Annual Governors Statement

Annual Governor Statement to Parents

Introduction

Tibshelf is a Community school – which means that it is state funded via the Local Authority, who owns the land, employs the staff and sets the admission arrangements.

The Governing Body is a group of volunteers from the community who provide local oversight of the school. This includes

  •  Appointment of the Head Teacher
  •  Setting the broad aims and ethos of school
  •  Discussing and agreeing strategic plans
  •  Ensuring that the Headteacher is running the school effectively, ensuring pupils achieve according to their potential.
  •  Ensuring that we are spending the school’s budget wisely

Purpose of Statement

This statement is designed to provide a brief overview of the governor activities and impact of those activities.

Key Activities

We have worked with our new Head Teacher, Mike Pollard, on a statement of the aspirations, aims and ethos of the school. This ensures that our strategy is clearly directed to a common set of objectives, and helps all those involved with the school understand the values and aims of the school. This can be viewed by clicking here.

Looking at how the schools vision has developed:

  • This is the first time that the school’s vision has been condensed into a written statement and shared with staff, parents and pupils
  • We continue to cherish the long established nurturing and caring environment of Tibshelf, which parents and pupils have consistently valued over the years
  • There is increased emphasis on high aspirations for children of all abilities and backgrounds – promoting achievement and challenging low expectations.
  • We have promoted our role in developing citizens with a global perspective, valuing diversity and developing the critical thinking skills necessary to recognise and question prejudice.

We have continued to adapt to the changing expectations of Governing Bodies, where the traditional role of ‘critical friend’ has been further developed to include a more strategic and directional role. In light of this, the governing body has restructured itself to include a strategic group, that ensures that the work of our various committees is well directed and focussed on identified priorities from our School Improvement Plan. We have also created links between the members of the Leadership Team and the committees to ensure that governors have direct access to to the senior leaders with responsibility in the focus areas for the committee, ensuring that governors gain a broader insight into the school than can be provided purely by the Head

A significant challenge for the school this year has been to create a curriculum provision worthy of our students whilst also needing to provide a balanced budget in the context of falling revenue. The Governors have worked alongside the Senior Leaders to do this, working on the following principles:

  • Focus on quality, with a particular emphasis on the core subjects of English, Maths and Science
  • As broad a provision as we could afford without compromising on quality
  • Balancing pupils’ desire for freedom of choice with the needs of the economy and government directives
  • Governors were particularly keen to ensure that the creative subject provision (e.g. art, drama, design & technology) was not squeezed out by other pressures – recognising the value of these subjects in providing a rich and broad education.
  • Ensuring that the curriculum provides academically stretching subjects (e.g. triple science) and quality vocational provision – recognising the equal importance of both to our society and economy
  • Where compromise was necessary (e.g. music provision) we would look for alternative arrangements in the short term and look for opportunities for future expansion wherever possible

In order to help us in our role of ‘holding the Head Teacher to account’, the governors have engaged in significant in-house training in understanding of school data.

Always mindful of our need to take all reasonable steps to protect the children entrusted to the care of the school, the governing body has a governor dedicated to supporting the school and other governors in fulfilling their duties. This includes school audits and facilitating training for governors.

A particular focus for the school this year has been on ensuring that our dedicated funding for children from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds has been used effectively – supporting our aim of raising aspirations and challenging low expectations.

Impact

This has been the first year for our new Head Teacher, Mike Pollard. Mike’s appointment marks the beginning of what we hope will be a more settled period

following on from the turbulent period of expansion and contraction during the support and absorption of Deincourt, the rebuild and relocation, and the retirement of our former Head Teacher, Peter Crowe. At the end of the first year, all the indications are that the school is thriving under Mike’s leadership.

 Ultimately the work of the governors will be judged by the attainment of pupils and by the wider aspects of education provided by the school. As a Governing Body, we are proud to be able to report that under the leadership of Mike Pollard and his team, combined with the skill and dedication of the staff, the school has shown significant improvement and strong performance in most subject areas, as well as continuing to provide for the wider educational needs of the pupils.

  • Academically we are particularly pleased with the strong performance of the school in the fundamental subjects of English, Maths and Science
  • The above has been achieved whilst continuing to cater for the wider aspects of school life, such as the provision of first rate drama and school performances, creating precious memories for pupils, parents and staff.

Training in school data has helped governors get gain a deeper understanding of the diverse needs of children at the school. Although every child has a unique set of learning needs, examining different groups of children (e.g. boys and girls) helps us evaluate whether the school is being equally effective with all groups. From this work we are able, for example, to conclude that the school is currently more effective than most in getting the best from boys and in its work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The work of our Aspire Team along with a number of other creative initiatives in improving performance of our disadvantaged pupils has been independently assessed and found to be effective and exemplary – leading to the school being asked to provide guidance to other schools.

Full Governing Body.

 
 
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