Share this page:

Governance

Please click the button below to read information about:

  • What the Governing Body is for?
  • How does it work?
  • How is it organised?
  • What does it mean to you (parents and carers)?
  • Are you interested in being a governor?
  • What is the consititution of the Governing Body?

Please click the button below to read information about:

  • The Governors and their responsibilities.
  • The committees and their respective Chairs.
  • Record of governor attendance at meetings for the 2018/19 academic year.

Annual Statement by the Governing Body (2020-21) - August 2021

 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: 

1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction 

2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils 

3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent. 

Underpinning these are the oversight responsibilities for ensuring the safeguarding and wellbeing of the school community.  

It has been another extremely challenging year for everyone involved in education, not just the education professionals but families and children, coping with home schooling whilst fulfilling their work and other responsibilities. As governors, we have been in awe of the hard work and initiative shown through the year by the school leaders and staff to enable children to make progress, enjoy their school life and be kept safe. The staff value the very appreciative feedback from so many parents. They also thank parents for their forbearance as the school has had to respond to the often rapidly changing guidance and flow of new directives from government agencies, the Department of Education, in particular.  

Catch-up is a priority and we welcomed the initiative to open the school during the summer holiday for children to have extra tuition. We thank those members of staff who have given up a portion of their holiday to do this. Extra support and tuition is also being provided during the Autumn term by funding additional teaching resources. 

Most parts of the curriculum can be caught up but there are other components of school life which cannot.

We have sympathy for the Year 6 children who have missed out on both their residential trips: the Year 5 Field trip, and this year, the Activity trip. They have also been denied the opportunity to prepare a production and perform before their parents. These are not nice add-ons but key provisions within our curriculum and provide experiences for children to learn and develop their social and communication skills to become confident and assured young people ready for the next stage of their education. The Year 6 children were working hard up to the end of term, but they were able to enjoy a ‘fun’ activity day and a disco before they left. Overall, as last year, theYear 6 children left well prepared for their move to their secondary schools. 

In December 2019 the governors agreed to the school entering into a Partnership Agreement with Pinewood Infant School. This arrangement has flourished with close collaborative working to the benefit of both schools. The agreement was until May 2021, but the governing bodies of both schools approved its renewal until December 2022. The day-to-day management of Pinewood is the responsibility of Mrs Carolyn Burleigh, Head of School, with Mr Denis Foster continuing as Executive Head teacher of both. Although the governing bodies are independent of each other, they are aligning the governance across the schools, for example, where possible, having common policies. To facilitate this, Mr Clive Norris and Mrs Heather Ryder sit on both Governing Bodies.

 Governance Arrangements 

These are fully described, together with the composition of the governing body, on the school website: www.guillemont.org.uk/About-us/Governance

Attendance record at meetings 

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

The usual routine of governing body and committee meetings has been disrupted by the pandemic. The directive from Government was for governing bodies to meet only to fulfil their statutory duties, approve budgets and expenditure and provide oversight and support -the operational responsibility for the school resided with the headteacher. During the whole school year, committees were suspended and instead the full Governing Body, to compensate, met more frequently, twice each half term, 12 in all over the year. These were a mix of in-person and virtual meetings depending on the prevailing restrictions and guidance. It is anticipated that in September the governing body will be meeting in-person and will revert to its former committee structure. However, from the experience of the past year it is expected that use will be made of ‘virtual’ meetings when and if appropriate. 

In addition, governors have been in continuous contact with the school through video calls and have attend online training and briefing events organised by the Local Authority (LA). Governors have assisted in the recruitment of staff, most notably the appointment of the Deputy Headteacher.We were sorry at the departure of Mr Paul Shakespeare but delighted for his well-deserved promotion to be Headteacher of Manor Field Junior School in Basingstoke. Mrs Kristy Llewellyn was appointed as Deputy Headteacher effective 1st September 2021 after a rigorous and competitive selection programme.    

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. These are regularly reviewed and updated particularly in the areas of safeguarding and wellbeing. 

The governing body has been stable this year but do have a vacancy for a parent governor for which a request will go out to parents inviting nominations. 

The Work of the Governing Body 2020-21

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. 

Although priorities have changed, the focus in the short to medium term is to deal with the impact of the pandemic and implementing Catch-up, the long-term objectives remain the same as set out in the Strategic Plan (2019 -23). This is to be reviewed over the coming year to incorporate the strategies for the Guillemont and Pinewood partnership. 

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. 

Over the past year Governors have been unable to routinely go into school to meet with staff, to talk to events and see other aspects of school life. Governors have been conscious of the pressure on the staff operating with some children in school with the majority home learning, the preparation involved and the challenge of keeping in touch with the children and parents. There has been an increased demand for the pastoral care and support the school offers as families have had to cope with the social and emotional impact of the lockdowns and ‘bubbles’ sent home to isolate.  For the governors to remain informed, at the FGB meetings they have received presentations by members of staff on various aspects of the curriculum and the school and had the opportunity to ask questions. Safeguarding, risk assessments and catch-up were regularly discussed and reviewed. 

The governors have missed being able to keep in touch with the pupils’ views by meeting with them

(pupil conferencing). We look forward to resuming this in the Autumn. 

The safety and wellbeing of pupils, families and staff was paramount in their considerations as it was with the school leaders.

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). In the autumn, the progress of expenditure against budget and priorities are reviewed and approved by governors and submitted to the LA. Governors 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 are required 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 are carried out on a two-yearly cycle (2021). 

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.

Governors continue to have concern about the issue of school funding, in part due to continuing constraints on public spending and the school operating ‘under capacity’ in the past. 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 across all schools and 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, this year has seen further work done to improve the Upper School area.

The Landscape project continues to improve the grounds for environmental, recreational and educational purposes. 

The governors are very appreciative of the outstanding support given to the school by an 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. For the moment courses continue to be delivered but for the moment are presented online -webinars. 

The governing body as a group have had training, jointly with Pinewood on the primary curriculum.  -.  Governors individually attended courses and events on a range of topics, including:

  • Development and Training Governor Meetings
  • Hart & Rushmoor Chair of Governors Networking Meetings
  • 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 School Bus to which all governors have access to as well as the school leaders and teachers.  

Hampshire Governor Services also provided a more online webinars to enable the governors to continue their training.

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 2021-22 and Beyond

The governors and school leaders remain fully committed to improvement -to make the school even better so we do the very best we can for every child. The immediate priority is ‘catch-up’ to enable children to be at the level they would have been but for the pandemic. This is being achieved by funding additional high-quality teaching and learning as already mentioned. At the same time the school must ensure children receive a broad curriculum and have exciting learning experiences. There will be compromises in the short term, but hopefully, as we move beyond the pandemic they will no longer be needed. 

Guillemont is now extremely popular and very successful in attracting new pupils -the school has a waiting list for the September 2021 intake. However, careful financial management is still needed to carry it through the coming years as there will be ‘dip’ in numbers as shown by thesurplus reception class places in neighbouring schools this year. There will be an impact on schools’ funding for all local schools, not just Guillemont, as we look ahead.  We will continue to seek opportunities to make further improvements to the school,the criteria being that they are planned, affordable and cost effective in enhancing the well-being or education of the children. 

The school’s strength continues to be in the quality of its staff and its leadership team which has been further strengthened by its experiences of the past 18 months.

The Strategic Plan 2019-23 and the School Improvement Plan 2021-22 together set out the vision we have for Guillemont children and the plans of how to achieve it.