In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of a Primary School Governing Body are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
The Governing Body of Yeadon Westfield Infant School is made up of a total of 14 Governors (including the Headteacher): 2 staff Governors, 4 elected Parent Governors (currently full), 1 Local Authority Governor, 2 Foundation/Trust Governors and 5 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. We currently have 2 Governor vacancies (1 Co opted and 1 Trust) following the departure of 2 Governors who had reached the end of their term of office. We we will be looking to appoint to these two vacancies over the next term ensuring the diversity and varied skills of the Governing Body is maintained.
The full Governing Body meets once each term, and we also have a number of committees which meet termly to consider the different aspects of the school in detail. These include; a Resources Committee, which focuses on finance, premises and some personnel matters; a Teaching and Learning Committee which looks at the curriculum, school performance and data ; a Headteacher Performance Management Sub Committee which meets once a year 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 both full Governing Body and Committee 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 on our committees and in the governing body
The focus of the Governing Body over the past academic year has been to concentrate on delivering the objectives set out in the school development plan and to look at Governor development. The four main themes of the school development plan were; Outcomes, Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Personal Development and Welfare, Leadership and Management.
Following a review of these priorities key successes include;
- an increase in the number of children achieving a Good Level of Development (now 86% - a rise of 6%) at the end of Reception year. This is well above the National and Leeds average.
- An improvement in reading, writing and maths expected level of attainment in Year 1 with good improvements in writing in particular
- An increase in the number of children working at greater depth in writing at KS1 (end year 2)
- 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 most areas is continuing to be above the Leeds and National average
- Successful implementation of new Data Protection regulations
- Successful management of the school budget which has enabled us to fund a new fire alarm system and improvements to the outside nursery/reception area and trail.
- As the result of good budget management staffing levels within the school have also been maintained over the past 12 months.
- Continued work within the Trust to develop external moderation of teaching assessment and improve overall teaching and learning
- a reduction in the number of children arriving late at school
- continued success as a Bronze ‘Food For Life’ school with the construction of our fantastic polytunnel where the children have been growing vegetables throughout the year. These have then been used by the kitchen staff in school dinners.
- the continued development of curriculum subject leaders and linked Governor curriculum leads.
- continuing to raise the profile of governors through the newsletter and attendance at parent evenings.
Key challenges have included;
- this year we have seen a reduction in overall KS1 attainment due to a number of internal factors. The Governing Body is happy that plans are in place to reverse this trend during the current academic year. Our KS1 performance remains strong against Leeds and National averages.
- an increase in the number of children being taken out of school for family holidays during term time. This can have significant implications for the child through missed learning. A revised policy was recently circulated to all parents and this will continue to be the subject of significant focus for the Governing Body for this school year
The Teaching and Learning Committee has spent time considering school attainment in more detail and in particular;
- issues associated with a reduction in pupils achieving their phonics check and KS1 attainment
- the progress of those pupils in receipt of pupil premium and how they compare to non pupil premium children with a view to reducing any achievement gap.
- work to improve writing skills across the school.
The Resources Committee has overseen the management of the school budget ensuring we have some money allocated towards capital improvements to the school building. We are pleased to report that the budget whilst being very tight and against the backdrop of reductions, has been well managed.
Recently Health and Safety and Safeguarding Audits have been completed on the premises to ensure we are compliant with policy and legislation.
Both committees have also reviewed and approved a number of school policies which is a key role for the Governing Body. Of note is the approval of the revised Attendance Policy, which no longer allows schools to authorise term time holidays. Whilst the Governing Body recognises the problem that this may cause for some parents we support the Headteacher in her robust management of this area of school business.
Minutes of Governing Body meetings are public documents – you can either find them on the Governors’ page of our website or 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, Heather Pinches, has provided a termly report to the governors about any safeguarding matters
Future plans for the governors
The key focus for the 2018/2019 academic year will include continued focus on term time absence and late arrival at school, continued development of inter school work, a continued focus on achievement of all children with a particular focus on Pupil Premium children and closing the gap between them and non Pupil Premium children and writing across the whole school.
We have also set aspirational targets to get more children working at greater depth rather than at the expected standard.
We currently have a number of available school places across the school (an issue across the Trust) so we will be looking at ways of brining our student numbers up to maximum.
The school has also introduced the ‘daily mile’ with a focus of making daily physical activity part of school life. As the result, and also so that children can take full advantage of outside activities offered during the school day, there has been a change in the footwear policy for school. All children are asked to wear trainers so they can take full part in the varied and active programme to school has to offer and the Governing Body fully supports this drive to make all children active during the day.
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 the 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 Akeroyd, via the school office. You can see the full list of governors; their attendance at meetings; minutes of governing body meetings and more information about what we do, on the Governors’ page of the school website.