A schools Governing board should fulfill the following responsibilities:
- help the school to set high standards by planning for the school's future and setting targets for school improvement
- monitor and support school improvement
- be a critical friend to the school, offering support and advice
- help the school respond to the needs of parents and the community
- make the school accountable to the public for what it does
- work with the school on planning, developing policies and keeping the school under review
- exercise its responsibilities and powers in partnership with the headteacher and staff
- The headteacher is responsible for the day to day management of the school. Governors may assist with this if called upon in times of extreme difficulty.
Chilcote’s Governing board meets at least four times a year as a full governing board and at numerous times between these meetings as committees. There are three committees which perform a variety of different tasks.
Curriculum and Standards
This committee reviews many of the schools policies, assists in the writing of the school development plan each year and finds out about how subjects are taught in schools.
Finance and Staffing Committee
This committee is tasked with approving and monitoring the school budget, approving policies relating to finance and authorising payments that exceed the headteacher’s delegated limit.
Members of this committee are often involved in the recruitment of new staff; reading application forms and asking questions as part of an interview panel. The Finance and Staffing Committee scrutinises policies relating to staffing.
Our Governors 2020-2021
Rev Martin Stephenson - Co-opted
Dean Thompson - Parent (Vice Chair of Governors)
Nicola Kelly - Co-opted
Pauline Okirie - Local Authority
Mathew Gostelow - Parent (Vice Chair of Governors)
Eleanor Ashton - Teacher
Karl Merrick - Co-opted
Dawn Guren - Co opted
Leon Clifford - Parent
Jill Blower - Clerk
Graham White - Co-opted
Saiqa Andleeb - Parent
Wahid Zaman - Co-opted (Chair of Governors)
Debbie Doherty - Headteacher
Governing Board Annual Statement 2020-21
This Annual Statement serves three core purposes:
1. To provide a summary of the Governing Board’s key responsibilities.
2. To communicate to parents and other key stakeholders the school’s key achievements in the current academic year and to outline proposals for key objectives for the school development in the year ahead.
3. To respond to any specific matters which impact the whole school community.
The role of the Governing Board:
In accordance with the Government’s requirement, the three core strategic functions underpinning how Chilcote’s Governing Board operate are:
1. To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
2. To delegate the operational management of the school to the Headteacher and to hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
3. To over-see the financial performance of the school, making sure the school budget share is well spent.
During a year when Chilcote has faced the uncertainties of the global pandemic, shifting guidance and rules on safety, and the challenges of lockdowns, bubbles and home-schooling, Chilcote’s Governing Board has consistently worked to support the school. We welcomed your positive and constructive views on how you believe the school managed the second period of Lockdown.
This year saw changes on the Governing Board. Saiqa Andleeb was recruited as a new parent governor. The Board also accepted the resignation of Wahid Zaman, co-opted governor and Chair of the Board. A new Chair will be appointed in the Autumn. This also means we have a vacancy for a new governor, which will be addressed in the new school year.
Pupils’ safety, wellbeing and academic performance remained our key priorities and we helped the school management team to develop strategies to meet these new challenges. Our responsibilities have included monitoring the use of the Government Catch Up Funding and progress towards the development of a whole school Wellbeing programme, and keeping abreast of Public Health guidance in relation to the school’s everchanging Covid Risk Assessment.
We would like to take this opportunity to recognise the extraordinary work of Chilcote staff, at all levels, their continued dedication and commitment to delivering pupil outcomes, despite the extra challenges they faced this year. The Governors have been continually impressed by their work, and engagement with our wider community: we were encouraged and inspired to see the whole school community – pupils, parents, and staff – pulling together and observing the guidance on mask-wearing, staggered start times and other measures which helped us keep one another safe.
In keeping with this emphasis on safety and wellbeing, the Governing Board recently took part in Safeguarding and Prevent training, to ensure we were all aware of the latest guidance and to keep our commitment to pupil safety at the centre of everything we do.
One of our goals for this year was to develop a new Vision Statement for the school – a form of words that will summarise our goals and priorities to inform and guide future strategy. We are pleased to say this is now fully achieved. The Vision statement is built around a commitment to “celebrating, affirming, and developing every child” – something that will guide the objectives, goals and strategies of the school and the governing board. We defined and explained these priorities as follows:
- Celebrating. To celebrate is, essentially, to give thanks for something, and when we celebrate children we are giving thanks for what they bring to the school, and who they are as individuals and as members of their families and groups of friends. So this will help us to recognise the particular gifts of each child and how they relate to others, who is important to them and what they can do, what hopes they have.
- Affirming. We know that children (and indeed all of us) learn better when they are praised for what they can do, and helped to achieve the next goals they may have. It is a dynamic process, in which parents, teachers and children work together to nurture, protect and encourage progress in the educational work we do together. Our combined mission is to draw out the best from each child, and give them confidence to achieve, but not only to achieve, but to be a valued member of society, contributing much to the common good over the years. I think it is also important to note here that, by affirming the child, you are enabling him or her to be self-critical and to improve where things are not right. No-one can be truly confident to do that unless they start from a secure base of knowing they are loved and valued.
- Developing. We know that progress is at the heart of our school’s aims and objectives, and so, from a secure base we can now build and enrich the whole child – mind, body and soul – in order that they have a good educational foundation for a lifetime of learning. Developing is the beginning of the educational process of learning, becoming a lively and curious person who wants to learn, who knows how to learn, and who is able to relate to others, to co-operate where that is needed, and to gradually discover what particular contribution they can make for and with others. Together we can change the world for the better. Chilcote School, in partnership with parents and others, is where we begin this.
(With thanks to Martin Stephenson for his work on these definitions)
The Vision, and supporting Values, in its entirety will be shared with you in the Autumn Term.
Finally, we also bade a fond farewell to our Clerk, Jill Blower, who has given 4 years’ service to the board and will be much missed. This means we also welcome our new Clerk, Claire Lockey who we are sure will do an excellent job of filling the big shoes left by Jill.
As we look ahead to the next academic year, the Governors are already planning to undertake Ofsted training, in order to give the school the best possible support and guidance in any forthcoming inspection. Examples of the key priorities for the 2021/22 School Development Plan are the completion of the whole school Wellbeing programme, developing assessment in Writing and the implementation of the revised Curriculum, following a long process of curriculum re-design. The School Development Plan in full will be shared with the Board at our set up meeting in September.
Final Message to all stakeholders
The Board of Governors would like to take this opportunity to wish the entire school community a good summer. We hope everyone has the chance to take a break, rest and relax. We look forward to a new school year and a future hopefully beyond the disruptions and interruptions of Covid, where the school team can continue to do what they do best - delivering quailty education, support and care to our children.