The Governing Body of the school writes an annual governance statement which describes how we have fulfilled our responsibilities during the year.
Every year the governors work to fulfil three strategic functions:
1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
2. Holding the head teacher 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.
The Governing Body has a full programme of meetings and monitoring visits to the school which are carefully planned to ensure that we fulfil our statutory obligations as well as support and challenge the school to continuously improve.
Governor attendance at all meetings is excellent, with the majority of this year’s meetings taking place on-line, using virtual software. We have never had to cancel a meeting because it was not ‘quorate’ (the number of governors required to ensure that decisions can be made). This has enabled us to maintain our normal duties of supporting the school staff, monitoring the risk assessments for those attending school, approving the budget and considering strategic issues for the future.
There are a number of key documents that the governors look at regularly including:
- The School Improvement Plan identifies the key priorities for the staff and governors to work on each year. The key issues for the plan are decided by staff and governors at the end of the school year. Governors monitor progress through regular visits to the school and reports from school leaders to ensure the improvements take place. This year’s Plan has looked slightly different to previous versions as it responds specifically to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the school, including:
- Identify and address the gaps in pupils’ skills and knowledge
- Support pupils’ physical and mental health
- Improve the quality of the school’s remote learning
- The Schools Financial Value Standard document is a tool which helps the governing body to manage the school’s budget wisely and properly. It contains 29 questions which the Resources Committee reviews with senior staff. The school is compliant in this area. Through careful management of the budget, St Augustine’s School remains in a stable financial position. This year saw a number of improvements to the fabric of the school including the installation of a glass wipe boards in classrooms, installation of new stage lighting and sound system in the Hall, 15 new laptops and a laptop trolley, new school signage and a new Reflection Area within the school grounds, adjacent to the staff car park.
This year, we were very pleased to welcome Rev. Beverley Miles and Adam Smith to the Governing Body, both of whom bring additional skills and knowledge to the Board.
Governors were also pleased to support the recent recruitment of new full-time teacher, Miss Carr-Bryan, who will join the school in September 2021.
2020/21 has continued to present challenges for the school as it responded swiftly, safely and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic with numerous changes to social distancing restrictions, periods of lockdown and updates to government advice. The school re-opened fully in September 2020 but was partially closed again in January 2021 before all pupils were able to return in March.
Thanks to the professional commitment and dedication of the Headteacher and entire staff team, the school has supported all pupils throughout the year and, during the partial closure, was able to provide full time education for the children of key workers and our most vulnerable pupils. We know that many families were able to maintain their children’s learning at home and that most children have been resilient to the disruption. Staff have continued to review and re-organise the school environment so that all children were able to return to school safely. They have offered support to families as and when needed and we remain extremely proud of the determination and commitment of both staff and parents in the St Augustine’s community to keep our children happy, healthy and learning.
Since the beginning of the year, staff have worked tirelessly to assess the extent to which pupils’ educational attainment has been impacted by the pandemic and delivered a number of targeted interventions to address any gaps in learning.
Whilst there have been no national tests undertaken in 2020/21, recent in-house assessments have shown positive outcomes, with a high percentage of children ‘ready to progress’ to the next stage, particularly in maths and reading. However progress in writing is lower than previously in Key Stage 1. These results will be used to inform the school’s priority areas for improvement in 2021/22.
We wish all of you and your families well over the summer break and look forward to seeing you all again in September.
We hope this report gives you an insight into the work of the governing body. We value your support and interest. Please look out for updates from the governors in the school newsletter and feel free to talk to any of us. Contact details are also on the school’s website, or just ask in the school office.
Lynn Hainge, Chair of Governors, July 2021