The Governing Board is the accountable body for the school and is responsible for all decisions made, but is delegates operational matters to the head teacher and leadership team. In accordance with the Government’s requirements for all Governing Boards, the 3 core strategic functions of the Board at West Earlham Infant and Nursery School are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
- Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and performance management of staff; and
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure the money is well spent.
The full Governing Board (FGB) meets once each term. We also have two committees to consider different aspects of the school: one is the School Development Committee (SDC) and the other is Finances, Premises and Personal Committee (FPPC). Each committee meets once a term and minutes are available before the term’s FGB meeting. We also have committees that meet if required to consider pupil discipline and staffing matters.
The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing board:
The FGB has had a busy year and there is always a very full agenda to discuss at each meeting. Our constant focus is on sustaining school improvement for the good of the children and the whole community.
The SDC has spent time considering the priorities the school has put into place to narrow the gap between national and school performance date, to improve communication skills in our children and to review how assessment on a day to day basis benefits the children in the classroom. It has also discussed key data which gives the results of pupil achievements and progress so that we can be sure that the school is on track in maintaining and building on its targets for all pupils. We are also concentrating on our “vulnerable groups” of children and focusing on how the Pupil Premium Grant is being spent by the school and what impact this has on their outcomes.
The FPPC oversees a range of matters including finance, staffing, and the school buildings. The focus of the FPPC is predominately on agreeing and monitoring the school’s capital and revenue budget, along with the maintenance and development of the school premises. We also have a Health and Safety Governor with the role of carrying out checks of the school.
Governors are also particularly concerned about safeguarding and we have a governor with responsibilities for safeguarding. The safeguarding governor gives a termly report to governors about any safeguarding matters.
Early in the summer term, the FPPC approved the 2017/2018 budget plan for the school. Like all schools in Norfolk funded by the Government or by the Local Education Authority, West Earlham Infant and Nursery School has had to make substantial budget cuts and i likely to need to continue to do so in the future. The governors therefore have some very difficult decisions over the coming months and years.
Among other considerations for the FGB is to continue to maintain the resilience of all our staff (including the leadership team) to help retain staff and support their well-being.
Another essential role for the governors is reviewing and agreeing school policies. We consider a number of key policies each year, including behaviour management and safeguarding. Governors also consider attendance each year. Parents and carers will know that, since 2013, legislation has meant schools cannot authorise term time holidays. Governors recognise the challenge that this may cause for some families but we are very pleased that the school has good attendance figures which have been maintained this year.
Minutes of the FGB and committee meetings are public documents, and can be requested via the school office.
Future plans for the governors:
Governors continue to monitor expectations from government regarding the future status of the school and future financial position of the school. The FGB are therefore looking into collaborations and partnerships with other schools to support a sustainable governance model.
Given the pressure on our budgets, one of the priorities of the FGB is to monitor and minimise the impact reduction in funding has on the learning and well-being of our children whilst ensuring that all children have access to an appropriately balanced and rich curriculum.
How you can contact the Governing Board
We welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas especially from parents and carers; please contact the Chair of Governors via the school office.