ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT
My name is Fr Alan Thompson and I am the current Chair of Governors at St Saviour’s Church of England Primary School in Alum Rock, Saltley. Our full Governing Body, with a total of ten members, consists of 3 parent governors, 2 staff governors, 2 foundation governors and 1 co-opted governor and 1 local authority governor. Alongside this, we have two sub-committees, namely a Finance and a Curriculum Quality & Standards committee (CQ&S). Our clerk is Claire Jukes. Attendance at these meetings can be publically viewed via the attendance registers accessed through our school website.
The role of the Governors is to support, challenge, and hold the school to account, to ensure that all pupils receive the best possible standard of education and care so they can all reach their potential in a peaceful, safe, happy, caring, and hard-working school. Our strategic improvement priorities are actioned through the school improvement plan; both in approving it and being involved in the actions undertaken. Working in partnership with the school, the Governing Body monitors all areas of the school’s action plan, offering support and challenge through the agreed agendas of each committee and the agendas of full governing body meetings. Key issues covered this year include: identifying priorities for inclusion in and, regular monitoring of the current School Action Plan. For the current academic year, the school’s action plan areas are: Reading, Maths, and Disadvantaged pupils, Boys, High Attainers and Church Character. Along with: reviewing of statutory policies and ensuring there is compliance of the school website; monitoring of pupil progress across the school and ensuring there is a creative, stimulating curriculum for all our children and rigorous budget management and assurances of ‘best value’.
As Governors, we are a committed and enthusiastic group of volunteers who bring a wide range of pastoral, professional, community and social skills to support our school. We are totally committed to make sure that St. Saviour’s Church of England Primary School achieves outstanding status school where education matters to everyone. Governors meet as a full Governing Board at least once each term, and actively participate in many areas of school life, from regular weekly ‘Meet and Greet’ in the morning, attending assemblies to more formal visits in school. We regularly visit the school to develop our understanding of the school’s work and to monitor policies and procedures. We focus on the most important aspects of school life and we all fully support the Head-teacher in her commitment to providing an outstanding education for every pupil. Named Governors have specific responsibility for one or more areas of school life. In this capacity they visit school to meet with their school staff link member or team. These roles are directly related to the key school improvement issues. This year visits have included: monitoring of the administration of SAT’s in year 6, Phonics screening in year 1, participating in the shortlisting process for teacher vacancies, meetings with SENco, subject leads and the Pastoral team. Sub committees also meet termly, to consider different aspects of the school in detail. Presentations, by key members of staff, are a regular part of these meetings. This year, the CQ & S committee, heard reports by our Reading lead (Mr K. Hussain) and Assessment lead (Miss R. McKinney).Our Finance committee is also attended by the School Business Manager (Mr A Kelbie) and our commissioned Finance officer. Each year the finance committee and full governing board scrutinise and ultimately approve the school budget, which is then closely monitored throughout the year. This year, we have continued to focus on how we might reduce the expenditure.
When we meet formally in committees and as a full group; we focus on the following:
The Effectiveness of Leadership and Management: We regularly discuss staffing, resources, funding and our high expectations for the conduct of pupils and staff. We challenge senior leaders to explain and debate pupil outcomes. We discuss the long-term vision for our school and actively participate in whole school training wherever possible. The Governors with the staff discuss the curriculum to ensure that all aspects are included and pupils receive a broad understanding of life in modern Britain. We also pay great attention to faith values which we promote regularly. As chair, working alongside the head teacher, I input termly into the school’s collective worship schedule and, this year, held an assembly for the children on the liturgical colours. Safeguarding is a vital role for Governors and monitoring of policies is undertaken regularly. Governors have a statutory duty for Safeguarding and Ashya Begum is our designated Child Protection and Safeguarding Governor. Performance Management is scrutinised to make sure the professional development of staff is supporting their own aspirations and is leading to improved standards.
The Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Governors monitor these aspects through regular discussion, and questioning, with key staff and the comprehensive Head teacher’s Report presented to the Governing Board. As previously noted, Governors often visit the school to undertake whole site observations and learning walks. A record of these visits is kept in school. A large part of the full Governing Board meetings, are devoted to these aspects. Governors also attended staff meetings, staff INSET on Safeguarding and Phonics, and individual Governors visited the school in their monitoring capacity.
Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare: Governors, together with staff, endeavour to create a safe space for all members of the school community, to develop and lead a happy and wholesome life. Some aspects we monitor are: incidents of bullying, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, keeping safe online, personal safety and well-being, as well as how as a school, we are promoting and developing an understanding of British / Faith Values. Because of our school context, the introduction of the SRE curriculum has been placed on the agenda this year, both myself and the head have attended training and met with Sarah Smith, the Diocesan Director of Education, to discuss the future introduction of this in our school.
Overall Effectiveness: Whilst the Governing Board was praised by Ofsted for some of its work, areas for improvement have also- rightly – been highlighted which the board are embracing. These have included rigorous training and re-organisation of the Governing Body to ensure we fully meet our obligations.
Being a Governor is sometimes hard, often challenging, but always rewarding.