Chair of Governors’ annual report

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Board of Little Sutton Primary School July 2018

 

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:

  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 it’s money is well spent.

 

Governance arrangements

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.

At the end of the school year 2017/18, 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. One of the foundation governor positions is also a vacancy.

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 has changed and now focusses on the school infrastructure and has been 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

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 spending of the pupil premium and in particular a new tracking database managed by the school.

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. Now that the new SATs structure is better understood by all schools, the governing board has been able to challenge the school to demonstrate progress for all pupils.

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 increase the school budget through revenue generation activities and also how we might reduce the expenditure. We have applied for a grant to enable us to build an additional classroom space which can be used to provide training to others as well improve the children’s education. This is closely linked with successfully becoming a hub for English.

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 embedding the connection through a formal collaboration agreement. All the schools are very positive about it, but there is remains work to do on the formalisation of the agreement. This has been delayed due to 2 schools searching for new headteachers following retirements. New input to the co-operative will be an excellent opportunity to review what we have achieved together and what are our priorities looking forward.

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 continue to follow a rolling programme of reviews.

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 implement our plans 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 or via email: m.griffiths@littlesu.bham.sch.uk