1. What is the Governing Body?

All schools are overseen by a Governing Body. The Governing Body is a group of volunteers who set the strategic vision for the school with the Headteacher, and ensure that the school works efficiently and effectively towards achieving its vision. It does this by:

  • Building a thorough knowledge of the school and its community
  • Supporting and constructively challenging the school, and
  • Ensuring accountability (judging the school’s performance openly)  and compliance (ensuring the school meets all its legal obligations,for example for safeguarding children, and managing its finances appropriately)

In practice most day-to-day decisions are taken by the Headteacher and staff (including teachers, teaching assistants, office staff, etc.) but it is the governors’ job to set the direction and policies for the school; to delegate the job of delivering this to the Headteacher; to provide ongoing support and advice; and to monitor the outcome

2. What types of Governor do we have?

We have a number of different types of governor: those who are appointed and governors who are elected. We always have elected Parent Governors. All governors have equal authority and input to the Governing Body. There are 12 positions on our Governing Body.

3. What does being a Parent Governor mean?

A Parent Governor is elected by parents/carers, but actually is NOT there to ‘represent’ parents. The Parent Governor’s job is to get to know, to support and challenge (ask questions of) the school, just like all governors. Parents/carers can bring very useful insights about what the school is like for children and their families. Parent Governors can help other governors understand what being in the school is like. They are often the first to celebrate wonderful things that the school is doing! Being a Parent Governor is a very rewarding way of being involved in your child’s school.

4. What does being a Governor involve?

As a governor, you need to be able to attend at least 6 meetings over the year. There is a full Governing Body Meeting, a Performance and Curriculum Committee Meeting and a Business Committee Meeting each term where governors with specific responsibilities report back about their work with the school. These take place in school, in the early evening. On average a Governor needs to spend 1-2 hours a week on governor activities, whether it is attending meetings, visiting the school, reading reports or following up on actions. (Some weeks you will have nothing to do for governors).

Some Governors have specific responsibilities and work closely, liaising with staff who have overall leadership of the following aspects:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Pupil Premium
  • Achievement and Attainment
  • Voluntary Controlled Activities
  • Curriculum
  • Inclusion
  • Premises, Health and Safety
  • Communication
  • Finance
  • Staff and Pupil Well-Being

5. What do you NOT need to be a Governor?

You do not need:

  • To have any special experience to be a Governor.
  • To be an expert in the field of education.

6. What DO you need to be a Governor?

  • An interest in the school and in the welfare of all our children
  • The time and willingness to get involved, for example, there will be   papers that you will need to read and think about in preparation for   Governor meetings
  • A commitment to learn over time, through getting involved and   receiving training

7. What skills are useful for Governors?

The skills you already have can be very useful to the governing body. Very important skills are:

  • The ability to be able to build relationships with a range of people
  • The ability to listen to others, and weigh different points of view
  • The ability to be able to work as part of a team
  • The ability to be able to question, and
  • The ability to make connections between different types of   information

All Governors need to commit to learning about schools and how to improve them. You will be offered a wide range of training to support this.

Of course all Governors do not need to be able to do everything, but amongst our Governors we need people who can learn to do a range of things, for example:

  • Listen to spoken reports, and ask questions about what you’ve been   told. You might ask, “Why did the school do that? Did it have a   positive impact on children? How do we know this?”
  • Read written reports from the Headteacher, and consider what they   mean. You might ask questions such as “Is this thing that the school   is doing having a positive impact on children’s outcomes?” “Is   behaviour in the school getting better or worse?” “Why?”
  • Read detailed information about children’s progress and  attainment,   and look for patterns or unusual results. You might ask:   “Are all   children in the school progressing equally well?”
  • Read a budget report, understand a balance sheet, and consider   whether the school is managing its money well. You might ask “Are   we getting the best value for money here?”
  • Be part of a team that oversees performance management of the   Headteacher. This group might help set objectives, monitor whether   they have been achieved, provide support for personal and   professional development.
  • Keep up to date with education policy and debates. Help the school   keep in touch with educational research and developments in   practice.

Some Governors choose to develop some expertise, for example in how best to keep all children safe, or in best practice in meeting the needs of particular groups of children, such as those with Special Educational Needs.

The following is taken from a previous School Evaluation Form, which the school completes annually as preparation for Ofsted Inspections. It outlines the effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met.

  • Governors make an exceptional contribution to the work and   direction of the school.
  • Governors are highly supportive of all the school does. The   governors have recognised the changes made to the curriculum and   the outdoor environment and see these as positive elements in   taking the school into the future.
  • The Headteacher makes detailed reports to the governing  body   each term. Governors are kept informed of all aspects of school   development and ask searching questions to develop their   understanding of relevant issues concerning pedagogy and practice,   health and safety as well as issues concerning the wider school   community.
  • The Chair of Governors is frequently in the school; he visits the   school to keep himself abreast of school matters. He will support the   Headteacher in strategic leadership and in ensuring that the  school   meets its targets.
  • Governors are well organised and thorough.
  • Many governors are in full time work and we appreciate the time they   can give to us during the school day.
  • The School Business Manager is also the Clerk to the Governors   and she leads this role very effectively, the bonus being that she is in   school 4 days each week and has an excellent understanding of    how the school works.
  • Governors with specific responsibilities ensure that all governors   understand any issues that have been discussed during their   meetings.
  • Formal procedures, e.g. agendas etc are thorough. Preparatory   paperwork is thorough and is always with governors in good time for   the meetings.

Governors ensure safeguarding procedures are followed

  • The governors all have enhanced DBS checks. They are aware of   the single register. If governors attend school during the working day   they know that they must sign in and out.

Governors ensure that the school achieves its outcomes for all pupils

  • All data is shared with all governors. Data is broken down in to   reports which identify what has gone well and where what is already   being done to improve where there may be identified gaps.
  • Governors also receive reports about different groups of pupils to   ensure that none are being left behind.
  • Governors are diligent in checking on the progress of the school’s   development plan and receive updates each term about this. They   ask about the impact that the plans are having on children and how   we know.
  • Governors monitor the spending of the Pupil Premium Funding.

Governors engage effectively with the school community.

  • Many governors give of their time to visit the school during the   working day as this enables them to understand how the school   operates on a daily basis.

GOVERNORS

St Mary’s CE Primary School

Governing Body Register of Details 2016/2017

Name Status Date of appointment Term of office Appointing body Role Committee representation Register of interests Relationships with staff % Attendance at meetings 2016/2017
Rachel Cross Headteacher  21.4.14 Ex Officio Outcomes for pupils All business in conducted within 6 Full Governing Body meetings during the academic year. None None 6/6
Andy Perryman Co-opted

Co-Chair

May 2013 4 years Governing

Body

Effectiveness of Leadership and Management

Safeguarding

None None 6/6
David Kill Foundation

Co-Chair

1st September 2014 4 years Oxford Diocesan Board of Education Curriculum

Premises, Health and Safety

None None 6/6
Andrew Allen Foundation

Vice Chair

September 2006 Ex Officio VC school activities, including collective worship and SIAMS Director of a Slough based M.A.T. None 6/6
Liz Critchlow Clerk November 2016 N/A N/A None None 4/4
Paula Hammond Foundation July 2013 4 years Oxford Diocesan Board of Education Early Years Foundation Stage Governor at Churchmead Secondary School None 4/6
Saba Khan Staff January 2014 4 years Staff Outcomes for pupils Staff member None 5/6
Hassam Shaukat Co-opted November 2015 4 years Governing body Finance None None 3/6
Ted Denney Parent Governor November 2016 4 years Parents Special Educational Needs None None 4/4
Damien O’Jeanson Parent Governor November 2016 4 years Parents Pupil Premium None None 3/4
Manoj Schroff Co-opted Governor July 2017 4 years Governing body None None 1/1