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Earlsfield Primary School

Impact Statement

What is our impact?

Governor Impact Statement July 2019

Earlsfield's Governing Board has three key responsibilities:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction - they help decide the school’s strategy for improvement. It’s not their job to get involved in the day-to-day management of the school but to focus on key issues that will raise standards and achievement.
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff - they use their knowledge and experience to support and challenge (in a constructive way) the headteacher and staff so as to get the best possible teaching and outcomes.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent – they work with the staff to ensure that the school makes the best use of its resources.

The Ofsted Report of March 2017 commented that:

Governors bring a wide range of experience and skills to their roles. They reflect carefully on how to deploy their expertise to maximum effect in order to drive continuous improvement.

Governors are uncompromising in the way they challenge leaders to strengthen outcomes for pupils. They recognise the school’s strengths but are also acutely aware of what could be even better. Governors interrogate assessment information rigorously and ask leaders challenging questions about pupils’ outcomes. They visit the school regularly to check for themselves how well different groups of pupils achieve, including the most able and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Governors regularly ask leaders for more information to satisfy themselves that the school is doing everything possible to improve pupils’ outcomes.

Governors apply similar levels of rigour to their oversight of the school’s work to keep pupils safe. They attend effective training regularly to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge to evaluate the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements. Records of their visits show that they ask staff challenging questions and seek pupils’ views on whether they feel safe. This ensures that procedures are continuously strengthened.

The Governing Board continues to regularly assess its performance, through impact and self-evaluation surveys and holds annual strategy meetings to refresh the Governor objectives.

The Governors’ assessment is as follows:

Through Governor Strategy Meetings:

Governors review and input into the School’s annual strategic priorities and ensure that Governor focus and review is linked to the School Priorities. Governors also undertake an annual SWOT analysis to consider wider educational developments and community and school developments which may have a future impact on the School. An example this year was the Governors’ input into the Ofsted Inspection Framework Consultation.

Through the Curriculum & Assessment Committee:

Extensive data on pupils’ attainment, progress, pupil premium and quality of teaching are assessed. National, Local Authority and previous year data are provided as well as current data, all of which is thoroughly analysed and discussed at governor meetings. Data is split into different groups, including the progress of disadvantaged pupils to assess progress against external benchmarks but also to assess the in-school gaps. Governors are able to make judgements about the school’s performance, not only through use of data, but also through visits linked to school development priorities and interviews with staff and pupils on a range of topics based on the relevant committee priorities.

Through the Children, Families & Communities Committee:

Safeguarding is overseen by a dedicated link Governor who regularly visits the School to ensure the safeguarding processes are robust, including input into an annual safeguarding audit. This committee also oversees the Schools PHSE provision, SEND provision and reviews behaviour, attendance and parent/community engagement. A key focus for the Committee this year has been to oversee the School’s progress towards it’s Wellbeing Award, through visits, attending teacher insets and presentations from key members of staff.

Through the Resources Committee:

Budget planning is robust. At an annual budget meeting, governors systematically review the proposed allocated spend to ensure it supports school improvement priorities and is sustainable. Budget planning is now reviewed on a forward 3 year basis to better understand future funding pressures and plan accordingly, for example, assessing and planning for the financial impact of the changing demographics of the area. Spending is benchmarked against similar schools to ensure it is appropriate. Monitoring takes place throughout the year at the termly Resources Committee and Resources link Governor visits.

Through the Resources Committee:

Dedicated link Governors oversee key focus areas including health & safety and HR and work closely with the school business manager and senior leadership team to ensure the School remains a safe and well-maintained space and staff are well-supported and engaged. Governors also conduct confidential staff surveys from time to time to support this.

Through the provision of professional clerking:

the Governing Board has a clear administrative process in place to support the Governing Board’s focus areas, including annual workplans, standing agendas, a policy cycle, terms of reference, designated governor roles, visit protocols, a governors handbook and a thorough induction process. These help to ensure that the Governing Body carries out its statutory duties, such as safeguarding, effectively and ensures that boundaries between governors and the school leadership are clear i.e. between strategy and operational matters.

Through annual self-evaluation surveys and skills reviews:

The Governing Board maintains a wide range of skills, experience and expertise. However recruitment and succession planning continue to need focus to ensure the Governing Board has the range of expertise it requires, in order to fill any gaps but in particular more does need to be done to improve the diversity within the Governing Board to better reflect the School Community.

In general:

Governors work well together, in an atmosphere of mutual respect for each other, the staff, pupils and parents. The views of all governors are sought and respected. Governors have high standards and promote the school’s drive for excellence. This is reflected in the Governing Body’s commitment to improvement. The Governors regularly participate in the School’s Guided Peer Evaluation meetings and Governors participate in the training that is offered by the local authority and attend bespoke training sessions annually. All new Governors are required to attend induction training and complete basic safeguarding training and this year Governors have attended bespoke training sessions on data assessment and the Ofsted framework consultation. Meetings are well attended although improving the efficiency of meetings and timeliness of receiving papers for meetings continues to be a focus area. Another key focus this year was to improve the effectiveness of Governor visits by ensuring they were well planned and linked clearly to the School’s priority areas. We believe this has worked well although we will continue to ensure visits are clearly structured going into the new school year. The Governing Board also continues to work on improving the visibility and presence of Governors within the School and in particular with the School Community, through attending School events, parents evenings etc.

Through our Annual Strategy Meetings:

Outside of the School Development Priorities, we identify the following as our areas for continued focus and improvement: Funding pressures; future direction for the School in view of LA support; Succession/recruitment; Increasing meeting efficiency; Governor wider collaboration.

Finally, the Governors are very proud to work with such a great School. The dedication and drive of the staff, the support of the parents and the community and the achievements of the pupils continue to make the Governors’ role a very satisfying one indeed.

Governors can be contacted at governors@earlsfield.wandsworth.sch.uk