Governors’ Annual Statement

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body of FNS July 2020

The Governing Body has continued to develop and establish the senior leadership team who are well embedded into the school and implementing their ideas through the School Improvement and Development Plan. The Governors and whole staff team collaborate on the plan. The Committees have been engaged in many areas.  Set out below are the main involvements in the past year:

Standards and Development Committee

  • Provided support and challenge around the further development of the curriculum to meet the needs of the pupils.
  • We have reviewed the safeguarding systems in place for the arrival of staff, pupils and visitors to enter the school. This has included the installation of an electronic gateway on the drive to be secure the site as well as input and advice to the senior team around protocols in response to Covid safe environments.
  • Strategic decisions made with respect to the use of Pupil Premium based on provision map information provided.
  • Safeguarding training has been attended covering both standard and Covid aware elements Monitoring of teaching, learning, and the learning environment has been impacted by Covid, however prior to this we visited school to understand more around the interventions that take place in school. In particular governors focused on acquisition of language and communication, meeting and talking with the PSI lead and those who deliver the interventions.
  • Governors’ other area of focus has been in support of school preparing for the statutory changes to the RSHE curriculum and have been a part of the policy development and discussions around the ethos and approach being delivered currently and in the future through school.
  • Monitoring of attendance and overview of admissions continues to be evaluated and the increasing numbers of pupils on roll and demand for places through tribunal causes Governors some concern as our popularity exceeds our capacity
  • Monitoring Orchard House in particular posing challenge and support through the changes to the management structure following expansion of numbers and reorganisation of staffing.
  • Monitoring of staff and Headteacher well being and workload for all has been raised and is particularly pertinent given the impact and implications on the team for increased home based working and support of families through COVID over the summer term.
  • Reviewing policies
  • Reviewed Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development of the pupils Leadership and Management as well as Outcomes elements of the SEF and linked areas of the SIDP.

Resources

  • Overseen health and safety records and appointed a new H&S governor who has attended training.
  • Governors have continually monitored the budget and supported decision making around significant purchase such as the improvements to the ICT hardware to support working in school and for those at home. The school has also enhanced it’s telephone system to improve connectivity across and out of the site.
  • Following the previous years review of HR and the finance and administrative processes in school the Governors supported a review and restructure of the admin team. This has increased efficiency and capacity within the team and better equips the school for the demands being made up on it.
  • Governors have continued to review the grounds maintainance team following a change of provider the previous year. This is working well and grounds are kept fit for purpose.
  • Approved pay and progression of teachers and the pay policy
  • Work collaboratively with the Headteacher on various HR and Pupil issues.
  • Organised and carried out the Headteacher’s PM and monitored Headteacher’s Finance training
  • The suitability and conditions of our premises remain a continued concern. We have secured extensive repairs through the LA to our residential block. We have secured a temporary change of mobiles for Key stage four which will increase their space and provide them with toilets. We have also secured a refit of the sites fire safety system. These should have begun over the summer 2020 however Covid has seen a delay to these plans, now scheduled for January 2021.
  • We have had visits to site from our constituency George Freeman MP as well as John Fisher the County Counsellor for children’s services. Sara Tough (executive director of Children’s services) was scheduled to visit but this has been postponed due to COVID. We have also had discussions virtually with Andrew Proctor leader for the council who we also anticipate visiting us in the autumn. All of these conversations sit alongside our feasibility study for our site and the Transformation SEND plans for Norfolk.
  • Led on staff appointments for school.
  • Reviewing policies
  • Reviewed the School context of the SEF and leadership and management elements of the SIDP
  • Monitored the implementation of GDPR and the continued awareness and impact of its remit in the workplace particularly reflecting on how Covid impacts our ability to do our roles

Full Governing Body

  • Scrutinise the feedback from Parents, pupils and staff questionnaires around their experience of FNS
  • Support the Headteacher in championing the immediate and future needs of the school premises with the LA. Included within this is the work done to raise awareness around the impact of tribunal numbers on workload. The pressure on both space in school and the conditions of this have been continuously flagged up with all departments including tribunal forums. The Governors are increasingly concerned by this continuous growth as the safety of the children and staff remain a daily consideration for all.
  • Reviewed the working of the revised management structure.  The Leadership and management part of the SEF was also reviewed collaboratively with input from both SMT and governors. Monitoring development of the Physical, Sensory and Interaction team in light of the new Sensory facilities.
  • Receiving feedback on the residential and Educational Ofsted and monitoring response to action plans following these inspections.
  • Training for Governors including subjects such as governor induction sessions, well being, complaints, safer recruitment, pupil premium spend, safeguarding, health and safety and PE grant sports funding.
  • Continued monitoring of Perspective in terms of performance management and quality of the SEF in reflecting the needs of the staff and pupils.
  • Monitored and reviewed the SIDP and prioritised next steps.
  • Received and challenged the Headteacher’s report
  • Monitored the efficacy of the curriculum and its changes.

Governor Visits

Governors have monitored Orchard House, IAG and residential (Standard 20 visits), attended SMT and Access to Learning meetings, attended whole school INSET on safeguarding.  They have also spoken to parents at new admissions meetings and Parent Access days. Carried out a number of monitoring visits and reported on and followed up on their outcomes.  This includes budget setting and financial monitoring, EHCP monitoring and supporting the Headteacher with safeguarding and HR issues. Governors have also supported the school in a range of extra curriculum activities.

Future Priorities

The future priorities of the Governors have been identified as:

  • To evaluate the potential opportunities for FNS available within and external to Norfolk especially in light of the SEND Transformation proposals.
  • To raise awareness of the diminished facilities that have occurred on site in order to accommodate growing numbers of pupils through tribunals. To ensure that in accommodating these extra pupils we continue to offer high quality learning for all but that our pupils and staff are not overlooked in the LA’s Transformation plans in restoring and providing appropriate space and facilities.
  • To monitor the well being, workload and mental health of staff, this will oversee staff attendance, retention in workforce etc
  • To monitor the impact of the curriculum to ensure it meets the need of our ever changing cohort particularly in the light of the new inspection framework and embedding of the RSHE curriculum.
  • To investigate the broader use of Brom Com to ensure it is confidently used and its full potential is realised.
  • To continue to support the restructured leadership team and monitor the development of the Physical Sensory and Interaction team and Orchard House in particular.
  • To review the relationship of boarding with the LA .
  • To review the contract with the catering providers to ensure the best value for money.
  • To continually review the arrangements for educating the children in the light of Covid to ensure transition into school is safe and the continued response meets the educational and healthy and safety needs of all.

To strengthen the Governing Body and embed new members in the light of not forming AIMAT.

Attendance Record of Governors

Our core established governors had an excellent attendance record at meetings.  We had to ratify items discussed on one occasion in both Resources and Standards due to unavoidable absence through ill health.  See details for individual governors in Meet the Governors section of the website..