Image showing an Autumn poem display
Image showing an Autumn poem display
Fynamore Primary School
Fynamore Primary School

Governors' Annual Statement 2014-2015

Introduction 

Welcome to the Fynamore School Board of Governors’ Annual Statement for 2014-2015. The statement reflects the Governing Body's impact during the last complete school year. We believe this statement offers transparent, meaningful and effective engagement with parents, staff and the wider community. 
 
We would like to thank all staff, volunteers, parents, pupils and other members of our community who work so hard to make Fynamore School ‘a good place to be’. If you are inspired by our contribution to the success of the school and would like to express an interest in becoming a Governor at Fynamore, please
contact the school office
 
Stella Fowler
Chair of Governors 

Role of Governors 

Governors are part of Fynamore’s leadership and management team, which was judged to be GOOD in our latest OFSTED inspection: ‘Governors know the school well. They play an active and effective role within the school and keep themselves well informed about the school’s many strengths and the areas that require further improvement’. 
 
We strive for continuous improvement and are strong, dynamic and cohesive in our practices. We have an ethos of getting ahead, we aspire to "outstanding" school leadership and we embrace
 Sir Michael Wilshaw's message that the role that governance plays in ensuring that every child receives the best possible education has never been more important. 
 
All school Governing Bodies have three core strategic functions, a strong understanding of which underpins all we do at Fynamore: 
 
1. setting vision, ethos and strategic direction; 
2. holding school leaders to account for the performance of pupils and the performance management of staff; and 
3. ensuring the school’s finances are well spent. 
 
These key functions guide our structure, the skills we look for and develop in our Governors, and how we prioritise our time. 

Our Governing Body Structure 

Decisions about the constitution and membership of the Governing Body have a direct impact on our ability to provide effective governance and contribute to the success of the school. We regularly review our structure, and our committees are carefully designed so that every member actively contributes relevant skills and experience. All of our Governors have knowledge to bridge key strategic links with school, or are experts in their field, or both.

 
We currently have two committees: a 
Leadership and Management Committee, which has a focus on professional skills, and a Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, which serves a challenge and support role. Additional 'task and finish' groups and panels are also set up where needed, to move special projects forward or to meet statutory obligations. In 2014-15 we established working groups
in three key areas: 

  • Communications (covering parental engagement, a school website review and Twitter viability);
  • Governor Development (focusing on Governor skills development); and
  • Annual Statement (producing the first Annual Governance Statement for 2013-2014)

On average, Governor attendance at Leadership and Management Committee was 85% in 2014-15, at Monitoring and Evaluation Committee it was 90%, and at Full Governing Body meetings it was 80%. Attendance records of individual Governors can be seen on the  Governor page of this website.

Effective Governance 

Our structure supports the delegation of responsibilities to groups and individuals with the most appropriate skills. In order to deliver the best outcomes as efficiently as possible, Governors have worked together to gain a strong understanding of the skills, knowledge and expertise within our team.

 

The impact of our activities in this area ensured that we made the most out of the time invested by our dedicated volunteers and that, as a skilled team, we created greater capacity for delegated leadership. 

The appointment of new Governors was based on the skills and experience the Governing Body needs to be effective. This meant that financial accountability was led by a financial expert and experienced school Governor. We were able to manage temporary gaps resulting from changes to staff Governor eligibility with minimum disruption and without loss of skills. We are well equipped to manage change through a serious approach to succession planning.

High-quality training for all Governors, particularly the Chair and Vice-chair, is vital to the success of our school. In 2014-15 Fynamore's Governors undertook extensive continuous professional development, including understanding and challenging school data, planning and performance management. We led on training with other schools in the Calne cluster on the changing role of school governance and included our school teachers and leaders. We also secured a bursary towards a sector-leading Chairs of Governors Leadership Development Programme which has led to new networks with other Governing Bodies in Calne, Wiltshire and beyond.

Our pro-active approach means we remain aware and knowledgeable about policy and practice changes, how Governors fulfil their roles in other schools, and our own roles. We have also ensured a shared understanding of the role of Governors within the school which supports effective and productive relationships between staff and Governors. Finally, we are well prepared for Her Majesty’s Inspectors, when they make a judgement on governance which focuses particularly on training and the arrangements we are making to source expertise in this vital work.

Vision, Ethos and Strategic Direction

Strong leadership is crucial to the success of a school. Undoubtedly, the most important task that will ever fall to a Governing Body is to appoint a new Headteacher. This was a key activity for Governors in 2014-15, resulting in the appointment of the existing Deputy Headteacher through a robust and informed recruitment and selection process. We then focused our attention on a successful handover from Mrs Maddox, who had led the school since it opened in 2001. As we had anticipated, the school’s vision was an important part of the Headteacher interview and assessment process, and our subsequent planning.

 

The impact of the recruitment activities, successful appointment of, and handover to, a new Headteacher from September 2015 will last for years to come and will touch the lives of many children. Through robust planning and a skills-based approach we have ensured the best possible leadership for the school going forwards. Through active succession planning and by appointing the best candidate in plenty of time we have ensured consistency and secured a high quality New Deputy Headteacher well in advance. Finally, we have ensured a shared understanding of the vision for the school, which is jointly owned by all stakeholders.

Holding the Headteacher to Account

Staff and Governors at Fynamore share a school Learning Improvement Plan which we use to agree priorities, measure progress and evaluate the impact of school improvements. In 2014-15 these included the implementation of huge changes to both the National Curriculum and the ways in which schools assess their pupils’ progress and achievement.

The Learning Improvement Plan is approved by Governors annually, and guides the regular visits we make to the school as part of our cycle of monitoring school improvement, and the other evidence we interrogate. Building on a successful pilot of an Evidence Gathering approach last year we have now made explicit:

  • How Governors support the key improvement aims and objectives;
  • Which Governors take responsibility for each of these objectives and the part they play;
  • That all Governors are in some way linked to an area for improvement;
  • Clear links with the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee;
  • That we are seeking evidence of impact, not just the completion of a particular activity.

The impact of this activity is that Governors are able to measure success in a systematic way and, where progress towards outcomes is not on track, we can rapidly and systematically hold the senior leaders to account through our established processes and delegations. All Governors remain knowledgeable about the school’s strengths and weaknesses and can therefore support and challenge the school in achieving its improvement goals. In particular, Governors have ensured the school had put a robust system in place to enable rigorous and regular monitoring of progress and achievement despite the Government’s removal of levels.

Ensuring Value for Money

One of the roles of a Governing Body is to ensure that the school's finances are well used, and to monitor that money spent is having a positive impact on pupils' learning. This is particularly important when looking at additional and specific funding received by the school, such as the Pupil Premium or Physical Education (PE) Grant.    

Pupil Premium Funding 

The Pupil Premium is additional funding provided by the Government to schools to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and to close the gap between them and their peers.  Governors are responsible for ensuring the pupils gain maximum impact from the funding.

 

Having previously challenged the school to be more rigorous in its tracking of the Pupil Premium children and their attainment, the school identified the need for a dedicated Pupil Premium Learning Mentor, whose role would be to ensure that pupils achieve their full potential at school. The Pupil Premium Learning Mentor (PPLM) would work with Disadvantaged Learners, either on a 1:1 basis or within small groups, to help pupils overcome any barriers to learning in order to raise their attainment.

 

The impact of activities to support rigorous and robust monitoring, is that Pupil Premium children at Fynamore achieve well and make progress in line with or above that of non-pupil premium children.

  
Pupil Premium information is published on the school website.

The Governing Body also ensured that the
 PE grant spending was monitored and reported on, including publishing how the money was spent on the school website.

Transparency and Engagement

It is the aim of the Governing Body to be transparent in all that it does and to seek to engage all stakeholders in the school and in supporting its pupils. During the academic year 2014-15, the Governing Body achieved this through:

      A new and improved website

  • A working group, consisting of two Governors and two staff members, was set up to design a new website which would be more appealing to parents and children alike, and would be useful and informative to all stakeholders;
  • This group was to ensure that value for money was sought from the website provider and that the website would be easy to use and administer;
  • Key staff were trained in the use of the website by the Communications Governor to ensure that going forward the school would be able to update the contents of the site effectively and efficiently;
  • A new website was launched and well-received by all stakeholders.

     Twitter

  • A 'task and finish' group consisting of two Governors and the Deputy Headteacher was set up to investigate the viability of setting up a school Twitter account;
  • This group looked at how Twitter was used by other schools;
  • They researched the pros and cons of setting up a school account;
  • They investigated how to keep the account safe and to ensure that it could not be tampered with in any way;
  • They reported their findings to the Full Governing Body which approved the setting up of a school account;
  • They shared their practice with other schools through Governor networks.

The First Governors' Annual Statement

  • A 'task and finish' group of three Governors was established to produce an Annual Statement for the Academic Year 2013-14;
  • The aim of the Annual Statement was to illustrates the impact of our Governing Body;
  • The Annual Statement was published on the website in June 2014.

Future Improvement

The school leadership team is constantly trying to improve and develop the school. Ongoing and future areas for targeting in 2015-16 include: 

  • Induction of the new Headteacher;
  • Embedding and supporting the new leadership team;
  • Working together on developing the School Vision;
  • Developing the key behaviour principles and policies;
  • The Chair of Governors' Leadership Development Programme;
  • Governor development and creating role descriptors;            
  • ICT, including developing the use of 'Yammer';
  • Researching the principles of Academy status and what this would look like for Fynamore.

 

LAST YEAR'S ANNUAL STATEMENT

 

You can read last year's Annual Statement by clicking below:

 

Governors' Annual Statement 2013-2014.

Latest Newsletter

For the latest Newsletter please click here.

Latest News

House Cup Results

Friday, 17 March 2017: 

Weekly Cup Winners:

HARRIS

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

Recent Events in School

Including Internet Safety Day and a visit from a PCSO.

Click here for details and photos. 

 

Upcoming Events 

Tue 28 Mar: Meal order deadline

Fri 31 Mar: Year 1 Spring    Performance 2.40pm

Fri 31 Mar: Design an Easter Egg  Competition deadline

Fri 7 Apr: Break up for Easter

Click here for more events.

School telephone number:

01249 810090

School address:

School Road, Calne,

Wiltshire, SN11 9UG

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