Annual Governance Statement 2017
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 Local Governing Body of Peterhouse CE Primary Academy has seen some changes in its membership towards the latter part of this academic year. We currently have a vacancy for one parent governor and a staff governor.
Requests for nominations will be been sent out to parents and staff. We hope to have filled the two posts soon after the start of the autumn term.
Our new Headteacher Mr Ryan Freeman joined the school in September and has implemented many changes. He has introduced new ideas and ways of working across the school which have had a significant and positive impact.
Our Governing Body should constitute the following members:
- The Headteacher, 1 staff governor, 2 parent governors and 6 DNEAT* trustee governors.
- We currently 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 3 associate governors are all staff members.
- We have just carried out our annual governors’ skills audit which highlights our strengths and weaknesses.
- Governors with the appropriate skills have been slotted into our committee structures and individual roles of responsibility. Also the skills 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.
The Committees are:
- Finance, Premises and Resources Committee (FP&R), which focuses on finances and premises
- Curriculum and Standards Committee (C&S) which is responsible for monitoring the school’s curriculum, ensuring that teaching is effective and the Government’s schools standards are met.
- Strategic and Human Resources Committee (S&HR) which looks at how we plan the strategic direction of the school. We also support the Headteacher when it comes to the human recourses within the school. This covers staffing, staff welfare, pupil behaviour etc.
- This year we have introduced an Ethos Committee which looks at our Christian ethos, vision and values of the school.
- I’m also pleased to report that we gained a GOOD outcome from our Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist schools (SIAMS) Inspection in December.
- We are part of the East Coast RE Network. This is a group of church schools within the eastern area who work with each other in developing new initiatives and ideas to promote good Christian values across the schools.
Attendance record of governors
Governors have an excellent attendance record. Our aim is always to be “quorate” (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made) I’m pleased to say no committees were cancelled this year.
We currently have the following vacancies:
1 Parent Governor
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 2016/ 17, focusing on:
- Improving the outcomes for all children, in particular the year 6 pupils. Once again this has been a challenging year and is the second year of the new SATS test for year 6 pupils. We are expecting a much improved outcome from last year.
- The impact of last year’s national result has determined the Government’s view on the future attainment levels.
- Our targets for this year have been based on these averages with the emphasis on Maths, Reading, Writing and Spelling/Punctuation/Grammar (SPG).
- We have seen a general improvement in progress across all core subjects in all year groups.
- Our English Lead and Deputy Headteacher have visited Lambeth School in London (an outstanding school) to look at how they teach English across the school also other DNEAT schools to benchmark where we are and to gain ideas on new ways of working.
- Our Maths Lead has been doing work with other schools, looking at how we currently teach Singapore Maths following which some modifications have been introduced to improve teaching of this subject.
- Our Nursery and Reception classes have been completely reorganised to improve the learning environment. Currently we are developing the outside play areas introducing more natural play equipment.
- Our school library has been completely redesigned. Its layout is very appealing to the children with lots of new fiction books to read.
- The school also gained a grant of £7,250 which will be put towards purchasing new non-fiction and reference books.
- Our aim is to encourage the love of reading with our children. Lots of new initiatives have been introduced for this around the school in particular at play and lunch time.
- This is our last year of expanding our school’s growth. We will have 420 places in school from September 2017.
- We are still seeing low numbers in the nursery at the beginning of the autumn term although by the end of this year we will have around 56 children.
- Regular monitoring has been taking place across all areas within the school and classrooms to ensure the Academy Improvement Plan (AIP) is on track.
- Once again governors’ monitoring has included 2 in-depth Deep Dive Days. We find these are very useful as an aid to see what is happening in class such as: are we seeing evidence of progress and improvement, are the children’s books neat and tidy, are the school areas clean and tidy, how do our children behave in class and at play, is our school safe and much more.
- It gives governors a greater confidence in what we are being told by the Headteacher and his staff if we can see this for ourselves.
- We can question what we are being told in more depth and gain a better feeling of how we are really doing.
- The 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 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 school’s website for parents to see. It gives a breakdown of where the money has been spent and the outcomes for 2016/17 will soon be placed on the Website. Please take a look.
- The school also receives Sports Premium Funding and this money is used to purchase sports equipment, pays for 2 members of staff to carry out sporting activities in school and enables the school to run a number of lunchtime events and after school clubs.
- The FP&R 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 FP&R 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 annual in-depth 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, SEN and Looked After Children, 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, and these can all be found on the school’s website.
- We 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. This is still being looked at and may change in the future.
- 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.
- Attendance figures at the school this year have been slightly under our target but we are constantly striving to continue to improve these.
- It is important that parents support the school to attain the national expectation as this puts the children and the school in a good position helping to boost outcomes for all of our pupils.
- Minutes of the Local Governing Body meetings are public documents. If you would like to see the minutes of our LGB meetings please look on the school’s website
- 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 governor should attend at least three formal training sessions per year.
*Norfolk Governing and Learning Services
- This year has seen further development of our school farm project. We have appointed a HLTA to work with the teachers to include the farm project as part of their teaching curriculum.
- The big yellow bus in the farm is now in its final stages of being refurbished to turn it into an observation classroom. When it’s finished it will really stand out. So keep an eye open to see the end product.
- Planters are in place into which the children will begin to grow flowers and vegetables in.
All risk assessments for the farm have been successfully carried out and these have been placed onto the school’s website.
Future plans for the governors
- The school is looking at the nurture provision for our more vulnerable children. What we offer is currently being assessed and we will be developing a new way forward which should enhance our current provision further.
- We are 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 OFSTED grading for our school.
- We will also be supporting Mr Freeman in looking at future developments within the school’s curriculum and a greater recognition of the need to communicate those changes effectively to staff, parents and carers.
- The DNEAT Academy Chain is growing there are currently 30 schools that have joined the academy trust.
- Our Academies Group Executive Principal (AGEP) Louise Rosen covers several schools within the Academy Trust’s Eastern Region. As governors we work closely with her and the school’s senior leaders in setting the strategic development plans to achieve our goals.
- Through our C&S Committee governors will work closely with the Senior Leadership Teams and Teaching Staff in achieving a good 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 FP&R 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.
- We are pleased to report that the progress made this year has much improved and will be built upon for the coming year
- We continue to be committed to further developing and strengthening our relationships with parents and carers.
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.