Katherines Primary School Review of Governance 21 September 2013
Governor Visits PaJeS Richard Tyndall NGA Consultant 10th february 2015 NGA 2013 www.nga.org.uk 1 Welcome and introductions NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 2 NGA is a membership organisation
Representing the governors and trustees in all state funded schools in England Our aim to improve the effectiveness of governing boards by providing expert and tailored information and advice, and challenge when appropriate Standard governing board membership is 75 GOLD governing board membership is 260 and includes an advice line NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 3 Purpose of the session
The purpose of the session is to develop governors knowledge and understanding of the expectations, practicalities and purpose of governor visits to their school. It will cover: The reasons for visiting Barriers to governor commitment Policies, protocols, reporting Different approaches
Governance making an impact NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 4 Discussion Why do governors need to visit their school? NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 5
NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 6 Reasons for visiting 1 You need to triangulate (test/verify) What the headteacher and senior staff tell you and What you are told by trusted third parties with
What you see or hear with your own eyes and ears NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 7 The purpose of governor visits They placed an ill-judged reliance on the assessments of external agencies, when to a large extent these were relying on information generated by the Trust itself. This could be no substitute for finding out for themselves. Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust January 2005 March 2009 Chaired by Robert Francis QC
NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 8 Reasons for visiting 2 NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 9 Questions Getting to know your school 1. How long a visit do you need? 2. Who will show you round? 3. Will you get the opportunity to talk (briefly) to any staff or children?
4. How often does this need to happen? 5. Do all governors need to do this? NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 10 Reasons for visiting 3 Governing boards have a statutory responsibility to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the school and its curriculum. Governors need to know what progress is being made towards targets set out in the schools improvement strategy. Visiting the school systematically and regularly supports this process. NGA 2015
www.nga.org.uk 11 Discussion What makes visiting difficult? NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 12 Barriers to visiting Time Is the time commitment clear? Does the visit need to last longer than an hour?
Can it happen at either end of the day? Protocols Can governors express a preference? Do governors know how to behave? Is a member of the SLT hosting? Purpose What is the visit for? Are there some prompt questions? How are the visit reported? NGA NGA2015 2013
www.nga.org.uk www.nga.org.uk 13 13 Policy, protocol, reports Policy Purpose Consult and agree with staff Protocol Describe behaviours (e.g. no clipboards) What to do if you come across something disturbing
Reporting Pro forma Shared with HT / SLT host / chair NGA NGA2015 2013 www.nga.org.uk www.nga.org.uk 14 14 Discussion What experience do you have of visiting your school? NGA
NGA2015 2013 www.nga.org.uk www.nga.org.uk 15 15 Different approaches Governors linking to a class / department / year group / house Governors linking to an important policy such as safeguarding
Governors linking to a key improvement priority Governors conducting focus groups (e.g. student voice or parent forum) Question Is there an approach which particularly interests you? NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 16 Linking to a key priority 1 For example: A priority is to improve achievement in Maths:
Governor is linked to Maths Governor meets with Head of Maths at the beginning of the year for 45 mins: Targets are explained Improvement strategy is shared Looks at some work from previous year Talks to some children in a Maths class about their learning Governor meets with Head of Maths in the second half of the year for 45 mins and is updated on targets, success of strategy, improvement in work NGA 2015
www.nga.org.uk 17 Linking to a key priority 2 For example: A priority is to improve achievement through improved feedback (marking) Governor is linked to SLT member who is responsible for feedback policy Governor meets with SLT member at the beginning of the year for 45 mins: Policy is explained Implementation strategy is shared
Looks at some feedback and marking from previous year Talks to some children in class about the feedback and marking of their work Governor meets with SLT in the second half of the year for 45 mins and is updated on policy, success of implementation, improvement in work NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 18 In the best schools inspectors found governors were very well informed Regular meetings with the headteacher and presentations from staff inform governors' understanding of the school and its work. The governing body seeks the views of parents, carers and pupils and uses the information obtained
to inform the school's self-evaluation and the school development plan. Governors have a good awareness of the school and a clear view of the strategic direction of the school through regular visits, including to lessons and focus groups. Governors carry out their own monitoring of the schools plans and use this to evaluate how well all aspects are doing. They clearly understand how well pupils are progressing, making it their business to probe the school about any concerns, should they arise. Outstanding quality of work undertaken by the governing body could clearly be seen in an audit of the impact on pupils' learning of recent disruptions caused by inclement weather. As a result of the audit, staff have now agreed a plan to make up any future lost learning time. Governors are closely involved in self-evaluation procedures, ask penetrating questions and expect and receive regular reports and presentations from staff to inform their strategic decision making. NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 19 Governance making an impact
Set the vision and ethos, including what the children should leave the school having learned and check that this is happening Stay strategic and focused on improvement priorities: leave the operational to school leaders Dont get overwhelmed by compliance and reviewing policies: but check that systems are in place and that you are confident they work Ensure school leaders are equipped to do their jobs, including HR, procurement, legal advice, and that quality CPD is available The bottom line: targets are met and childrens outcomes are positive
NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 20 Reviewing the session The session covered: The reasons for visiting Barriers to governor commitment Policies, protocols, reporting
Different approaches Governance making an impact Any questions? NGA 2015 www.nga.org.uk 21 www.nga.org.uk [email protected] 0121 237 3780
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