Welcome from the Chair
My name is Frances Millett and I am privileged to be Chair of Governors at West Heath Primary School. The role of the Governors is to support and challenge the school to make sure that all pupils receive an outstanding standard of education and care so they can all reach their potential in a happy, caring, safe and hard-working school.
Governors are a committed group of volunteers who are elected or appointed to the Governing Board according to their individual skills, interests and professional expertise. These cover a wide range of professional, community and social skills which are an essential part of our highly effective Governing Board. Our aim is to make sure that West Heath Primary School is an outstanding school where quality education, in the broadest sense, is achieved and enjoyed by all pupils.
Governors meet regularly every term. We also visit school regularly in order to develop our knowledge and understanding of the school and how it works. We focus on various aspects of school and always enjoy meeting pupils and parents and hearing their views about the school. We monitor Policies and procedures and ensure that staff and pupils are safe and well. Governors fully support the Headteacher in her drive for providing an outstanding education for every pupil. We meet formally in Committees and as a full group. Governors work to an agreed annual Strategy Plan which links closely to the current School Development Plan. The Nolan principles for public life are always adhered to. Through the Governors Annual Strategy Plan we focus on:
The Quality of Education
This covers aspects such as the curriculum and assessment procedures. We seek to ensure that:
The curriculum clearly sets out the knowledge and skills pupils will gain from Reception to Year 6. This is called intent. Plans for different curriculum aspects are presented to Governors by key staff at termly meetings and lively, professional debates take place. Staff and Governors enjoy good relationships and, as a result of termly presentations, we are all able to get to know each other and take forward the curriculum intent for the benefit of the pupils.
The curriculum is developed, taught and assessed in order to ensure that pupils develop their necessary knowledge and application skills. This is called implementation. Governors monitor this aspect through termly book scrutinies, classroom visits and school leaders’ reports. Different groups of pupils provide the focus for scrutiny, Pupil Premium pupils being one of these.
Pupil outcomes are the best they can be as a result of the education received. This is called impact. Governors challenge senior leaders regarding pupil progress and attainment based on termly data reports and end of year results. All groups of pupils are included in this discussion and any pupils with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities are monitored by the designated Governor.
The quality of education is an essential aspect for Governors to understand and seek confirmation, through various sources, that this is consistently the very best the school offers to all pupils. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone and school Governors are no exception. Working closely with senior leaders, annual school priorities have been reviewed and amended according to the needs of the pupils. Governors have re-focussed their annual Plan and have continued to effectively support school development including pupils and staff well-being. The Covid Recovery Plan has been implemented and is reviewed termly by Governors.
Behaviour and Attitudes
This covers aspects relating to how school leaders create a safe, calm, and positive environment where pupils understand the high expectations mutually agreed and can learn to the best of their respective abilities. Governors agree and monitor the School Behaviour Policy (and other relevant Policies) as well as visiting school to gather first-hand evidence of ethos and the learning environment. Pupil attendance data is reviewed termly by Governors. Any incidents of serious negative behaviours, which may lead to pupil exclusion, are dealt with by senior leaders and will be reported – anonymously – to Governors if appropriate.
This covers the broader curriculum whereby the school works hard to support pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life in modern Britain today. Citizenship, spiritual, social, moral and cultural development, British Values, understanding the needs and beliefs of others, sex and relationships education, physical fitness, well-being risks and healthy relationships are all part of personal development. Governors monitor this aspect of school provision through discussions with staff, pupils and parents whenever possible. Relevant school Policies are agreed and monitored.
Leadership and Management
This relates to school leadership, management and governance. The aim is for all pupils to receive the best possible, high quality education which has a positive impact on all pupils. Governors seek evidence of high expectation and consider factors which support this. We consider the number of staff and their professional development. The quality of teaching reflects pupil progress and this aspect is scrutinised regularly by senior leaders and Governors. Staff well-being and workload is monitored by Governors. The Governing Board has responsibility for three core functions:
To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
To hold the Headteacher and other senior leaders to account for the educational performance of all pupils and the performance management of all staff.
To ensure financial probity at all times to include good use of Pupil Premium and Primary Sports Funding.
Safeguarding is high priority at West Heath Primary School. Governors work with senior leaders to ensure the safety and well-being of all pupils. The Governing Board has a named Governor for Safeguarding and she has all the necessary skills and expertise to undertake this role very effectively. A Governor/School Safeguarding Working Party has been established and part of their brief is to monitor the effectiveness of arrangements to identify, help and manage as required.
Being a Governor at West Heath Primary School is a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience. We work as a corporate body and we regularly review our work and impact. Relationships are excellent and we have a good, strong structured environment to work in. We have adapted working practices to enable virtual meetings to take place. We continue to recruit new Governors as required and support them through a programme of strong induction procedures.
April 2021. Review date – December 2021.