Governors Annual Statement
Annual Governance Statement for the Board of Governors of Vernon Primary School
Updated for September 2023
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.
Throughout the last academic year, the Governors continued to work closely with school leaders, offering advice and support, communicating and liaising regularly with SLT, including being involved in the writing and monitoring of the Strategic School Development Plan, as well as curriculum development and training. As Governors, we are always extremely mindful of the emotional wellbeing of the Headteacher, school leaders and all staff and continue to offer our support and advice to manage and reduce staff workload.
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 September 2022. The 13-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 eight 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 (higher education), business, personnel, governance and building management.
The full board meets once a term to discuss formal business. We hold additional full meetings each term to address topical school issues or discuss areas of development.
We also have a number of committees that consider different aspects of the school in detail. At Vernon Primary School we have a Finance and Facilities Committee that looks at budget issues and school premises; a Curriculum Committee which examines the curriculum and pupil progress; a Personnel Committee that is responsible for staffing issues such as pay and performance; and a Safeguarding Committee that meets regularly to discuss relevant topics, adopting guidance and following all current best practice.
Attendance record of governors
Vernon’s Board of Governors is a committed team and attendance at meetings is excellent; however, we go above and beyond our duty to turn up. Members are committed to attending events, meeting with teachers and pupils and speaking with external inspectors and advisors 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 carried out 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 ambitious curriculum continues to evolve and strengthen; it is unique, innovative, effective and relevant to the children at our school. It is fully embedded throughout the school and is continually being effectively monitored in light of any further Government changes to assessment and the curriculum.
Governors have attended various school events and learning walks that have allowed us to see teachers and pupils in action. We have had the opportunity to attend significant assemblies and have often been entertained by talented singers, actors, 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 approve revised policies which place a clear 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 annually.
Governors have been monitoring how the government’s Pupil Premium 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 and Facilities Committees and all governors are regularly updated on how a variety of interventions and programmes are helping pupils reach their potential.
The Finance and Facilities Committee monitors and approves both in-year and three year budget plans to ensure that the school’s finances are robust, as well ensures that 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.
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 curriculum.
The Personnel and Safeguarding Committees are responsible for pay and performance, as well as offering advice to the Senior Leadership Team, including career progression and recruitment; the Safeguarding Committee support in dealing with any safeguarding issues, as well as ensuring that the school is fully compliant and up to date in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils.
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: When we meet
Future plans for governors
During the autumn term of the 2023-2024 school year, we will work with the Headteacher and the school’s senior leadership team to set the school’s strategic 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 writing standards above the national average.
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 375.
Governors will monitor the impact of 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 continues to be on emotional and mental wellbeing, including online 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