Governors Annual Statement
Annual Governance Statement for the Board of Governors of Vernon Primary School
Updated September 2021
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Governors have worked closely with school leaders to ensure all risk assessments, procedures and guidelines have been closely followed. We have offered advice to school leaders, communicating (virtually using remote platforms) and liaising regularly with SLT, including being fully involved in the writing and monitoring of the whole school risk assessment, as well as remote learning provision and curriculum development and training. As Governors, we have been extremely mindful of the emotional wellbeing of the Headteacher, school leaders and all staff and have offered our support throughout this difficult time, especially in light of the school being fully open throughout the pandemic, to children from various groups including key workers and vulnerable pupils.
In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all boards of governors, the three core strategic functions of Vernon Primary School’s board 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
- overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Our Governors follow all NGA Guidance and regularly keep up to date with any changes, reviews and updates. The Board of Governors at Vernon Primary School was re-constituted in 2014. The 12-strong board includes two staff governors (including the head teacher), two elected parent governors and one governor who is appointed by the local authority. The other seven members have been co-opted onto the board because, in our opinion, they have the skills needed to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. On our board, the co-opted members come from a range of backgrounds including banking, teaching and higher education, business, personnel and building management.
The full board meets once a term to discuss formal business. We hold a second full meeting each term to address topical school issues or find out more about a particular area of governance.
We also have a number of committees that consider different aspects of the school in detail. At Vernon Primary School we have a Finance Committee that looks at budget issues, a Curriculum Committee which examines the curriculum and pupil progress and a Buildings and Environment Committee which deals with school facilities and premises. We also have a Personnel Committee that’s responsible for staffing issues such as pay and performance. We have an established Safeguarding Committee that meets regularly to support the school in dealing with safeguarding issues and to discuss relevant topics, adopting guidance and best practice.
Attendance record of governors
Vernon’s Board of Governors is a committed team and attendance at meetings is excellent. But we go above and beyond our duty to turn up. Members devote much of their spare time to the school attending events, observing classes, meeting with teachers and pupils and speaking with external inspectors to ensure the school keeps on track. We also undergo regular training, including online modules, in all aspects of school life from safeguarding to finance.
The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing body
All state maintained schools follow the Government’s National Curriculum. Our priority is to ensure the school implements any further changes in a highly creative way that champions rapid progress, high standards of attainment and a love of learning. While keeping a close eye on progress and achievement, Vernon’s bespoke curriculum has recently been fully reshaped; it is unique, innovative, effective and relevant to children. It is now being fully embedded throughout the school and is continually being effectively monitored in light of further Government changes to assessment and the curriculum.
Governors have attended a specially arranged open day which allowed us to see teachers and pupils in action. We had the opportunity to attend Praise Assembly and were entertained by talented singers, drummers, musicians and dancers. We are always proud to share in the celebrations and achievements of the school. We have also been involved in successful whole-school safeguarding audits.
The school continues to comply with any SEND key changes and further developments. Governors approves revised policies which place greater emphasis on the partnership between school and parents/carers and builds on our existing good practice. These policies are fully embedded across the school and all teachers and members of SLT are familiar with any further changes and developments. Governors attend updated training and liaise regularly with the school SEND team and the Pastoral Manager.
Governors have a key role to play in keeping children safe at school. We considered and approved a new policy for safeguarding children in line with the statutory framework, which we will continually monitor and review annually, following the 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' document published in September 2021.
Governors have been monitoring how the government’s Pupil Premium, Catch-up funding and Sports Funding Grants are being spent to help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, as well as have an impact on pupils' fitness, health and wellbeing across the school. The appointed link governor for Pupil Premium and Sports Funding sits on the Curriculum and Finance Committees and all governors are regularly updated on how a variety of interventions and programmes are helping pupils reach their potential.
The Finance Committee monitors and approves both in-year and three year budget plans to ensure that the school’s finances are robust.
The Curriculum Committee has considered and agreed a number of strategic policies relating to how subjects are taught and how pupil progress is evaluated under the new curriculum.
The Personnel Committee is responsible for pay and performance, as well as offering advice to the Senior Leadership Team, including career progression and recruitment.
The Buildings and Environment Committee ensures the school site and facilities, including technology, is well maintained. A health and safety audit is carried out annually to ensure compliance with current regulations.
Part One minutes of full Board of Governors and committee meetings are public documents. If you would like to see any of the minutes, please ask at the school office.
For all dates of future board and committee meetings, please click on the following link:
Future plans for governors
During the autumn term of the 2021/22 school year, we will work with the head teacher and the school’s senior leadership team to set the school’s development plan. This sets out our targets and aspirations for the year ahead.
We will continue to monitor the curriculum and ensure it is further developed throughout the school. We will continue a particular focus on raising reading standards above the national average.
We will continue to support and advise the school in light of the current climate.
Securing outstanding outcomes for all our children remains our ultimate goal and we will continue to work closely with teaching staff to ensure Pupil Premium and Sports grants are spent effectively and that interventions for disadvantaged children have a positive impact on their achievements and that sporting programmes have a great impact on pupils' fitness, health and wellbeing.
Vernon is a popular school and this year we welcome our new cohort of children in reception bringing our roll to 380.
Governors will monitor the impact of bigger class sizes on educational attainment and ensure measures are in place to support teachers to continue to deliver outstanding lessons. Vernon Primary School continues to maintain two single classes in each Year group.
Safeguarding children will remain a priority and our focus will be on emotional and mental wellbeing and e-safety.
We will continue to strengthen our links within the community by showcasing our pupils’ talents for sports, music, art and literature outside school, as well as enriching the children's experiences to develop their cultural capital.
We will continue to equip our children for a Modern Britain by promoting values such as democracy, the law, liberty, respect and tolerance as set down by the government. These sit alongside our own school values of creativity and curiosity, independence, respect and co-operation.
How you can contact the governing body
We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents and carers. Please contact the Chair of Governors, Mrs Ashley Hickson, via the school office or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about what we do, please click on the following link: What we do