Governor News

End of Year Governor Report

The role of the governing body is to ensure that high standards of education are maintained in our school, to monitor the school finances and to support the headteacher and staff. During the course of this academic year, Governors have attended five Main Governing Body meetings, where we have reviewed a wide range of policies, scrutinized progress data, taken decisions relating to the upkeep of the buildings and ratified decisions made at sub-committee meetings.  There are two main sub-committees, Finance and Premises, and Curriculum, Standards and Progress, which also meet five times a year and where relevant issues are considered in more detail.  There is also a Pay Committee and Staffing Committee which meet as and when necessary.

Every governor is assigned to a teacher who is a subject leader. We meet at least once a year to monitor how the subject is being taught, how the children are progressing and what, if any support the teacher might need, for example, more resources.  In addition, each governor is linked to a class teacher and makes informal visits to their classroom, to observe a lesson or to help in various ways.  These visits give governors valuable insight into how the school works.

As governors, we are well informed about the priorities in the School Development Plan.  Many of us recently attended a planning morning where the plan was evaluated and new priorities were explored.

Several new initiatives have been introduced into school this year: the new curriculum, the new Code of Practice, and new assessment arrangements.  The staff have worked very hard to implement these changes and governors would like to acknowledge all the extra work that this has involved.   Anecdotal reports from children and parents confirm that children are excited and motivated by the new topics in the curriculum.

It is an enormous privilege to be a governor at Leckhampton and I would like to wish all parents and staff associated with the school a very happy summer holiday.

Joey Kerr-Wilson, Chair of Governors

Governor News Spring Term 2015

Here is the second of our new termly updates outlining the work of the governing body this Spring. We hope this gives you a greater insight into how the governing body supports the Headteacher and senior leadership team in the management of Leckhampton School.

As usual, our meetings so far this year have covered a range of issues affecting the school, including reviewing and revising school policies and discussing and making decisions about finances and staffing issues. One new policy that will be of particular interest to parents is the Teaching and Learning policy.  This will be appearing shortly on the school website. Our Anti-Bullying policy has also received final approval and the annual Safeguarding Audit has been completed. The Finance & Premises Committee has worked with the school to complete the School Finance Value Statement (SFVS); an annual survey that all schools are obliged to submit which questions how effectively the school’s finances are managed.

Governors have considered the progress being made towards the School Development Plan targets and are monitoring academic progress and attainment now the new curriculum and new assessment systems are in place. Staff have worked incredibly hard to manage the changes that have come into affect this year, with the children benefitting from some exciting new topics on the curriculum.  We thank staff for their commitment and dedication when rising to these additional challenges.

Governors have continued to carry out school visits to monitor subjects and specific focus areas, all of which are reported on and evaluated. This year we have also introduced a new system linking individual governors to particular classes.  We are thoroughly enjoying visiting our link classes and getting to know the school, staff and children better. These visits are intended to be supportive of the class teachers.  We have a wonderful staff at Leckhampton and, as governors, we are keen to show our appreciation.

We would like to thank all the parents who completed the recent school questionnaire.  Governors have discussed the responses which are being considered in detail by the senior leadership team.  They will be in touch shortly with their response.  We are delighted that so many parents are reporting a such positive experience at Leckhampton and thank you all for your constructive comments.

We wish you all a very happy Easter break and look forward to updating you again at the end of the Summer Term.

Governor Activities Autumn Terms 1 and 2

In order to help parents better understand the role of the governing body in school, we will be sharing a brief summary of our activities with you at the end of each term. You can find out more about the role of the governing body, and the people that make up this team, on the school’s website.

The statutory reconstitution of the governing body was discussed and the committee responsibilities, objectives and members confirmed for the year.

This term there has been one meeting of the full governing body, the finance and premises committee and the curriculum and standards committee.  The staffing committee has met once to discuss recruitment requirements and the pay review committee has also met.  We have also had an informal meeting to evaluate our performance over the year and consider how we can better support the school in future. Governors have attended Gloucester Governor Association meetings.

The main governing body has approved the Child Protection Policy, the Performance Management Policy and the Pay Policy.  The Behaviour Management Statement of Principles and Policy have both been approved following review by a working party and consultation with staff and parents.  The Standing Orders and the Pupil Admissions Number have been approved. The governors have considered the report of the pay review committee.  They have completed a skills audit to identify strengths within the governing body and ensure that governors attend the most appropriate training courses.  Governors have considered the performance of the school in relation to targets set in the School Development Plan 2013-14 and approved the Targets for 2014-15.  The achievements made across both Key Stages during the academic year 2013/14 were exceptional and reflect the enormous work and effort put in by the Headteacher and all of the staff. Governors are aware that with the new curriculum introduced this year and changes to Special Education Needs provision, the amount of work and pressure has increased. Despite this, the SDP for 2014/15 was approved with reassurance from the SLT (senior leadership team) that the targets within it are realistically achievable and as always, governors appreciate the hard work that will be required in doing so.

The finance committee has considered the Fire Risk Assessment, the Water Hygiene Report, the Accessibility Plan and the Environmental Health Inspection of the kitchens.  A termly premises visit has been carried out.  The Current Financial Statement was presented.  The annual SFVS (School Financial Value Statement) report was discussed and an action plan has been put into place for completion. The Budget Plan half yearly return was approved.  A working party has been set up to review the Financial Procedures Policy. The Asset Management Plan was reviewed and developed, detailing plans for repair and improvements throughout the school.

The curriculum and standards committee has approved the Equalities Policy and Equalities Scheme, the Attendance Policy and the Supporting Pupils in School with Medical Conditions Policy.  The Homework Policy has also been reviewed, with a plan to consult parents on changes once the Senior Leadership Team has considered the policy in more depth.

The committee has analysed the performance of the school in Phonics Screening (Year 1) and at both Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and KS2 (Year 6) and are delighted to report that Leckhampton has, once again, performed significantly better than the national picture.  Staff and pupils are to be congratulated on this achievement.  Analysis of this data enables staff to target any areas of weakness and ensure that all our children are given the appropriate support to fulfil their potential.  A self- evaluation of the school’s Leadership and Management has been carried out.

In addition to these meetings, governors have made a variety of visits to the school.  Formal visits have included: subject monitoring of maths; pupil interviews to better understand reading at Leckhampton; pupil interviews to better understand the experience of children with special educational needs and disabilities; scrutiny of pupil’s books with a focus on writing, marking, feedback and progress as well as observation of guided reading sessions. All of these visits are formally summarised in writing and shared with the committee, including an evaluation and any recommendations where appropriate. Informal visits to classrooms have also taken place to enable governors to get a feel for how Leckhampton operates on a day to day basis.  In addition, several governors volunteer in school on a regular basis, supporting the work of the library, collective worship and reading.

The governing body would like to express our continued support and thanks for the hard work of the entire staff team and extend our appreciation of the huge effort that goes into providing such a fabulous environment for the children, every day.