Bendish Lane, Whitwell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. SG4 8HX

01438 871241

St Paul's Walden

Primary School

Governing Body

 

We can only have one Twitter account linked to the website, so we'll have to just tell you about ours - @StPaulsWaldenSchoolGB

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

Well, that was a year and a half! Or at least, it certainly feels like it.

While we have to face up to the disappointment of a Requires Improvement grading from Ofsted, the school can be very proud of itself this year in the opinion of the governing body. The staff and governing body have both adjusted to remote working, and are now tackling the new ‘blended’ way of working. We have to be prepared for both ‘normal’ school and the possibility of a local lockdown in the future. Not all children have been back in school – some because there wasn’t space in the restricted bubbles and some because they or their parents are not comfortable with the level of risk involved. So in addition to face-to-face teaching of their bubbles, our teachers have continued to support Google Classroom as well as making preparations to smooth the return in September of those remaining children.

One of the issues the school is addressing in its new School Development Plan is communication with parents. Mrs Adshead and the staff will be addressing this in a number of ways, which will hopefully become apparent to you over time. As a governing body, we also want to improve our communication with you. (It is still important that you follow the Communications Policy if you have a concern with school, contacting your class teacher, Key Stage leader or Mrs Adshead in that order as governors are responsible for the strategic running of the school rather than the day-to-day operational running.)

Over the summer, we will be editing our page on the website. Rather than just posting the minutes of our meetings, from September we will write an update on our page at least every term and probably every half term, linking it to the school’s newsletter. (You can still request a copy of public governing body minutes from the Office) We will give you a summary of what we have been doing, including updates from our visits to school and our meetings with the school’s local authority advisors and other visitors to the school, where appropriate.

 

Good luck to our lovely Year 6s as they spread their wings in their new schools, huge thanks to Mrs Dollman for her many years of service and care for our children – and have a lovely summer, everyone!

 

Anne Reid

On behalf 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!

 GOVERNOR

CATEGORY COMMITTEE SPECIFIC GOVERNOR ROLE TERMS STARTS & ENDS
Mrs Nancy Adshead Headteacher HT Standards & Resources 31/8/18
Ms Erin Brookes Parent Standards  SEND 4/11/19 -3/11/23
Mrs Sulu Pike Parent New governor: roles to be decided  16/3/20 - 15/3/24
Mrs Jo Roberts Parent Resources GDPR 20/1/17 - 19/1/21
Vacant position - election to be held as soon as practical Parent
Mr Jonathan Bailes Staff Standards & Resources 11/3/19 - 10/3/23
Mrs Clare Alcock Co-opted New governor: roles to be decided  19/3/20 - 18/3/24
Mrs Liz Williams Co-opted Resources Finance 2019 - 2023
Anne Reid                 Chair Co-opted Standards & Resources EYFS 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.
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!
Paul Dawes Parent Left governing body on 3rd November 2019 when his 4 year term ended - Thanks, Paul!
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 (None at present)