Governor Impact Statement
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 best use of its resources.
This has been quite an unusual year but the Governing Board remains responsible for providing support and oversight during these challenging times.
Given the extraordinary situation, Governors have focussed on critical areas where the School needed immediate support and deferred less critical areas. In particular, Governors have been kept informed on the School’s plans and have had oversight and input into key priorities, including:
- Overview of safeguarding procedures, taking into account remote working and the particular impact on vulnerable families;
- Mental health and wellbeing of staff;
- Health & safety provisions in response to the pandemic, including approval of the School’s risk assessment;
- Additional support for disadvantaged children and children with SEND;
- Overview of the home-schooling offering.
In order to minimise contacts, many usual Governor meetings and visits have been cancelled or moved online and the Chair and Vice-Chair have been the main contact point with School (as well as specialist link Governors, such as safeguarding, when appropriate) and have taken a primary role in ensuring the Governors remain up to date with School actions. Regular contact has also been important to ensure there have been sufficient opportunities for support and discussion with the senior leadership team around the School’s response to the crisis. Through this Governors have supported the School with key priorities, such as deferring the budget (to enable more time at the beginning of the crisis), developing the strategy for returning children and developing a robust risk assessment.
In order to provide full, informed support, it has also been important for Governors, in particular, the Chair and Vice-Chair, to keep up to date with Government guidance and the various guidance and advice coming from industry bodies.
In addition, certain critical actions have continued, including reviewing and approving the School budget for 20/21.
The Governing Board is also aware that there will be some time before Schools return to normal and going forward we will need to adapt to supporting the School with the proposed full return for pupils in September and supporting through its recovery plans. As a consequence the Governing Board will need to adapt and restructure for the new academic year.
To assist with this, the Governing Board continues to self evaluate and assess the skills and experience of its governors to ensure we are equipped with the right people and structures to support the School fully now and in the future.
Finally, this year more than any other, we have been incredibly impressed by the resilience, the dedication and adaptability of the staff at the School and, in particular the SLT, who have guided the School through incredibly challenging times and continue to provide fantastic levels of support to the pupils, their families and the wider community.
Governors can be contacted at: email@example.com