GOVERNING BODY ANNUAL STATEMENT 2016-17
Our Head teacher, Mr. Woods is responsible for the day to day running of our school but we also have a Governing Body which is responsible for the strategic decisions made.
The pupils are the focus of all our discussions & decisions.
Regulations define three core functions of the Governing Body. These are;
- To set the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school
- To hold the Headteacher to account for the performance of the school and our pupils
- To ensure all our resources (staff, finances & buildings) are well managed
Each year, the Governing Body, together with Mr Woods and the senior leadership team, which includes our deputy heads, assistant heads and school business manager, agree on the School Development Plan which you will find in the section headed ‘parent information’ elsewhere on the school website. This plan sets out the priorities for the school in the current year, to enable our school to continue to improve. It is then the responsibility of Mr Woods and his senior leadership team to put the plan into practice.
At all our various Governing Body meetings through the year, governors focus on monitoring the progress made by school relating to the priorities in the development plan.
Here at St. Joseph’s the Governing Body was re-constituted in 2014, to comply with the latest recommendations. Our Governing Body is now made up of
2 staff governors (including our Headteacher),
2 elected parent governors,
9 foundation governors,
2 co-opted governors, and
1 local authority governor
Foundation Governors are appointed by the Bishop of our Diocese (Salford) and have a particular responsibility to preserve and develop our religious character in accordance with the rites, traditions and practices of the Roman Catholic faith.
Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who we believe have particular skills needed to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
All governors serve on the Governing Body voluntarily, giving their time free of charge.
The full Governing Body meets once each term and Governors also meet as committees to consider various aspects of the school in detail. At St Joseph’s we have the following committees:
Mission & Ethos
Standards & Welfare
Finance, Premises & Staffing
Performance Management of the Head Teacher
Admissions – As a voluntary aided school, the governors of St Joseph’s have responsibility for decisions regarding admissions of pupils to our school
There are also committees that meet, if needed, to consider matters such as pupil discipline, staffing appeals issues and complaints.
Governors have excellent attendance at meetings and we have never cancelled a meeting because it was not “quorate” (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made). You will find a link on the school website, in the section headed ‘Our school’, under ‘Governing Body’ giving full details of the names of all our governors and their attendance at meetings.
During the year members of the Governing Body have undertaken training in a wide range of areas, covering many aspects of our work. This is to ensure that we have the necessary skills to carry out our roles and also that we stay up to date on the latest developments in education.
Courses are reviewed regularly to ensure that they reflect both national initiatives and changes in legislation and have included
- Safer Recruitment
- Financial management
- Pupil Premium
- Understanding data
- Dealing with concerns & complaints
- Governors Annual conference
- Performance related pay & appeals
- Secondary Assessment
- Exclusion guidance
- The chair of the governing body attends the chairs briefing each term and is also a member of the schools forum
The minutes of Governing Body meetings are public documents. If you wish to see them, they are available via the school office.
What we have been doing this year
In 2015-16 we had another very busy year, working in close partnership with Mr. Woods, ensuring that St. Joseph’s functions well and maintains the appropriate range of academic and social objectives.
One of the roles for governors is reviewing and agreeing school policies. This year we have considered a number of key policies and significant work has continued on developing appropriate policies in the areas of Teaching & Learning, Attendance, Special Educational Needs, e-safety, Uniform, Relationship & Sex Education, Drugs Awareness, Child Protection and areas relating to our employment of staff. With the help of some of our parents, we are currently in the process of putting together an accessibility plan, to ensure everyone in our community is able to fully access all areas of school life. This will cover making sure we do all we are able to do with the resources we have available to make our school buildings accessible, but also ensuring all our children, whatever their ability, study the most appropriate curriculum to fulfil their potential, and are able to benefit from a rich experience during their time with us.
An important element of our work is conducting Performance Management of the Headteacher with the support and advice of our external adviser. We set targets for the future which are in line with the School Development Plan, covering school ethos, teaching and learning, and succession planning. We have regular meetings through the year to discuss progress being made.
Mission & Ethos Committee
We are very proud of our Catholic Ethos here in St Joseph’s, and believe it is one of our great strengths. As well as ensuring the highest of academic standards, the Governors are committed to encouraging our pupils to understand the meaning and significance of our faith. The focus of this committee is to ensure that our mission as a Roman Catholic High School permeates throughout our school community.
In 2015-16, we concentrated on moving forward together, evaluating the recent section 48 inspection and finding and scoping priorities for the 5Ws development plan. Section 48 inspections are carried out by the Diocese and examine to what extent our school reflects a deep commitment to the Church’s mission in education.
The 5Ws are- Word, Welcome, Welfare, Worship and Witness.
We have also had a number of presentations from some of our pupils who have given their input to this committee. The wonderful improvements to our school Chapel which were made over the Summer holiday were based on designs put together by some of our pupils.
Standards & Welfare Committee
The focus of this committee is to ensure that all our pupils are enabled to achieve to their full potential in a safe and happy learning environment.
We have spent time considering key data on the results of pupil progress and achievement, ensuring that all departments are fully up to date with the latest developments in curriculum and GCSE exams, and also ensuring systems are in place to encourage the highest standards of teaching. . Being mindful of the many changes currently occurring in education, from the data provided by feeder primaries to changes in the GCSE grades moving from A* – G to 9-1, as well as the content becoming more challenging, we have been kept informed about how these changes will be actioned in school, and the adjustments needed to internal assessment systems to ensure that they remain robust.
We are also concerned about our “vulnerable groups” of children and focus on how the Pupil Premium Grant is being spent by the school and what impact this has on their outcomes and wellbeing.
Link Governors, attached to particular departments, have formed strong links with Heads of Department and are invited to attend meetings in school. All this is so that we can be sure that the school is on track to fulfil its ambitious targets for all pupils.
We also look at different aspects of school discipline including attendance and uniform, and are always very pleased to hear about the many letters and phone calls praising the behaviour of students when they are outside school.
Finance, Premises and Staffing
This committee looks at the maintenance and development of the school premises, and, working in partnership with Mr. Woods and the school’s senior leadership team, makes decisions about how the school should use the budget.
We are committed to ensuring value for money in all areas across school, whilst delivering the best education for all our children with the limited finances available in the current challenging economic climate.
As St Joseph’s is a voluntary aided school, the Governors are the employers of the staff, and this committee has responsibility for their recruitment & wellbeing.
We have a clear vision for the future of the school; our goal is to become a beacon of excellence for Catholic education, where achievement, progress and success are celebrated, and faith deepened. Our aim is to provide a caring, secure, happy and stimulating environment for all stakeholders-pupils, parents & staff-providing a rich and varied experience for all and allowing every pupil to reach their potential, giving them the skills and attributes they need for a fulfilling life and enabling each one to fulfil God’s special purpose for them.
One of the most important responsibilities of the Governing Body is the selection of our Head Teacher. Following Mr Wood’s recent resignation, our immediate priority is carrying out the process to find his replacement, which we will do with support from both Salford Diocese and Bolton LA.
During 2016/17 some of the other main areas we will be focusing on are –
- ensuring that all departments are ready for the forthcoming changes to GCSEs, both in terms of their content, and the new grading system
- ensuring plans are in place to monitor the progress our pupils are making throughout their times with us, from year 7 to 11.
- ensuring all our groups of children fulfil their potential, for example, whether they are boys or girls, whatever their attainment prior to joining us at St Joseph’s, whatever subjects they choose to study, whether or not they have additional learning needs etc
We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents. Please contact our Chair of Governors Mrs Patti Jones by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the school office