Annual Governance Statement 2019

Hovingham Primary School Governing Body

August 2019

Annual Statement 2019

The effectiveness and impact of the governing body 2018/19

The Governors at Hovingham play an active and effective role in supporting the school to achieve its overall aim to be a ‘great school’. Much has been achieved over the past 12 months with the buildings, grounds and curriculum being improved. We are disappointed by the provisional SATs results but neither deterred nor complacent. The final picture will not be available until November but work is already underway to learn from this year. The SATs approach is difficult for many of our children. Attendance at school is crucial for children to make good progress with their learning and Governors recognise the efforts made by all staff and many parents to ensure children attend regularly all year. Thank you.

In 2018/19 the focus for governance was on 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. We have made some progress with building secondary education partnerships, but will continue to work on this as plans for east Leeds are developed to cope with the increased secondary school numbers over the next few years. Upgrades to the buildings and grounds have continued to improve the learning and play space. The extra classrooms, added in 2017, mean that Hovingham has over 700 pupils and is able to offer places to local children who might otherwise have no school place. The school was sad to say goodbye in July to several experienced staff, who are moving on to new opportunities. We look forward to the very talented, new members of the team joining us in September and hope that parents and families will welcome and support them.

The major committees reviewed their effectiveness during the summer term and priorities for 2019/20 have been identified. We will be focusing on risk management, the curriculum and the overall learning experience including pupil behaviour. Governors will also be looking at staff and leader well-being which is a national as well as a school priority and fundamental to providing a positive learning experience.

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 meetings and visits. 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
  • 1 staff governor formally elected by staff employed at the school
  • 8 co-opted governors nominated and appointed by the governing body

The Chair of Governors resigned in September 2018 due to work commitments but continues as a governor. A new Chair was appointed. An Associate Governor and 3 Associate Staff Governors were appointed during the year to strengthen the work in the committees. One Governor is retiring this summer and will be replaced by the Associate Governor. The governors have the skills and experience needed for their important strategic role in the school and all are 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. Through its members it will also oversee the Senior Leadership Team and Headteacher’s Performance
  • Resources committee - responsible for staffing, equality and diversity, finance, property management, health and safety
  • learning and assessment committee - responsible for monitoring the curriculum provision, teaching and learning including target setting, standards and achievement, SEN 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
  • Staff well-being – a new committee established during the year in line with our

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 2018/19. Apologies for non-attendance are considered on an individual basis and governors appreciate the need for all governors to play an active role.