Annual statement - 2022
Annual Governance Statement for the governing body of Whitley and Eggborough Community Primary School
The role and Responsibilities of the Governing Body: -
The governing body is the strategic lead of our school with a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education.
This is undertaken through a strong focus on three core functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Although governors are volunteers they have a demanding role that requires skill and professionalism. The board of governors is accountable to Ofsted for its effectiveness and as a result is reviewed to ensure it has a clear focus on the three core functions.
This is judged by the extent to which: -
- It contributes to the school’s self-evaluation and understands its strengths and weaknesses, including its own work
- It supports and strengthens the school leadership, including by developing its own skills
- It provides challenge, and holds the headteacher to account for improving the quality of teaching, pupils’ achievement and pupils' behaviour and safety
- It ensures solvency and probity and that the financial resources which are made available to the school are managed effectively
- It uses performance management systems to improve teaching, leadership and management
- It operates in such a way that statutory duties are met and priorities are approved
- It engages with key stakeholders and uses resources provided to overcome barriers to learning
The Constitution of the Governing Body of Whitley and Eggborough Community Primary School (reviewed in 2022) requires it to be made up of: -
- 4 parent governors
- 2 co-opted governors
- 1 local authority governor
- the head teacher
- 1 staff governor
- and one non-voting Associate Governor - the business manager (appointed for her specific expertise and experience).
All Governors are appointed for their specific skills and experience and this can be identified from the school website.
Recruitment of governors - only parent governors are subject to a voting system if required.
The governing body has a program of meetings throughout the school year and committees with responsibility for specific areas of governance. The full governing body meets five / six times a year. The finance committee also meets five / six times a year to discuss strategic and operational financial matters pertinent to ensuring solvency. The chair of the committee reports back to the FGB at meetings.
Additionally, Governors are the Trustees of the School Fund and meet directly after each of the regular full governing body meetings.
Governors undertake the following individual responsibilities within school on behalf of the governing body and also have specific links with identified classes, to which visits are made and reports made back to the full Governing Body.
Governors are anxious to ensure contact is maintained with all staff in order that they are able to feel integrated into the structure of the school. Subject Key Stage Leads and the Inclusion Manager (DSL) have termly contact with the governor responsible for their area of learning. This may include a visit to the classrooms, a discussion with staff and children. The schools offers transparency to its Governors and welcomes them to come and experience day to day life in the classroom at WECPS.
A vision statement (see school Prospectus) and the ethos of the school is reviewed and agreed at the start of the school year and a school development plan and budget. Governors receive progress reports at each subsequent meeting, along with the headteacher's report and reports from link governors, which assist in identifying progress towards meeting the year’s objectives.
Current Objectives for 2022 / 2023
Following the OfSTED Inspection in May 2022 the school remained good. The key objectives for the current year have derived from the feedback given by OfSTED in addition to the end of key stage outcomes in 2022.
Curriculum Focus – OfSTED
Leaders need to identify the essential knowledge they want pupils to remember in
some wider curriculum units. Therefore, pupils are not always building on what
they already know, leading to pupils not being able to articulate their understanding of the curriculum.
- To ensure that an ambitious curriculum is evidenced, demonstrating the rich learning experiences that are coherently planned and logically sequenced, ensuring progression knowledge and skills are embedded over time and across each subject.
Standards / Progress Focus
The school development plan identifies improving pupil progress as a priority. This is a focus for all subject leaders and part of performance management targets for all staff.
- To develop, implement and monitor strategies to ensure that the majority of pupils make rapid progress - especially those identified as the lowest 20%. In addition, ensure that children with SEND and those entitled to Pupil Premium make progress and attain in line with their potential.
Financial stability and funding of the school is an ongoing challenge for the school following increase in cost of living and national pay increases. Governors are responsible alongside the school based leadership team to ensure that the school remains financially viable.
- To ensure that the school’s finances remain viable in all areas whilst maintaining a high level of education for all children.
Review of Objectives for 2021 / 2022
All external assessments were suspended during 2020 and 2021 but the school continued with their internal assessments. These were tracked and monitored closely by governors throughout the year.
Post Covid the recovery curriculum was one key objective for all classroom based teaching staff. Missed learning was identified for all children and gaps filled. School led tutoring was implemented with the use of Government funding and progress of children was tracked to identify the impact of the tutoring. Where attendance was maintained within school the impact was positive with all children in receipt of tutoring “catching up” and filling gaps.
The implementation of a new phonics programme was a further objective – lower outcomes in the Year 1 screening resulted in a complete review during Summer 2021. Rigorous training, teaching and monitoring was successful with the results improving significantly to be in line with National.
One key area for both children and all staff was with regards to wellbeing. The lockdowns had meant significant changes and uncertainty for all and a priority for the whole school community was to return to normal school life as soon as possible whilst also supporting those who had been impacted during the pandemic. The governors at WECPS are fully supportive of the positive approach to wellbeing and this was highlighted as a key strength by OfSTED and corroborated by parents during the May 2022 Inspection.
Safeguarding of all pupils and staff remains a high focus and is discussed at each meeting. The DSL provides a full and anonymous report of all safeguarding aspects at the end of each academic year. Termly visits are made to the DSL by the governor to discuss updates and progress regarding safeguarding.
All governors are trained in the statutory requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022) and Working Together to Safeguard Children and Prevent on an annual or three yearly basis. There is also a governor who holds a current qualification for Safer Recruitment in order to assist appointments at the school.
Pupil Premium and Sports Funding
A particular interest by Governors is given at each meeting to ensure Pupil Premium and PE and Sports Premium funding are employed to maximum benefit. These two funding streams are reviewed at every meeting, in order to be satisfied that they are reaching the children most in need.
Significant changes to the EIF meant that the school focused on a full review of the “mission” curriculum Whilst the importance of independent learning remained a key priority school leaders identified that teaching was not giving the children a broad enough set of skills and knowledge in order to support the development of their Cultural Capital. Taking the curriculum fully back to basics and reviewing the essential key learning provided teachers with greater coverage and more control in what and how the children were learning. Lockdowns had prevented the full implementation and coverage so following OfSTED May 2022 more refinement was identified for the forthcoming year.
Breakfast club and W&E Extra after school club continue to operate very effectively despite the temporary closure during Lockdowns 1 and 3 and we believe their availability have helped parents and enabled the ethos of the school to be continued for all those who participate.
ITT - Development / Work Experience
The governors support the school's involvement and commitment to the development of all learners including new teachers. The school works alongside a number of colleges and local alliances including STAR, Leeds Trinity, Leeds Beckett University and also the University of Hull who provide teacher training via a range of courses. We also support the development of support staff and have strong links with Selby and Doncaster Colleges of Further Education. In 2021 the school also offered a placement on the Kick Start Apprenticeship Scheme for a teaching assistant.
School ITT placements continue to flourish in collaboration with various universities. We are of the opinion that this brings benefits to us all, keeping everyone on their toes in a stimulating exciting learning environment. Similarly, with the links with other Universities for their Post Graduate Certificate in Education and BA students and others from Selby and other Colleges who come to school on work experience and other similar schemes.
Policies are reviewed and updated at each meeting according to the statutory requirements and annual school policy schedule. Reports are received and governors updated on required changes in education policy and their implications e.g. Educational Health Care Plans.
Overall, anonymised pupil progress is reported and results shared and scrutinised. Resources are closely monitored and matched in line with identified priorities.
All of those associated with Whitley and Eggborough CPS continue to aspire to become identified as an outstanding school meeting the ever changing needs of our local community.
To contact the Governors please write to: -
The Chair of Governors – Mr Mark Haigh