GOVERNING BODY ANNUAL STATEMENT 2017-18
Our Head teacher, Mr. McCabe is responsible for the day to day running of our school but we also have a Governing Body with responsibility for our school ethos and for 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 McCabe and the senior leadership team, which includes our deputy heads, assistant heads and school business manager, agree on the School Improvement 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 the pupils in our care to achieve their potential and be the best versions of themselves, both academically and spiritually.
At our Governing Body meetings through the year, governors monitor the progress made in school relating to the priorities in the improvement plan.
Here at St. Joseph’s the Governing Body was re-constituted in 2014, to comply with the latest recommendations. Our Governing Body is currently 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
We are in the process of reducing our numbers, following the resignation of one of our long standing co-opted governors.
Foundation Governors are appointed by the Bishop of our Diocese of 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. Governors complete a skills audit which enables the chair to establish any training requirements that may be required.
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
Training is provided by the Local Authority and Salford Diocese for new governors who are also assigned an existing governor who acts as a ‘buddy’.
What we have been doing this year
One of the most important responsibilities of the Governing Body is the selection of our Head Teacher. In December 2016, we appointed Mr. McCabe to that role, and our continuing focus is to support Mr. McCabe to fulfil our school mission.
Since Mr. McCabe joined us in May this year, governors have been working in close partnership with him, with a particular focus on ensuring that our most vulnerable students are given all the support they need to allow them to achieve their full potential. This has included a re-organisation of Student Support Services, a new lesson structure; ‘LEARNing episodes’ a focus on Attendance, and a review of the Behaviour Policy & Procedures.
Another 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 Improvement Plan. The Appraisal Panel have regular meetings with Mr McCabe through the year to discuss progress being made.
Mission & Ethos
We are very proud of our Catholic Ethos here at St. Joseph’s and believe it is one of our great strengths. As well as aiming for 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 the Mission & Ethos committee is to ensure that our mission as a Roman Catholic High School permeates throughout our school community.
In 2016/17 we continued to concentrate on the Salford Diocese 5 W’s ( Word, Welcome, Welfare , Worship and Witness). Our School Chaplain has played an important role in supporting staff and pupils. One of our priorities has been improving links with local parishes and communities. An excellent example of this is how our pupils have volunteered to help out at the St Mary’s Parish Luncheon Club for local elderly people organised by parishioners.
When Mr. McCabe joined us as new Head Teacher in May 2017, he introduced us to a new vision of building God’s Kingdom here in St. Joseph’s. We used our Inset day in January 2018 to examine and update our school Mission Statement to reflect this.
Standards & Welfare Committee
The focus of this committee is to ensure that all our students 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 that our students begin to make progress from the moment they start St Joseph’s and we have been shown how the data provided by the primary schools is used to help make sure that by the time students leave school they do so with the best possible outcomes.
We believe that all students, including our “vulnerable groups” should make progress that is in line with their peers. In order to gain an understanding of how this is achieved we 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 inform ourselves of the work that is being done in order to ensure 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. McCabe 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 very 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, appraisal & wellbeing.
We have a clear vision for the future of the school; our goal is to become a beacon of excellence for Catholic education, founded on the teachings and example of Christ, 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.
We began this academic year by inviting all members of our community to join us on a life changing adventure. During 2017/18 one of our main priorities will be to ensure that our curriculum offers appropriate paths of study and qualifications for all our pupils, whatever their ability and areas of strength.
A large proportion of our pupils join our school in year 7 having achieved excellent results at key stage 2. A particular area of focus at present is to ensure that all our pupils have enjoyable, challenging learning experiences throughout their time with us, to ensure that they continue to make great progress.
We will also maintain our focus on ensuring that everyone in our community is encouraged to grow and develop in their faith. During this year, we will be re-examining our Mission Statement, to enable all governors, staff, students, parents and carers to play an active role in living and promoting our school’s Catholic Christian Ethos.
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