,
Message sent from:

Governor Impact

 Governor Impact Statement 2016-2017

Over the past year, governors at Benenden Primary School have continued to act as the strategic leaders of the school. The governors have supported the headteacher and her staff to create a happy, secure and stimulating environment with Christian values, in which excellence in achievement is aimed for and where all children may develop to the full, through a partnership with church, parents, governors, staff and the wider community.

Our three core functions as a governing body are:

  1. Setting the strategic direction of the school
  2. Holding the Headteacher to account for education performance
  3. Ensuring financial resources are well spent

    What we’ve done

    Setting the strategic direction of the school:

  • The Governing Body supported the school in securing a Good rating at the Ofsted inspection in December 2016. The inspectors highlighted that the governors ensure that all statutory responsibilities are met, that governors know the school well and have a clear understanding of its strengths.  Ofsted emphasized that governors share the Headteacher’s ambition for the school’s continuous improvement and monitor progress effectively. Governors do this by providing a good level of challenge to the school’s leadership and by regular visits to the school.
  • The Governing Body continued to build on the leadership strengths acknowledged by Ofsted and further strengthened the governing body by appointing four new governors, adding key skills and experience in the areas of performance analysis and communications as well as general management and leadership expertise.
  • The Governing Body worked with the headteacher to review and refine the school’s long-term vision and ethos.
  • The Governing Body worked extensively with a wide range of external bodies and made excellent progress towards securing a new school that will offer pupils and staff a fit-for-purpose learning environment to better foster academic and personal learning in a safe and secure environment.
  • Continued to ensure that members of the governing body are sufficiently well trained. The training budget has been invested in a range of areas this year, including child protection and safeguarding.
  • Maintained our firm focus on having effective safeguarding arrangements in place. To increase our emphasis on this, a named governor continues to be our designated safeguarding lead. 
  • Supported our headteacher to strengthen links with other schools within the ‘Quad’ to encourage the sharing of good practice, including the development of pupil performance and attainment standards, as well as good governance by attending other FGB meetings.

Holding the headteacher to account for the school’s education performance:

  • Used data and information from a wide range of sources to review progress against the school’s strategic priorities, aims and objectives. This includes data from sources such as RAISEonline, governor visits to the school, and Full Governing Body (FGB) meetings and committees of the FGB.   Governors continue to ask robust questions of both the headteacher and senior leadership team and these are recorded and evidenced in our meeting minutes.
  • We’ve set very challenging attainment, progress and quality of teaching targets paying particular attention to those areas a) identified in the data as being of concern, and b) considered by Ofsted to require improvement:
    • Pupil progress
    • Mathematics standards
    • Further challenging Gifted and Talented pupils
    • Improving attainment and progress in SPAG across the school
    • Improving and achieving more consistent teaching quality
  • We have placed a focus on ensuring that Pupil Premium funding has been directed to the targeted children and that the school has evaluated the impact of actions taken on reducing attainment gaps in each cohort in reading, writing and maths.   To this end we have a named governor as Pupil Premium Champion.
  • Embedded the restructuring of the governing body, building on the success of the new committee structure.  A new Communications committee has been formed, the governors having identified the need for further engagement with the school’s stakeholders.  All committees have agreed revised terms of reference and specific areas of the School Improvement Plan to monitor on behalf of the FGB. The committee structure is as follows:
    • Curriculum & Monitoring
    • Premises
    • Finance and Strategy
    • Performance
    • SIAMS
    • Communications

Ensuring financial resources are well spent:

  • We have ensured we have the right skills and experience on the Finance Committee, with the involvement of a part-qualified accountant and a governor with significant commercial experience.
  • Developed a three-year budget to support our long-term planning for how resources will be focused on the school’s strategic priorities.
  • We have benchmarked our expenditure against other schools to see where we are using our resources most effectively, and identify those areas where we need to consider changes to our current approach.
  • We have challenged all lines of expenditure to see where we can get better value for money e.g. through new procurement arrangements.
  • Continued to work with other schools in the ‘Quad’ to get better value from shared learning and development opportunities.
  • We have ensured pay is linked directly to individual teacher performance. More senior staff have additional teaching and learning responsibilities as part of their performance management, including coaching of Teaching Assistants to improve their impact on pupil learning.

Other important activities:

  • We have supported the headteacher in trialing new approaches to engaging with parents. For example, the introduction of an ‘open afternoon’ for parents to come into the classroom and see what their children have been working on and the introduction of a Year 6 Leaver’s Survey for both students and parents.
  • We have continued to develop with the headteacher ways of engaging with multiple stakeholders, such as the annual Governor Afternoon which brings together parents, teachers and governors. We evaluate the result of the discussions that take place and use them to inform priorities for governors during the following academic year.
  • We have worked with the head teacher to make sure the school is meeting all of its statutory duties. As part of this, we have regularly reviewed and updated all of the school’s policies to make sure they are compliant with relevant legislation and regulations, and are consistent with our strategic vision of the school.
  • We have worked with school staff to make the school’s website more accessible and it easier to find all relevant information and data.

The impact we’ve had

The school has had a strong year, and the governing body has played an important role in this:

  • The Ofsted inspection in December 2016  confirmed that ours is a good school
  • The governing body continues to deliver against its core functions. Whilst there is always more to do, we have made important strides this year to act as more effective strategic leaders of the school.
  •  Attainment and progress across the school, see July 2017 results below

 

End of EYFS and Key Stage 1 results

In 2017, 93% of children in the Early Years reached a Good Level of Development (GLD) compared to 71% nationally

In 2017, 93% of Year 1 pupils passed the Phonic Screening test compared to 81% nationally. 100% of Y2 retakes passed compared with 62% nationally.

In 2017, Key Stage 1 children obtained the following results in reading, writing and maths. The national percentages are in brackets.

 

Reading

Writing

Maths

%age at expected standard

88.5%

(75.5%)

73.1%

(68.2%)

80.8%

(75.1%)

%age at greater depth

46.2%

(25.2%)

15.4%

(15.6%)

 

38.5%

(20.5%)

 

Key Stage 2 results

 

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

%age of pupils obtaining RWM at expected level

94%

64%

79%

%age of pupils obtaining RWM at greater depth

35%

5%

17%

%age of pupils obtaining expected level in reading

 

77%

83%

%age of pupils obtaining expected level in writing

 

77%

78%

%age of pupils obtaining expected level in maths

 

73%

95%

Progress in reading

100% expected or better progress

Within the expected range

Within the expected range

Progress in writing

92% expected or better progress

Within the expected range

Within the expected range

Progress in maths

100% expected or better progress

Within the expected range

Within the expected range

 

  • The school continues to maintain a strong focus on the attainment and progression of all pupils.
  • The governors have appointed a Pupil Premium champion to ensure that all pupils, including the most vulnerable, make the best progress possible.
  • The school remains financially sustainable despite a very challenging external environment with significant pressures on income and expenditure.
  • We have secured a place on the EFA’s Priority Schools Building Programme 2 (PSBP2) list which will support the building of a new school. We are working tirelessly to ensure the new school is built as quickly as possible and it has been confirmed that building will start before December 2017.
  • Ultimately, we believe the school remains a happy, safe environment where children are supported to learn effectively and do their very best.

What are we planning next?

The governing body is determined that the school will continue to deliver its vision, work towards an Outstanding Ofsted judgement, and move into fit-for-purpose school buildings. Our main priorities for 2017-18 include:

  • Support the teaching staff to deliver against the key elements of the School Improvement Plan/Ofsted recommendations, including ensuring that all pupils consistently make the rapid progress of which they are capable by
    1. making sure that teachers use assessment information more effectively
    2. ensuring that work is more precisely matched to pupils’ abilities and is sufficiently challenging, particularly for the most able pupils
    3. enabling pupils, especially the most able pupils in key stage 2, to work at a greater depth in mathematics and further develop mathematical reasoning skills
    4. Strengthen the role of subject leaders to ensure that they have a greater impact on the quality of teaching, learning and achievement in the foundation subjects and are held to account more effectively.
  • Further refine our use of data so we have sharp focus on attainment and progress for all groups of pupils.
  • Improve our engagement with parents and the wider school family so everyone has the right level of detail about the school’s priorities and how it is performing against these as well as other issues of interest e.g. the construction of the new school.
  • Review our effectiveness as a governing body, identifying whether we have skills gaps and, if we do, moving quickly to fill these.  
  • Look at ways to develop the priorities identified at the governor day, in July 2017, ie Forest schooling and outdoor learning, further sporting opportunities and enhanced liaison with the local community
  • Continue to make progress on the construction of the new school with a view to the new building opening in the 2018/19 academic year.
  • Maintain a close oversight of the school’s financial position to ensure delivering our vision and strategic priorities remains financially sustainable.
  • Continue to work with the other Quad school members to maintain progress and share resources for the benefit of all pupils and staff.
  • Plan for headteacher succession and continue to reflect on the future of the village primary school model and work with other Quad school members to consider ways of developing a federation

If you would like further information on the work of the school governing body please contact Lucy Whitestone, Chair of the governors or James Astridge or Oliver Streeten, parent governors on governors@benenden-cep.kent.sch.uk

Benenden Church of England Primary School Governors 2017/2018

The Department for Education’s Governance Handbook states that the three core purposes of a governing body are:

1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;  

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

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

At Benenden, we have a group of committed and hardworking governors who have the necessary skills to drive forward school improvement.  We are ably supported by Mrs Amy Vine, our clerk, who is trained through the KCC Clerking Service. She takes minutes of all full governing body meetings and advises governors on their statutory responsibilities.

The full governing body meets at least 5 times per year and has set up committees to monitor specific areas of the school in greater detail. They are:

 

Performance and strategy committee – they meet termly and analyse progress and attainment of all children and groups of children. They also monitor the progress of targets on the School Improvement Plan.

Finance committee – they meet termly, and more often if necessary, and track the expenditure of the school, ensuring that funding is targeted at the main priorities outlined on the School Improvement Plan.

Curriculum and monitoring – they meet termly to monitor the curriculum across the school and receive regular reports from the Headteacher and subject leaders.

Premises – they meet to monitor Health and Safety and the use and condition of the school buildings. They are also involved in the development of the new Benenden CE School, scheduled to open in September 2017. clerk@benenden-cep.kent.sch.uk or via the school office.