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

15th January 2021 

 

Dear Parents/Carers, 

I know you have had lots of communication from school lately, as we transition to partial opening and remote learning, so I am not going to have this emailed out, but just want to share it with you. When Mrs Adshead was updating the governors recently, she mentioned that some parents had written supportive emails, which really kept the staff going. I didn't realise there were so many...

 

(We still have one vacancy for a parent governor to join our team of governors. If you are interested in joining us, 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.)

 

Anne Reid

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!

 GOVERNOR

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
Position vacant Parent
Position vacant Staff
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.

Click here for our Governors' Handbook, and click here for our committees' Terms of Reference