We can only have one Twitter account linked to the website, so we'll have to just tell you about ours - @StPaulsWaldenSchoolGB
The end of another school year, and I think you all (children, parents, staff and governors) deserve a massive round of applause for the hard work you’ve done and discipline you’ve shown. Thanks to you, our school has been able to stay open, doing its job for the good of the children.
The governing body has just had its last meetings of the year – Resources and Standards sub-committees and a Full Governing Body meeting. We continue to run these meetings remotely, as we don’t want to undermine the school’s anti-Covid efforts. Although we haven’t had a proper programme of governor visits for over a year, we have developed virtual visits (OK, sometimes just a phone call…), and received lots of reports from staff and outside advisors. Those advisors include external moderators, whose job it is to gauge our teachers’ judgements of their pupils’ progress and attainment. All the evidence points to a school where the children’s education has suffered much less than average, with the most recent moderator, who looked at Year 6, complimenting the school on both what was offered during remote learning and what the school is doing now. This includes the pre- and post-learning on Google Classrooms, which we encourage parents and children across the school to use as support. Early evidence from teachers is that it can really help children to ‘get’ new concepts at their own rate – something everyone can benefit from.
As well as dealing with the practicalities of Covid, including developing the use of Google Classroom, Mrs Adshead and the staff have really worked hard on some of the less visible elements of the school, including switching to the new Arbor information system and a new Child Protection and behaviour monitoring system (CPOMs). They’ve transformed the teaching and learning of phonics, and are moving onto Spelling next. Mrs Brady is really tackling the challenges of our building and grounds, with lots of work being done over the summer and autumn term to improve the environment for children and staff.
Have a fantastic summer – and roll on a successful autumn!
(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!|
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.