Stratton School Annual Governance Statement 2017-18
The Department for Education suggests that schools produce a document each year to explain what their governing board has done. We’ve made it short, aiming to provide a useful summary in one place.
What is the “Governing Board”?
UK schools have school Governors. These are unpaid volunteers giving many days of their time to the school, for free.
They appoint the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher and work with them to provide strategic leadership and accountability.
The individual Governors are members of a Governing Board. At Stratton School the governing board has twelve members and our clerk:
4 Governors elected by parents
2 Governors who have been “co-opted” (selected) by the Governing Board because they have skills or experience that can help the school
1 Governor appointed by the Local Authority
3 Foundation Governors
1 other member of staff elected by the staff
1 Associate Member
Clerk to the Governors
So what did the Governing Board do in 2017-18?
The Ethos, Community and Communication Committee is led by Sarah Woods.
- We contributed to the plan to give out Bibles to the Class R children. This was with the aim of giving them an accessible version of the Bible that they could share at home during their time at Stratton School. We plan to do the same next year, with more explanation to parents about the intention.
- We were involved in the SIAMS inspection for which we were delighted to be rated as Good. We have taken on board the comments from the SIAMS inspection, as a result of which we are further reviewing the website this summer to make our Vision and Values more visible.
- Following our SIAMS inspection, we have also contributed to a review of our Collective Worship, Governors have been in to monitor Collective Worship and assess the impact of the changes made.
- We also looked at how we could improve the children's global awareness. Following on from this we did a joint lent project with Stratton Church to raise money for Toilet Twinning. We raised enough money to twin 5 of the school toilets with toilets in some of poorest countries around the world.
- Other monitoring undertaken includes monitoring of our Safeguarding, the Prayer Day, Experience Pentecost, and Understanding Christianity.
- We undertook an audit of the website to ensure compliance with statutory requirements, we plan to do this audit on an annual basis.
- We made important contributions by reviewing Safeguarding, admissions and Relationships and Sex Education policies. We have also developed a Social Media Code of Conduct.
The Resources Committee is led by Ian Buswell.
- We have overseen the significant enhancement of the school buildings to maximise their education potential. This includes better flow around the building and additional “breakout” space.
- We have ensured the School sets a balanced budget that allows it to meet its development plan. We then monitor actual spend against that budget to ensure it is spent wisely and in line with budget.
- We review staffing on a regular basis and assist with interviews for most new appointments.
- We oversee the system of performance related pay for staff, to make sure it runs fairly and consistently.
Performance and Standards Committee is led by Kate Fountain.
- Achievement of Pupils: achievement is monitored through data analysis of pupil outcomes in maths, reading and writing. Governors are therefore able to benchmark against other schools locally and nationally to ensure standards are high and targets aspirational but realistic. Particular focus is placed in pupil progress across all age groups including disadvantaged, SEN, girls/boys, greater depth. Governors are therefore well informed of how cohorts are performing and where there are problems ensuring issues are addressed.
- Raising Standards of Teaching: achieved through data analysis and by challenging teachers methods and the tools used to improve learning. Alongside analysis of data, link Governors carry out regular monitoring visits and report back to the P&S committee on findings. This also assists in understanding the areas of particular focus.
- Policy reviews: Governors review policies throughout the academic year to ensure all guidance and best practice is up to date.
Holding the school to account. This often means asking tough questions! This year we spent a lot of time talking about the KS1 and KS2 pupil outcomes, which we are very pleased were above national averages, but we still have much to do to raise these outcomes further.
- There is a lot of data for Governors to look at (always anonymous, without children’s names), including test scores in different areas of the curriculum and teachers’ evaluations and projections throughout the year.
- In the Performance and Standards Committee we look at this data many different ways to see where and how improvements can be made. If they are not being made, we want to know what the school is doing about it.
- The goal is always to make sure Stratton is delivering the best possible outcomes for all children. The performance targets for 2017-18 were ambitious and we were so pleased to see that outcomes at the end of the year, with children at Stratton, doing better than their peers nationally.
Financial wellbeing of the school
- There is a lot of pressure on school budgets. This is also the case at Stratton where we have a higher-than-average proportion of pupils with special educational needs. To the great credit of the school’s management team, with oversight from Governors on the Resources Committee, we continue to run a small contingency.
We are confident that the Governing Board was effective in 2017-18. We know this because of the pupil achievement demonstrated at the end of the year and the continuing and future planned trajectory for improvement, because of the state of the budget and because of the strong community feeling around the school, staff, families, and pupils. However, we are not complacent and will continue to strive for further improvements in the future.
Moving forward into the 2018-19 school year, our Board has a healthy mix of very experienced members and new voices and we will continue serving the Stratton community to provide the best possible educational experience for the pupils here. We welcome your thoughts about how to do that, at any time.