Annual Governance Statement 2018

Hovingham Primary School Governing Body

August 2018

The governors are delighted to confirm that the school has had another positive year continuing to expand and improve. The Early Years outcomes improved again as did the KS1 SATs results. The KS2 SATs results were very disappointing but still showed improvement on 2016. The new classrooms meant that Hovingham was able to offer places to local children who might otherwise have had no school place.

The school now provides an exciting and innovative education to over 700 children. The new garden for the younger children has provided them with an incredible learning space which has been well used. Building work over the summer will further improve the learning and play space. The staff team have coped admirably with the challenges of the building work, the growing numbers and the continued turnover of children as some children moved away from the area and new children moved in.

The effectiveness and impact of the governing body 2017/18

The governing body completed a full review of governance in July 2016 and since addressed the improvements identified. The major committees reviewed their effectiveness during the summer term. For 2017/18 the agreed focus for governance was on embedding the challenge and accountability strategies, supporting the school to hold true to its strategic aims through its current growth phase and further work in relation to wider educational and community networks.

The impact of governance in 2017/18 includes:       

  • Progress was made with embedding the challenge and accountability structures but this will continue to be a focus to ensure we have an effective approach appropriate for a very good school with stable leadership.
  • The Governors have held school leaders to account to ensure that the school continues to improve the curriculum and learning experience for all its pupils and provide for significant numbers of extra children.
  • Governors were active in discussions regarding potential secondary provision in East Leeds and continue to push LCC to make adequate provision for the growing numbers.

For 2018/19 the focus for governance will be on:

  • Building partnerships that will ensure good secondary opportunities for our pupils.
  • Supporting the school to share its expertise and skills with local schools and organisations
  • Holding the leaders to account on the quality and breadth of the learning and successes of pupils.

Background information

The governing body conducts its business to take account of the three roles of governing bodies as outlined in the Governors’ Handbook:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The governing body contributes to the school’s self evaluation and monitors planning on a regular basis through discussion at the formal meetings and more informal Joint Accountability meetings. Self-evaluation informs the detail underpinning Hovingham’s strategic aims Governors also ensure that the school complies fully with statutory safeguarding procedures and other requirements. The day to day management of the school is the responsibility of the Head teacher and senior leadership team.

The composition of the governing body

The constitution of the governing body was changed to 13 members in May 2017. This followed detailed work and consideration by a Governor Working Party during the last academic year and will bring the school more in line with other schools across Leeds.

Membership includes:

  • Head teacher
  • 1 Local Authority governor recommended by the LA and approved by the governing body
  • 2 Parent governors
  • 2 staff governor formally elected by staff employed at the school
  • 7 co-opted governors nominated and appointed by the governing body

Membership of the Governing Body has remained stable with no new governors and no resignations. The governors have the skills and experience needed for their important strategic role in the school and all are very committed to that responsibility.

The governing body operates with the following committees:

  • Strategic Group – a small group of governors who focus on the future of the school, in line with the strategy agreed by the Governing Board via Board Meetings, and have a responsibility for mitigating key strategic risks. It will also oversee the Senior Leadership Team and Headteacher’s Performance Management.
  • Resources committee - responsible for staffing, equality and diversity, finance, property management, health and safety
  • Teaching and learning committee - responsible for teaching and learning matters including target setting, standards and achievement, SEN (including reporting annually on the success of the SEN policy),  monitoring teaching and learning and curriculum provision and ensuring that the governing body is represented at school improvement discussions.
  • Pupil Welfare - responsible for behaviour, safeguarding, attendance, children’s spiritual moral social and cultural development, children, parent and staff voice, extra-curricular activities, cluster and other partnerships.

Meetings of the governing body and attendance

The full governing body met three times this year; all meetings are clerked by a trained professional clerk. The governing board committees meet regularly and have delegated authority to make decisions on behalf of the governing body.

Attendance at meetings is good with all meetings quorate in 2017/18. Apologies for non-attendance are considered on an individual basis and governors appreciate the need for all governors to play an active role.