Chair of Governor’s Annual Report 2019-20
The Governing Board of Epinay School is responsible for ensuring that pupils progress appropriately in a well-managed, stimulating and safe learning environment; setting the strategic direction for school leaders and the school community.
Governors know for this to happen effectively pupils must be supported by a well-led, enthusiastic, professional and motivated staff – working together within a safe, engaging, supportive environment.
The Board is made up of: Chair, Vicechair, Headteacher, 3 parent governors,1 local authority governor, 2 staff governors and 3 co-opted governors.
The Full Governing Board meets three times per year, discussing and debating a whole range of strategic items. We have separate meetings covering finance and staffing.
Each Governor holds a designated responsibility and will act on behalf of the full Governing Board where appropriate. An important role for governors is ensuring the safety and well-being of the children and we have a nominated Governor for Safeguarding who reports to the wider board on any safeguarding matters.
Governor Meeting Attendance – Governor attendance has been of a good level, with any absences having been fully explained, accepted and approved by the Governing Board. Our Governors are a committed to the school community and the collective interests of pupils.
Governors Visits – Governors regularly visit the school as part of their link governor responsibilities; ensuring that the school continues to strive to raising pupil achievement. Our meetings have clear agendas to discuss, review and approve policies, ensuring that the school has strategic direction and complies fully with requirements set by OFSTED, the DfE and other agencies, e.g. Child Protection Policy. Governors and staff are grouped together to ensure all areas of the school are monitored annually. Governors attend the school to enable them to see the school in action, meet the children, join fundraising activities, attend weekly full school assemblies, this helps them understand and confirm that activities are undertaken are as reported at meetings. This year we invited Epinay’s Head Boy and Head Girl to our meeting, giving pupils the opportunity to voice what they feel is going well in school and what we could do better. This was an incredibly successful meeting, and it will be repeated in the future. The Governing Board have undertaken an annual skills audit confirming that its membership has a broad range of skills, allowing us to make informed and considered decisions.
In order to fulfil statutory duties Governors, have:
– Ensured that the school website is up-to-date and complies with regulations.
– Our strategic improvement priorities are actioned through the school improvement plan; both in approving it and being involved in the actions undertaken.
Safer Recruitment – The Headteacher, and a range of staff members and Governors are trained in “Safer Recruitment”. Governors are involved in the recruitment and selection of all teaching staff and use the appointment process to ensure that high quality staff who share the schools mission statement and aims are appointed.
Financial Management – The deep-rooted involvement of Governors’ in school life allows us to ensure that the budget is managed effectively and improvements are effective and continuous. Finance is a key priority. The stringent management of the school’s finance has ensured a healthy school budget this year. The Full Governing Board analyse and approve the budget annually, which is then closely monitored throughout the year. We have a dedicated Governor responsible for Finance.
Data Analysis – A broad range of data is made available to Governors through termly meetings with verbal and written presentations followed by questions and answer sessions with the Headteacher and members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Governors are able to benchmark this data against similar schools, the Local Authority and special schools nationally to ensure the schools standards and expectations are high and are able to be closely scrutinised. Scrutiny is placed on pupil progress across all groups including those in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant and Sports Grant. We hold the Headteacher and all the staff to account by asking challenging questions to ensure all the pupils progress to the best of their ability. The school has undertaken significant redesign of the school curriculum inline with new Ofsted Framework, tailoring the needs to smaller cohorts and individuals. This has increased clarity within the curriculum and the Governing Board have scrutinised these changes to understand the potential impact.
Policies – Governors review all relevant policies on a regular basis to ensure that all guidance is current and up to date. This year, Governors have approved many new policies particularly inline with new Covid requirements. We ensure that the school complies with the Department for Education mandatory policy list and the Local Authority recommended list.
Covid 19 – During these challenging times, the Governing Board has continued to function and remain an active part of school life meeting virtually; receiving regular and timely updates from the school, Headteacher and SLT; and making decisions about pupil and staff wellbeing, finance, curriculum, and health and safety matters. As a Board, we have been very impressed by pupil engagement, parental support and the outstanding work of staff through these unprecedented times.
Future plans – Looking to 2020/2021, we are working hard with a key group of stakeholders to move Epinay School to a new site (hopefully in the next academic year). This exciting opportunity will, if agreed, provide a wonderful learning environment for our children to flourish and deepen their learning experiences.
The Board will continue to support on the delivery of the School Improvement Plan; keep safeguarding at the forefront of everything we do; and implement plans to ensure our financial situation remains very healthy.
We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents or pupils.
You can contact the Chair of Governors, Audrey Huntley, via the school office.