Annual Governance Statement 2019-2020

At Horspath C of E Primary School, we have a team of Governors who work closely with the Head Teacher and the school leadership team in order to continue to drive excellence in the achievements of our children, ensuring they all fulfil their potential. Through positive challenge, by bringing in our experiences from outside, and by supporting the strategy of the school, we look to help all the children at Horspath C of E Primary School be successful.

The role of the Governing Body is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. The Governing Body at Horspath C of E Primary School is committed to both maintaining and exceeding these high standards.

Every School Governing Body has three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding school leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff. 
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and ensuring that money is well spent for the benefit of all pupils.

We operate a Link Governors scheme where Governors are linked to school development plan objectives which allows close partnership between Governors and teaching staff.  With regular meetings, link Governors develop an in-depth understanding of a particular area, report back about it, and plan for improvement in the future.

Governor visits to the school are documented on a Governor Monitoring Form which details the visit, allowing Governors to inform fellow Governors on what they have learned during the visit, express what they have observed working well, whether anything needs clarification and any suggestions for improvement.

All members of the Governing Body receive training and attend events run by the River Learning Trust, Oxford Diocesan Board of Education, as well as other external bodies, for example the National Governance Association. This allows us to keep up-to-date with our responsibilities with regard to the latest requirements and expectations, as well as local and national best practice. The impact of this training is that Governors have the skills for example to hold leaders to account or to better analyse data. Lists of training attended and scheduled are kept and maintained by the Governing Body.

The Governors are organised into 3 committees, the Children, Learning, and Communication Committee, the Assessment and Standards Committee, and the Finance and Resources Committee. These meet at least three times per year. In addition, we hold a Full Governing Body twice every term, and governors form part of the Head teacher’s performance management panel. Further details of the work of each committee can be found on the school website, as are dates of meetings.

Attendance records of each Governor are also listed on the school website.

Specific areas of focus from 2018 – 2019 were:

  • Ensuring a period of stability after the change of Head teacher, SENCO, and Year 6 teacher in the summer of 2018.
  • Supporting the development of the skills and knowledge of senior leaders to ensure effective leadership and management.
  • Maintaining and developing high outcomes for all pupils by ensuring consistently good or better teaching, in particular using Assessment for Learning strategies.
  • Supporting an improvement through the phonics curriculum in order that the number of pupils passing the phonics screening at the end of Year 1 is above the national average.
  • Responding to the SIAMS inspection report.

For 2019 – 2020, areas of focus will include:

  • Supporting the new Headteacher in achieving excellence in all areas.
  • Continuing to develop effective links with the River Learning Trust, other local schools, and the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.
  • Ensuring that high academic outcomes are achieved.
  • Ensuring vulnerable learners are well supported.
  • Ensuring that the curriculum is fit for purpose and teaches the skills identified as necessary for our pupils.
  • Ensuring a learning environment is in place that promotes pupil independence and leadership opportunities.
  • Revisiting the Christian values of our school and embedding them into the curriculum and daily life.