Governors

A Message from Sue Morrish, Chair of Governors, July 2018

It has been both a delight and a challenge to have been elected to the chair of the governing board for this academic year. As we are coming to the close of the year and looking back on what has been achieved by executive head, head of schools, staff and children, there is much to be proud of.  With Good Ofsted inspections and Outstanding SIAMS inspections in both schools, our goals going forward are focusing on raising the next Ofsted inspection to Outstanding: quite a challenge but something we believe we can all work towards.

 

How do Governors make an Impact?

I am sure you are aware that governors are involved in a number of business and committee meetings over the year, but that is not all we do. We want to let you know about some of the other things we do to support the school community.

 

What Do Governors Do?

 

What Activities Are Involved?

What Impact Does This Have?

We organise and participate in social activities additional to the school day

Youth Speaks - In Jan and Feb both schools entered the local Youth Speaks competition run by Callington Rotary Club. This event encourages year 5 and 6 pupils to speak in public about a subject they have researched and is an excellent way to develop self-confidence to speak formally in unfamiliar surroundings. 

 

School Councils - Both schools have had regular council meetings where all present are encouraged to raise ideas and suggestions to assist in the running of the school.  The chicken at St Mellion and after school clubs feature regularly.  The Councils also have the opportunity to interview prospective new teachers, a very popular activity. The views of the children on what is good about both schools have been sought to inform our publicity messages.

 

Gardening - St Dominic children now have use of an allotment opposite the school field.  Flowers and vegetables are growing despite a lack of rain.

 

Moorland Trek – a great way to build confidence and learn about the environment in which we live.

 

These activities are interesting, build confidence, and are fun for children and adults.

 

It allows the governors involved to really get to know the children and for the children to know governors on a personnel level.

 

A positive impact on school culture.

We attend school events

We aim to have at least one governor present at events like Harvest Festival, Poppy Day services, Easter service, the Leavers service and others.

 

We haven’t quite made 100% but aim to do better next year!

 

At events we get to know parents, carers and wider family and you get to know us.

 

These events reinforce to us why we support the schools and provides an opportunity to thank children, parents, carers, teachers and helpers for their role in school life.

 

We share news and updates about the school with our communities, through Communications and PR activities

We consider communication one of our key impact targets, and really difficult to achieve well. With staff members we work on articles for parish and school newsletters, general PR promoting the schools, and meeting with parents on a one to one basis.

 

You have told us in the past that communication was not good and we hope you have seen improvements this year. We will continue working to improve communication during the coming year.

 

Improving communication is a key aim for governors we continue to work on improvement.

 

 

We continue to strive for excellence, communication when done well supports the smooth running of the schools.

We assist in the recruitment of new staff

Governors from the Personnel committee form a part of the interview panel alongside the Head of Schools and the Executive Head.

 

Successful staff recruitment is a critical success factor in school improvement

We analyse data to ensure the school is achieving important targets

We scrutinise data of performance, attainment and attendance.

 

Governors visit the school regularly and subject governors meet with their subject leads to monitor performance against action plans.  The Curriculum committee appoints subject link governors, a SEND governor and an assessment governor.

 

Improving performance is driven by understanding and analysing data.

 

The School Development Plan reflects areas for improvement based in part on data analysis

We oversee and monitor budgets, spending and resources

 

The schools have a balanced budget and resources allocated

 

This year we have reviewed systems and procedures for selecting and appointing consultants, contractors and suppliers to ensure we are following best practice.

 

Confidence in the business side of school underpins the successful forward planning of teaching and learning

We ensure our buildings are properly maintained and updated.

 

A number of projects this year have seen welcome improvements to both school premises. Premises committee has supported Head of Schools in finding the right contractors, carrying out risk assessment and monitoring health & safety.  New parking area and play areas at St Mellion and the carousel at St Dominic has brought welcome added facilities.

 

Improvements have created a better place to work, learn and play at both schools

We ensure the schools have all the policies it needs in place, and that they are up to date.

We regularly scrutinise policies to ensure they are compliant and up to date

This gives us confidence that we are legally compliant and operating in accordance with good practice

 

Developing our Skills

At the moment, we are undertaking a detailed assessment of our performance as a team. This will help us to understand our strengths and improve on our weaknesses, with training in essential areas (as outlined in the Government’s Competency Framework for Governors).

 

Our focus for next year

Next year, governors will be reviewing our partnership with Sir Robert Jeffery School to make sure we are getting the best from our relationship going forward. We will also be continuing with the work outlined above – and working towards becoming Outstanding schools.

 

What impact does all this activity have on the school?

When I first became a governor, someone said to me, “What do governors do exactly?” Primarily, I hope we make a difference to the children and staff at the schools.  Our aim is to use the skills we have to ensure the smooth running of the business side of school which allows teaching and learning to be as good as it can be.  Our key goal is to be recognised as Outstanding schools.

 

We look forward to working alongside you during this coming year and if you would like to contact me, please ask at either school reception or email directly chairofgovernors@st-mellion.cornwall.sch.uk.

 

Sue Morrish

Chair of Governors