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Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body of Barlborough Primary School – 2016

Barlborough Primary School aims to provide a happy, secure and stimulating environment where children are motivated to learn, are valued as individuals and encouraged to reach their full potential. This is personified in our in our school motto – “Aiming Higher – Together”

Governance Arrangements
The Governing Body of Barlborough Primary School was re-constituted with effect from September 2015 and consists of the following members: -

  • The Headteacher
  • One staff governor (appointed by the staff  at the school
  • Three parent governors (elected by the parents of the children)
  • One local authority governor (proposed by the local education authority and approved by the governing body)
  • Eight co-opted governors (appointed by the governing body)

The term of office for each governor is three years after which time they may stand for re-election.

The governing body is split into four Sub Committees: -

  • Strategic (Looks at the future direction for the school and is made up of the chairs of the other committees)
  • Standards (Examines in detail the performance of the school in relation to pupil achievements)
  • Resources (Looks at the finances of the school and all issues relating to buildings and maintenance including Health & Safety)
  • Climate (Looks at the learning environment and how this can be improved)

Each governor is a member of at least one committee although they can attend any committee if they so wish.

The full governing body and each committee meet once per term in normal circumstances.

The full make up of the governing body, including any declarations of interest and governors attendance at meetings can be found under the governors section of the school website and is available to download  or can be obtained from the school by request.

Key Issues

Throughout the year, the governors have: 

  • Undertaken safeguarding training and maintained this as a regular item on the agenda of each full governors meeting. It is recognised that this is a key issue within school but also in daily life. Continue to focus on safeguarding and keep at the forefront of everything.
  • Monitored closely the attainment levels of all pupils with particular emphasis on: 
    • Improving attainment in Mathematics at Key Stage 2
    • The improved use of pupil premium funding to narrow the gap between the achievements of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged children
    • Improvements of EYFS provision following the appointment of a new teacher.
    • The steps taken to improve attainment in boys’ writing and how these have impacted upon the children.
  • Looked closely at the school budget to ensure that we do not operate in a deficit and that we obtain value for money and that the school is properly resourced.
  • Wherever possible governors are encouraged to attend school to speak with staff and pupils and to look at behaviour, bullying and undertake classroom observations (although they do no pass judgement on the teaching).  Governors complete a record of the visit, which is discussed at governor meetings.
  • The various policies that govern the way the school is operated are reviewed on a regular basis, (either delegated to one of the committees or in full governors) to ensure that they are kept up to date and are relevant.
  • Regular review of the School Improvement Plan (SIP) and the Self Evaluation Summary (SES)
  • A governor development plan has been drawn up and approved.
  • The school had an Audit in December 2015 and the governors have taken an active part in drawing up and implementing the resulting action plan.
  • The governing body are keen to improve the behaviour of children in the school and have worked with the headteacher in taking steps to improve the behaviour of a minority of pupils who have a disproportionate negative effect upon the rest of the school. This has involved close working with the pupils, their parents and other outside agencies to find the most effective intervention for the particular pupil.
  • Each term the governors are kept fully up to date with everything that goes on in the school by the headteacher producing a very comprehensive report, which is circulated and discussed at full governor meetings.
  • Supported the school through Ofsted inspection (February 2016), celebrated the school’s achievements and continued to drive the school forward based on the findings in the report.
  • During the academic year 2015-16, governors carried out visits in order to monitor specific areas of the school improvement plan e.g. the use of Pupil Premium funding, lunchtime provision and behaviour.  The governors have also participated in school council meetings, the school travel plan and anti-bullying work.

Benefits to the pupils and the school

  • Being more aware of safeguarding issues ensures that governors and staff are vigilant to any potential problems.
  • The appointment of new staff has improved the EYFS provision and has had a benefit within the school, which has a more settled staffing structure.
  • By careful monitoring of the performance of the pupils, the governors have a better understanding of the achievements of the pupils.  Also by careful and targeted use of pupil premium the progress of disadvantaged children can be monitored and improved.  The sports funding is also used to encourage children to participate in sport, therefore improving their health and life chances.
  • The audit highlighted some areas where we could improve our performance and systems have been changed to ensure that the school is fully compliant.
  • By taking a pro-active approach to the disruptive behaviour of a small minority of children classrooms have remained positive learning environments and disruption  to other children’s learning has been kept to a minimum.  Behaviour on the playground has generally improved as the other children realise that challenging and inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated.
  • By regular attendance at the school, governors get a better understanding of the daily life in school and are able to foster positive relationships with the pupils, staff and parents.

Future Plans for the Governing Body
There is still a lot of work to do and there is no doubt a lot more that governors can do to further improve both themselves and the school. Three new governors have been appointed (one parent and two co-opted) and are fully supported by the existing members of the governing body, and will be encouraged to attend the various training courses that are available. Our plans going in to 2016-17 are: -

  • Continue to develop the skills of the governing body through attendance on training courses and feedback at governor meetings.
  • Focus on safeguarding and related issues.
  • Continue to encourage more governors to attend school and further build relationships with parents and pupils.  Each class in school has an allocated governor and it is hoped a working relationship will develop over the academic year.
  • Listen to the voice of the pupils and parents by undertaking and analysing annual surveys.
  • Ensure the governing body runs at capacity and that new governors are fully integrated into the governing body.
  • To support the school with identified school improvement priorities for 2016-17.

Contact Details
The Governing body welcomes any feedback, suggestions and ideas from any parent or carer.  Should you wish to contact the Chair of Governors this can be done via the school office or by e-mail to ChairofGovernors@barlborough.derbyshire.sch.uk.

Summary
All the governors serve in order to try to improve the school experience for the children and  the staff and to represent the views of the parents. They put in a huge amount of time to support the school and all this work is undertaken on a voluntary basis. We do our best to take a balanced view of the school generally and to work with the SLT where we perceive there to be any shortcomings. Our job is to challenge the school on its systems and performance and also to act as a critical friend to help it move forward to become an outstanding school.