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Annual Governance Statement

Annual Governance Statement of the Governing Body of Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

January 2016

Our Mission Statement

 

Holy Cross is a Catholic School which seeks to build a closer partnership with parents, the parish and the wider community.

 

We work hard to provide an environment which is secure, stimulating and happy, and where everyone is appreciated and enabled to give of their best.

 

We encourage all to have respect for each individual, to be honest, tolerant, just and forgiving and to develop a closer relationship with each other and through this a closer relationship with God.

 

We recognise Jean Baptiste Debrabant’s vision that;

 

“A Christian-based education is a sure hope for the future of religion and society”.

 

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all Governing Bodies, the three core strategic functions of the Governing Body of Holy Cross Catholic Primary School are:

 

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

 

Governance arrangements

 

The Governing Body of Holy Cross Catholic Primary School was re-constituted in 2014 and is now made up of 1 Staff Governor (elected by the staff),  the Headteacher (an automatic member), 2 Parent Governors (elected by parents), 1 Local Authority Governor (appointed by the Local Authority) and 7 Foundation Governors. Foundation Governors are appointed by the Trustees who are the La Sainte Union sisters. Governors appointed by the Governing Body are people who, in its opinion, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. In accordance with best practice, our Governors are selected on the basis of their skills, knowledge and experience.

 

 The membership of the Governing Body is reviewed at each full Governing Body meeting and a skills audit is conducted regularly to ensure that the Governing Body is made up of highly skilled, committed and effective members. 

 

More information about each of our Governors can be found on the website. Many Governors belong to the local Catholic church and/or community including a teacher currently employed as Head of RE at Grays Convent Secondary School. All Governors are committed to ensuring that every pupil at Holy Cross has the best possible education and that standards at the school continue to strengthen each year.

 

The full Governing Body meets twice each term. At the first Governing Body meeting of the term, Governors consider issues relating to resource management (finance, premises and personnel matters) as well as specific school improvement priorities. At the second Governing Body Meeting each term, Governors consider key strategic and local authority/national issues and receive the termly Headteacher’s Report. This report contains statutory information relating to health and safety, behaviour, safeguarding, monitoring of standards, teacher development, special educational needs, school partnerships, community links and extra-curricular provision. We also have panels that meet if required to consider pupil discipline, complaints and staffing matters. There is also an Admissions Committee which meets annually to agree Reception intake in accordance with our Admissions Policy.

 

Attendance record of governors

 

Governors have good attendance at meetings and we have never cancelled a meeting because it was not “quorate” (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made). Attendance details for the past 18 months (Sept 14 to Jan 16) are as follows;

 

Ms F Chissim – Attended 8 out of 8 meetings

Ms H Okoh – Attended 6 out of 8 meetings

Ms M Wasike – Attended 1 out of 8 meetings

Father Tom Saunders – Attended 2 out of 2 meetings

Mrs S Thomas – Attended 5 out of 8 meetings

Mr P O’Hanlon – Attended 6 out of 8 meetings

Mrs S Harris – Attended 8 out of 8 meetings

Mrs A Ekwegh – Attended 5 out of 8 meetings

Mr S DeAlyn – Attended 5 out of  8 meetings

Mrs M Shepherd – Attended 8 out of 8 meetings

Ms K Lakin – Attended 5 out of 8 meetings

 

Training

The Governing Body has had a particularly busy year, and in addition to attending formal meetings, Governors have completed the following training;

 

SEN

Performance Management

Looked After Children

Parent Complaints

Safeguarding

New Ofsted Framework

Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation

Induction for New Governors

Conducting Effective Monitoring Visits to the School

Effective Chairing

Effective and Efficient Governance

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education

 

 

Ms Chissim, Mr O’Hanlon and Mrs Thomas have many years of teaching and leadership experience in schools between them and have attended a range of training in their school roles in addition to governor training. Other Governors have experience working in other fields and bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the Governing Body.

 

The Diocese also runs training courses and Governors attend these courses as appropriate.

 

Governors also regularly come into school to conduct monitoring visits. These visits are an essential part of the work of the Governing Body and ensure that Governors understand what is happening in school on a day-to-day basis. Over the past year, Governors have undertaken monitoring visits on a monthly basis.

 

The work of the Governing Body this year

Governing Body Business 2015:

 

Maintenance and development of the school premises. Recent premises projects have included new perimeter fencing and carpark fencing, new CCTV, new classroom furniture, new computer equipment, new finance office and new signage (school values/mission statement displays and school sign). 

 

Monitoring the implications of the introduction of Universal Infant Free School Meals.

 

Monitoring the school’s budget (which exceeds £1 million) and strategically planning the allocation of resources to ensure the maximum impact on school improvement. Expenditure is carefully reviewed through monthly budget reports, best value and specific benchmarking exercises which allows the school to compare itself to similarly sized schools in our area. The Governing Body also monitors staffing issues, staff absence and staff training to ensure that  our staff are providing the best possible education and support to our pupils.

 

The Governing Body closely monitors the quality of pastoral care provided to our pupils and receives regular reports on pupil behaviour, welfare and personal development. The Governing Body invested in a new PSHCE Programme last year and Governors have received positive feedback from staff and pupils.

 

The Governing Body has spent time considering the impact of the new curriculum and assessment system.

 

Reviewing pupils’ attainment and progress in all year groups. Governors analyse the pupil data every term and closely monitor whether children are on track to meet their targets. Governors look at National and Local Authority attainment and progress data to ensure the school is in line with National standards.

 

Monitoring the quality of Special Educational Needs and Disability provision.

 

Monitoring and questioning any gaps between key groups of pupils – This monitoring is done termly so that ‘no child is left behind’. Governors monitor the educational outcomes and welfare of all children, but particularly of “vulnerable groups” of children and focus on how the Pupil Premium Grant is being spent by the school and what impact this has on their outcomes.

 

In December the Governing Body set challenging targets for attendance and pupil outcome for 2016.

 

Mrs Okoh is our Health and Safety Governor and she carries out termly checks of the premises with the school’s Site Manager.

 

Governors are also particularly concerned about safeguarding and we have a Nominated Governor for Safeguarding (Mrs Thomas) who gives a termly report to the governors about any safeguarding matters.

 

One of the roles for the governors is reviewing and agreeing school policies, and this year we have considered a number of key policies. The Governing Body has also received and discussed a number of internal and external audits such as Fire Safety, Safeguarding and financial audits.

 

Last year, The Governing Body took the strategic decision to decrease the Planned Admission Number (PAN) and in September 2017, the school will be a ‘one form entry school’ starting with the Reception intake.

 

In July, the Governing Body conducted a self review. Reviewing the quality of governance on a regular basis is essential to ensure that leadership and management of the school remains strong.

 

Each term Governors receive ‘quality assurance’ reports from external consultants and school improvements partners. This enables the Governors to validate and confirm the information being provided by the Headteacher on standards.

 

The Governing Body monitors and evaluates the progress of the School Strategic Plan through visits by individual and pairs of Governors who are responsible for different areas. After any governor visit, a report is written to be shared with all Governors at the next meeting.

 

Future plans for the governors

The Governing Body is looking to further develop stakeholder engagement, for example, liaising more with the pupils on School Council and trying to ensure more involvement of more parents and an even greater presence of Governors in school. Our Chair of Governors met with pupils on a number of occasions last year to discuss a range of issues, including their ideas on how we can make the school even better. The Governing Body is also looking to strengthen partnerships with other schools.

 

How you can contact the governing body

We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents – please contact the Chair of Governors, Ms Chissim, via the school office. Approved minutes of Governing Body meetings are public documents – you can either find them on the Governors’ section of our website or you can ask at the school office if you would like to see any of the minutes of our meetings.

You can see the full list of governors; minutes of governing body meetings and more information about what we do, on the Governors’ page of the school website.

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