Governors’ Annual Statement

Annual Governance Statement for the governing body of FNS July 2021

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:

COVID response

  • Provided support to the senior team and school throughout the pandemic, this has included monitoring the arrangements and ensuring staff and pupil welfare as well as the planning and delivery of additional resources. This remains ongoing.

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 also seen a successful safeguarding audit which continues to recognise the good work in place at the school. 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 residence standards and Orchard has continued through the year. Monitoring of learning has not been possible within the school though the curriculum lead and responsibility holders have continued to provide updates and outcomes reports around the progress of pupils and their learning.
  • Governors’ other area of focus has been in support of school preparing for the implementation of a new data platform which has been discussed and will come on line in Autumn 2021.
  • 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 wellbeing 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 is an expert in health and safety and brings valuable skills to the team.
  • 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. We have approved the transfer to capital of funds to improve the internal and external layout of school for the increased number of children.
  • Governors have continued to review the grounds maintenance 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 remains a continued concern. We have secured extensive repairs through the LA to our residential block. We have overseen the arrival and installation of mobiles for Key stage four which will increase their space and provide them with toilets. The refit of the sites fire safety system has also taken place. We have had virtual meetings with our constituency George Freeman MP as well as Andrew Proctor the Chair of Norfolk County Council re our premises. Sara Tough (executive director of Children’s services) was scheduled to visit but this has been postponed due to COVID. 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
  • Continuing to 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 and the ability to provide a breadth of curriculum to the older pupils as we lose specialist learning areas
  • 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. 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, wellbeing, governance arrangements re complaints, 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 virtually including Orchard House, IAG, finance and residential (Standard 20 visits), attended SMT and Access to Learning meetings, attended virtual whole school INSET on safeguarding.  Governors have remained involved with recruitment of teachers and learning support assistants.

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 wellbeing, 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 monitor the implementation of Earwig and the smooth transition across from the previous platform to ensure robust data.
  • 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 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.