Governor Impact Statement
St Joseph’s strives to ensure the best possible outcomes for all children by maintaining a broad curriculum and supporting their personal development and well-being whilst enabling children to deepen their relationship with Christ. We have a committed staff, strong leadership team and an experienced Governing Body.
The role of the Governing Body is an intrinsic part of the leadership of the school. This impact statement is one way in which the Governing Body articulates its role in school leadership and the impact it has had on school improvement. The Governing Body is made up of a group of dedicated volunteers, who invest a huge amount of good will, hard work and time for the sole purpose of improving the education of every child in our school. The Government expects us as your Governing Body to be a dynamic group of highly skilled individuals who focus on supporting the Head teacher and all the staff to shape the strategic direction of school. As Governors, we are accountable for the performance of our school and we are measured by three core strategic functions:
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction
• Holding the Head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
• Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure the money is spent well
Governors work co-operatively with the Headteacher and senior management in the writing and monitoring the School Development Plan. The School Development Plan (SDP) sets aims for the forthcoming year. The current SDP is based on priorities identified from data, school self-evaluation and Ofsted priorities. The SDP is set out with clear aims, the key tasks that will be completed in order to achieve these aims and the success criteria in order to measure outcomes. The SDP is monitored and review termly, with an evaluation overview being completed and presented to governors as part of the Headteacher report.
We have 16 governors, 9 of whom are foundation governors. A number of governors, including the Chair, have been in post over 20 years. Our Chair of Governors was previously a member of the Dorset Schools’ Forum and is currently a member of the BCP Schools’ Forum. She is an Admission Appeal panel member for BCP local authority. Foundation Governors are appointed specifically to ensure that the religious character of the school is preserved; that the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed and that the religious education curriculum is in accordance with the Bishop’s policy for the Diocese. Governors are clear about the aims and values of the school and prepared to work with the school strategically as a “critical friend’, recognizing and celebrating achievements, supporting and encouraging strategies to bring about improvements but also asking challenging questions to ensure objectives are met.
All members of the Governing Body have had and continue to have significant training. The impact of this is that the Governing Body is kept abreast of its responsibilities regarding the latest requirements and expectations.
Recent whole governing body training has included:
- Governor Curriculum Learning mornings
- Diocesan briefings on academies
- Training via “The Key’s” Governor Hub.
Impact of Full Governing Body Meetings
Governors attend two full governing body (FGB) meetings each term. In addition, some governors meet 5-6 times a year as a Finance Committee, HR and Pay Committee, Premises Committee and Curriculum Committee. We also have an Admissions Committee. Governors are linked to areas of the School Development Plan and have Governor Learning Mornings, Monitoring and Evaluation Visits and meetings with staff to monitor progress against the SDP objectives. Governor visit reports, which are supported by an agreed report form to help Governors maintain an appropriate focus, are written and presented at full governing body meetings. The visits and reports impact greatly on the governing body’s ability to effectively ask important questions, support but also hold senior leaders to account.
Governors provide strong support and effective challenge for the Headteacher. We have developed a strong senior leadership team leading high quality teaching and learning throughout the school. The wellbeing of staff remains a priority.
Impact of Finance, Premises and HR Committees
The school budget is scrutinized and reviewed in detail at these meetings. On these committees, we have governors with strong finance skills who review end of year budgets, attend pre-budget meetings and question deficit/surplus balances. Using benchmarking information, the committee scrutinizes the effect of pupil numbers on the budget and how these impact on staffing and resources.
Through working closely with the School Finance Officer and Headteacher, the Finance Committee and HR Committee have supported the school and held it accountable to ensure effective budgeting.
Careful monitoring and planning of the budget have impacted positively on subsequent years enabling the school to have a strong and effective staffing structure to drive school improvements.
The Committees ensure ‘best value’ when purchasing items or services. The governors ensure that the school provides three quotes for items or services over £1000. Ensuring best value has seen the successful installation of new IT equipment, updating the internal school environment and revamping the outdoor Early Years’ area along with a new garden area for the children to use. Best value practices have also been used for photocopying contracts and cleaning contracts, again ensuring the school is getting a good service and good value for money.
Pupil Premium Funding
In comparison to other schools, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School receives a high percentage of Pupil Premium (PP) Funding.
The Finance and HR Committees approve the planned spend of PP funding each year and challenge the Headteacher and senior leaders on its impact. Governors scrutinize evidence of impact on the outcomes for PP Children. Data and evidence show how the gap between PP children and non-PP children closes as pupils move through the school. Details of the impact of Pupil Premium spending can be found on the website.
Sports Premium Funding
Alongside the PP funding, the governors monitor how the school spends the Sports Premium Funding. The Primary PE and Sport Premium is ring-fenced and must only be spent on physical education and sport provision in schools. The funding aims to achieve improvement in all areas of PE, from the standard of physical education to introducing health focused physical activities and after school sports. At St Joseph’s the governors are satisfied with the positive impact that Mr. Rickard has in leading sport and coaching in school, organising sports events, supporting staff, overseeing extra-curricular activities and enrichment. Details of the impact of Sports Premium spending can be found on the website under ‘Information’ tab.
The Premises Committee is passionate about the school grounds and school building, both inside and out, providing the best learning environment for the children. The school works with the Diocese to fund such projects. A rolling programme of re-decoration is in place and this year further sections of the school roof were replaced. The quiet area of the playground was also made more secure.
General Data Protection Regulation
Governors are responsible for ensuring the data protection policy is in place and being followed. Governors ensure the school has a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who attends regular refresher training. The DPO for St Joseph’s is shared between local Christchurch schools.
The monitoring of safeguarding practices is a key priority for governors and is ongoing throughout the year. Along with the Headteacher and Deputy Head, governors conduct an annual safeguarding audit and monitor the actions identified from the audit. Safeguarding reports presented at FGB meetings provide an opportunity to challenge the safeguarding culture of the school and ensure robust procedures and practices are in place. The impact of this challenge and monitoring is a confidence in the strong safeguarding ethos at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.
Members of the governing body have completed “safer recruitment” training and have contributed to the successful recruitment of a staff.
Progress and Attainment
Governors have provided support and challenge around the implementation of a new phonics scheme across the school. Data is made available to governors through termly meetings with verbal and written presentations. Governors will ask questions to ensure the school’s standards and expectations are high. Governors challenge the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team on the data, holding them to account. Particular scrutiny is placed on pupil progress across all ability groups including vulnerable groups and on the effective use of the Pupil Premium Funding.
Governors review and approve policies annually. This takes place throughout the year in FGB meetings and Finance and Resources Committee meetings. The Headteacher is asked to give examples of when the policies have been used to ensure they are being followed and practiced and to ensure policy review is not just a paper exercise. Policies are updated on the school website.
Governors are responsible for undertaking the Headteacher’s performance management review each year. Governors, supported by the School Development Partner, set annual targets, which are reviewed at points throughout the year. The Headteacher completes an annual performance management report for the governors evidencing that performance management has been completed for all staff and that staff have meet performance management targets. Governors scrutinize the report and use evidence to approve pay recommendations given by the Headteacher. Pay recommendations follow Dorset and BCP recommendations.