Christ Church Primary SW9

Board of Governors: Annual Report on Governance 2015-2016

This year the Board of Governors met five times and held seven scrutiny group or panel meetings in order to carry out their core function of:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

This year, the national system of ‘levels’ for measuring attainment, achievement, and progress having ended, the governors monitored the system introduced by the school to replace this. Throughout the year the Governors monitored and questioned national data, and the data provided by the school and the local authority, concerning the educational progress and attainment of pupils, pupil attendance, and the overall achievements of the school. The Board also continued to monitor the impact of the pupil premium, additional sports funding and the particular curricular enrichments in use in the school. Governors were pleased to see both the number of children on the school roll increase through the year, and also a very notable increase in the number of applications for places in September 2016, in spite of the continued surplus of school places in the local area.

In July the governors reviewed the test results for this year.   A small class size in year 6, with unusually high numbers of pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEND), English as an Additional Language (EAL), or who had joined the school in year 6 during the year, led the staff to predict that these Key Stage 2 results would not be as good as in recent years. This situation was exacerbated by a totally new style of test, which was particularly challenging for pupils with SEND or EAL; consequently the ‘Key Stage 2’ results this year appear very disappointing. However, Governors were pleased to note that some children had reached levels significantly higher than the age expected level. Governors also wanted to know about the progress that each year 6 child had made during their time at the school, particularly given that some children had arrived at the school at a level significantly lower than the age expected level. From the evidence available 85% of the children made at least expected progress with 61% exceeding expected levels of progress. Senior staff outlined planned changes, taking into account the style of the new tests, to improve on these test results next year.   The ‘Key Stage 1’ results however, are very encouraging, particularly in the improvement in writing following the interventions made during the year. Similarly the ‘Early Years’ results showed improvement and the ‘Attendance’ for the year had reached a level not seen for at least 14 years.

The Governors have long held the view that ideally the school would be part of a larger group or federation of schools. When the headteacher announced that she would be leaving at the end of this school year governors investigated the possibility of using this opportunity to join with another school in a ‘soft federation’. Of key importance was the need to secure the input of an experienced headteacher who would be able to continue to provide the school with excellent leadership and management.   The governors were very pleased to be able to secure such a link with St Andrew’s Primary School, Stockwell; a school of similar size and make up to Christ Church, and a school which also has a ‘good’ OFSTED rating.  Because this is the federation of two schools of similar strength, and not the result of a weaker school needing the support of a stronger school, the Governors of both schools decided to emphasise this by calling the soft federation the ‘SW9 Partnership’. The new Partnership takes effect from September 2016; and Mrs Jayne Mitchell becomes the new Executive headteacher. Both schools retain their own Board of Governors, and a Partnership Committee made up of representatives from both boards will oversee the Partnership.

The link with the parish Church of Christ Church Brixton Road plays an important part in maintaining the distinctively Church of England ethos of the school. The Boards vision for the ethos of the school is set out in the ‘Guiding Principles’ which can be viewed on the school web site. Key to both the selection and the implementation of these is the Board’s concern that the school is organised and run in a way that will make full and effective use of the resources available to maximise educational outcomes for the pupils.

Tim Jeffreys,

Chair of Governors

July 2016

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