2018 Annual Statement of Governance

Dear Parents

At the end of this academic year, I am writing to let you know brief details about the Governing Body’s activities this year and our plans for next year.

Governing Body Membership

The Governing Body has a membership of 12 governors (Headteacher, staff, parent, Local Authority, and co-opted governors) and an Associate Member. Collectively, we have a wealth of different skills and backgrounds. The Governing Body met 5 times this year and the two Committees (Curriculum and Staffing (C&S) and the Finance & Resources (F&R)) met at least termly. More information about the Governing Body is available from the school website:

What we have done this year

  • The year started with new appointments: I took over as the Chair, and Stephen (Mr Hall) as the Vice- Chair. New members joined us during the year. We were particularly pleased to have Mrs Whetton (Year 6 teacher) join us as an Associate Member. We end the year filling a vacancy (welcome to Mr Hartley), but also gaining a vacancy for a Co-opted governor, as we sadly lose Mrs Atkins. Anna has been a tower of strength and support during her term of office, and will be greatly missed!
  • The focus for the year was (not surprisingly) training for governors; new governors were supported by a comprehensive induction programme, and all governors have upskilled on specific areas they have responsibility for, as well on the statutory safeguarding training. The training has enabled governors to engage successfully in the monitoring, ‘challenge’ and decision-making aspects of their role.
  • We also recognise the value of networking with other governors, and have joined a cluster of governors from local primary schools. There are termly meetings to share ideas, discuss the issues, and learn from each other to successfully comply with the (seemingly!) ever-increasing national educational requirements. We also have joint cluster training events delivered from experts to keep us well-informed of changes to national priorities/practice (e.g. performance data, inspection criteria and safeguarding).
  • In reflecting on best practice, the Governing Body decided during the year to assign individual governors to a year group. This enables governors to get to know the class and teaching staff better, and offer additional support as appropriate – which has also included accompanying the class on external trips. Each governor will remain paired with their class as they progress from one year to the next, with an appropriate adjustment to align with the new class structure for September 2018.
  • Collectively – as both old and new governors, we continue to be passionate and determined that school improvement initiatives are identified and progressed, to ensure that the best performance outcomes are achieved across the whole school. The School Development Plan is reviewed at all governor meetings (i.e. the Governing Body and both Committee meetings -depending on their remit) to monitor that targets remain on track and pupils benefit from the outcomes. Governors visit the school on a regular basis to meet with subject leaders, take part in ‘learning walks’ and/or observe ‘book scrutiny’ meetings to see first-hand the practical implementation of school policies. Governors particularly enjoy attending assemblies and meetings with the School Council.

Plans for next year

Governors will continue to ensure that the school provides the best possible educational experience and outcomes for our children, particularly as schools nationally feel the pinch from funding reductions. Attendance at the cluster partnership events will be ongoing. We will contribute to updating the School Development Plan to ensure new/ongoing improvement priorities are addressed, and monitor progress of this, supported by external peer-peer review validations.

I would like to thank staff and governors for their commitment and support during the year. I feel the school is ending the year on a very positive note. Governors are very pleased with the Key Stage 1 and 2 results, and we are proud of the school’s values in the classroom, community involvement and strong family commitment.

The Governing Body always welcome suggestions and feedback from parents – please feel very welcome to contact me, Jon Taylor, Chair of Governors, via the school office with your comments. I would also welcome hearing from you if you would like to be considered for the vacant Co-opted governor role.

I wish you all a very good summer break.

Yours faithfully

Jon Taylor

Chair of Governors, Sedbergh Primary School.