Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Board of
Little Sutton Primary School July 2017
In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the Governing Board of Little Sutton Primary School remain as:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure it’s money is well spent.
The Governing Board was re-constituted under the 2012 School Governance Regulations in May 2013 following the creation of a co-operative with other local schools.
The Governing Board incorporates:
- 2 staff governors (including the Headteacher)
- 2 foundation governors
- 3 elected parent governors
- 1 Local Authority governor
- 6 Co-opted governors
Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Board and are people who, in the opinion of the governing board, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school: one of the Co-opted governors is a staff member, three are members of the local community and two are vacancies.
The full Governing Board meets once each term and also has an interim meeting once each term where a shortened agenda is used to enable greater discussion and debate.
The following committees meet at least once per term – Buildings and Finance, People, Standards & Achievement and Communications. From September 2017, the Communications working party will change and focus on the school infrastructure and be renamed “Buildings” as a working party with devolved authority from the Finance committee.
There are also governors with designated responsibilities who act on behalf of the full governing board but with particular knowledge or expertise for Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs, Religious Education, Collective Worship, Health & Safety and Looked After Children.
Attendance record of governors
Governors’ attendance at meetings this year has continued to be excellent. Full details of individual governor’s attendance can be found on the school website in the ‘Governors’ section.
On the website you can also see our Register of Business Interests and guidance about what a governor is expected to do. Each governor has signed a code of conduct which reflects their role and the behaviours that are expected.
Governors have attended school for one full day to enable them to see the school in action, meet the children and confirm that activities are undertaken as reported at meetings.
The governing board have undertaken a skills audit and identified that we have a very good selection of skills and wide experiences on the board to enable us to fulfil our duties. A training plan has been constructed to encourage individual governors to increase their skills.
The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing board
As ever, this has been another very busy year for the school and the governing board.
Our strategic improvement priorities are actioned through the school improvement plan; both in approving it and being involved in the actions undertaken. This year we have closely monitored the embedding of ‘Mastery in Maths’ and can clearly see its success from the children’s progress.
Data will always be at the heart of much of what we do as we hold the head teacher and all the staff to account by asking challenging questions to ensure all the children progress. For example we regularly check that Pupil Premium funding is used to benefit the children for which it was intended.
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 focussed on how we might increase the school budget through revenue generation activities and also how we might reduce the expenditure. This is in response to predicted reductions in per pupil spending particularly when the national fair funding is implemented.
As a member of the Learning Trust for Excellence co-operative trust, the board also ensures that the school not only takes an active part but that the school and its pupils benefit from the arrangement. There is no doubt that the Trust has been a wonderful development for the schools in the local area and our school has improved thanks to the co-operation, learning and sharing that has been undertaken. This year the focus has been on how the schools in the trust deepen their connection through a formal collaboration agreement. All the schools are very positive about it, but there is still some work to do on the formalisation of the agreement.
Another important role for governors is ensuring the safety and well-being of the children and we have a nominated Governor for Safeguarding who reports to the governors about any safeguarding matters.
Governors also review and agree key school policies. This year governors have approved many policies and we now follow a rolling programme of reviews that was established last year to ensure none are missed.
The minutes of Governing Board meetings are public documents and you can ask at the school office if you would like to see any of the minutes of our meetings.
Future plans for the governors
The board will continue to focus on helping deliver the school improvement plan, keep safeguarding at the forefront of our minds and further develop ways to ensure our financial situation remains healthy.
How you can contact the governing board
We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents. You can contact the Chair of Governors, Mark Griffiths, via the school office.