News from the Governors
Thank you for visiting the governors' section of the school website.
Let me start by introducing myself: my name is Tony Fish, I first joined the governing body in 2010 as a Foundation Governor and took over the Chair of Governors role in September 2012. I have two children at the school. I became involved as a governor because I grew up locally and, having benefited from Buckinghamshire schools myself, I wanted to give something back to support the excellent local school system we are fortunate to enjoy in the county.
Education never stands still and we are seeing almost unprecedented change driven from central government policy downwards which is affecting all aspects of school life including standards, teaching, governance, finance and resources.
As a governing body, we put the educational experience of the children at the centre of everything we do. We are required to be rigorous in our evaluation of the school and its performance. It is not enough simply to develop children in the core business of education; we want the children to be more rounded than that. This is achieved by working in partnership with all staff, not just the teachers. We also listen to what the children say through student groups such as the School Council, Junior Road Safety Officers, Worship Leaders and Maths Champions.
The Governing Body
The precise role of school governors is not always clear so I thought it would be helpful to provide an explanation of the work we do:
• Why have a governing body?
• What does the governing body actually do?
• How does the governing body stay effective?
The following summary is necessarily brief but I hope makes our role clearer.
Why have a governing body?
The governing body provides a number of functions but its primary concern is to support and challenge the headteacher in order to ensure pupils receive the best possible education. The standard of the school is independently assessed by Ofsted and the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education. Feedback from previous inspections and the evaluation framework for future inspections are always in our minds when we consider decisions on how the school should be developed. In July 2012 an all-party parliamentary group discussed the role of governing bodies and, among other things, identified four areas to measure school performance:
1. Does the school have a clear vision of how it wishes to develop?
2. Are school leaders held to account for the performance of the school?
3. Are all stakeholders properly engaged in decisions?
4. Are outcomes for children improving?
In practice this means working with Mr Mirams and the Senior Leadership Team to ensure the school is in a state of continuous improvement. This is encapsulated in the School Development Plan, produced by the headteacher and regularly scrutinised by governors.
What does the governing body actually do?
The governing body deals with all aspects of school life. Although it is commonly considered to involve many meetings, we can often be found in school, working with the children and liaising with the staff, as well as attending events such as those organised by the PTA. This is important to make sure that we know how our school works and actively support it.
Now for the meetings! The full governing body meets half termly and makes the collective decisions that are required from time to time. However, much of the work is delegated out to our committees:
1. The Resources Committee serves three main purposes:
- monitors the school's finances and makes decisions regarding how to fund projects, such as building works
- responsible for all staffing issues within the school from recruitment to checking that we comply with current employment legislation
- checks the condition of the premises and grounds, ensures H&S training for staff is current and monitors health & safety issues affecting children; this includes Safer Routes to School and eco initiatives amongst many other thigns
2. The Teaching, Learning, Student and Curriculum Committee looks at standards of teaching and learning within the school. In conjunction with the teaching staff, we monitor and challenge the progress children are making, instigate trials of different ways of learning that might benefit our children and evaluate them to see if they are having the required impact.
How do we make sure we’re effective?
To be successful, governing bodies need to have the right skills, be organised and have strong leadership for both the full governing body and committees. OFSTED inspections examine the governors’ performance and Bucks County Council provides a self-evaluation framework for governing bodies. We use these assessments to ensure we are fit for purpose today and for the future. We also welcome and listen to feedback from parents and staff.
I hope you have found this section informative. We are always interested in hearing from people who feel they have something to offer so if you are interested in becoming a governor, or would like an informal chat about the role, then please get in touch.
We can be contacted directly through the governors' email account firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair of Governors