Annual Governance Statement 2015-16
In accordance with the Government's requirement for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of the Peterhouse CofE Primary Academy Governing Body are:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Holding the Head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
The Governing Body of Peterhouse CE Primary Academy saw some changes in its membership towards the latter part of this academic year. Sadly, through pressures at home and work, three of our governors have stepped down from their roles. However the good news is that we have appointed three experienced people to fill their places.
Our Head teacher Martin Scott is leaving at the end of the summer term we have been involved in the recruitment and selection of a new Head teacher for our school, Mr Ryan Freeman. He comes with a very good track record and all of the governors are sure he will make a real positive impact on the school.
Our Governing Body constitutes as the following members:-
- 2 staff governors (including the Head teacher), 2 Parent Governors and 6 DNEAT* Trustee Governors.
- We also have 3 Associate members who are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
- Our three Associate Governors are all staff members.
- We have carried out a governor’s skills audit and highlighted our strengths and weaknesses.
- Following the skills audit we have placed governors with the appropriate skills into the various committee structures and individual roles of responsibility. Also this audit helps governors to identify where they need support following which training courses will be planned.
- The full Governing Body meets twice each term, and we have a number of committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail.
- Resources Committee, which focuses on finances and premises
- Curriculum & Standards Committee which is responsible for monitoring the school’s curriculum, ensuring that teaching is effective and the Government’s schools standards are adhered to and met.
- Strategic & HR Committee which looks at the strategic direction of the school and the Human Resources aspect of the school’s needs for all staff, pupil behaviour etc
- See below for a list of Governors’ committees and responsibilities.
*DNEAT = Diocese of Norwich Education Academy Trust
Attendance record of governors
Governors have an excellent attendance record at meetings. Our aim is always to be “quorate” (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made) however, because of the issues regarding governors’ personal commitments we had to cancel two committee meetings this year.
Leigh Murray - Deputy Head teacher (Associate Member - no voting rights)
Tracey Cannon - Schools Business Manager (Associate Member - no voting rights)
Michelle Coleman - Schools Part Time RE Co-ordinator (Associate Member - no voting rights)
The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing body
Once again the Governing Body has had a busy year in 2015/ 2016, focusing on:-
- The new core assessments for pupils in EYFS, year 2 and year 6. As you know, this has been a challenging year for pupils and this is the first year of the new SATS test for year 6 pupils. Currently there is no national standard to compare our children against and so we are awaiting the outcome of the first year’s results nationally, as well as those of comparable schools in the locality. The impact of this year’s national result should determine the Government’s view on the future expected attainment levels.
- Children are completing more extended writing this year and we have seen a great improvement in all age groups.
- We have also trialled and introduced a new way of teaching maths called Singapore Maths. This has proved to be very popular with the children and has improved learning of the subject.
- We are still seeing a continuing growth in pupil numbers as the expansion of a 2 form entry progresses. However, at the same time unfortunately we are seeing a downturn in the number of nursery children coming to our school which has caused some concerns over whether the nursery remains viable. This is something that the governors and the staff are passionate about retaining and are currently reviewing the offer we have in place. Clearly, this will be something which our new Head teacher will want to investigate and recommend the best way forward.
- Regular monitoring has been taking place across all areas within the school and classrooms to ensure the Academy Improvement Plan (AIP) is on track. One element of governors’ monitoring has been through two in-depth Deep Dive Days.
- The Peterhouse Top 21 was launched again in September last year and is a curriculum enrichment programme which has been developed to give our pupils the opportunity to participate in 21 experiences which they will remember for a lifetime.
- Read Write Inc teaching package is still being used to teach our younger pupils the basic understanding of sounds. Our Phonics test results this year were good overall and therefore much improved.
- We are still working with Edison Learning and have introduced many new teaching and learning strategies and we are now seeing the positive impacts of this across the school.
- We have a large number of free school meal pupils for which the school receives additional Pupil Premium Funding. This money is used to narrow the gaps in progress and attainment. The governors are required to monitor how this money is spent and what the outcomes and impact this has had on our pupils’ development and progress over the year. This is published on the schools web site for parents to see. It gives a breakdown of where the money has been spent and the outcomes for 2015/2016. Please take a look.
- The school also receives Sports Premium Funding and this money is used to purchase sports equipment, pays for training of 2 members of staff to carry out sporting activities in school and enables the school to run a number of after school clubs.
- The Resources Committee decides spending priorities and therefore how the school should spend its budget. This includes looking at the maintenance and development of the school premises.
- Early in the summer term, the Resources Committee approved the 2016/17 budget plan for the school. We are pleased to report that the school is in a healthy position financially and can afford to continue to run classes in the next academic year as well as continuing to employ a full time SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinator).
- Our Health and Safety Governor carries out termly checks of the premises with the school’s site manager.
- Governors are charged with ensuring that all our pupils are kept safe in school. We have a nominated Governor for Safeguarding who gives a termly report to the Local Governing Body about any safeguarding matters.
- One of the roles for the governors is to adopt DNEAT’S school policies, and this year we have considered a number of key policies. The school also up-dates its own policies and these can all be found on the school’s web site.
- We also have a legal duty to monitor the attendance of pupils at school. As you know, government changes mean that the Headteacher can no longer authorise term time holidays for pupils. While governors recognise the problem that this may cause for some parents, they also understand the vital importance of maintaining high levels of attendance for pupils’ attainment and progress. Therefore governors are very pleased that attendance figures at the school continue to improve because this should help boost outcomes for all of our pupils.
- Minutes of the Local Governing Body meetings are public documents. If you would like to see any of the minutes of our meetings look on the schools web site.
- As governors of the school we have to undertake training in order to support us in our roles and responsibilities. Many training opportunities are provided through DNEAT and NGLS*. All governors have attended courses this year and our aim is that each governors should attend at least three formal training sessions per year.
*Norfolk Governing and Learning Services
- This year has seen the development of our school farm project. This is still in its early stages and is an additional education resource for our pupils to benefit from.
All risk assessments have been successfully carried out and these have been placed onto the schools website.
We have also supported the development of a sensory shed which the school has introduced to support our disadvantaged groups of children. This is an area where children can have quiet time if they wish.
Future plans for the governors
The Governing Body is looking forward:-
- To welcoming our new Head teacher, Mr Ryan Freeman, who will come into post in September. We look forward to working with Mr Freeman and we are sure that the strong and constructive working relationships that we hope to build with him will further contribute to the success of the school and the pupils who attend it
- To giving appropriate support and challenge to enable Mr Freeman to embed his vision across the school. With such support from governors, all of the school’s staff, parents and carers our aim is to enable him to achieve his core objective which is to gain a good/outstanding OFSTED grading for our school.
- We will also be supporting Mr Freeman in looking at future developments in the school’s curriculum and a greater recognition of the need to communicate those changes effectively to staff, parents and carers.
- DNEAT Academy has appointed 3 Area Group Executive Partners (AGEP). This is a new developmental role which has been brought in as a guide and support for headteachers, teaching staff and governors across the growing number of DNEAT Academy group of schools. Our AGEP is Louise Rosin and she covers several schools within the Academy Trust’s Eastern Region. As governors we will be working closely with her and the school’s senior leaders in setting the strategic development plans to achieve our goals.
- Through our Curriculum and Standards Committee governors will work closely with the Senior Leadership Teams and Teaching Staff in achieving a good/outstanding OFSTED result for our school.
- We will be planning an effective monitoring calendar to ensure that the school remains on track with the targets set within the Academy Improvement Plan throughout the next academic year.
- We will be ensuring that targets set for this coming year, while challenging, are achievable and meet the needs of our pupils
- Our Finance and Resources Committee will monitor the budget plan to ensure that the school’s finances remain solvent and therefore in a position to support the various developments and initiatives that have been planned.
- As a Church school, we will continue to develop and embed a Christian ethos across the life of the school which will also include our work with the church itself and with the wider community. Coming out of this, a core aim will be to gain a good SIAMS grading at our next inspection.
Although we have not made the progress that we had hoped for this year, we are still committed to further developing and strengthening our relationships with parents and carers. For example, parent governors will be working with the school and nominated teaching staff to bring into fruition our parent teachers association.
How you can contact the governing body?
We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents – please contact the Chair of Governors, via the school office for more information about what we do or alternatively, go to the school website to find out what’s going on.