Annual Governance Statement
Hinderton Annual Governance Statement 2022-2023
Hinderton School’s Governing Body is committed to being open, transparent, and accountable. This Annual Governance Statement explains how the Governing Body will put those values into action during the academic year 2022-23.
The core strategic functions of the Governing Body are to:
Ensure clarity of vision, a strong ethos and strategic direction
Hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school
Oversee the financial performance of the school, ensuring value for money
Promote the highest possible standards for Safeguarding
Listen to relevant stakeholders and ensure their voices are heard at the school
These functions compliment the School’s Vision, Strategies, Values and Professional Qualities, as outlined in its Vision Statement. As Governors, we work with the school’s leadership team and others to ensure the school’s motto of ‘Learning Together’ is effectively delivered.
The Governing Body
As a Governing Body, we are fully committed to the strategic functions of good school governance, recognising that, as Governors, our role is non-executive, and we are not responsible for the day-to-day management of the school.
In fulfilling its functions, the Governing Body delegates specific work to a number of committees. Hinderton School has four Committees in place that meet each term: Finance, Personnel, Curriculum, and Pupil Progress. The purpose of Committees is to ensure that the effective governance of the school can be achieved in the most efficient and effective way possible. Committee Chairs report back to the Full Governing Body on the work of their committee on a termly basis.
As well as attending Governing Body and committee meetings, governors visit the school frequently during the year. Such visits may include learning walks around the school focusing on particular areas of interest. Governors also have the opportunity to attend meetings with the School Improvement Partner. Governors can be asked to assist with recruitment of staff.
Some Governors have specific responsibilities for important areas of focus for the school. A full list of these responsibilities can be found on the school’s website.
Vision, Ethos & Strategic Direction
As a Governing Body, we influence and/or reference important school documents to ensure focus across the school.
At the beginning of each academic year, the Headteacher and teaching staff develop a School Development Plan (SDP). This outlines the school’s forward plan for the coming year, its vision and aspirations over a 3-year period and informs the school budget. It is the role of all governors to challenge the school leaders to ensure that the SDP sets out ambitious but realistic medium-term and longer-term objectives.
Additionally, attention is paid throughout the school year to the Hinderton Headlines document. This is used to summarise the key objectives for the school year. Finally, the Self Evaluation Framework (SEF) gives a broader and more detailed view of the school in terms of what it does and has achieved. This list of key documents influenced and/or referenced by the Governing Body is not exhaustive.
Governors are and must remain familiar with each of these documents, regularly reviewing and providing constructive feedback and challenge on the delivery of plans throughout the school year. This includes ensuring that these documents take into account stakeholder comments and feedback, including from the parental survey, performance data and input from staff.
The Governing Body expects high standards from the school, with every pupil being given the opportunity to be able to achieve their full potential. Over the course of the school year, Governors have the opportunity to question ongoing performance via the Pupil Progress Committee. We ensure that the school tracks, identifies and addresses any significant differences in achievement and progress for any particular groups of children. Pupil Premium, Female Pupils and SCERTS Social Partners are among the groups of children that have been given additional focus in recent Committee meetings.
Educational performance is an essential part of holding the headteacher to account. Governors recognise that it can be difficult to evaluate data in comparison to other schools as a special school with a relatively small number of pupils. However, we maintain that it is important for Hinderton to maintain robust evaluation methods to inform governors in evaluating educational performance, headteacher effectiveness and overall school performance.
In addition to the work of the Governing Body and its committee, a School Improvement Partner is employed to provide independent analysis of the school’s performance to the Governing Body and to assist the Headteacher’s Performance Management review.
A key role of the Governing Body is to ensure school funds are managed economically, efficiently and effectively to the benefit of pupils and in accordance with the Department of Education and Local Authority guidelines.
Each year the Governing Body must agree a three-year financial plan for the school. These must be aligned with the objectives in the SDP, consistent with the financial resources available to the school and realistic with regards to estimates of income and expenditure. An annual Statement of Financial Value Standards is submitted to the Local Authority to provide assurance that we have secure financial management in place. These responsibilities are managed by the Finance Committee, however all Governors are kept informed of key financial information and share overall responsibility for oversight in this area.
Every year the school aims to carry out small projects to ensure that the interior and exterior remain inviting, safe and comfortable places to learn. The Finance Committee advises on the work to be undertaken to ensure that it is consistent with the school’s financial position.
Safeguarding covers the welfare, safety, and well-being of pupils and recognises the importance of a preventative agenda. All staff and governors adhere to the school’s Safeguarding Policy, which is developed in accordance with Government guidance and best practice from within the sector. This statutory policy is updated annually to reflect any new legislation and is approved by the Governing Body.
All staff are required to attend suitable safeguarding training and this is updated when necessary. The Safeguarding Governor and a number of other Governing Body members should also complete safeguarding training to ensure they have sufficient insight to assess the school’s implementation of its policies. Any safeguarding updates or implications are brought to the attention of Governors at meetings in order to ensure that the school’s safeguarding procedures remain robust.
Karen Gray, our Family Support Worker, continues to give support to all Hinderton families who are in need and provides opportunities for parents to come together at the school with regular coffee mornings.
The thanks of all governors go to all the staff members, pupils, and parents for the efforts they make to ensure the school provides an outstanding education for all pupil whilst continuing to improve. The Governing Body are committed to working with the staff to develop the strategic plans for the years ahead in order to progress the school further.
Guide to Acronyms
SDP - School Development Plan
SEF - Self-Evaluation Framework
TSA - Teaching School Alliance
NAS - National Autistic Society
RM Easimaths - Maths online program used by pupils
IDL - Reading assessment program used by pupils
SCERTS - Social Communication and Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support - research based communication model used to assess communication and language
ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support Assistant