Annual Governance Statement

Hinderton Annual Governance Statement 2021-22

Hinderton School’s Governing Body is committed to being open, transparent and accountable. This Annual Governance Statement summarises the work undertaken by the Governing Body during the academic year 2021-22.

The core strategic functions of the Governing Body are to:


Ensure clarity of vision, 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

This is all done in accord with the school’s Vision, Strategies, Values and Professional Qualities outlined in its Vision Statement, carrying this through with the school motto of ‘Learning Together’.

The Governing Body

Details of the Governing Body Membership can be found on the school’s website.


As a Governing Body, we are fully committed to the core strategic functions whilst being acutely aware that, as Governors, we are not responsible for the day-to-day management of the school.

The Governing Body delegates specific work to a number of sub-committees. Hinderton School has four Committees in place that meet each term, these being Finance, Personnel, Curriculum and Pupil Progress. Each Committee has a Chair in place, these being Tony Green for Finance, Bob Hall for Personnel, Fiona McTigue for Pupil Progress and Stephen Jones for Curriculum.

The purpose of Committees is to ensure that the governance of the school can be ensured in the most efficient and effective way possible. Consequently, during the height COVID-19 pandemic committees were temporarily suspended and all governors discussed all matters via online meetings. Committee meetings have now resumed, online, as the collective view of governors of the best way forward.

As well as attending Governing Body and committee meetings, governors visit the school frequently during the year. During this calendar year, the first governor visits since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic will be undertaken. 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

There are three key documents that are used to ensure focus across the school year and beyond. 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 financials of 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.


The school also ensures additional focus via the Hinderton Headlines document. This is used to focus on what the key objectives are for the school year and reviews progress at the end of the year.

The Self Evaluation Framework (SEF) gives a broader and more detailed view of the school in terms of what it does and has achieved.

Governors are and must remain familiar with each of these documents, regularly reviewing and providing constructive feedback and challenge on the delivery of plans. This includes ensuring that these documents take into account stakeholder comments and feedback, including from the parental survey, performance data and input from staff.

Progress against these objectives are reviewed and challenged throughout the year.

Performance

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 over the last year for example.

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. However, we maintain that it is important for Hinderton to set up and 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.

Finance

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.

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

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. 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. 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.


Final Comments

The thanks of all governors go to all the staff members, pupils and parents for the efforts they make to ensure the school continues to progress. 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