2017 2018 Governor Board Attendance and Register of Interest
2018 2019 Governor Board Attendance and Register of Interest
GOVERNING BODY ANNUAL STATEMENT 2020-21
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.
Our mission was reviewed in 2018 by a group combining 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.
Within three years St Joseph’s will have become an outstanding school for our young people. It will be a place where, due to a strong sense of belonging young people achieve beyond their own imaginations. Progress outcomes for all students but especially for the most able, disadvantaged and those with SEND will be above national. 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 learn as Learning and Teaching will be characterised by practitioners who are hungry to grow, learning from each other developing practice to have more profound impact on the lives of young people. The school environment will be increasingly inspiring and the school will be oversubscribed as parents and carers see the life changing opportunities available to every young person through the curriculum, the bucket list and extracurricular activities such as trips and other experiences. St Joseph’s will promote academic excellence and will be an experience that enables the young person to grow into an adult who can have a positive impact on the world. Being part of our community is a life changing adventure.
At our full Governing Body meeting this term, Mr McCabe was able to demonstrate the considerable progress made towards achieving this vision.
At both the Welfare Committee meetings and meetings of the full Governing Body governors also hold the school to account for the religious education and religious life of the school through the S48 Self Evaluation process
Governors and senior leaders are very aware that in recent times, some of our students had not been making the progress of which they were capable. This situation has been addressed and we have been very pleased to see that the focus on building the right culture in school which involved creating clarity of expectations for everyone in the community whilst balancing challenge with the right levels of support in an open and transparent atmosphere had begun to have the necessary impact. This has been confirmed by external school improvement professionals in their reports of school visits.
When we were inspected by Ofsted in March 2019, we were pleased to hear that the inspection team recognised that big improvements had been made in many areas across our school. The team was also satisfied that we had the right plans in place to ensure that improvements continue to embed and grow, to produce much improved outcomes for our students.
We were extremely hopeful that the impact of all this hard work would be evident in the outcomes for 2020, but of course due to the pandemic, the 2020 exams did not take place. Nevertheless, the rigorous process carried out by our teachers and school leaders confirmed that our students have been making much improved progress, in line with their peers nationally.
Plans for 2020/21
As stated above, considerable progress has been made towards achieving the 3 year vision, but of course in 2020, our school community has been massively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. When our students returned to school full time in September, the initial focus was on helping them settle back into school life in these very different conditions, with a particular focus on the well-being of our students and staff. Details of the school improvement plan for this year can be seen on the following page of our school website https://stjosephsbolton.org.uk/our-school/school-improvement-plan/
At our full Governing Body & committee meetings for this year we will monitor progress made in all the key areas highlighted in the School Improvement Plan.
Governors have also reviewed our practices and adapted them for the current circumstances. Our meetings have been virtual since the beginning of the pandemic, and we have also reviewed our special governor link roles, to ensure we are focusing on the key areas. The link roles we have in place for this year are; Safeguarding, SEND, Careers, Pupil Premium, Health & Safety (including Covid), Data Protection, Wellbeing (of students and staff), Governor Training
Our Governing Body is made up of
2 staff governors (including our Headteacher),
2 elected parent governors,
8 foundation governors,
1 co-opted governor
1 local authority governor
I associate member (Parish Priest of our nearest parish)
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.
Our Associate Member, who is Parish Priest of our nearest parish, attends the Student Welfare Committee meetings, to offer advice and guidance regarding our mission as a Catholic 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 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 and The Key for School Governors which provide us with regular news updates. Governors also undertake training in a wide range of areas, covering many aspects of our work.
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.