As the new Chair of Governors at Robert Shaw, I am very proud to have been appointed in September 2017 and I am very much looking forward to getting to know the school and its community.
I hope you enjoy browsing through our website and you should find all that you need to know about the work of the Governors of Robert Shaw here.
Chair of Governors
Governors were in school on Tuesday 12 December undertaking a range of school visits – this forms part of our monitoring arrangements to ensure that the school is doing all that it can to ensure that the children of Robert Shaw achieve their potential. We do at least one Governor Day per term, as well as being in for meetings and other events.
At our last Full Governing Body meeting on 28 November 2017, we welcomed two pupils from the School Council who attended the first 10 minutes of our meeting to outline the work of the School Council. They also took the opportunity to ask us about our work and in particular wanted to know who is responsible for getting the Supply Teachers as they wanted to have a say in who comes into the school when supply is needed – a great question I’m sure you’ll agree, and one Mrs Coker responded to.
It is part of our statutory duty that we get to hear from pupils about the school and having representation from the School Council being a part of our meetings is just one of way of doing this. I wish to pass on my thanks to the children, and to the parents, who patiently waited in reception for their children whilst they took part.
The Governors were delighted to learn that Robert Shaw won the Trust’s award for ‘most improved attendance, compared to the same period last year’ – this was for the first half term of the Autumn term 2017. Well done to everyone and thank you to all the children, parents and staff who ensure that Robert Shaw is doing all that it can with attendance.
Who are our Governors?
Please click on the name of our Governors to see their Governor Profile.
Vice-Chair of Governors
What is the role of a School Governor?
It’s important to understand what it is the Governors of our school do and the simplest way to describe is taken from the Department for Education’s Governance Handbook:
The core functions of a Governing Body are:
The Handbook was last updated in January 2017 (Click here to download)
The DfE also launched in January 2017: ‘A Competency Framework for Governance’. This document outlines the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for effective governance, but in brief can be shown as:
In addition, we:
– Provide a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework.
– Appoint and conduct the performance management of the Headteacher.
– Agree the school’s improvement strategy, which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budges and staffing structures.
– Monitor and evaluate the work of the school by reviewing the performance of the Headteacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards targets and the effectiveness of the school improvement strategy.
– Sign off the self-evaluation process and respond to Ofsted reports as necessary.
Term of Office
Governors have a fixed term tenure of 3 years, and their position comes up for election after this period. The School is obliged to inform parents when vacancies exist and elections are to be held.
When the school became an Academy on 1 June 2017, the existing Governors were all re-appointed for a period of 3 years.
For the Summer Term, we will be focusing on:
– Approving the budget and ensuring we have the appropriate staffing structure and curriculum in place for the new academic year;
– Reviewing the overall performance of the school in terms of progress and attainment data;
– Reviewing the effectiveness of Governors;
– Reviewing progress against the school’s priorities and school improvement plan.
For the Spring Term 2018, we focused on:
o Our statutory duties and strategic planning including progress against school priorities; policies and Governor school visits/monitoring;
o Tracking the progress being made of all our children in terms of our expectations and targets, across all the year groups and with different groups of pupils;
o Ensuring the school is prepared for the forthcoming SATs and checking the arrangements of these;
o Ensuring the school’s processes for reviewing the safety, behaviour and personal development of children including attendance is appropriate;
o Starting the planning for next year’s budget, looking at the staffing structure needed to develop a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum to meet the needs of our children;
o Reviewed the General Data Protection Regulation
o Reviewed the school’s Pupil Premium and Sports Premium
o Reviewed the school’s admission arrangements for 2019/2020
For the Autumn Term 2017, we focused on:
– Strategic planning –school improvement and target setting
– Governance strategic direction – setting our monitoring framework governor action planning
– Statutory duties – appointments/elections for Chair, Vice Chair and Chairs of Committees and completion of annual legal documentation
– Reviewing arrangements for Special Educational Needs and Disability and other vulnerable pupil groups
– Reviewing pupil numbers and marketing arrangements to ensure that Robert Shaw continues to be a school of choice.
Annually, at the first meeting of the Governors we review/complete a range of documents, some of which are required by legislation, including:
– Eligibility to be a Governor;
– Declaration any business or pecuniary interests;
– Completion of a skills audit;
– Signing a Governor Code of Conduct.
We also expect our Governors to complete a self-evaluation on their own effectiveness on an annual basis.
When do we meet?
We meet on a termly basis and we have a number of different committees to discuss particular matters. See our meeting dates in the document section below.
Governor Involvement in the School
During the academic year 2017-2018, we will conduct a number of visits. These will allow Governors to speak to staff and children about the school. Whilst it is not our duty to assess pupils, it gives us the chance to get to know the school better. Our Governor Days are:
- Tuesday 12th December 2017
- Thursday 29th March 2018
- Thursday 28th June 2018
Our Chair meets with other Chairs across our Trust discussing, sharing and reviewing our work of the LGB including our celebrations and challenges. This network provides the opportunity to find out what’s new and what the expectations are on Governors going forward – both from the Trust, Government and Ofsted. Our Chair has completed the Leadership Development Programme for Chairs.
Being the Chair is a crucial role in supporting the leadership and direction of the Governing Body so to ensure that our Chair is effective, we conduct an annual review of the role of the Chair. This is done in the Summer Term to help inform the election process for the following autumn.
Our Clerk is Sheila Laithwaite and she clerks our meetings. Our Clerk has access to a range of Trust support and attends the Trust’s Clerks briefings and training. Our Clerk is responsible for making sure that we are compliant and meet our statutory duties.
Our Clerk provides an invaluable contribution to the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and compliance of our Governing Body. She works in partnership with the Chair to keep the board focused on its core strategic priorities, provides independent and expert advice and guidance to the board on its duties and functions, and delivers administrative support that makes everything work smoothly.
For more information about Clerking please visit:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/governance-handbook this link also includes the Clerking Competency Framework.
To contact our clerk, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2017 – Jill Wilkinson joined as the new Chair of Governors, appointed by Transform Trust. Jill comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience in school governance and was awarded the status of National Leader of Governance in July 2017. Jill is also a local girl, spending most of her childhood in Strelley and intends to move back to Strelley later in 2017.
Sadly, after a very long association with Robert Shaw we have said farewell to four long-standing Governors and I am sure you will join me in wishing them well for the future and hope that their association with the school continues in one form or another:
David James, 20 December 2017
Doug Sutton, 28 November 2017
Kerry Faulconbridge, 9th April 2018
Brenda Robinson, 19th April 2018
From September 2017, the following Training has or will be undertaken by one or more Governors:
– Safeguarding including the Prevent Duty, Female Genital Mutilation and Safer Recruitment.
– Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) – to keep abreast of latest legislation.
– Inspection Dashboard – how to interpret the performance data.
– Preparing for an external review/inspection.
– Conducting a School Visit.
– Health & Safety – the role of Governors.
We are members of the National Governors’ Association. This helps us to keep abreast of latest policy and government thinking and also helps our individual governors to increase their knowledge and access a network of support: www.nga.org.uk
As Chair, I also sign up to receive GOV.UK email alerts which also helps us to keep informed of any changes in statutory or legislation affecting schools and governance arrangements.