Governance Statement

Alsager Highfields Foundation Primary School

Governance Statement

September 2016 – July 2017

Governance arrangements

The Governing Body of Alsager Highfields Foundation Primary School was re-constituted in April 2015 and is now made up of:

 2 teacher Governors (including the Head teacher)

 5 elected Parent Governors

 1 Local Authority Governor

 2 Foundation Governors

 5 Co-opted Governors.

Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Body and have, in the opinion of the Governing Body, the skills required for the effective governance and success of the school. One of our co-opted Governors works at the school. The full Governing Body meets once every term; four committees, established to discharge the Governors’ responsibilities as effectively as possible, also meet termly or as required.

These committees are:

 Personnel (including pay issues)

 Finance (monitoring school finances & setting the budget)

 Health, Safety and Buildings

 Curriculum and Assessment (resources, issues and policies regarding teaching and learning)

Occasionally special committees are organised when necessary. These may include pupil discipline and appeals.

The full list of Governors and the constitution of committees is attached.

Attendance record of Governors

There is usually very good attendance at Governor meetings. We have never cancelled a meeting because we were not quorate. Details of individual Governor attendance are attached.

The work of our committees and the Governing Body

At the beginning of the year, the Governors elected a new Chair of the Governing Body; they reviewed the terms of reference for the committees, the constitution of the committees and the link governor roles. A number of Governors attended targeted training in areas such as safeguarding, finance, HT performance management. The Governing Body has also provided Governors to form two appeal panels this year. We provided support to the Head Teacher over the year whilst challenging the leadership team in our constant striving to improve the outcomes for our children.

The Finance Committee monitored school expenditure throughout the year and set a new school budget for 2017/18. We completed the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) assessment and received good assurance. Finances have proved very tight this year due to extenuating circumstances and the Governors were forced to carefully review all projects requiring additional expenditure. This committee reviewed the costs of current and future staffing arrangements together with the anticipated class requirements for the next year and concluded that a restructure of support staff was unavoidable. 2

The Personnel Committee oversaw the implementation of the support staff restructure, working to achieve the optimal structure for our school. The committee also reviewed the appraisal process of the staff and were responsible for the Head’s Performance Management review.

The Health, Safety and Buildings Committee monitors the Health and Safety of the School community and also the maintenance and development of the school premises. The Committee ensured that necessary inspections and assessments were carried out, and also reviewed several of the school’s health-and-safety-related policies.

This year, the school has seen an increase in the number of safeguarding issues arising which has been of particular concern for our Governors and we are now going to expand the Safeguarding team with additional staff members undergoing specialised training. The Governor with particular responsibility for Safeguarding is Mr. David Spall.

In the autumn, the Curriculum and Assessment Committee reviewed the achievement and progress of our pupils. The members of this committee also set up additional Pupil Progress meetings to review pupils’ progress and attainment on a termly basis, enabling Governors to monitor the children’s academic progress, and address any weaknesses promptly. The Committee continues to monitor the use of the school’s assessment system, ensuring that a robust marking system is in place. Writing continues to be a concern so Governors looked at plans to raise standards in writing and grammar. The Governors looked in particular at the development of all vulnerable groups of children, including those eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant. Governors evaluate the impact of the provision received by our children – not only on their academic development but also on their social and personal development. The Governors also challenge the leadership on the progress of the higher achieving children to ensure that they fulfil their potential.

This Committee reviewed and updated a number of key school policies. It also received the reports from the SEND Governor who supports the work of the staff and acts as a critical friend. Due to the increased number of cases, an additional staff member has undertaken SEND training and we have two Governors responsible for SEND issues. Together they have attended review meetings with staff, ensured that the new code of practise is firmly embedded, and attended the termly ‘parent forums’ set up to give parents the opportunity to discuss their children’s needs with the SENCO staff informally.

Link Governors have also visited school this year, meeting with subject coordinators to discuss their plans for raising standards over the year and other pertinent issues; they reported back to the Governing Body.

Future plans for the Governors

In the summer term the school was inspected by Ofsted; the Governors also met with the Inspectors. As a result the SDP for the coming year has been updated to focus on issues raised by the Ofsted Inspectors. The Governors will rigorously monitor its implementation.

The Governors will continue the process of self-evaluation this year by restructuring our current committee structure to enable us to fulfil our roles as effectively as possible. We will also be updating our Governor Skills Audit and using it to target new Governors with specific skills.

How you can contact and support the Governing Body

Governors always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents. Please contact the Chair of Governors, Mrs. Suzanne Ellis, via the school office.