The Governing Body Structure
There are four types of school governors within the composition of the Governing Body. It is essential that they maintain a balanced view on the way that the school is run and that they use a wide range of business skills in helping the school in maintaining continuous improvement.
Kitwell currently has agreed that there will be 12 school governors. Three will be Parent Governors, one will represent the Local Authority, there will be one Staff Governor and then the Head Teacher will normally be a member of the Governing Body. The remainder will be Co-opted Governors, recruited to bring in broader business experience. The Local Authority has set the template for the structure that Governing Bodies are required to adopt.
The School Governors at Kitwell are:
Mrs Helene Griffin (Chair of the Governing Body) - Finance Committee
Mr Hywel Williams (Vice-Chair of the Governing Body) – LEA Governor – Finance Committee
Mr Alastair Willcox - Co-opted
Mrs Michele Shevels - Head Teacher
Mrs Sue Buntin
Mr Philip McCahill
Mrs Jennie Keen - Staff Governor
Mrs Tayyaba Shargeel - Parent Governor
Mrs Laura Mason - Parent Governor
Ms Pam Copeland - Co-opted – Curriculum and Data Committee
Mr Peter Kendrick – Deputy Head Teacher
The Governing Body has just enlarged to 12 members. This and a retirement leaves 2 vacancies. The Governing Body is always looking for members and if you are interested in becoming a Governor, please speak to Mrs Shevels.
The School Governing Body meets twice a term and there are two sub-committees, one for Finance and Building and one for Curriculum. These meet once per term. However, Governors are expected to take a special interest in one or two aspects of the school’s activity and they will need to attend school at least once per term to deliver this responsibility and report on their visit to the Governing Body
Successful schools are a partnership of pupils, parents, teachers and governors. This partnership has seen major improvements that improve inclusiveness and opportunity for all of its pupils. The school has a high proportion of children who would be entitled to free school meals and many children also have special needs. The school has additional funding through Pupil Premium to help all children maximise their potential so that Kitwell has pupils that are happy, safe, and have a clear view of how they are going to reach their potential and be ready for the challenges of the change to secondary school.
The annual Parents’ Survey continues to show that the children and parents are happy with the way children learn and the environment in which this takes place and now Governors are meeting parents on Open Days and Parents’ Evenings to ask what parents think about Kitwell and to explore how we might become better.
The Governors welcome the review of performance by external assessment as this can only lead to improvement and the Governors will themselves be reviewed by an external assessor later in the year.
Every school is required by law to have a Governing Body. School Governors are volunteers who create time to support the school and the teachers whilst maintaining the challenge to seek continuous improvement in attainment.
In March 2016 the school had an OFSTED inspection and once again the school was rated “good”. This reflects the outstanding work of Mrs Michele Shevels, our Head Teacher, who had been in post for just under 2 years at the time. Not only had the OFSTED standards been raised since our last inspection in 2011, but the school had been without a Head Teacher, for nearly 2 years whilst she was on loan to a failing school. This created enormous pressure in the school leadership team remaining in place. Bringing fresh ideas, Mrs Shevels undertook a very thorough review of the schools policies and effectiveness and the changes she has put in place have begun deliver some very positive outcomes that have put the school into an upward trajectory that was clearly recognised by the OFSTED inspector.
Particularly, the school has now made major changes to the way that Special Needs are addressed and this has boosted confidence and morale across all staff. Good teaching is being evidenced by improving pupil attainment and happy children.
The OFSTED inspector reported that the Governors were supportive and loyal, keeping themselves up to date with what is happening in the school. However, the role of Governors has evolved into one of a more active involvement in holding the school leadership team to account for the difference they all make in delivering an ever improving level of attainment for all pupils.
This change of role, required by OFSTED means that the Governors must bring a wide range of skills from the business and public sector into the job of school governance. The day to day management of the school clearly rests with the school leadership team, but Governors are responsible for agreeing and then ensuring that the school meets its priorities and goals by seeking out evidence of progress. Governors also ensure that the school is working within its budget and using its resources in a wise and accountable way.
The Governors are proud of what the children and teachers at Kitwell are achieving together. The Governors will be there to support the school and review progress as part of our joint venture to make Kitwell an even better school.
Report by Hywel Williams - Vice-Chair of the Governing Body