2017 2018 Governor Board Attendance and Register of Interest
2018 2019 Governor Board Attendance and Register of Interest
GOVERNING BODY ANNUAL STATEMENT 2019-20
Role of the Governing Body
As the Governing Body of a Catholic school, our overarching responsibility lies in ensuring that the School is conducted in accordance with its Catholic character at all times, and this overriding duty (which is also a legal duty) permeates everything that we do. Further, in accordance with our legal obligations, the Governing Body endeavours to operate at a strategic level leaving the Headteacher and senior school leaders responsible and accountable to us for the operational day-to-day running of the School. It is by achieving these aims that we can be sure that our School has effective governance.
The three core functions of the Governing Body are:
• Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
• Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the School and its pupils, and for the internal organisation, management and control of the School, including performance management of staff; and
• Overseeing the financial performance of the School and making sure its money is well spent.
As an integral part of the vision for the holistic formation of children and young people Canon law (Church law) also requires that Catholic schools are at least as academically distinguished as other schools in the area and the Governing Body are mindful of this requirement in all that we do.
In 2018 Mr. McCabe followed up his “Delivering God’s Kingdom” philosophy. A consultation exercise was conducted with input from governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils, parents and clergy. The result was a brand new Mission Statement which we believe truly represents what it means to belong to St. Joseph’s school community.
Jesus Christ is our family role model
Opening our hearts and minds to dream the impossible and achieve beyond our wildest imagination.
Everybody is valued, nurtured and respected.
Young and old will journey together to build God’s Kingdom.
Striving for academic excellence and celebrating success in all we do.
We have an ambitious vision for our school community; within 3 three years St Joseph’s will become a truly outstanding Catholic school for our students. It will be a place where young people achieve beyond their own imaginations. There will be stability in staffing with vacancies arising as people are promoted to more senior positions. St Joseph’s will be a desirable place to work and will attract energetic new teachers. Learning and teaching will be characterised by practitioners who are hungry to grow, learning from each other and developing practice to have a more profound impact on the lives of young people. St Joseph’s will be the school of choice for parents and carers in the Bolton area due to the outstanding pastoral care and phenomenal progress outcomes. The community will see the impact of the life changing opportunities available to every young person through opportunities for spiritual development, the curriculum, the bucket list and extracurricular activities such as trips and other experiences. St Joseph’s will never be an exam factory but will be an experience that enables the young person to grow into an adult who can have a positive impact on the world and be equipped to build God’s Kingdom here on earth. Being part of our community will be a life changing adventure.
Governors and senior leaders are very aware that in recent times, some of our students have not made the progress of which they were capable, so in Spring 2018, the Governing Body entered into a co-operative arrangement with Bolton Local Authority and Salford Diocese which provides school to school support designed to accelerate the required improvements identified in our School Improvement Plan. Members of our staff have visited other schools in Bolton, enabling them to learn from and adopt the best teaching practices for the benefit of all of our students.
During the last academic year, Governors also arranged for an independent review of our governance procedures, facilitated by a National Leader of Governance (NLG). We are fully committed to ensuring that as a Governing Body, we are as effective and efficient as possible. With the assistance of the NLG, we produced an action plan and we are well on the way to putting into place the recommended improvements to our procedures.
When we were inspected by Ofsted in March 2019, we were pleased to hear that the team recognised that big improvements have been made in many areas across our school. The team was also satisfied that we have the right plans in place to ensure that improvements continue to embed and grow, to produce much improved outcomes for our students. All recommendations made by the team for areas to improve further have been included in the School Improvement Plan for this year.
Here at St. Joseph’s our Governing Body is made up of
2 staff governors (including our Headteacher),
2 elected parent governors,
8 foundation governors,
1 co-opted governor, and
1 local authority governor
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.
Our co-opted governor is appointed by the Governing Body and is someone who we believe has particular skills which 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 at least once each term and Governors also meet as committees to consider various aspects of the school in detail.
Following the NLG review of our Governance procedures, we have amended our committee structure to enable us to carry out our duties in a more focused and effective way.
Our new structure consists of the following committees-
Student Support (incorporating mission, wellbeing, personal development, behaviour, community)
Standards (incorporating curriculum, progress, outcomes)
Finance & Resources
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.
Earlier this year, Governors completed a skills audit, which confirmed that we have a really strong mix of skills on our Governing Body, however we are not complacent and are very keen to ensure that we always stay abreast of the latest developments in education both locally and nationally. To this end, we are members of the National Governance Association which provides us with weekly news updates and governors have also undertaken training in a wide range of areas, covering many aspects of our work.
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 local authority and Diocesan briefings each term and is also a member of the Bolton 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’.
Scope of Governing Body’s Responsibilities
The Governing Body acknowledges that we have overall responsibility for ensuring that St Joseph’s has an effective and appropriate system of control, financial and otherwise. However, such a system is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve our objectives, and can provide only a reasonable (as opposed to absolute) assurance against material misstatement or loss.
A Governing Body delegates the day-to-day responsibility to the Headteacher for ensuring financial controls conform with the requirements of both propriety and good financial management.
Committee Areas of Focus for the Coming Year
Student Support Committee (‘SSC’)
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 main areas of focus for the SSC this year will be-
• Continuing to ensure that safeguarding of our students is understood by all to be of the utmost importance, and that all the latest advice from the DfE regarding safeguarding and Child Protection is in place
• Review of 5Ws provision (welcome, witness, worship, word, welfare)
• Development of parish links so that the faith in school is sustained through the wider church.
• Continued focus on student behaviour including monitoring-
Development of a student friendly Behaviour Policy with clearly defined student expectations
Empowering staff at all levels to improve behaviour by equipping them with the analysis tools.
Further developing support for our students by re-defining roles and responsibilities in the Pastoral support team to provide focused staffing for inclusion, attendance, counselling and nurture.
Improved punctuality (between lessons) and attendance and tackling persistent absenteeism especially for groups of students who have historically had higher rates of absence
• Support for the well-being of students by encouraging metacognition and independent learning, culture, character, confidence and resilience
• Social, Moral Spiritual & Cultural education (SMSC) and Fundamental British Values (FBV)- SMSC/FBV will be explicit and will permeate the curriculum
• Mental Health
• Careers education and monitoring the ‘Gatsby standard’ action plan. The Gatsby standard is a national framework for good quality careers education
• Listening and responding to our stakeholders
We believe that St Joseph’s is a rapidly improving school but are aware that as yet improvement has not shown itself in outcomes. We want the very best possible outcomes for all our students, improving their life choices.
In the coming year, this committee will focus on monitoring
• the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom
• progress for all our learners through years 7 to 11 ensuring procedures are in place to support any student falling behind, with a particular focus on diminishing the differences for the most able, students with additional needs and disadvantaged students
• the curriculum, ensuring it is broad, coherent, balanced, progressive and prepares students for life.
• the quality of leadership at all levels
Finance and Resources Committee
The role of this committee is to ensure our resources, which includes the staff and buildings, are well managed and our budget is well spent.
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.
A major focus in the coming months will be successful completion of a new build to accommodate the additional pupils we will be welcoming over the next 4 years. Our ‘PAN’ (published admission number) is now 210 per year. We are looking forward to the modern facilities this will provide for the benefit of our students.
In addition, the committee will continue to ensure our ICT systems support learning and teaching in the classroom and the efficient running of financial and other systems
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