We can only have one Twitter account linked to the website, so we'll have to just tell you about ours - @StPaulsWaldenSchoolGB
February Half Term 2021
Well done, everyone, for making it to the end of another half term!
Last week I ‘attended’ the Spring term meeting between Mrs Adshead and our school’s LEA advisor and received a copy of his report yesterday. The aim of his visit was to review and evaluate our school’s remote learning provision. Like me, he was very impressed by the way our families and school have ensured that all children have access to an individual device to engage with remote learning. He also liked the communication from school, via emails, the website and virtual coffee mornings, supporting families to access Google Classroom and also reassuring them that they can adapt the school’s timetable, as stressed children (with stressed parents!) won’t learn anything as well as they could.
We talked about what the staff are learning from this period that they will use to improve our school in the future. For example, Mrs Adshead talked about further developing use of Google Classroom, like saving videos of lessons so that children can go over tricky lessons or concepts again if they need to. Teachers have had lots of discussions with children about how they find such a different way of learning – and reflecting on this is showing the teachers new ways to support children when they are all back in the classroom.
I know everybody wants all the children to be back in school, but while infections remain at such high levels, well done to everyone (staff, families and especially, children) for doing the best you can for so long.
(We still have one vacancy for a parent governor to join our team of governors. If you are interested in joining us, email the office or look out for the letter from the School Office when everything is a little calmer, explaining what you need to do. If you have any questions, please read our Handbook, ask one of our other governors or leave your preferred contact details with the Office and I will call you back when it suits you. If we only get one applicant, they will be able to join us directly. If we get more than two applicants, we will need to run an election within 10 days of submission of applications.)
Chair of St Paul’s Walden Governing Body
According to the Department for Education, the purpose of our governing body is to provide confident and strong strategic leadership which leads to robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. We have three core functions:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
Governing bodies can choose how to fulfil these functions. At present St Paul’s Walden School governing body uses a sub-committee model with individual governors also linked to particular elements of the school’s work and priorities. There are several different types of governor – Parent, Staff, Co-opted, Local Authority, Associate – all of whom bring different experience and skills to the role. Governors volunteer for different committees to either contribute to that committee or to learn from it, or ideally both.
As a minimum, new governors should attend Induction, Safeguarding and GDPR Training as soon as possible. This training can be undertaken in person or on-line, as we subscribe to both services offered by Herts for Learning. Once in the role, governors can continue to improve their skills and knowledge by taking advantage of the wealth of training available, to the benefit of both the school and the governing body. The school's new motto of 'Growing and Learning Together' applies to us too.
Each September, at our ‘Business’ meeting, we agree our roles and timetable for the year ahead. All governors should then attend the full governing body (FGB) meetings which take place once a term. In addition, we all meet for a whole Governors’ Day towards the end of the Spring term, so that we can review the school’s progress and set new strategic priorities in the School Improvement Plan (SIP) for the next year.
Our two main subcommittees are Standards and Resources. Governors can choose to join one of both of the sub-committees. Standards sub-committee usually meets once a term and deals with the academic and curricular elements of the school. The Resources sub-committee meets slightly more often as it monitors finances and sets the school’s budget, in addition to overseeing the maintenance and improvement of the school’s building and grounds. The terms of reference of these sub-committees are agreed in detail in the autumn meetings. We sometimes have extra working parties, depending on the school’s priorities, to focus on issues such as extra data analysis or communication.
Governors also take on individual roles for areas such as Safeguarding, GDPR, SEND, Early Years, Health & Safety and Finance. We visit the school to monitor these areas, ensuring we are meeting our statutory duties. Governors also need to visit the school in order to monitor progress against priorities in the SIP. Governors report back their findings to the next FGB.
We also need governors to be available for rare but important school functions, such as Recruitment, Complaints or Appeals panels, meeting our school’s Herts Improvement Partner (HIP) and supervising SATs administration.
All of these meetings and visits require governors to do research and reading ahead of the day, so that we can work as efficiently as possible when we get together as a group. We try to spread the workload throughout the year and use GovernorHub to facilitate the sharing of information.
As you can see, our governors work hard to support the school. If you are interested in joining the governing body, look out for the next time a parent governor vacancy comes up. The school will inform the parents that there is a vacancy, and invite those interested to apply. A governor's term is four years, but the time flies by!
|CATEGORY||COMMITTEE||SPECIFIC GOVERNOR ROLE||TERMS STARTS & ENDS|
|Mrs Nancy Adshead Headteacher||HT||Standards & Resources|
|Ms Erin Brookes||Parent||Standards||EYFS||4/11/19 -3/11/23|
|Mrs Sulu Pike||Parent||Standards||EYFS||16/3/20 - 15/3/24|
|Mrs Clare Capon||Parent||Resources||7/1/21 - 6/1/25|
|Mrs Clare Alcock||Co-opted||Resources||Health & Safety, Head's App'l||19/3/20 - 18/3/24|
|Mrs Liz Williams||Co-opted||Resources||Safeguarding and Finance||8/01/20 - 7/01/24|
|Anne Reid Chair||Co-opted||Standards & Resources||Head's Appraisal||2/4/19 - 1/4/23|
|Dr Asha Herbert||Local Authority||Standards||SEND||18/6/19 - 17/6/23|
|Tim Liddell||Associate||Joined the governing body to help with special projects. Does not attend meetings normally.|
|The following people used to be governors at our school and have left the governing body in the last year.|
|Jo Roberts||Parent||Left governing body January 2021 when her 4 year term ended - thanks, Jo!|
|Jon Bailes||Staff||Left governing body December 2020 when he left the school - thanks, Jon!|
|Vicky Walrond||Parent||Left governing body 14th July 2020 - thanks, Vicky!|
|Sue Carter||Co-opted||Left governing body on 9th February 2020 when her 4 year term ended - Thanks, Sue!|
|David Rowsell||Parent||Left governing body on 9th February 2020 when his 4 year term ended - Thanks, David!|
Our governing body has adopted the National Governance Association's Code of Conduct. Each year, all our governors declare any relevant business interests, conflicts of interest or governance positions at other schools etc.
If you wish to see a copy of any public minutes, please contact the Office. Click here for governors' attendance at meetings over the last year.