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The Work of the Governing Body at Gargrave Primary School.

 The role of the governing board is a strategic one, its key functions are to:

  • set the aims and objectives for the school
  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards the achievement of its aims and objectives
  • be a source of challenge and support to the head teacher (a critical friend)

So, how does the governing board go about achieving these critical functions?

 

The governors meet as a whole board approximately once a month and whilst all meetings have set agenda items, for example, the Head Teacher's report, some will have an agenda with a particular focus, depending on the point in the year that it takes place. For example, in May, the main focus is to look at the following year's budget.

 

A key matter for discussion is always the performance of the school, both in terms of the outcomes for children and the use of the budget available to the head teacher. Governors hold the head teacher to account for the results produced by the pupils, the deployment of the staff and for how money is spent. The Governors act as a “critical friend” to the school, meaning that they must provide challenge to the school leadership to ensure the school delivers the best outcomes for pupils and value for money, but also lend support wherever they can. Examples of support given are governors volunteering in the school to listen to readers or participating in the supervision of annual National tests.

 

An important role for most of our governors is to act as a “Link governor”, either with a class or for a specific subject. This role is an important part of monitoring, as it means that governors spend time, at least once a term, in the school, either with a class, or looking at a specific subject right across the school. Feedback from these visits is then given to the head teacher (HT), in the form of a confidential report. This gives the head teacher another source of information in addition to her own observations to see what is taking place across the school. This information is also fed back to the GB, either directly by the link governors, or indirectly via the HT's report.

 

Before undertaking a visit, governors refer to the areas for development in that year's School Improvement Plan (SIP) and these form the main focus of the visit. It allows governors to see first hand how the SIP is being implemented. It also allows the school to evidence how information is gathered, acted upon and followed up at subsequent visits.  During a governor visit the link governors speak to pupils and staff, and sometimes this can highlight particular issues to the HT.

 

In addition, every Summer term, a small group of governors go into school and undertake Pupil conferencing. This is to collect information about the pupils' opinions on a range of subjects, relating to changes that may have been made to school/curriculum in that particular academic year, areas they might like to change/improve, how they feel about the way the school is run.  A report is then produced for the HT, and this will form part of the data used to inform the following year's School Improvement Plan, (SIP), as well as helping to provide evidence of performance of the school against the current year's SIP.

 

Other information sources used in the development of the SIP include;

  • responses to the parental questionnaire (also sent out in the Summer term)
  • data from KS1, KS2 and phonics screening tests
  • SIAMs and Ofsted report findings
  • Feedback from staff

Additional consultations are also sometimes undertaken with particular groups, for example, parents of pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding, or children who have an identified Special Educational Need.

 

A small group of governors also performance manage the HT, setting targets at the beginning of the year (which are linked to the SIP) and monitoring progress against these.

 

All governors undertake training as appropriate across the year.

 

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