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Annual Governance Statement

The Beacon Federation

Annual Governance Statement 2016/2017

The core functions of the Governing Board are

 Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

 Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and

 Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Since September 2016 the Governing Board has met ten times in line with the planned schedule and one additional meeting was held in May. Meetings have generally been well attended and all but one of the vacancies which arose in the course of the year have been filled. Following the self-evaluation in July 2016 the governors discussed ways of increasing governor involvement with parents and the community and a planned schedule of publicity was devised. Governor lanyards have been introduced to help identify the governors to parents and children when they are in school. Succession planning was also discussed.

A major issue this year has been to determine the future of the Federation in the national context of academisation and the changing political climate. The South Devon Primary Partnership has developed through the year from an informal collaboration established in the summer of 2016 to a formal Management Partnership agreed in principle in February 2017. The impact of this collaboration has been very positive as the various schools have worked together to review practice and develop skills. Regular reports have been received by the governors.

In November the whole governing board shared an in–house training session on developing good practice in governance. Many individual governors have attended training courses and completed online training throughout the year both for general induction and in specific areas such as finance, curriculum and safeguarding. A complete record is held of all training undertaken.

In March the governors undertook the bi-annual questionnaire of parents, staff and children and were pleased to find that there had been a continued improvement in parents’ perceptions of both schools, with teaching and learning being very highly rated. A few specific issues which were highlighted by individuals have been addressed by the school or discussed at subsequent meetings. The full report can be found on the website and further details are in the minutes of meetings.

Ofsted visited Ugborough School in March 2017 and were very impressed with the work of the pupils, the teaching and the leadership resulting in an overall judgement of Good. This accorded with the school’s own self-evaluation and confirmed the excellent progress which has been made over the past few years.

This year’s cycle of policy reviews has been completed ensuring that changing legal requirements, for example in matters relating to safeguarding, are met. Regular monitoring of the progress of the Development Plan and the state of the budget was also undertaken. Monitoring visits are recorded and reported at meetings and all governors contribute to this important aspect of our work. Full details can be read in the minutes which are published on the website.

Each school’s performance data were thoroughly reviewed following publication in November and the performance management programme for staff was monitored throughout the year. Each year the governors conduct the Headteacher’s appraisal and this was successfully completed with external professional support. The budget for the year from April 2017 was provisionally approved in the spring and confirmed once the final figures for the previous year were agreed. The financial self-assessment (SFVS) was completed. The governors received regular updates on staffing changes and recruitment.

Governors have again been involved from time to time in various school activities such as conducting interviews for Year 5’s Industry Projects at both Ermington and Ugborough, attending Christmas and Harvest events and supporting sporting events and the drama production. Informally they are often in school, particularly those who are parents themselves.

At their final meeting of the year the governors reflected on the past 12 months and planned for the year to come, both in terms of what the schools’ pupils have experienced and of how the governors themselves have worked together for the benefit of those pupils. Key issues which emerged for 2017 -2018 included developing a more formal programme of school visits especially for new governors and engaging fully with the DGA programme.

Sue Roberts - Chair of Governors

July 2017