St Augustine's C of E School

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Governor StatemenT

Dear Parents/Guardians

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 very good, and 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 duties of supporting the school staff, approving the budget and considering strategic issues for the future.

Governors review all policies on a rolling programme basis to ensure that all guidance is up to date. Special attention is paid to ensure that the school complies with the Department for Education mandatory policy list and the Local Authority recommendations.

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. Some of the improvements as a result of this year’s plan include:
  • The School Vision and Curriculum Intent
  • Develop World Views, Science, Art, Languages, Music and Computing Curriculum
  • Understanding how to life a healthy life with a sense of mutual belonging and critical thinking
  • Catch up and accelerated learning

In March, Governors were actively involved in a visit from OFSTED inspectors and were delighted to receive the final report confirming that St Augustine’s continues to be ‘GOOD’ in all areas. The report acknowledged a number of strengths that we are particularly proud of including that “children are extremely happy and feel safe” and that “leaders have high expectations for all pupils, including those with special education needs and/or disabilities.”

Once again, the Year 6 SATS results were excellent, with all pupils reaching age-expected standards across all subjects. We are extremely proud of the children for their resilience and determination to do well and we know that they are all ready for the next stage of their learning journeys into secondary school.

Progress in Key Stage 1 was also good with recent, in-house assessments have shown positive outcomes, with a high percentage of children achieving targets, particularly in maths and reading. In line with national reports, attainment in phonics and spelling for some year groups has dropped. This information will be used to inform the school’s priority areas for improvement in 2023/24, closely aligned with the School Vision and Curriculum Intent.

Following the news that Caroline Tilney would be retiring as headteacher at the end of the school year, Governors worked closely with the Local Authority and Diocese of Chichester to appoint a replacement. Following an intensive process, we are very pleased to welcome Ben Cornford to St Augustine’s from September as Interim Headteacher. Governors look forward to working with Ben and the whole staff team to continue to improve St Augustine’s, building on the strong foundations laid down by Caroline and her team over many years.

We were very sorry to say goodbye to Caroline at the end of July and thank her for everything she did during her time as headteacher at St Augustine’s.

During this year, we were also sad to goodbye to Julie Bryan and Sue Will who stepped down from the Governing Body – we thank them for their valuable contributions. We were also very pleased to welcome Jenny Walker and Nicky Morris to the Board as foundation governors.

  • 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 30 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 new perimeter fencing and entrance gate, new bench outside the writing den, new sports equipment and new laptops.

Governors have received training in a range of subjects including safeguarding, child protection and safer recruitment.

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.

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 2023