|Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body of William Davis School September 2016|
|In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of William Davis Primary School Governing Body are:
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 its money is well spent.
The Governing Body of William Davis Primary School was re-constituted in 2015 and is now made up of 2 staff governors (including the Headteacher), 4 elected Parent Governors, 1 Local Authority Governor and 5 Co-opted governors. Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in our opinion, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school: on our Governing Body one of the co-opted governors (Russell Viegas) is a part-time staff member and the remaining four are members of the local community. These include a GP at a local practice (Gilur Rahman), and a Head of a Local Authority SEN Team ( Di Blackmore).
The full Governing Body meets twice in the Autumn term, once in the Spring term and once in the Summer term. We also have two committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail. The Finance Committee focuses on the school budget, premises and personnel matters. The Curriculum Committee looks at what and how the children are being taught – and makes sure the staff are helping each child reach his or her full potential. These two committees meet at least once each term. We also have panels that meet if required to consider pupil discipline and staffing matters.
See p4 for a list of Governors.
Attendance record of governors
Governors have excellent attendance at meetings and we have never cancelled a meeting because it was not “quorate” (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made). See p4 for details of individual governors’ attendance at meetings.
The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing body
The Governing Body has had a particularly busy year. We prepared for an Ofsted inspection, which took place in May 2016. We are delighted to report that the school maintained a judgement of Good. The inspector stated that: “Leaders and governors have reviewed and revised the vision and ethos of the school. This has resulted in a substantial shift in culture. The atmosphere is one of ambition and nurture.”
In relation to Governance which was a key objective from the previous Ofsted she stated: “Governance has improved since the last inspection. Many of the current governing body have joined since then and bring relevant skills and experience to support leaders. Governors welcome opportunities for training and attend them regularly.
They have improved their understanding of information about pupils’ progress and use this to hold leaders to account for their work.”
The Curriculum Committee has spent time considering the new curriculum and related assessment systems across the school year. Governors also discuss key data for example the annual results of pupil attainment and progress, so that we can be sure that the school is on track to fulfill its ambitious targets for all pupils. This committee also looks at other aspects of the school’s performance, such as absence, which we are pleased to say is generally excellent at our school.
The Finance Committee looks at the maintenance and development of the school premises, the school staffing structure and makes decisions about how the school should use the budget. Early in the summer term, the Finance Committee approved the 2016/17/15 budget plan for the school: the school is facing challenging times ahead as are many small schools. Governors have approved some reductions in spending for 2016-17; and will continue to plan for greater efficiency whilst maintaining standards for the children.
One of the roles for the governors is reviewing and agreeing school policies, and this year we have considered a number of key policies, including asupport staff appraisal policy and updated maths and English policies.
Apart from the committees, several governors have specific “link” roles that help us oversee the work of the staff. Russell Viegas is our Health and Safety Governor and he carries out an annual check of the premises with Aaron Ali, the school’s site manager. Governors are also particularly concerned about Safeguarding and we have a Nominated Governor for Safeguarding (Sakina Allalli) who reports to the governors on safeguarding matters. Phil Stein, the Chair of Governors has meetings and conversations with Annika at least weekly to ensure that in between meetings, the Governing Body is aware of any issues that need our attention. Di Blackmore is responsible for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Looked After Children (LAC). She links with the SENCO and the Headteacher. Chris Smith is the link governor for EYFS and KS1. Gilur Rahman is the link governor for KS2.
Minutes of Governing Body and Committee meetings are public documents – you can either find them on the Governors’ page of our website or 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
A priority for the Governors this year is to support the developing partnership with local schools: the E1 Partnership, as we recognise the importance of collaboration with other schools at this time of changing educational landscape.
Our second priority is to support the Senior Leadership Team to work towards the new objectives set by the Ofsted Inspector in May 2016.
“Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that:
teaching, learning and assessment improves further through
– making sure that the most able pupils are challenged to extend their learning more often
– improving the accuracy of feedback provided to pupils on their work
– embedding the skills of new leaders as they take on further responsibility
teachers have consistently high expectations regarding pupils’ attitudes to learning, and that pupils respond to these”
We are working with Annika to plan and fund improvements to the school playground. This is a long term project (3- 5 years) and it is important to us that every part of the school community: children, parents, staff and our neighbours gets involved in this process.
Above all, we are working to ensure that everyone involved in our school has a singular focus: working to raise attainment for every child in the school and ensuring that each child leaves William Davis ready for a successful secondary school career.
How you can contact the governing body
We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents – please contact the Chair of Governors, Phil Stein, via the school office. You can see the full list of governors; their attendance at meetings; minutes of governing body meetings and more information about what we do, on the Governors’ page of the school website.