Governance Report 2015-2016
The Full Governing Body (FGB) reviewed the school’s vision at the start of the year and made a small number of amendments to ensure that it still adequately captured the school’s ethos and provided the foundation for its activities. A summary of supporting expected behaviours for those involved in the school was approved.
The FGB also reviewed the school’s admissions arrangements and curriculum and approved strategies for the future for both to ensure that the school is positioned to sustain its ethos and vision as well as responding to changes in supply and demand for grammar school places and prioritising students eligible for Pupil Premium. The school’s response to the Academy initiative was planned with agreement to further investigate conversion and to develop a strategy for educational links and partnerships to support continuous improvement.
The FGB reviewed and approved the terms of reference for its subcommittees ensuring appropriate focus for governance and strategy (rather than management) and monitoring and evaluation of school performance:
- The Curriculum and Standards Committee: student achievement and pastoral care including monitoring of results and predictions and the implementation of new management information systems for student performance and the quality of teaching
- The Personnel Committee: staff performance, development and rewards including the operation of the performance management system
- The Resources Committee: finance, premises and marketing. In financially challenging times the finance focus been on identifying savings through improvements in procurement (including cooperation with other local schools). The Premises focus was health and safety where the level of incidents remains very low but the school remains diligent
- The Pay committee reviewed the promotion of staff and the affordability of related reward increments.
The Head Teacher’s review arrangements were also formalised and the relevant committee terms of reference were approved.
A new Chair of Governors was elected this year along with a new Chair of Resources and three new Vice Chairs of subcommittees, encouraging experience and responsibility sharing and building a strong foundation for succession. The Vice chair was re?elected supporting continuity. Other governors were given responsibility to lead key working parties on marketing and site development.
During the year a new governor was co-opted improving the school’s links with the local business community. One parent governor stood down and a new election will be held in the autumn.
A skills audit of governors was completed based on self-assessment and each governor now has a personal development plan. The governors mentoring programme ran effectively with regular meetings and updates.
The FGB met five times this year (one a special purpose meeting concerning Academy status) and each subcommittee three times. Governors are generally members of two subcommittees and were therefore expected to attend 11 formal meetings of 90 minutes each. The average level of attendance was just under 90%. Apologies were accepted in all cases where governors were unable to attend.
A Governor Action Plan was adopted complementing the School Improvement Plan and with a focus on encouraging the school to build partnerships with other schools, the local community and other stakeholders.
In addition to work in committees Governors were very active in the school attending working groups, conducting monitoring and other visits to challenge and support the school and visiting the school for formal prize giving and informal events.
At the end of the year the Governors adopted a self?assessment dashboard to assist them in monitoring progress for the school, including their own governance effectiveness against key performance indicators aligned to the school’s vision and supporting areas of focus.