Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body
Settle C.E. (VC) Primary School and Kirkby-in-Malhamdale United (VA) Primary School

October 2019

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the Settle C.E. Primary School Governing Board 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.

 

Governance Arrangements

The Governing Board re-constituted in July  2019 to form one governing body overseeing a federated partnership between Settle CE Primary and Kirkby-in-Malhamdale Primary. The Board of Governors is made up (as per the Instrument of Government) as follows:

  • The Executive Headteacher
  • One Local Authority (appointed) Governor
  • One Staff Governor(elected)
  • Two Parent Governors (elected)
  • Four Foundation Governors ( 2 from Kirkby Foundation and 2 from the Diocese - elected)
  • Three Co-opted Governors(appointed)

Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Governing Board and are members who, in the opinion of the Board, have the necessary skills required to effectively contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

All Governors undertake a comprehensive Knowledge and Skills Audit on an annual basis, in order that the Board can continue to identify an appropriate and expert skills base. This exercise also assists identify any potential ‘skills gaps’ should there be any future governor elections.

Governors are expected to confirm that they have no business interests in the school, receive no gifts or any form of hospitality and are eligible to serve as a Governor (Statutory Declaration) . 

Governor Declaration of interests

We can confirm that at October 2019 there were no business or financial interests declared with the exception of the current grounds maintenance contract which is scheduled for renewal in Spring 2020

Training and Safeguarding

All Governors undertake safeguarding training . They hold an enhanced DBS Certificate and conform to the Disqualification Disclosure criteria. The full Governing Body is scheduled to meet six times per academic year (once a term including the annual AGM).

In addition, we have a Finance Sub Committee which meets during the academic year.

Constitution
The constitution of the Governing  Board for the Academic year 2019/2020 is, as follows:

ExecutiveHeadteacher
Mr Richard Wright
Foundation Governors
Rev Tim Broughton  , Mrs Alison Hulse , Mrs Viv Buckland, Mrs Elizabeth Wherity
Local Authority Appointed Governor
Rachael Caton
Staff Governor
Mrs Amanda Allen
Parent Governors
Mr James Fryer, Mrs Amanda Dawson
Co-opted Governors
Mr Michael Gudgeon , Mrs Emma Carr , Mrs Sophie Eddleton

There are many ‘layers’ to the schools Board of Governors and in addition to Committees, the school has a number of identified Link Governors.These Governors have been identified as having an expertise in priority areas and are the ‘link’ between members of the school and the Board of Governors in areas such as Special Educational Needs (SEN), Safeguarding, Premises / Health and Safety, Pupil and Sports Premium.

Foundation Governors also have a Church link role to support Collective Worship and RE.

Link governors provide a specific over-view to the Board by reporting their observations and findings. Members of the Board regularly visit the school and undertake a program of class visits and learning walks alongside the Headteacher. Governors are not however responsible for assessing the quality of teaching or undertaking lesson observations.

Attendance

The Governors of Settle Primary School and Kikrby Mlham Primary have traditionally had an excellent attendance record. To date the school has NEVER had to cancel a Governors’ Meeting due to it not being ‘quorate’ (this is where the number of governors needed are in attendance to ensure that legal decisions etc. can be made at the meeting).

The work that we have done on our committee and as the full governing body

The Governing Board has had a particularly busy year, following on from a decision to federate in July 2019. In our last Inspection at Settle Primary (Feb 2016) the school was judged to be “good” in all areas and at Kirkby-in-Malhamdale (Feb 2019) it was also judged to be "good" in all inspected areas. 

Prompted by our recent inspection the governors take note of the areas for further improvement and work in partnership with the headteacher and staff to proactively address any  areas that have been identified. 

A skills audit is undertaken to identify governor strengths and areas for development.Committees are set up to reflect governor expertise.  

Governors continue to be concerned about “vulnerable groups” of children and continue to focus on reviewing how Pupil Premium funding has been spent by the school, together with what impact the funding and subsequent additional curriculum support for appropriately identified individuals has had on outcomes.

Governors consider the outcomes of ALL children and continually challenge the curriculum. Additionally, Governors also question what provision the school makes to support the progress of those who are considered ‘Gifted and Talented’. 

The Premises link governor, carries out termly checks of the premises alongside the Executive Headteacher and Mr Dale Barton, the school’s Health and Safety Officer from North Yorkshire County Council.

The Finance Committee have the responsibility of approving the budget plan for Settle Primary School in compliance with the Schools Financial Value Standards. Governors are pleased to report that, at the present time the school is in a satisfactory financial position.

One of the major concerns for Governors is the safeguarding of children. The Board’s Nominated Link Governor for Safeguarding is Mrs Sophie Eddleston who is supported in this role by our SEN governor Mrs Emma Carr, who while at Settle Primary has served as Safeguarding governor in the past.The whole Governing Body is proactive in securing a safe environment both in and outside school.

One of the many roles for a governor is reviewing and agreeing school policies. This year, and in accordance with review schedules, the Board have considered and up-dated a number of key policies, including SEND (Special Educational Needs), Behaviour Management and Child Protection.

In regard to attendance, the Board is very pleased to be in a position to report that attendance figures at both schools remain favourable when considered against National comparisons. 

The Board regularly consider the School Development Plan and in addition receive reports from the School’s Senior Leaders. In 2019 the  Senior Leadership Team attended a Full Governors’ Board meeting to present an update on assessment and use of progress tracking procedures throughout the school. This was received with gratitude by all governors and agreed that the training and information had been very useful. In 2020 the governors are looking closely at the  strategic direction of the school to take into account a 3-5 year plan that will further strengthen the provision that we currently offer to families.

A Performance Management of the Headteacher is conducted annually, and targets set for the future regarding further raising standards and school improvement. 

Minutes of Governors’ Meetings are public documents. If you would like to inspect any Minutes from meetings, you can do so by requesting copies of the same from the Clerk to Governors.

The Board of Governors are looking forward to the challenges which are already being identified in 2018/19. Governors are also looking forward to working on their own training resources. The role of the Governor is not only a responsible and demanding one, but is also constantly changing.  Due to work commitments it is not always possible for Governors to access training courses that are delivered during the working day. As a result of this, the Board have established an excellent ‘web’ of additional support and guidance through the Local Authority, the National Governors Association (NGA) and Ofsted.

As such the Board always welcomes suggestions, feedback and ideas from the school community, indeed the Governors are proactive in their encouragement of engagement between members of its body and the parent community.  The Governing Body serves the school and as such every member of the Board is approachable.

Should a more formal approach be desired, then individuals are encouraged to write to the Chair of Governors, Mrs Rachael Caton. Any correspondence should be handed into the School Office and will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Finally, please note that the above is not a comprehensive list of duties and responsibilities undertaken by Governors of the Settle C.E.Primary School/Kirkby-in-Malhamdale School Federation. The information given is merely a brief overview of just a small proportion of the roles and responsibilities of a Governor but we hope it is helpful in providing you general information about what we do.

Thank you for reading!