Howletch Lane Primary School

Howletch Lane Primary School

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Annual Statement of Governance

 

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body of               

Howletch Lane Primary School 2021

 

School Vision/Mission Statement

Our vision is to ensure that each and every child has the opportunity to thrive and achieve their potential at Howletch through a combination of excellent teaching, accurate assessment, a creative enquiry-based curriculum and opportunities to build confidence through participation in musical and drama-based activities which make our school unique. 

Our ' Working together, achieving together’ school motto underlines the aims of the school to be fully inclusive and work as a team to ensure the best possible experiences and outcomes for every single child.

 

 

The Governing Body of Howletch Lane Primary School has a strong

focus on its core strategic functions:

 

  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, and the performance management of staff; and
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
  4. Ensure that other key players with a stake in the organisation have their voices heard.

 

 

Governance

arrangements

The Governing Body of Howletch Lane Primary School was re-constituted in November 2020. The Governing Body is composed of 14 governors: the Headteacher, 4 Parent Governors, 1 Local Authority Governor, 1 Staff Governor and 7 Co-opted Governors. The full Governing Body meets once each term, and we also have a number of committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail. At Howletch we have a Finance and Premises Committee which focuses on finance and the school environment; a Curriculum and Standards Committee which considers the curriculum, pupil achievement and teaching standards; a Pupil Wellbeing Committee which considers safeguarding of pupils and staff plus welfare of pupils including giving our pupils a voice in the school and a Pay Review and Performance Committee which considers staff performance over the year. All of these committees meet regularly. Other committees will meet as required. For a full list of committees see the school website.

Attendance record of governors

Most governors have excellent 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). Meetings during the 2020/2021 academic year were held remotely due to the Coronavirus pandemic and will return to face-to-face meetings once advised to do so.

 

Key Issues faced and addressed by the Governing Body

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, the governing body has approved risk assessments in line with latest national and local government advice.

 

School and family life has been disrupted for all children and staff. When staff and children were isolating, children received online learning. Staff maintained contact with their pupils and particular attention was given to children from hard-to-reach families or in vulnerable families. As a governing body we were consulted on and approved the remote learning strategy.

 

In January 2018, Ofsted judged the school as Good, acknowledging the many strengths of the school and the rapid and effective improvements made in all areas since the previous inspection.

 

The 2017/2018 results were very good with improvements across the board. Many areas were above or significantly above national average. The main area for improvement going forward was in the number of children attaining the very highest levels and working at greater depth, especially disadvantaged pupils. Unfortunately, due to the Covid pandemic, there have been no national results for primary schools for the last two academic years. Children continue to be assessed during the Autumn terms and progress tracked throughout the year. Looking ahead to 2021/22, focus, as always, is to make improvements overall and to ensure that children are given opportunities to learn and develop to make the best possible progress that they can. To promote and maintain high aspirations for each child and for the school.

 

We give additional consideration to our vulnerable children.

Safeguarding of pupils and staff is also a key issue, especially during these challenging times. Mrs K Stevens is the governor with a specific safeguarding role. By providing a safe and stimulating environment and by listening to our children we aim to improve attendance in school. Improvements in the school environment are prioritised and expenditure agreed within the context of the whole school budget. Particular expenditure for Pupil Premium, Sports Premium and Catch-up premium are monitored carefully.

 

Finances are a constant challenge in school as we await outcomes from the revision of the school funding formula.

 

In early 2017, the Governing Body requested a Healthcheck by the Local Authority. A subsequent review of governance demonstrated that the Governing Body is effective and Ofsted concurred. The Governing body action plan is reviewed annually.

 

Assessment of Impact

 

As no national tests were undertaken in 2020/2021 and the majority of pupils having a severely disrupted year in terms of attendance, the impact of the curriculum, teaching and targeted interventions is difficult to fully assess. Remote working was in place for all year groups and children without devices were provided with them.

 

Throughout the year staff maintained close tracking of pupil progress, this was monitored by middle and senior leaders. Staff training, targeted interventions, high aspirations and quality first teaching contributed to furthering and accelerating pupil progress.

 

Governors evidence this from classroom visits, monitoring books and discussions with children and staff. Classroom visits were not possible for the majority of the year until the summer term when governors visited classrooms, scrutinised books and spoke to children. In the interim period, governors had regular contact with the Headteacher to both question and provide support. Within the curriculum, there is a responsibility to develop children academically but also to develop them spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC). SMSC is a particular strength in our school, acknowledged by Ofsted.  Pupils have had many opportunities to develop in terms of music and sport. Educational visits were severely curtailed. The school has now embedded the Happy Centred Schools Project which promotes emotional wellbeing of all members of the school community. The wellbeing support provided by the school has enabled children and staff to settle back into school life, this is evidenced from speaking to children.

 

Children report that they enjoy school and that they feel safe.

 

 

Future plans for the Governing Body

 

 

During 2020/21 children have, at times, missed the stimulation, camaraderie and safety that schools provide as well as face to face classroom teaching. It is important for governors to ensure that the school is safe for staff and pupils and that the education and welfare of the pupils is paramount. It is essential that we attempt to catch up on missed curriculum time at a rate that is appropriate for each child.

 

Embedding of monitoring in core and foundation subjects, to enable us to continue to monitor the curriculum and review results and predictions for all pupils, including vulnerable groups. Ensure resources are deployed appropriately. Ensure staff receive appropriate training to provide even more innovation in the classroom and to promote a skills, knowledge and enquiry based curriculum in line with new Ofsted regulations. Ensure children are motivated and self-motivated to learn and to reflect on their own targets.

Monitor attendance and review strategies.

Make well considered decisions regarding expenditure.

To develop the Governing Body’s own self-evaluation skills to enable the GB to have an accurate view of the impact of its work.

Work with the Local Authority to utilise their skills and advice.

 

Contact Details

The Governing Body welcomes suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents/carers.  Please contact the Chair of Governors, Mrs Karen Stevens c/o the school office.

 

Details of the full Governing Body are on the school website.

 

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