School Governors have a varied and important role to play in schools. They help the school to run effectively. They have 3 core functions:
- Planning the strategic direction of the school.
The board are key strategic decision makers in our school
Developing and overseeing the school’s aims and objectives around how the school will develop and improve.
Developing policies, formulating plans and agreeing targets to help the school achieve these objectives, as well as regularly reviewing their strategic framework in light of that progress.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and ensuring the money is spent well
Through a strategic role in the financial management of school including setting financial priorities through the school development plan, 3 year financial plan and the annual budget
Deciding how the school’s delegated budget should be spent in accordance with the school improvement plan and statutory curriculum requirement.
- Holding the headteacher and school leadership to account.
Supporting and challenging the school’s senior leadership team and in holding the Head Teacher to account for securing the best possible outcomes for pupils.
Challenging key decisions and asking pertinent questions about the school’s performance data, governors aim to guarantee high standards in education.
Governors usually attend around 3 termly meetings. And any committee meetings they belong to. Being a school governor is a commitment and a responsibility, but offers people the chance to see first-hand the impact you can make in improving education for children in the local community.
Our Governing Board is ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance is grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities.
Key challenges of 2020-21:
In 2020-21 the challenges which faced our school were once again overshadowed by those challenges relating to COVID 19.
Setting the strategic direction:
Governors were faced with the prospect of ensuring the school development plans once again supported the children to catch up and aimed for high standards of attainment and progression for all children.
Adapting and realigning the focus of the governing board as the school was placed into yet another lockdown and restrictions prevented face to face working.
Ensuring the ethos and aims of the school were maintained during challenging times.
Governors also had to support the school through the building and adaption of the building to accommodate the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Resource Base that was planned and rescheduled for opening in September 2021. There was also the recruitment of the staff and the preparation of the school for the implementation and integration.
Creating robust accountability:
Supporting the school to implement remote education and manage the uncertainty of another lockdown whilst maintain high levels of accountability for the welfare, safeguarding and education of children.
Balancing accountability and high expectations with staff wellbeing and workload on return to school when both home learning and in class teaching were required.
Ensuring opportunities to support and still challenge leaders were possible through different ways of working.
Ensuring financial probit:
Ensuring effective spend of catch up funding
Monitoring the financial impact of Covid 19 due to staff absence, need for additional resources required for the delivery of home learning and the needs of pupils returning to the classroom.
Effectiveness and impact of the board:
Governors adapted quickly to the ever-changing face of the pandemic and the impact on school during 2020-21. Governors met virtually regularly across the autumn and spring terms to ensure the head teacher and senior leaders were fully supported throughout the pandemic.
Governors recognised the strain Covid 19 could and was having on staff and ensured a regular focus on staff wellbeing and supported decisions made by the school to provide additional planning time to ensure teachers were prepared for any bubble closures. Initiatives such as well-being packages in the staffroom, freeing up staff to attend vaccine appointments and allowing to work from home where possible (PPA, early evenings)
During spring 2021 governing board meetings were held in full and the focus was to ensure quality of home education, how engagement was tracked and encouraged and what was being done to support vulnerable pupils, those with SEND and pupil premium pupils academically and in terms of wider support. Governors ensured statutory duties were carried out by the school.
Governors worked with the head teacher to evaluate the impact of lockdown and respond to the needs of school, reviewing and agreeing the catch up funding and responding to future plans to support those pupils who had been most affected by lockdown and bubble closures over the two year Covid period.
Wellbeing of staff and pupil was a significant focus of discussions and actions by the school regularly reviewed. The Governing board supported the risk assessment to allow key agencies (NHS services, speech and language services and the heathy minds team who provided mental health and wellbeing support) into school and ensure children received the support they required.
The impact of the actions of the governing board is reflected in the hard work of the school to ensure the curriculum was covered and the needs of pupils addressed quickly. This is evident in the high numbers of vulnerable pupils who attended throughout the pandemic, low rates of staff absence with no absences related to stress, the positive feedback of staff and the rapid gains pupils made as a result of targeted input in the summer term.
As restrictions were lifted and it was safe to do so following public health England advice, governors attended for short face to face sessions to review the standard of work being produced and observe from a distance how children and staff had returned to school.
The Resource Base buildings and adaptations were completed successfully. The staff have all been recruited ready for a September 2021 start. The Governors appointed the 2 teaching staff with a start date of Summer Term 2021 in order to prepare the curriculum, resources and environment. The support staff were all recruited ready for a September 2021 start.
Governors support the future focus on:
- Accelerating progress of pupils to secure standards at Age Related Expectations and Higher Standards to pre Covid % in reading writing and maths. SDP
- Maintaining a focus on the practical aspects of the curriculum missed due to Lockdown.
- Establish a 13 place specialist resource base at Lord Blyton Primary
- To accelerate progress and improve outcomes for pupils in reading, phonics particularly at the end of KS 1.