initiatives on pupil outcomes. Key governors have responsibilities for monitoring and overseeing key roles, such as SEND, Pupil Premium and Child Protection, they meet with school staff responsible for these areas and report back to the full Governing Body. A list of key roles and responsibilities can be found on our website.
During 2018-2019 Governors also supported school events, such as Sports Day, Christmas performances, our weekly Superhero assembly, PTA events and Parents evenings.
Governor Focus in Academic Year 2018 – 2019
Continuous improvement and progress towards achieving our Ofsted priorities was the main focus for the Governing Body in 2018 – 2019. We worked closely with SLT and external stakeholders to ensure that we were well prepared for the June 2019 Ofsted inspection and that we had systems in place to accurately review outcomes for children.
During this year we have undertaken relevant training and up skilling to ensure that we are informed and able to provide relevant challenge to school leaders. This area will remain a priority for 2019 -2020.
The Governing Body is focussed on continuous school improvement and utilisation of school budget to ensure that all children are given the best possible opportunity to meet their full potential. We constantly review the maintenance and development of the school premises, and make decisions about how the school should use its budget. We will continue to focus on “vulnerable groups” of children and how the Pupil Premium Grant is being spent by the school to promote and improve learning outcomes. The Governing Body monitor staff performance and assess the staffing needs of the school. They also ensure that legally required polices are in place to support staff management.
Self evaluation of the Governing Body has played a big part in 2018 -2019. We have concentrated on building our skills and knowledge of the school as well as identifying the areas for further development. This approach has enabled us to recruit the best people to fill our vacancies based on skills and experience. We also recognised that our meeting structure needed further enhancement, resulting in the T&L committee being reinstated in 2019– 2020. We engaged with Governor Support Services at Leeds City Council to ensure that this was the best approach for our team.
Governor focus areas for 2019 -2020
During 2019 – 2020 the Governing Body will:
- continue to work with all stakeholders and strive to develop and work towards the long-term strategy of the school
- continue to act as a critical friend to the SLT, challenging and holding them to account whilst providing the required strategic support.
- continue to self- evaluate our skills and knowledge and to take advice from all stakeholders to ensure that governance remains a strength.
In 2019 – 2020 we will return to the structure of having full Governing Body meetings, T&L and also Resources committee meetings. We feel that this will allow us to tackle more focussed issues in the committee meetings whilst remaining focussed on school improvement and pupil outcomes in the full Governing Body meetings.
The Governing Body is wholeheartedly committed in its support to the school in building on the tremendous success of the recent Ofsted in achieving “Good” status for the school. We are extremely passionate about providing support to the school so that they can ensure every pupil attending Drighlington Primary School achieves the best start in education; achieves their full potential, and is given the skills and encouragement to pursue learning opportunities
A Governor Development Day took place on 9 October 2019. Our focus was on curriculum and spending time with pupils from all year groups. We also participated in child protection training during this day. Governors reported that school was calm, children were well behaved and said they were happy and safe. They found all children to be confident and outgoing, including those in early years.
Children were able to explain their learning and knew how to complete their tasks. They were focused and engaged, doing as they should in all lessons. Governors praised the uniformity in lessons and said they could see progression in learning. They could see that school improvement initiatives such as Talk for Writing and Power Maths, were in use across school. Children were supported when they needed extra help and had a good range of resources available to them.
Governors spoke to groups of children (School Council, Anti-bullying and Eco Group). They found the children to be eloquent when they talked about their roles in school. Children said they had a voice and they made a difference. The talked about reducing waste, saving the planet, supporting children when they fall out with each other and making decisions about school.