Governance Statement 2023/2024

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of a Primary School Governing Body 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 Yeadon Westfield Infant School is made up of a total of 12 Governors (including the Headteacher): 2 staff Governors, 3 elected Parent Governors (currently full), 1 Local Authority Governor, 1 Foundation/Trust Governors and 4 Co-opted governors. Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the governing body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

The full Governing Body meets once each half term, and during these meetings we consider the different aspects of the school in detail. These topics include; Resources where we focus on finance, premises and some personnel matters; and Teaching and Learning where we look at the curriculum, school performance and data. Once a year we establish a Headteacher Performance Management Sub Committee to review the performance of the Headteacher against a set of objectives. We also have other ad-hoc committees that meet if required to consider specific issues.

Attendance record of governors

Overall Governors have good attendance at full Governing Body 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) ensuring our statutory responsibilities are met.

The work that we have done in the governing body

The focus of the Governing Body over the past academic year has been to support the school in the aftermath of the pandemic and to minimise the impact on our children.  It was a very challenging year with a number of absences from the teaching team; however the team coped very well with all the challenges and we are now seeing things return to normal.  We are now focussed on delivering the objectives set out in the school development plan and looking at Governor development. The  main themes of the school development plan are Quality of Education, Behaviour & Attitudes, Personal Development, Leadership & Management and Early Years.

Following a review of 2022 – 2023, key successes include;

  • an increase in the number of children achieving a Good Level of Development (now 73.5%) at the end of Reception year. This is well above the National and Leeds average.
  • An improvement in reading, writing and maths at expected levels of attainment in Year 1 with good improvement in writing in particular
  • Some increases in the progress of those pupils in receipt of pupil premium and the narrowing of the gap with non-pupil premium children
  • Overall performance in all areas is continuing to be above the national average
  • A small increase in the number of children achieving greater depth in writing and maths
  • Continued work within the Trust to develop external moderation of teaching assessment and improve overall teaching and learning
  • the continued development of curriculum subject leaders and linked Governor curriculum leads
  • children generally well-behaved despite all the challenges
  • a focus on the health and emotional well-being of children, staff and parents
  • continuing to raise the profile of governors through the newsletter.

Key challenges have included;

  • a fall in overall attendance although this is now starting to show signs of improvement
  • a reduction in the number of children achieving greater depth in reading

Recently Health and Safety and Safeguarding Audits have been completed on the premises to ensure we are compliant with policy and legislation.

The Governing Body has also reviewed and approved a number of school policies which is a key role.

Minutes of Governing Body meetings are public documents –you can ask at the school office if you would like to see any of the minutes of our meetings.

The nominated Governor for Safeguarding, Amanda Stainton provides a report to the governors about any safeguarding matters

Future plans for the governors

The key focus areas for the 2023-2024 academic year are:

  • continuing to build on the success of the new phonics scheme – Success for All
  • self-regulation and fine motor skills for reception
  • developing a two-year rolling programme for the curriculum to be able to accommodate mixed-age classes focussed on subject delivery
  • ensuring we have the right strategies and systems in place to meet the needs of all children especially those with specific needs
  • continuing to implement our positive behaviour system to ensure consistency across the school and high standards of behaviour across the school day
  • ensuring that governors visit school often to see our plans in action
  • ensuring good mental health support is available across the whole school community
  • a continued focus on term time absence and late arrival at school
  • We have also set aspirational targets to get more children working at greater depth.

The Governing Body will also have some specific objectives within a Governing Body Development Plan which will include continuing to raise the profile and accessibility of the Governing Body, supporting the Head and staff in raising further attainment levels across the school and continued professional development by taking advantage of training opportunities.

How you can contact the governing body

We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents – please contact the Chair of Governors, Mrs Stainton, via the school office. You can see the full list of governors; their attendance at meetings on the Governors’ page of the school website.