Governors Impact Statement 2016/17
At the end of every school year we have a period of reflection and look back over what we have achieved. It is really important to do this so that as a Governing Body we can learn from what has happened and make changes and improvements where necessary, but also celebrate our successes. This reflection includes feedback from the pupils, staff, governors, PTFA and from parents via the annual Governor’s questionnaire. The results of this are analysed and form the new School Improvement Plan. This document sets out what we think have been our key impacts as a Governing Body during the 2016/17 school year.
The Governing Body currently consists of 14 governors and these are made up of a range of different roles. As a voluntary aided Catholic School our Governing Body is predominantly made up of Foundation Governors and the Chair of Governors has to be a Foundation Governor. Foundation Governors are selected by the Parish Priest and appointed by the Diocese. These governors act on behalf of the Diocese to ensure that the Catholic nature of the school is protected and nurtured. The Governing Body also has parent and staff governors, who are appointed from within those groups, the Headteacher, a Local Authority governor, governors co-opted for their particular skills and expertise and associate governors. For the past year we have operated with vacancies in our foundation governors but I am pleased to say that we start 2017/18 with a full complement.
Our school mission is to build a spiritual and dynamic community which is enthusiastic for learning and which embraces the achievement of potential for all. We use this to test our impact as governors.
Our work is done in committees and these are:
- Full Governing Body
We have a lot of business to do and therefore we have terms of reference for each committee which clearly states what delegated decision making each committee has. The Full Governing Body retains the oversight of all the committees and receives reports from them at each meeting.
Resources Committee – Chair: Iain Findlay
This is the committee where decisions are made about how the financial resources of the school will be distributed. It is a challenging role as there are never enough resources to meet the needs of the building, staffing and other resources, so we have to prioritise and make difficult choices. We try to do this with the best interest of the children at heart. Last year we supported the following activities:
- Continuing the improvement programme to the classroom environment. We have made excellent progress on this over the past few years and we are now reaching the end of the class room refurbishments. Our aim is to modernise the school and support both the learning environment for children and deliver a professional working environment for staff.
- Removal of Medway which was a legacy building that was no longer relevant that we have wished to remove for some time.
- Management of staffing levels – whilst unpleasant to have to consider current and future staffing needs as a result solely of financial constraints, there is a statutory responsibility for the school to operate within its budget so we had to make some decisions about staffing levels. This was dealt with as sensitively and professionally as possible balancing the needs of children, budget and staff.
- Engaging new caterers – this was a milestone decision for the school and was taken in order to address pupil and parent concerns as well as financial pressures. This was a difficult process that could have been used as a reason not to change, but staff and governors have put considerable energy into moving this provision forward and we are confident that the new suppliers will provide better choice, freshly cooked food on site and larger portion sizes for the older children.
Curriculum Committee – Chair: Nicola Brown
The Curriculum Committee has worked tirelessly to ensure high standards of teaching and learning across the school.
The committee is responsible for ensuring that the approaches used are having the right impact on the children’s learning and we do this by scrutinising children’s progress data to ensure no child is able to fall behind.
We compare ourselves to other schools locally and nationally to be sure our children are getting a good deal. In 2017 our Key Stage 2 average scaled scores were significantly above the national average in reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar and maths. Furthermore, our progress in reading and maths was also significantly above the national average. As well as this, our greater depth children achieved significantly above average compared to the national average in maths and spelling, punctuation and grammar.
We are an outward facing school, actively learning from and sharing our good practice with other schools. We have been involved in large research project with a National Leader of Education aimed at further improving our outstanding maths practice.
We are constantly seeking new ideas to improve our practice and give our children a world-class education.
Pastoral committee – Chair: Robert Derby
This committee tends to have the largest amount of school based activity and is responsible for reviewing a large number of the school policies.
During the 16/17 school year the committee has
- Undertaken a review of duty books. This involved looking at teachers duty books, and reviewed how teachers were recording accidents, incidents or contact with parents. We revised how incidents or complaints could be escalated up the chain when necessary eventually reaching the head teacher where any escalated complaint or issue is recorded in the head teachers duty book. We have agreed to take these written duty books to an online system of recording.
- The Chaplaincy Team re-commenced the school outreach work with St Joseph’s nursery which involved some children from Yr 3 upwards going to the convent, meeting several of the sisters and taking part in the Stations of the Cross in the chapel throughout Lent. The team also sent out a document entitled Christ at the Centre – Why the Church provides Catholic Schools to all governors to remind them of their role in maintaining and nurturing the Catholic ethos of the school.
- We met with the children’s Tech squad, the group will be renamed Digital Leaders which will enable the children to participate in KidsMeets and other ‘Digital leader’ workshops. Digital leaders is a global initiative within schools. The Pastoral Committee has a role to ensure that everyone is informed about the school’s e-safety policies.
- We looked at lunch time behaviour including bullying. We appointed Mrs Doohan to the Senior Leadership Team to make improvements and improve the overall behaviour of pupils and their enjoyment of break and lunch times as well as having effective methods to tackle bullying. We are delighted to have been awarded the DCC Anti Bullying STOP award.
- We carried out pupil interviews to get insight and listen to our children’s views. These have included how safe children feel and what they think of the school dinners.
- Parent questionnaires were sent out to seek opinions and views of parents and take action and make changes where necessary.
- We had an admissions meeting – reviewing and discussing the intake for 2018/19 and ensuring compliance with the Admissions Policy.
- SENCO – We asked Ivana Hadfield to make a written report to ensure governors have up to date information. We also ensured that our SEN Report is up to date and on our school website.
- We reviewed many school policies – such as Admissions Policy, Child Protection Policy, Safeguarding Policy, Tackling Extremism, First Aid, Medicines, Separated Parents, External Contributors and Speakers.
- Safeguarding – we looked at an on online system for safeguarding in school and carried out drop in checks, where staff were selected and quizzed on their understanding of safeguarding policies and protocols. The Head teacher also ran multiple safeguarding sessions throughout the year for staff and Governors. This drop-in was extremely useful and it will be carried out routinely throughout the year in future.
- We looked at how first aid was being carried out in school and decided to look at how the injury book and first aid book was being recorded as we have done with duty books.
- Catholic Ethos – we spent time each meeting ensuring our Religious Education, Catholic Life and Collective Worships are reviewed at every opportunity and RE is central in all areas of school life the impact of this was reflected in very positive midterm RE monitoring report from the Diocese.You should see our governors regularly either in school, in church or in the playground. Please feel free to pass on any feedback about the school to any of our governors. We also have an email address if you would prefer to use this method firstname.lastname@example.org
- The evidence of the impact of this work is in the performance and experience of the children and the feedback we receive through a variety of methods. We will continue to review your feedback and make improvements over the coming year.