Please click the button below to read information about:
Please click the button below to read information about:
This annual statement, in line with the DfE’s recommended good practice, outlines how the Governing Body has fulfilled its responsibilities and how it has met the three core strategic functions of the School’s Governing Body as set out by Government:
The school continues to make progress as a consequence of the effectiveness of the school leadership team in this and in previous years. The governors are confident that the school is developing in such a way, and following initiatives that will ensure the improvements are sustainable into the future. The performance in one year can only fully judged in the context of the years that precede and the years that follow – it can be seen that Guillemont is a very successful school.
The most visible public indicator of a school’s performance is the KS2 National Test results which are published and provide a way for schools to be measured against Government set targets and compared with each other. There are other factors that matter in the education of children which we consider as important – access to a broad based curriculum and their social, emotional and moral development.
The full details of the recent KS2 tests have yet to be published but it is evident Guillemont has again done extremely well, performing way above national and county averages. A particularly pleasing aspect is that all children have again achieved well, with most disadvantaged children performing to the same standards or higher standards than their peers. The school is now achieving at consistently high level and has the processes and systems in place to ensure this consistency into the future.
The most striking endorsement of the school’s effectiveness is our recent Ofsted Inspection report which was fulsome in its praise of the school. This was a ‘Section 8’ or ‘short’ inspection which is directed at ‘Good’ schools to determine whether they continue to be ‘Good’ or not – it does not have the power to change the category of a school: that requires a ‘Section 5’ or ‘long’ inspection. In view of the improved and improving performance of the school the judgement was that we should have a Section 5 as we show many of the attributes of an ‘Outstanding’ school and should be reinspected on that basis. This is likely to occur over the next year or so.
Another key indicator of the school’s progress is parent recognition which is clear from the rising school roll over the year. From September 2019 the school is full with a long waiting list.
These are fully described, together with the composition of the Governing Body, on the school website: www.guillemont.org.uk/About-us/Governance
Governors have excellent records of attendance at meetings, attendance is monitored by the clerk to the governing body.
Absences from meetings are invariably for compelling reasons e.g. unavoidable family or work commitments. Individual governor attendance records are published on the school website: www.guillemont.org.uk/About-us/Governance
During the last school year the full Governing Body and the Finance and Resources Committee
each met on six occasions. The Safeguarding and Wellbeing Committee and the Curriculum and Standards Committee each met on three occasions. Unless a responsibility is specifically delegated to a committee, all committee decisions are subject to approval and ratification by the full Governing Body meetings.
At four of the six full Governing Body meetings during the year, in addition to the normal conducting of business, there were presentations made by school staff on aspects of the school or training. This year we have had presentations on:
Project Based Learning (PBL)
Before and After School Club (BASC)
Three interconnected projects to improve Reading across the school Tracking of the amount of Reading by children outside of the classroom Improving the quality of teaching and learning in PE and Games
In addition, governors make numerous monitoring visits to the school, attend training and briefing events organised by the Local Authority (LA) and assist in the recruitment of new staff. There is always governor representation on the selection panel for leadership appointments and where possible for all other staff appointments. All panels have at least one member trained in “Safer Recruitment”.
Systems, (overseen by the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher), are in place to ensure that the Governing Body and the school meet their statutory duties and that Government and local authority guidance and advice are followed in school policies and practices, particularly in the areas of safeguarding and child protection.
We were sorry to lose Sarah Lester and Katy Garrard (both co-opted) who both stood down from the governing body because of changed circumstances. In addition we were sorry that Lynsey Robertson who joined us in the year but through unforeseen circumstances moved out of the locality and had to resign. We welcomed Karen Thomas, a member of the teaching staff as an associate member.
There are vacancies on the governing body. We were disappointed by the lack of applications to fill one or more of these places but hope for more success in the coming year.
Meeting the three core strategic functions of the School’s Governing Body:
1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
The governors fully subscribe to the vision statement to which they have contributed and regularly review it with the school leaders.
As a principle the strategic direction and plan is driven by the school’s vision for a Guillemont child and our core values. The Strategic Plan (2017-21) was developed and published in September 2017. The plan provides the context for the detailed year by year operational School Improvement Plan (SIP).
Such has been the school’s progress that many of its objectives had been met so it was decided to formulate a new Strategic Plan (2019-2023) The revised documents will be posted at the start of the academic year.
2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
Day to day the school is driven by the School Improvement Plan. This sets out the targets for pupil progress and attainment and for the quality of teaching and learning. It is for the governing body to hold the headteacher to account for meeting these targets. This is done mainly by the governors’ Curriculum and Standards Committee who review pupil progress data by subject, cohort, gender, pupil premium and other vulnerable children with the senior leaders and subject
leaders on a scheduled half termly basis over the academic year. In addition, there are individual governors assigned to English, Mathematics and Science who meet termly with their subject leaders to monitor progress on pupil performance and quality of teaching and learning. The school now has more effective systems for data collection and the assessment of progress and attainment. Progress is also tracked and monitored through scrutinies of the children’s work books. These processes are rigorously carried out and monitored through pupil progress meetings and have been proved to be effective as shown by this year’s KS2 results.
Governors also follow progress in initiatives such as PBL and Personal Development Learning (PDL) which broaden and enrich the curriculum.
Governors will continue to ensure they receive the high quality data they need hold the headteacher to account for attainment and progress.
The governors receive reports from and question the Inclusion Manager and the SENCO/Resource Provision Manager on the progress of SEND and Resourced Provision children. We continue to see many examples where the school has gone to great lengths to help children with significant needs to engage fully in school life. On a more regular basis the Inclusion governor meets with Inclusion Manager and the SENCO/Resource Provision Manager.
The governors keep in touch with the pupils’ views by meeting with them (pupil conferencing) and attending a number of the School Council meetings throughout the year.
The governors completed an annual review of the strategy with regard to Pupil Premium children and its effectiveness which is a continuation of that followed successfully in the previous two years. The most recent KS2 results, where disadvantaged children again performed as well as and sometimes better than their peers, provides a strong endorsement of the strategy pursued.
Philosophy for Children (P4C) which is now embedded in the curriculum. Its value lies in the positive impact it makes on children’s interpersonal skills and their social and emotional development.
3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
Each spring the governors review and agree the budget for the school financial year which is submitted to the local authority(LA) (by 31st May). In the autumn, the progress of expenditure against budget and priorities are reviewed and approved by governors and submitted to the LA (by 30th November). The Finance and Resources Committee receive regular budget progress reports from the headteacher at their half-termly meetings. The school follows its Financial Management and Probity Policy (see school website) which is reviewed annually. The governors also make an annual Effective Buying Statement (see School website) which sets out the principles the school adopts in purchasing goods and services to ensure best use of funding to improve the quality of education delivered and the well-being of its pupils. The governors have to make an annual Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) return to the LA, the purpose of which is to assure the LA (and Government) that the financial management of the school is sound and effective. Governor checks on the school’s financial control procedures were carried out during 2019 – these are done on a two yearly cycle. The governors also follow a schedule to ensure school policies and statutory requirements are periodically reviewed, acted on and appropriately updated and posted on the school website.
Funding is an issue about which governors continue to have concern. This has arisen because of continuing constraints on public spending and the school operating ‘under capacity’ in recent years. The school is not in overall deficit due to prudent financial management and is secure for the next three years. It should be noted that our position is common for all schools but we are better placed than most. In addition, we continue to be a popular school and to have a rising roll which will mean a relative increase in funding levels. However, uncertainties remain for the medium to long term. Budgeting is undertaken with this in mind and some improvement projects need to be done in a phased manner, for example, classroom improvements – this year we see work being done to improve the Upper School area.
The school, with governor support and help, has been very successful in attracting outside funding and resourcing to progress the continuing development of the school grounds – the ‘Landscape Project’. This past year has seen the regeneration of the woodland area and the building of the outside classroom for which we are grateful for funding, manpower and advice from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, Grundons, Bellway, Community Services and the Woodland Trust from whom we expect a delivery of saplings and shrubs in November.
The governors are very appreciative of the outstanding support given to the school by a very active and enthusiastic parent-teacher association – the Friends of Guillemont (FOG).
The Governors’ Performance Management Committee sets and reviews the Headteacher’s annual targets and the Personnel and Pay Committee oversees the management of staff performance and pay.
Training Courses and other Events Attended
Hampshire Governor Services offer a range of training courses covering all aspects of the governors’ role and provide briefings on topical matters affecting schools. The school subscribes to take full advantage of the services offered to enable them to be better informed and effective.
The governing body as a group had training – ‘Moving a school from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ and a number of governors individually attended courses and events on a range of topics, including:
Development and Training Governor Meetings
Hart & Rushmoor Chair of Governors Networking Meetings
Moving the School from Good to Outstanding
Holding Leaders to Account
Tackling Bullying in Schools – The Governors’ Role
Hampshire Governors Annual Conference
The Development and Training Governor and the Clerk also attended briefings relevant to their respective roles. The Chair of Governors attends the termly NE Hants Governors Forum which provides a two way channel for the exchanges of views and information between local governors and the County and National Governor representative bodies.
The governing body belongs to the National Governance Association (NGA) which provides a number of resources and services for governors and produces a very informative newsletter received by all governors.
The school subscribes to an information and advice database called SchoolBus to which all governors have access to as well as the school leaders and teachers.
Governors are booked on a number of courses for this Autumn and next Spring including briefings on the new Ofsted Inspections framework. The governors regularly self evaluate their performance.
The aim is to maintain a governing body well equipped to meet its responsibilities and to be knowledgeable about what is happening in the wider education sector.
Looking Forward to 2019-20 and Beyond
The governors and school leaders remain fully committed to maintaining the momentum for improvement – to make the school even better so we do the very best we can for every child.
Recruitment of good quality staff to fill vacancies continues to be very difficult and competitive as there is a shortage of primary teachers nationally and in this part of Hampshire in particular. This makes effective staff training and development programs – a strategic objective – essential to retain staff and as an aid to recruitment.
The school continues to need careful financial management to carry it through the coming years.
However, the school is now extremely popular and very successful in attracting new pupils. We will continue to seek opportunities to make further improvements to the school, the criteria being that they are cost effective in enhancing the well-being or the education of the children. The school’s strength continues to be in the quality of its staff and its leadership team.
The new Ofsted framework is to be welcomed with its change of emphasis to require schools to deliver a broad curriculum and to lessen the workload on teachers by reducing the need for collecting data whose value in raising standards is dubious at least. This presents a new challenge for which the school well set to respond to.
The Strategic Plan 2019-23 and the School Improvement Plan 2019-20 together provide the why, what and how we maintain the upward trajectory of the school in fulfilling the vision we have for Guillemont children.