Froxfield C of E Primary School
Governors’ Impact Statement 2017-2018
The role of the Governors and the purpose of the Governors’ Impact Statement
The Governors have responsibility for the governance of the school. They are responsible for setting the overall objectives and ethos of the school, and they ensure that the school is properly managed in a manner which strives to achieve those objectives in conformity with that ethos. The Governors support the Headteacher in her management of the school and in establishing and maintaining high standards of learning and behaviour within the school.
The Governors monitor and evaluate a wide range of matters covering the whole of school life. These include the general and financial management of the school; the delivery of the curriculum taught in the school; the progress and attainment of pupils in key subjects measured against county and national standards; the provision of teaching to those pupils with special educational needs; the school’s special responsibilities as a Church of England school; compliance with all health and safety standards; and the provision of child safeguarding and behaviour standards in the school. The Governors are responsible for setting the wide range of policies applied to all areas of school life and for reviewing those policies on a regular basis to ensure that they comply with current best practice and experience.
The Governors are required to produce an Impact Statement each year to show how, for that year, they have exercised their role in school governance and the impact which they have had on school improvement. The Governors are also required to be transparent about their activities. The considerable amount of work which the Governors carry out, all on a voluntary basis, in the course of their leadership of the school, is largely unseen by parents and other stakeholders in the school community, and the Impact Statement is also intended to provide a clear insight into the work they have undertaken for the school's benefit.
This is the Governors’ Impact Statement for the school year 2017-18. It follows the format used for the previous two years. It deals first with the formal side of the Governors’ activities, undertaken through meetings of the Full Governing Body and of the various committees appointed by the Full Governing Body to deal with the detail of Governor business. It then sets out the way in which the Governors keep themselves informed of developments in the wider education field, of the views of the school community, and of the day-to-day activities in the school both in and outside the classroom.
The Full Governing Body and its committees
The Full Governing Body held six meetings in 2017-18, dealing with a wide range of issues concerning the governance and performance of the school. Minutes of those meetings are published on the school's website. Parents and other interested persons may (if prior notice is given) attend, as observers, all meetings of the Full Governing Body. The following matters are of particular importance for the purposes of this Impact Statement.
The composition of the Governing Body
The school's Governing Body consists of eleven members appointed in the following categories:
2 Foundation Governors
2 Parent Governors
Local Authority Governor
4 Co-opted Governors
In the course of 2017-18 two new Governors were appointed to fill vacancies arising on the retirement in July 2017 of two long-serving Governors. In July 2018 a Co-opted Governor retired and a replacement Governor will be appointed early in 2018-19. The Governors periodically conduct a skills audit to inform recruitment to the Governing Body, and the new Governors bring additional skills and experience to the Governing Body. One of the retiring Governors agreed to remain as an Associate Member for the year.
The Governors are grateful to the retiring Governor for her substantial contribution and commitment to the school’s life.
Working through committees
The Full Governing Body appoints each year a number of committees which carry out detailed work and bring their principal recommendations back to the Full Governing Body. As in previous years, these were the main committees appointed for 2017-18:
School Development Group
Health & Safety
All members of the Governing Body sit on one or more committees. In addition, certain Governors are appointed to act as a link with those teachers who have responsibility in the school for the Maths and English curriculum subjects and also for special educational needs and able child programmes. A Governor is also appointed to take special responsibility for safeguarding provision for the children. A further connection is made between the Governing Body and the classroom by requesting an individual Governor to take a particular interest in one year group for the whole of the school year. The Foundation Governors have special responsibility for church school matters.
The work undertaken by the main committees in the course of 2017-18 is described in more detail below.
Headteacher’s Performance Management and monitoring the standard of teaching and education practice in the school
The Headteacher is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of the school. An essential part of the Governors' function is to assess how the Headteacher is performing these functions, and by this means to monitor the standard of teaching and education practice in the school. A special committee of the Full Governing Body has responsibility for assessing the Headteacher's performance against targets set the previous year, and the committee which determines the pay of staff is advised of that assessment to enable it to take those matters into account in setting the level of the Headteacher's salary.
The Governing Body carried out the Headteacher’s Performance Management (PM) review (this is an annual exercise, which is visited six-monthly to establish progress made towards targets set). Several Governors have undertaken Headteacher’s PM training and, as in previous years, expert support was sought from a Local Authority educational advisor. The PM process allows the Governors to look closely at the performance of the Headteacher, have discussions about areas of strength and development in that performance, and set new targets against which the Headteacher’s performance will be evaluated. The impact of this is that the Governors understand, through their assessment of the leadership and performance of the Headteacher, the areas of strength and development needs within the school as a whole, including children's progress, curriculum coverage, and the learning environment. In addition, the different sources of data (what teachers say, what parents say, and what children say) available to the Governors enable them to develop an accurate picture of the school (see below for more detail as to the ways in which the Governors keep themselves informed of these matters). The Governors are by these means informed so as to enable them to challenge the Headteacher as to how good practice within the school is being shared for the benefit of the whole school and how, in areas where there are development needs, those needs are being addressed.
Staffing of the school
The Governing Body has oversight of the staffing of the school and is involved in all areas of staff recruitment. Following the recruitment of additional teaching, support and administrative staff over the previous two years, 2017-18 has been a year of consolidation – no staff members have left the school and therefore no new appointments have been required.
In the light of experience gained in 2016-17, and the Headteacher’s assessment of areas of need, in 2017-18 Year 2 was taught discretely in Class 2, whilst Years 3 and 4 were taught in Class 3. This has resulted, for Year 2 children, in a smoother transition from Class 1, and has ensured that in Class 2 there is a focus on teaching the curriculum for Key Stage 1. All children in Class 3 now begin the Key Stage 2 curriculum. As was the case in 2016-17, Years 5 and 6 were taught in Class 4, working on the curriculum for Upper Key Stage 2.
The Governors are satisfied that this Year/Class profile has worked well for the children, and it will be retained for 2018-19. The Governors are also satisfied with the pupil: teacher ratio in the school and with the level of staff-to-pupil support provision in the school. Overall, more individual teacher time is provided for children at key points in their school career, and more support staff time is available for vital one-to-one and small group provision as well as for in-class support. The pupils’ progress and attainment data, which the Governors monitor, as well as the improvement in the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 assessment results, show that our current staffing levels, and the way in which teaching and support staff are deployed, are delivering improved education for the children.
This year has also seen the benefits of the decision taken by the Governors last year to appoint a further part-time staff member for the school’s administrative team. A strong and effective team working in the administration of the school provides essential support for the Headteacher in managing the school, and freeing up teaching staff for their classroom responsibilities. In addition to ensuring the smooth running of the school across a range of administrative functions, administration staff support teachers with a range of tasks including the organisation of school visits, photocopying tasks, writing letters to parents and ordering resources.
The School Development Group committee
Progress and attainment of pupils
The Headteacher and teaching staff use a range of standard assessment methods to measure the progress and attainment of each child in the school. At key points attainment levels are measured by external assessment. Progress and attainment data for all groups of children across the school is brought to the School Development Group by the Headteacher and analysed by the committee. Data is focused on reading, writing and maths. It records the extent to which children are making expected progress, are progressing in their learning to a greater depth of knowledge, or are falling behind expectations. Analysis is carried out by looking at a variety of different groupings within the school, including year groups, classes, children categorised as disadvantaged, children qualifying for special education needs support, more able children, and boys/girls. The data analysed includes performance in national tests (including relative performance against national results) and data recorded internally within the school.
In consequence of this detailed review of progress and attainment, the Governors are aware in detail of how children (as grouped) are performing and where there are performance issues; they are equipped to ask challenging questions to ensure that any identified problems are addressed in a timely manner. This ensures that the Governing Body know throughout the year how the school is progressing towards the school's priorities and targets. It also assists the Governors in determining areas of particular focus in the School Improvement Plan (referred to below).
Governors are all familiar with Ofsted performance measurements which enable them to benchmark the school’s performance against other similar schools and against county and national performance data. They are also all familiar with the Analyse School Performance data for the school which again shows the school's performance in the national context. The Governors remain very aware that, with a school such as ours with small year groups, care must be taken when analysing data by reference to percentages - in some cases a single child might represent 10 per cent of a year group, and so bare numbers may not provide a sound statistical basis for comparison of performance.
Monitoring specialist areas, foundation subjects and cross-curricular learning
In addition to this work on children’s performance in the core subjects of reading, writing and maths, in the course of the year the committee had presentations from teachers on their subjects of specialist responsibility in both core and foundation subjects, including music; maths; English; modern foreign language; religious education; PE; and Special Educational Needs. These presentations, and the questioning which follows, enable the Governors to assess and monitor objectives and attainment in these specialist areas of learning.
Governors gave particular attention to maths learning this year. The School Improvement Plan for the year identified as a priority the continuing need to improve the teaching of maths across the school. Training has been given to teaching and support staff by the education authority’s maths adviser. The Governor with responsibility for maths and the maths co-ordinator agreed a revised monitoring plan (to include study of workbooks and classroom visits) so that Governors can see whether the objectives specified in the School Improvement Plan are being met.
A strength of the school is that it seeks to give children a firm grounding in foundation subjects (science, history, geography and so forth) beyond the core curriculum subjects of reading, writing and maths. Children study these subjects through a series of “topics” as they progress through the school. This approach lends itself to innovative cross-curricular learning and allows the children to apply (and broaden) their reading, writing and maths skills as they work on topics and produce their Topic Books – for example, a topic such as “Rivers” gives wide scope for a teacher to encourage the study of geography, history, and science, with plenty of opportunity for creative writing and to apply maths learning. Governors fully support this approach to learning, and in the course of the year reviewed Topic Books to assess the scope of work and subjects covered by children in these studies and carried out pupil interviews to assess how the children regard their studies through topics.
Governors also gave attention to learning for children with special educational needs and for more able children with pupil interviews and reviewing reports of progress and initiatives in these areas.
In January 2018 the Governors arranged for governor training in spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning in the primary school. This training was designed to give Governors insight into how these issues and values are to be found in different aspects of learning across the curriculum, and how they can be given more prominence in the classroom.
Reviewing external assessments
The Governors and the Headteacher have the benefit of certain external assessments of the school’s performance made by education specialists engaged for the purpose by the Governors. These assessments provide an objective view of the school by individuals who can draw on wide experience of primary education, and the benefits to the school of their experience, assessment and advice will be readily apparent. In the course of the year the committee reviewed the report of the Primary School Improvement Partner following her school improvement visit, using the comments in that report to assess progress in the current School Improvement Plan and to shape the development of the School Improvement Plan for 2018-19.
Each year the committee reviews the school’s policies on matters falling within the committee’s remit. In 2017-18 particular attention was given to policies relating to behaviour and anti-bullying; attendance; acceptable use of ICT; provision for the able child; and sex and relationship education. In some cases changes were made to these policies by the Governors to reflect best current practice and experience within the school.
The school's Christian character
As a Church of England foundation the school is required to comply with the terms of its foundation deed, and generally to ensure that it provides a broad education in the context of a school community which upholds Christian values. The school’s Foundation Governors have principal responsibility for this area of school life, but they enjoy the support of all Governors, under the oversight of the School Development Group.
In November 2017 the school was inspected by the Diocesan education authority. In the inspector’s report which followed the inspection the school was rated as an outstanding church school. That report is available on the school website, and a summary has been provided to all parents. The report’s strongly positive comments on the school’s Christian ethos, the place which the school’s Christian values have in the life of the school community, the collective worship practised in the school, and the leadership of the school, reflect the hard work by the Headteacher and the staff in developing a school community with a distinctive and “lived out” Christian character.
Two initiatives begun in 2016-17 have been followed through into classroom development in 2017-18.
First, following training provided by the Diocese to teachers and Governors, the children have been encouraged to explore an understanding of spirituality through their observations of the world, their response to beauty and creativity, in their dealings and relationships with other people, and in their sense of the numinous. Classroom displays help the children to have pathways to approach these concepts, which, although abstract, are a fundamental and universal human experience, and teachers encourage children to express and explore their own experiences and encounters which give them glimpses into this particular world. Children’s creative writing, their art work and music appreciation, and their behaviour towards others can all be enriched by developing their understanding of spirituality.
Governors have monitored the early stages of this initiative by interviewing pupils and feeding back to teachers the outcomes of those interviews.
Secondly, Governors have supported the school in a revision of the religious education curriculum used in the school, by the introduction of the “Understanding Christianity” syllabus. Understanding Christianity is an in-depth programme designed by the Church of England to introduce children to the central events and beliefs of the Christian faith as recounted or revealed in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible. The school is required to use the Hampshire CC religious education syllabus “Living Differences” as the basis for its RE teaching, but elements of the Understanding Christianity syllabus will also be used for the specifically Christian parts of the Living Differences course.
The Resources Committee
Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent The Resources Committee consider financial issues and, in conjunction with the work of the SDG committee, ensure that the financial resources provided to the school are well spent by evaluating the impact of school spending on pupil outcomes. In allocating resources over the course of the year the committee has maintained the policy of giving high priority to staffing, taking the view that maintaining a high staff to pupil ratio is a key requirement for a successful school.
The Resources Committee considered and approved a 3 year budget forecast, taking into consideration likely changes to budget provisions and factors likely to affect the budget in future years, for example changes to the minimum funding guarantee. In this way the school can plan ahead on a rolling 3 year basis taking into account possible contingencies.
A particular focus this year has been a review of ways to save money and also to maximise the time of staff to increase financial and performance efficiency. This has resulted in a variety of different ways of working and cost-sharing including: sharing staff training with other schools in the “cluster”; sharing printing and copying equipment; setting up a new uniform ordering and fulfilment system; and introducing a new teacher app for entering register and lunch data.
The Resources Committee also focuses on the best application of income which is received for specific purposes. In the course of the year it reviewed the way in which pupil premium is used in the school, ensuring the most effective outcomes consistent with the rules which apply to this income. The school also receives sports funding, and the expenditure of this funding was reviewed, resulting in the prioritisation of the purchase of outdoor gym equipment for the playground to encourage greater levels of activity during break times.
In its work of managing the school’s financial resources the committee benchmarks its “performance” against similar schools to ensure that it is broadly conforming to common standards. It also checks the school’s financial procedures against county-wide schools financial value standards to ensure compliance with those standards. This ensures that the school is applying best practice in these areas and acts as a safeguard against misappropriation or misuse of funds.
Premises and equipment
The Resources Committee has responsibility for the school’s premises and equipment. As foreshadowed last year, the committee has been busy implementing the plans for the construction and equipping of a library and for the erection of the yurt. Both these projects, which greatly enhance the opportunities in the school for working with small groups and for “time out” space, were completed in the course of the year, and immediately have become valuable and much-used facilities. Members of the committee secured donations from grant-making bodies for these projects, including a grant of £4,000 for the library building work and £2,000 towards furnishing the library with books. The Friends of Froxfield School undertook a vigorous and successful fundraising campaign to support the costs of the construction and equipping of these new premises, and the committee allocated the funds raised to ensure their best use.
Over the course of the year the committee approved capital spending on a range of equipment, including an interactive whiteboard for the library; flooring and a balustrade for the yurt; hand dryers for the toilets; and fire safety equipment purchased in accordance with recommendations made by the Health and Safety Committee.
Finally, a major focus of the committee in the course of the year was to ensure that the school is fully compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulations, which impose wide-ranging and stringent requirements as to the way in which the school, and those it deals with (such as suppliers) stores, manages, and uses personal data, and the protections which the school has in place to maintain privacy in respect of such data. This has required the committee to carry out a “data mapping” exercise; to provide for staff briefing; and to appoint a Data Protection Officer and a Governor with responsibility for these matters.
The Health and Safety Committee
The Health and Safety Committee have responsibility for all aspects of safety, well-being, and protection in relation to the school, its premises and equipment, children, staff and visitors. This is a wide and important remit, and the work of the committee ensures that the school complies with all requirements in this area and is vigilant in providing a safe, healthy, and protected environment in which children can learn, play and develop.
In the course of 2017-18 the Health and Safety Committee dealt with a number of specific issues, including the following matters.
The committee carried out an audit of child safeguarding procedures to ensure that staff and Governors have received appropriate and up-to-date safeguarding training and are informed of the latest requirements: the committee monitors whether all staff and Governors are familiar with key documents and policies in this area, in particular the key document “Keep Children Safe in Education”. In addition, in this area of responsibility, the committee carried out an audit of staff documentation to ensure compliance with “safer recruitment” guidelines.
Risk assessments for a range of activities (including, this year, off-site and educational visits; the use of the new playground area and the Class 1 outside classroom; events run by the Friends of Froxfield School; and dealing with the school’s bantams) were monitored and checked in accordance with the 3 year rolling programme which ensures a systematic review of risk assessments within the school.
The committee reviewed the school’s standing fire management plan and lock down procedures, and the way in which accidents and “near misses” are reported in the school accident log book.
The committee also reviewed the procedures followed by administration staff in the case of unreported absences of children from school and in particular where there are difficulties in contacting parents/carers, and as a result of that review the committee recommended improvements to those procedures.
The committee continued to monitor a wide range of health and safety issues within the school, with regular checks (such as fire drills), classroom visits, monitoring the safety of children in the playground as the number of children has increased, and, through the parent Governors, drawing up a plan for parents to ensure greater safety in the village hall car park at drop off and pick up times.
As to the premises, in the course of the year the committee ensured that the local authority carried out a number of improvements which impacted upon the health of the children, including the installation of an air-conditioning unit in Class 4, and improvements to the toilet block.
Finally, the committee reviewed the school’s policies in the following areas: child protection and safeguarding; first aid; lone working; and off-site and educational visits.
The School Improvement Plan (SIP):
The Governors work co-operatively with the Headteacher and senior management in identifying priorities for school improvement and in preparing, and then monitoring, the School Improvement Plan (SIP). The SIP sets aims for the forthcoming year. The SIP is of particular importance in establishing the highest standards possible in educational attainment for children throughout the school.
As in previous years, the SIP for 2017-18 was based on priorities identified from data and school self-evaluation priorities. The SIP is set out with clear aims, the key tasks which should be completed in order to achieve these aims, and the success criteria by which outcomes can be measured. The SIP is monitored and reviewed termly, with an evaluation overview being completed and presented to the Governors within the report which the Headteacher makes to each meeting of the Full Governing Body. The Governor Monitoring Plan identifies areas and responsibilities that the Governors undertake in monitoring the SIP.
The targets of the School Improvement Plan 2017-18 were:
Priority 1 Ensure variation is used effectively in lessons so that all children are making good progress;
Priority 2 Review the teaching of writing to ensure sufficient opportunities for independence and choice across the school particularly for the more able;
Priority 3 Continue to improve the teaching of maths across the school with a focus on variation, reasoning, core basic skills and the use of concrete models and images;
Priority 4 Review the assessment systems used across the school including: termly trackers and processes for SEN children for reading, writing and maths and the systems used to demonstrate progress across a broader curriculum;
Priority 5 Raise attainment across a broad and balanced curriculum ensuring children achieve a standard in the foundation subjects comparable to their achievement in English and maths.
Co-operative working on preparation and implementation of the SIP follows considerable research, preparation and input from the school management team and all other members of staff. The SIP is monitored and reviewed by the School Development Group termly, with an evaluation overview being completed and presented to the Full Governing Body in preparation for the new priorities for the following year. The Headteacher and Governors also have the benefit, in preparing the SIP and in reviewing performance against priorities, of the reports of external assessments, as referred to above in the section on the work of the School Development Group.
The targets for the School Improvement Plan 2018-19
Work on improving the school is, of course, a continuing and evolving process, and the procedure outlined above for setting targets and monitoring and reviewing progress ensures that there is a “rolling programme” which looks ahead to the future. In the course of the year the Governors therefore agreed the targets for the School Improvement Plan for 2018-19, and it is helpful to set them out here:
Priority 1 Continue to raise attainment in Early Years so that:
More children achieve the expected standard in writing
More children are exceeding expectations by the end of Year R;
Priority 2 Continue to raise attainment across Key Stage 2 by improving the progress more able children make in maths and the percentage of children making at least expected progress in writing;
Priority 3 Continue to raise attainment across a broad and balanced curriculum ensuring children achieve a standard in the foundation subjects comparable to their achievement in English and maths;
Priority 4 Continue to develop the role of middle leaders, focusing on monitoring provision within their subjects and using their findings to further improve such provision.
Governor visits to monitor the SIP
Individual Governors visit the school as part of their monitoring of the SIP and of specific issues. These visits are considered a valuable opportunity for Governors to be able to work closely with staff members across the school. Link Governors meet with subject managers to enable them to fully understand developments within core curriculum subjects. Governor visits may also take the form of classroom visits, pupil interviews, or reviewing (anonymised) children’s workbooks.
Examples of these visits in 2017-18 include:
Interviews with children about the provision for more able children; reviews of workbooks to assess standards of work in maths and performance against the SIP maths priorities; classroom visits to see maths teaching; reviews of Topics Books; safeguarding audits; “walkabouts” to review compliance with health and safety standards; interviews with children about the school’s Christian values; interviews with children about work on foundation subjects through Topics; interviews with children about their understanding of spirituality. The impact of these visits is that Governors can see first-hand the developments taking place, enabling them to ask questions and understand how matters identified for improvement are progressing, and giving insight into the next steps required for school improvement.
The Governors review all relevant school policies on a programmed basis to ensure that all guidance is current and complies with best practice and is based on day-to-day experience within the school.
Specifically, the Governors ensure that the school has in place policies which are consistent with those policies which are required by the Department of Education and those which are recommended by Hampshire County Council.
Training, networking and listening – keeping the Governors informed
The Governors are fully aware that, if they are to govern the school successfully in a rapidly changing education environment, they need to be informed of developments in the sphere of education, and they need to be aware of all that is happening in the school. They do this by undertaking training courses, by using opportunities to network with governors of other schools, and by listening to the views of staff, pupils and parents.
All members of the Governing Body receive training. In 2017-2018 the Full Governing Body had training in spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning in the primary school. Individual Governors have during the year undertaken training in a number of areas including: performance data in the primary school; finance in schools; performance management; and the impact of the General Data Protection Regulations. All new Governors have attended the induction training for school governors provided by Hampshire County Council. In addition Governors have attended the training on various church school matters provided to staff by the Diocesan adviser.
This training has assisted the Governing Body in keeping abreast of key developments and requirements in primary education. It also equips Governors to support and challenge the school in its provision of education to pupils and to monitor and support the administration of the school.
In addition to formal training, the Governors benefit from networking with other school governors. The Governors are associated with the Forum for School Governors for North East Hampshire, and where possible a Governor attends its meetings. The Chairman of the Governors periodically and informally meets with his counterparts in the local “small schools cluster” (comprising the neighbouring village schools in our area). In this way the Governors are kept apprised of developments in wider education policy as well as learning from the experiences of other schools. This helps the Governors to assess the school’s performance relative to other schools and also to plan ahead for the implementation of any policy changes. The connection with “the small schools cluster” is particularly important for the school: it provides support for the Headteacher through regular contact with her counterparts in the other group schools; it provides additional training opportunities for both governors and staff; and it facilitates the moderation of assessment results and gives opportunity for peer reviews of performance.
Listening to the views of pupils, parents and staff
The Governors are fully aware that they must have a good understanding of what goes on in the school from day-to-day as part of their responsibility to monitor the school’s performance and to govern the school for the best advantage of the pupils. The Governors have therefore again in 2017-18 taken the opportunity to listen to the views of pupils, parents and staff, both formally and informally.
During the year formal pupil interviews have been carried out by individual Governors across the range of year groups on a range of subjects, as mentioned above. Pupils appear to enjoy expressing and explaining their views and experiences, and Governors benefit greatly from hearing directly how things are viewed at classroom level and the insight it gives into the children’s learning and school experience.
The Governing Body has been fortunate to have parent Governors (plus two co-opted Governors who are also school parents) who have generously contributed the benefit of their experience as school parents whilst acting, as all Governors must, in the interests of the school as a whole.
As in previous years, in 2017-18 the views of parents were sought formally through a parents’ questionnaire in order to give parents opportunities to express their views to the Governors. Following up from that, Governors have been available for informal conversations with parents at a variety of school events, including during class parents’ evenings, at the Nativity production, the school play and sports day.
It remains the case that parents are always encouraged to bring particular concerns to a class teacher or the Headteacher, or, where appropriate, to the Chairman of the Governors, and where these concerns are of general interest they are reported to the Governing Body as a whole.
The Governing Body includes a staff Governor, and this gives the Governing Body a most helpful insight, from a teacher’s perspective, into a wide range of issues and in particular in relation to curriculum and staffing matters. As in previous years, in 2017-18 the Governors asked all staff in the school to complete a questionnaire – this year the questionnaire was wide-ranging, giving staff the opportunity to give detailed feedback on such matters as the management of the school and workload – as in previous years, the outcome was very positive and helpful to the Governors, and a number of issues have been identified for specific follow-up. Each member of staff receives an annual invitation from the Chairman of the Governors to bring to the Governors direct any matters which the staff member thinks it appropriate to draw to the attention of Governors.
Over the course of the year individual Governors have taken the opportunity to visit the school and observe school life informally in many different ways: by listening to children read; by attending events such as plays, May dancing, concerts, collective worship and festival services in church, sports day and other sporting events; by accompanying children to swimming classes; and by joining in class and other outings and school trips. In this way the Governors have observed the range of activities which are carried out in the school and the breadth of the wider educational provision within the school.
The Friends of Froxfield School is a volunteer body of the school’s supporters, principally run by parents. It is primarily, but no exclusively, a social and fund-raising organisation. It provides another forum by which the Governors can be kept informed of the views of parents and other supporters of the school, and the parent Governors in particular, through their involvement with FoFS, are key to this process.
In addition to undergoing training in order to better carry out their responsibilities, the Governors have in the course of the year engaged in a process of self-evaluation to test their performance against national standards and to seek to improve their effectiveness.
The National Governors’ Association produces a paper, “Twenty Key Questions every governing board should ask itself”, designed to encourage school governors to challenge themselves as to their performance and effectiveness. The Governors examine their performance by reference to those twenty key questions, identifying areas requiring improvement and areas where they consider their performance is to, or above, standard.
The Governors hope that in producing this Impact Statement they have helpfully informed parents and others in the school community, or who take an interest in the school, of the work the Governors have undertaken in the school year 2017-18 and of the resulting benefits to the school. If anyone has questions arising from this Statement they are invited to raise them with the Chairwoman of the Governors, Mrs Gillian Hollis.
The School Governors