Governing Body Impact Statement 2016 -17
Vicky Atkinson, Vice-Chair of Governors
Oakwood Infant School has an ambitious Governing Body that works hard to support the school in all that it strives to achieve. As governors we work alongside the senior leadership team and teaching staff to set strategic goals and targets for the school and monitor the school’s performance in a number of ways. We also evaluate ourselves to ensure we are performing to the best of our ability and annually review the impact we have had on the school throughout the year.
In 2016-17 the Governing Body of Oakwood has been led by a dynamic and thoughtful Chair who, with her colleagues, has had a significant impact on how the governing body contributes to all aspects of Oakwood. This has been done in the following ways.
Supporting Senior Leadership Team in developing, monitoring and delivering the School Improvement Plan, including a focus on curriculum matters, quality of teaching and learning, and pupil progress:
The School Improvement Plan (SIP) sets the strategic direction of the school each academic year and the aims and objectives laid out in this plan are agreed by the senior management team with support from staff and governors. This year Governors have used their knowledge and expertise to contribute to the development and monitoring of this plan through being involved with curriculum and year group progress meetings, lesson observations, work book sampling, pupil conferencing, parent consultations, and a robust analysis of pupil progress data.
This year Governors have been able to gain a good understanding of the research projects undertaken by the teaching staff to help evaluate and inform key areas in the SIP. This had added value to Governors’ understanding of some key approaches to teaching and the impact on pupil progress.
Ensuring all pupils make at least expected progress and that there is a significant focus on those pupils who are vulnerable to under achievement:
The Governing body has individual governors with responsibility for SEND and Inclusion. Both these governors have continued to build a strong relationship with the Inclusion Lead teacher within the staff team. Governors have supported the writing of the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Information report and have participated in the development and monitoring of the Pupil Premium Strategy. SEND and Inclusion Governors have a good understanding of pupil progress for all vulnerable pupils and this is monitored throughout the year. Governors analyse data and track pupil progress for specifically identified groups including those with SEND, pupils with EAL and those that are disadvantaged. Progress for disadvantaged pupils is scrutinised regardless of whether pupils are falling below expected standards or are higher attaining pupils to ensure expected progress is maintained and accelerated where possible.
Ensuring the safety of all children across the whole school environment:
The governing body has a designated health and safety lead who makes regular visits to ensure all health and safety issues are reviewed and challenged where appropriate. This has been particularly key this year as the school has transitioned following the completion of the build project. This supportive approach has impacted on the safety of children within the school, ensuring that there has been a robust approach to health and safety matters.
The governors have also contributed significantly to the safety of children outside the school and have played a key role in the installation of the barrier that has allowed the control of traffic flow in the car park area during key times of the day.
There is also a designated safeguarding lead who is responsible for reviewing the safeguarding policy and undertaking a safeguarding audit to ensure the correct procedures are in place and key personnel are appropriately trained. This auditing process includes the governing body and the impact this year has been to ensure all governors receive annual safeguarding training and that safeguarding is included as an additional focus in all governor visits.
Building relationships with staff, pupils and parents:
Governors are aligned to curriculum subjects and there are designated SEN and Inclusion Governors, which has ensured that each governor has an in depth understanding of their focus area. Governor have also been given a designated year group and for the first time this year have been allocated a designated class. This has allowed each governor to build relationships with teachers and teaching assistants within their designated class and also get to know the pupils. The impact on this has been to improve the dialogue between governors and teaching staff and has raised the profile of governors within the school. This has meant that both parties have a better understanding of the work undertaken and the impact that this has on achieving the strategic outcomes of the school.
Governors have supported the school in developing a good dialogue with parents, particularly with new and prospective parents during the school open mornings and parents coffee mornings. Governors have also taken an active role in consulting with parents and children and have used this feedback to inform the school’s self-evaluation and priorities for the School Improvement Plan. This year Governors did some pupil conferencing and participated in class sessions supporting pupils to do their own personal review of their year at Oakwood.
Governors have played a key role in keeping the financial stability of the school which has involved evaluating staffing structure and making key decisions where appropriate:
The governing body has a resources committee that oversees the financial outcomes for the school. This year governors have benchmarked spending against similar schools to understand the effectiveness of resources for learning activities.
Governors have also provided both challenge and support to the senior management team when there was a need to balance staff structure against financial stability.
Ensuring that the Governing Body has a high level of knowledge, skills and experience:
The governing body has a designated training lead who this year has conducted a skills audit of all governors. This has identified gaps in skills and knowledge which has impacted on ensuring that our governing body has the right level of knowledge, skills and experience to deliver at the highest level. Governors have taken personal responsibility to ensure training needs are met and this training is regularly recorded in meetings.
This is also reflected in our approach to recruitment and we have been able to recruit governors on the basis of skills gaps which has proved very successful. This is an ongoing approach and will be promoted through future recruitment opportunities to ensure the governing body recruits the ‘best fit’ person.
Governors are always involved in a self-evaluation process which helps ensure we keep ourselves aligned to designated standards.