Annual Governance Statement
In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of the Peterhouse CE Primary Academy Local Governing Body are:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Holding the Headteacher 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 been more stable this year although sadly, through her decision to retire, we have lost one of our long standing Governors who stepped down from her role as vice chair and chair of our finance committee in December. However, we are pleased to have welcomed the new minister of our local church who has already started with us and has made a positive contribution to planning and delivering Collective Worship and planning for RE in future.
We currently have a vacancy for one parent governor. Requests for nominations to parents will be sent out in the new Autumn term. We hope to have filled this post soon.
Our Governing Body should constitute the following members:
- The Headteacher, 1 staff governor, 2 parent governors and 6 DNEAT* trustee governors.
- We currently have 1 associate member who is appointed by the Governing Body. Associates 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 associate governor is a staff member.
- 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. The skills audit helps governors to identify where they need support following which training courses will be planned. Many training opportunities are provided through DNEAT and NGA*. All governors have attended courses this year and our aim is that each governor should attend at least three formal training sessions per year.
Our Academies Group Executive Principal (AGEP), who covers several schools within the Eastern Region, will be leaving at the end of this academic year. DNEAT are in the process of appointing her replacement. As governors we work closely with the AGEP and the school’s senior leaders in setting the strategic development plans to achieve our goals.
The full Governing Body meets twice each term. In addition, 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 ensuring the schools funding is spent appropriately. It is important that the school’s finances remain solvent in order to provide the resources needed to give the children a good and exciting education. The committee also has to ensure that the premises are safe and in good repair.
- 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. The committee also makes sure that behaviour is good and attendance meets the National standard.
- 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 resources within the school. This covers staffing, staff welfare, etc.
- This year we have introduced an Ethos and Community Committee (E&C) which looks at our Christian ethos, vision and values of the school.
- 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
1 Trustee Governor
Tracey Cannon - Schools Business Manager (Associate Member - no voting rights)
The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing body
Our Headteacher, Mr Ryan Freeman, has introduced additional new ideas and ways of working across the school which have had a significant and positive impact this year. These have given our Governing Body a busy year in 2017/ 18, focusing on:
- Improving the outcomes for all children, in particular the year 6 pupils. Again, we have had a challenging year and is the third year of the new SATS test for year 6 pupils.
- We have seen lots of good practice in the new ways of teaching with a much improved outcomes from last year for all of our pupils across the school.
- Our monitoring targets for this year have been on improving Maths, Reading, Writing and Spelling/Punctuation/Grammar (SPG).
- We have also been concentrating on behaviour, attendance and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
- We have seen a general improvement in progress across all core subjects in all year groups.
- Our Maths Lead has introduced a new teaching concept for maths across the school. This has gone down really well with the pupils who have shown a marked improvement and a love of maths.
- In EYFS we have been looking at our provision and are continuing to develop this area to enable a first class offer to our young children.
- We are still aiming to encourage a love of reading with our children. We have had several authors of children’s books in school to story tell which the children have enjoyed.
- 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, do the children behave in class and at play, is our school safe and much more. This enables us to gain a clearer understanding of what we are being told by the HT and his staff and to reflect on the way we hold the school to account.
- We are committed to taking school improvement seriously with each governor holding responsibilities for certain areas, holding meetings and reporting back our findings to committees or the full Governing Body.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pupil Premium expenditure and outcomes for our children are on the school’s website for parents to see. It will soon give a breakdown of 2017/18 funding. 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.
- Early in the summer term, the FP&R Committee approved the 2018/19 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).
- Governors have also agreed to the schools 5 year development plan which covers the EYFS outdoor development, playground patching, Wi-Fi upgrade, continuation of our building maintenance programme and much more.
- 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, some of these can be found on the school’s website.
- We have a legal duty to monitor the attendance of pupils at school. As you know 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.
- Attendance figures at the school this year have been under our target, which is disappointing; the school are constantly striving to continue to improve these with many new initiatives to get children into school. We look to parents to support us in this.
- 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
- This year has seen further development of our school farm project and we can actually say that the outside bus conversion into an observation classroom is now complete.
- Class teachers include the farm activities as part of their curriculum teaching and we have seen lots of fruit and vegetable growing by the children.
- All risk assessments for the farm have been successfully carried out and these have been placed onto the school’s website.
We are giving appropriate support and challenge to enable Mr Freeman to embed his vision across the school.
With support from all of the school’s staff, parents and carers and governors we have achieved our main objective which was to achieve a good OFSTED grading for our school. As you all know we had our Ofsted inspection earlier this year and we were graded as:
We are so pleased and proud of this result. This is the first time Peterhouse school has been classed as “good”. So, we would like to congratulate all of our teachers and staff for the hard work and commitment at which they have carried, implementing many changes and new ways of working.
Our next goal is to become OUTSTANDING when we have our next inspection and we will need the support once again of all of our parents and carers to achieve this. The school has already begun putting new plans in place to address some of the weaker areas and we are once again working very closely with Mr Freeman and his staff towards achieving this next goal
Future plans for the governors
- We will 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.
- We continue to be committed to further developing and strengthening our relationships with parents and carers. Governors are in the process of writing a termly newsletter to parents. Our first one will come out to parents in the autumn term.
- We have another new Governor starting with us in the September term. He brings with him experience in education and RE which will strengthen our team.
- We will ensure that our Governors’ Action Plan is focused on key priorities for the school and our individual responsibilities.
- We will be continuing our Deep Dive Days to tie in with the governor’s action plan.
- 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 continue to 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.
- Our new Governor, Rev Matthew Price has set up a youth club for year 6 and above at the church. They meet once every two weeks and these have proven to be popular.
- He is also working very closely with Mr Freeman and the staff in developing our new vison and values of the schools.
- We will be looking closely at the new plans for management of playtimes in school. These will begin in September and they have been introduced to ensure that our children feel safe in the school playground at break and lunchtime.
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.