Annual Governance Statement 2015
What does the governing body do?
The three core strategic functions of the Wolverdene Special School Governing Body are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, values and strategic direction;
- Holding the Head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
How is it made up?
The constitution of the governing body is:
Four Parent Governors, two Staff Governors (to include
the Headteacher), one LEA Governor and eight Co-Opted Governors.
All governors serve 4 year terms and may be re-elected after that time.
If you would be interested in becoming a Governor at this dynamic special school, please get in touch with the Chair of Governors through the School Office. In particular, we would very much welcome applications from Parent Governors (this also includes grandparents and carers!).
How does it work?
The Full Governing Body meets twice each term, once in each half. We also have four committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail, which also meet twice a term. These committees are:
Curriculum Committee: The Curriculum Committee work with the senior management team to oversee the school curriculum and how this meets the needs of learners across the school. The Curriculum Committee also oversees pupil progress, both academically and emotionally each term.
Finance Committee: The Finance Committee is responsible for scrutinising and recommending the school budget to the full governing body, as well as working with the senior management team to construct strategic financial plans. The committee ensures expenditure by the school is best value, efficient and effective and that systems of internal financial control are appropriate.
Lodge Committee: The Lodge is our small residential unit. The Lodge committee is responsible for providing a range of support, including help and advice on management, staffing and maintenance, checking records and, most importantly, visiting the Lodge before and after school so that we get to know the children and what goes on there.
Personnel Committee: The Personnel Committee oversees staffing issues within the school including performance management, staff wellbeing and staffing structure.
All committees have terms of reference which are reviewed regularly. We also have governors with specific responsibility for Safeguarding, Looked After Children and Health & Safety.
What has the Governing Body achieved in the last year?
Much of the work of the Governing Body is directed by our main strategic document, the School Improvement Plan. This is put together every year by governors in consultation with the headteacher and other stakeholders, it provides a blueprint for the focus of the year ahead, including robust means of measuring whether we have been successful or not. Individual governors are allocated one or more sections of the SIP and are responsible for monitoring its progress.
In the last year, our priorities have been:
- To identify opportunities for outside learning and improvements to outside areas of school
This has result in the overhaul and redesign of the school grounds including the car park, making arrival and departure for the children much safer and calmer. Additional outdoor play equipment has been installed and the use of our external classroom at Linkenholt has been very successful in promoting children’s academic and social learning.
- Develop a system to identify and support pupil progress
This is a highly complex piece of work which helps us to measure accurately – and report to the Local Authority as we are required to do – each child’s progress. A new system was needed due to national changes in the way this is measured. Our new system is installed and work continues to resolve the complexities of applying it to a special school.
- To improve the quality of teaching and learning so pupils make accelerated progress in Maths and English
A procedure is successfully in place that identifies quickly any children who are not making expected progress, so that interventions can be put in place. These interventions are carefully monitored and evaluated to ensure they are effective.
- Improve facilities at the Lodge in order to increase pupil engagement
Over the last year, improvements to the lodge have seen a library area created for reading and one to one work. Proposed alterations to the kitchen have been put on hold due to budgetary restraints but bathroom improvements are currently underway.
- Improve pupil progress and attainment in writing
Writing has been given a raised focus throughout the school with significant success with data showing that 95% of children making above average progress.
- Ensure all children continue to remain safe and are moving towards managing their behaviour independently
CAMHS clinics now run monthly in the school and consultations for staff are arranged with both Educational psychologist and CAMHs practitioners. Focussed staff training has led to increased engagement with pupils across the school and a reduction in time lost to pupils being out of class.
In addition, governors have supported, advised and acted as “critical friend” in a wide variety of areas. An integral element of this is supporting the school in managing extreme challenging behaviour through a carefully constructed and inspiring curriculum. This has resulted in no child being excluded for either a fixed period or permanently over the last academic year, despite a rising trend in exclusions in the UK generally.
We visit the school regularly to meet the headteacher and other staff; we conduct exit interviews for any staff who leave and we help interview new senior staff; we enjoy school occasions such as the inspirational weekly Celebration Assemblies and help prepare and serve the school Christmas dinner (one of our number has the vital role of Father Christmas….)
In order to fulfil our roles successfully, it is important that we undertake regular training. Some of this takes the form of whole Governing Body training (this year, on Safeguarding and on how to undertake school visits effectively), while other training is attended by individuals who want to find out more about specific areas. This year, this has included Holding Leaders to Account, Understanding Finance, an Ofsted Framework Briefing, Prevent in Schools and attending the Hampshire Special Schools conference. All new governors undertake special induction training.
We have managed the school’s finances effectively within the delegated budget, despite many uncertainties, and always remaining mindful that the school’s investment in its staff is key to its ongoing success and effectiveness, both within the school and the wider educational community in Hampshire.
What will the GB be looking at over the next year?
In the next year, our School Improvement targets include continuing to improve the quality of teaching and learning so pupils make accelerated learning in English and Maths and to continue developing our systems of measuring pupil progress; to improve provision for staff and pupil wellbeing; to improve the impact of inter-professional working so that Social, Emotional and Mental Health outcomes are improved for our pupils; to improve the facilities within the Lodge and to develop the capacity of the school so that its influence may benefit a broader educational community.
|Full Governing Body Meetings||% attendance||Those present|
|29th September 2015||90%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Laura Bell, Felicity Breau, Alex Collister, Phillippa Dempsey, Peter Graham, Kelly Greenwood, Elizabeth Maclay, Carol Rooke, Jonathan Rouse|
|24th November 2015||100%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Laura Bell (Chair), Felicity Breau, Alex Collister, Phillippa Dempsey, Peter Graham (Vice Chair), Kelly Greenwood, Elizabeth Maclay, Karen Rae, Carol Rooke, Jonathan Rouse|
|19th January 2016||82%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Laura Bell (Chair), Alex Collister, Phillippa Dempsey, Peter Graham (Vice Chair), Elizabeth Maclay, Karen Rae, Carol Rooke, Jonathan Rouse|
|15th March 2016||82%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Laura Bell (Chair), Felicity Breau, Alex Collister, Phillippa Dempsey, Elizabeth Maclay, Karen Rae, Carol Rooke, Jonathan Rouse|
|17th May 2016||83%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Laura Bell (Chair), Alex Collister, Phillippa Dempsey, Peter Graham (Vice Chair), Kelly Greenwood, Elizabeth Maclay, Robert Oxlade, Karen Rae, Carol Rooke|
|28th June 2016||63%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Alex Collister, Peter Graham (Vice Chair), Kelly Greenwood, Elizabeth Maclay, Robert Oxlade, Carol Rooke|
|Lodge Committee||% attendance||Those present|
|22nd September 2015||80%||Laura Bell, Elizabeth Maclay, Sean Yates, Erika Pickett|
|20th November 2015||80%||Laura Bell, Elizabeth Maclay, Sean Yates, Erika Pickett|
|12th January 2016||80%||Laura Bell, Elizabeth Maclay, Sean Yates, Erika Pickett|
|8th March 2016||80%||Laura Bell, Alex Collister, Sean Yates, Erika Pickett|
|13th May 2016||83%||Laura Bell, Alex Collister, Elizabeth Maclay, Sean Yates, Erika Pickett|
|8th July 2016||83%||Laura Bell, Alex Collister, Elizabeth Maclay, Sean Yates, Erika Pickett|
|Finance Committee||% attendance||Those present|
|22nd September 2015||83%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Peter Graham (Chair), Laura Bell, Alex Collister, Alison Lynch (Associate Member)|
|17th November 2015||83%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Peter Graham (Chair), Laura Bell, Alex Collister, Alison Lynch (Associate Member)|
|12th January 2016||66%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Peter Graham (Chair), Laura Bell, Alison Lynch (Associate Member)|
|11th March 2016||83%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Peter Graham (Chair), Laura Bell, Alex Collister, Alison Lynch (Associate Member)|
|13th May 2016||83%|
|24th June 2016||66%||Paul Van Walwyk (Headteacher), Peter Graham (Chair), Alex Collister, Alison Lynch (Associate Member)|
|September 2015||66%||Ben Beavan, Pippa Dempsey|
|November 2015||66%||Ben Beavan, Pippa Dempsey|
|January 2015||66%||Ben Beavan, Pippa Dempsey|
|March 2015||66%||Ben Beavan, Pippa Dempsey|
|May 2015||66%||Ben Beavan, Pippa Dempsey|
Click on the link for Governor details