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Barham Primary School

Embedding Excellence

Barham Primary School

Embedding Excellence

Governors

Annual Governors’ Report to Parents October 2019.

INTRODUCTION FROM THE CHAIR OF GOVERNORS.

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

On behalf of the Board of Governors at Barham School, I wish you a very warm welcome to the academic year 2019-20. 

This report summarises our thinking about some of the next strategic steps Governors plan to take to enable and support the wonderful ambitions of the children and staff who work so hard in our school.

We wish to formally thank parents and families for all your invaluable roles relating to our many school successes.  In consultation with you all over the past few years, we have been able to grow from three to four classes in each year group from Reception to Year 6. As we agreed at our early meetings about the expansion, we have all successfully strived to maintain our family feel in which every single child feels supported and challenged.  If any of your children ever disclose that they do not have at least two trusted adults to talk to in the school please tell staff immediately and measures can be taken to put this right as a matter of urgency.

Most of the ongoing communications about your children will be with the class teachers and class based staff during the everyday life of the school. Where necessary our experienced Headteacher and senior team will assist.  However, this report gives you a brief summary of strategic plans from the School Governors’ more long term and more distanced perspective. It signposts links to where you can get further information should you wish to. At certain times in the coming year we will be asking you about your views on specific issues.  We summarise some of these topics in the report below.  Office staff will pass on letters to me if required at other times.

We are very much looking forward to the coming successes at Barham School.

With very warm wishes,

Daksha Thanki.

Chair of Governors.  

INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS.

Governors volunteer for the role and are appointed for a variety of reasons. The overall aim is that, across the team, we have an effective range of perspectives, skills and experiences.  Governors do not receive payment for their work but the Department for Education (DfE) makes our duties very clear in their Governors’ Handbook.  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/governance-handbook

“The purpose of governance is to provide confident and strong strategic leadership which leads to robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.

All governance boards, no matter what type of school or how many schools they govern, have three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.”

Details of the Board of Governors at present are:

Governors and Associate Members 2019.

Name

Governor Type

Term From

Term To

Roles 

Declarations.

Mrs Daksha Thanki*

Co-opted 

21-03-16

20-03-20

Chair of Governors

Community Governor at Alperton Community School.

Related to a member of support staff at Barham School.

Ms Karen Giles*

Headteacher

 

 

Headteacher

Chair of Inspire Partnership Board of Trustees

Mr Binod Singh

Co-opted 

21-03-16

20-03-20

Vice Chair of Governors

Chair of F&P Committee

 

Mr Elaine Webb

Co-opted 

23-03-19

22-03-23

 

 

Ms Ruthie Jacobs

Co-opted 

28-03-19 

27-03-23

 

 

Mr Matthew Parker

Co-Opted 

28-03-19

27-03-23

 

 

Mrs Anjni Dangi

Parent 

16-05-10

15-10-19

 

 

Mr Vijesh Patel*

Parent 

21-03-16

20-03-20

 Chair of SCHR     Committee

Community Governor at Alperton Community School

Mr Samir Pipalia

Parent 

28-03-19

27-03-23

 

 

Mr Naveed Saeed

Co-opted26

26-03-18

25-03-22

 

 

Mrs Shanta
van Amstel

Staff 

02-11-15

01-11-19

 

 

Mr Paul Lorber

Local Authority

09-05-19

08-05-23

 

 

Paulette Williamson

Co-opted

7.10.19

6.10.23

 

 

A link to our attendance record and Terms of our Committees are found in Governors on the website.

OUR VISION FOR THE SCHOOL AND HOW WE WILL GET THERE.

Barham Primary School Vision

Our overall vision is summarised in this quick “at-a-glance” graphic which we update each Autumn.  The Ethos and School Values designed to make this happen are clear all around the school. Each academic year staff and governors update a detailed Strategic Priorities document which explains how everyone is regularly checking learning and then judging when different actions need to be taken. Progress against the Strategic Priorities *1 -*5 is discussed by Governors at our termly meetings.  We routinely have one Main meeting, one Finance Committee meeting and one School, Community and Human Resources committee meeting every term. Other meetings take place when required.  

A Panel of Governors is delegated responsibility for the Performance Management of the Headteacher and for ensuring effective performance management systems for everyone. We expect the highest possible standards from all staff and, in return, we strive to ensure their wellbeing, professional development opportunities and rewarding roles in the school.*1

To keep ourselves fully informed, we usually consider three types of reports.  Reports from the Headteacher and senior staff are detailed and rigorous analyses of  the current quality of education and financial prudence.  Individual Governor’s Link Visit Forms give snapshots of particular issues we are interested in at different times.  External reports give us invaluable perspectives from people who may have little detailed knowledge of the school but who can help us to compare ourselves to other similar organisations. These include reports such as the latest OFSTED visit, Challenge Partners scrutiny, Brent Financial Audit recommendations, and many others.

A large number of the Governors duties are connected to compliance with statutory requirements. To keep ourselves up to date nationally we have Gold Membership of the National Governors’ Association.  www.nga.org.uk  and we all agree to adhere to the NGA Code of Conduct. As a state maintained school, we adopt many of the policies  of the London Borough of Brent. We make full use of the services they offer in relation to Health and Safety regulations, legal requirements, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and employment practices.  We continuously review our school agreed policies to ensure that they are up to date and relevant.  You can find all these Policies on our school website under About Us/Policies.

If you think school governance at one of the Brent schools may be of interest to you, you can find out more information at https://www.brent.gov.uk/services-for-residents/education-and-schools/student-and-school-information/school-governor/

THE CURRICULUM.

Our curriculum is everything taught to your children at Barham school. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, the National Curriculum for England and Wales and the local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) guidelines.  Additionally we include local projects and visits which staff believe greatly enrich the curriculum. As parents and carers you get full information from your year groups and the termly school Newsletters. Details of our current curriculum offer can be found on our website under Our Learning.

During the coming year we have set up a Working Party to review our curriculum.  We are interested in new research relating to sustainable development of world resources, ethical education in the early 21st century and how to continue to ensure that each child has the necessary self-belief to thrive in their families, in the countries in which they live, and also in the international and global settings they may find themselves. *3  We wish to explore new UK laws relating to Relationships education and Brent Local Authority is helping Headteachers with this.  We also want to look at further ways in which we can ensure competence and creativity in speaking, reading and writing in the English language.*2

OUTCOMES FOR PUPILS.

Through our surveys, our face to face meetings, our attendance at year group assemblies, discussions at coffee mornings and our reports from staff, we believe that you value the termly meetings about your children’s progress at school and feel well informed about what they learn, how they learn and how they are able to apply what they have learnt in the future.  Teaching staff continuously observe how children are learning.  They then tweak the activities to challenge and encourage them. One of our strategic priorities is to ensure that marking and feedback is manageable and helpful for all the children and the staff.  *4

School staff and governors carefully analyse patterns of attainment across the school.  So far the results over the past three years show lots of very good progress overall. We have noticed that a significant number of girls (and some boys) could benefit from being more assertive and active in group and class activities. *5.  This can be difficult if you are shy and nervous about getting something wrong. We have made this one of our school priorities.  All staff will be especially careful to put measures in place to encourage confident learning behaviours in every child.

National tests are useful in many ways and they give us the chance to compare how different groups of children in different schools are performing.  Every Autumn senior school leaders and governor representatives look carefully at these comparisons and put in place any additional  or altered provision needed as a result. We employ an external consultant to attend our Annual Review of Standards to ensure that we have both external and internal perspectives.

CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND/or DISABILITIES. 

Trainee Headteacher Ms Tina Murray continues to be responsible for co-ordinating all the extra support and interventions for children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities  in the school.  This includes keeping parents informed, holding annual review meetings, liaising with outside agencies involved with your child as well as over-seeing all aspects of this area.  A summary of this work is on the website Our Learning/SEND.

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND ADULTS.

We know that schools may seem to be places full of lots of rules and, as busy adults, these can sometimes seem frustrating.  However, these rules are essential for many reasons from basic safety to teaching life skills.  Many of the rules are designed by the children themselves – in their classrooms, through the School Council and through the School Cabinet.  Some are legal Safeguarding requirements.  Some are put in place to reduce the risks of an accident or mistake happening again. Thank you for supporting these measures and for Immediately reporting anything that you think looks wrong or potentially dangerous.

An orderly, respectful environment is the most powerful aspect of a safe school.  The excellent behaviour of the children at Barham, and the vigilance and care of adults, is commented on by all visitors and external assessors. We are determined to maintain these exemplary standards.    Regular attendance is another key driver and we thank you for following our Attendance Policy.

At times there may be reasons when you need to meet more regularly than usual with school staff in relation to one of your children.  The full staff list is on the website and your child’s class teacher or staff in the Front Office will help you with initial queries.

SCHOOL FINANCES.

We make every effort to spend the money delegated to the school wisely and effectively.  In this time of financial austerity we are pleased to have been able to spend within budget during the Financial Year 2018/19 while maintaining high standards in our fully subscribed school.  Our latest Brent Internal Audit Report in July 2019 confirmed that overall we have adequate processes and good controls operating in the school.    More details about how we use our Pupil Premium and Sports Grant are on the school website under About Us.  If you are entitled to receive Free School Meals, but wish to provide lunchtime food for your child personally, it still helps school finances if you register with Brent Council.

RESPONSES TO THE GOVERNORS’ ANNUAL REPORT TO PARENTS.  If you wish to respond to any parts of this report, Cristiane Burke, based in the School Front Office, is keeping a file for us to peruse at our Full Governors’ Meeting in November.  Please give her any responses by the 31st October 2019.

Copies of governors' minutes can be made available on request at the front office.  Please give three days notice.

With many thanks.