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Annual Governance Statement

Annual Governance Statement 2015/16

 

The core functions of the 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, and the performance management of staff; and

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

Since September 2015 the Governing Body has met ten times in line with the planned schedule. Meetings have generally been well attended and four vacancies which arose in the course of the  year have been filled. The Governing Body has again been re-constituted to meet the new regulation which states we can no longer specify that one parent governor is elected from each

school. Nevertheless, in the election held to fill these vacancies when they arose during 2016 one parent from each school was elected so this change has made no difference to the structure of the governing board in practice! New appointments have also been made following the resignations of two co-opted governors and it is pleasing to report that there was considerable interest in these vacancies.

At the beginning of the year the Beacon Federation was already working in a Management Partnership with Holbeton Primary School. An application from Holbeton to join the Beacon Federation was discussed at length and agreed in December 2015. However during the Spring Term subsequent reassessment of Holbeton’s financial position and expected intake resulted in this decision reluctantly being changed. The formal Management Partnership ended in April when Holbeton’s support was transferred to ICC. Governors were pleased to note that during the Management Partnership with Holbeton excellent progress had been made there and congratulated Jane Byrne on this achievement.

The new federation website went live in September 2015 and has proved very successful and easy to access and maintain. Governors now use their area of the VLE to store and retrieve documents and policies, saving time for the Clerk and ensuring that confidentiality is maintained when appropriate.

In October the whole governing board shared an in–house training session on the new curriculum and assessment requirements for primary schools introduced this year and changes to the Ofsted inspection regime. Many individual governors have attended training courses throughout the year both for general induction and in specific areas such as personnel and curriculum. All governors have completed level 2 safeguarding training. A complete record is held of all training undertaken.This year’s cycle of policy reviews has been completed which ensures that changing legal requirements, for example in matters relating to personnel and finance, are met. Regular monitoring of the progress of the Development Plan and the state of the budget was alsoundertaken. Monitoring visits are recorded and reported to support this work 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.

School Performance data were thoroughly reviewed following publication in November and the performance management programme 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 2016 was approved in the spring and the governors received regular updates on staffing changes and recruitment. The financial selfassessment (SFVS) was completed.

From Easter 2016 the governors have been considering plans for the future development of the federation in the light of government announcements about the proposal (subsequently modified) to convert all schools to academies. It was agreed unanimously that this would not be an appropriate development for the Beacon Federation and a new South Devon Primary Partnership of like-minded schools has been set up, based on the work of the National College of Teaching and Learning. This will focus on working together co-operatively on staff development in conjunction with the Teaching School, moderation and curriculum development and providing opportunities for joint activities for children to widen their experience across the partner schools. An evaluation of this new development will be planned into the governors’ programme for 2016/2017.

Governors have also 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 2016 -2017 include increasing governor involvement with the whole school community and ensuring secure succession planning for the governing board.

Sue Roberts -Chair of Governors

July 2016