"Inspiring tomorrow's citizens"

Governors

Governors

Welcome to the section of the website where you can find out more about the school’s governors and the work that we do. You can also read the minutes from our meetings.

The Raleigh School joined South Farnham Educational Trust (SFET)  in July 2017.  SFET is a Multi-Academy Trust created in January 2015 and is made up of 3 primary schools -  South Farnham School, Highfield South Farnham School, the Raleigh School and also Surrey South Farnham SCITT (School-centred Initial Teacher Training). The Board of Directors of the Trust have delegated certain functions to be locally managed, which means that the Local Governing Body of the Raleigh has general responsibility for the effective management of the school, allowing individual pupil needs to be met effectively. Governors are able to target resources and develop the nature and character of the school to effectively meet the needs and wishes of parents, children and teachers.  To see more information about our membership, attendance and business interests, please see

Now that we are part of the South Farnham Educational Trust, we will be reviewing our governance arrangements in line with the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation.

Our resolute focus is always on supporting and challenging the Headteacher and staff to achieve the very best outcomes for all children at the Raleigh School, within a broad, balanced and creative curriculum. We provide a strategic view, acting as a critical friend and ensuring accountability to parents and the community for our actions and the school’s overall performance. We are committed to providing an excellent environment for pupils to enjoy during their time at our school and are ultimately responsible for the safeguarding of all pupils.

Please click on this link to view The Raleigh School Governors’ Code of Conduct

Governor’s Impact Statement 2016-17 

This annual governance statement gives a brief overview of the activities of the governing body over the last academic year. It is intentionally brief, as we always aim to report significant activities as they happen throughout the year via the school newsletter and the school website.

The main body of this report is organised around the three primary objectives of the governing body:

  1. setting the strategic direction of the school,

  2. holding the school to account, and

  3. ensuring the financial well-being of the school.

The full governing body met nine times in the past year and in addition, its Finance & Facilities, Children & Learning, Personnel and Strategy committees met at least on a termly basis.

(1)Strategic Direction

Last September before the start of the academic year 2016-17, Governors joined with teaching staff to review the School’s Development Plan and update the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school. Over the course of the year, we have tried to ensure we take steps to realise this vision. The Governors regularly seek the views of staff, pupils and parents and carry out a survey for each stakeholder group on an annual basis.  Findings are fed back to the leadership team and full governing body and are used to inform our questioning and development of the school’s development plan.

To help us provide effective governance, we carried out a detailed skills audit to assess governor’s experience and skills and ensure we have the right balance of skills to meet our obligations as a governing body. This exercise also informed our recruitment of new governors and we were pleased to welcome Reverend Renos Pittarides as a new trust appointed governor.

By far the most significant activity for governors over this past year has been the process of identifying a suitable partner to join a multi-academy trust. Driven largely by the Strategy committee, the governing body reached out to many local schools and went through a thorough due diligence and consultation process before agreeing to join SFET. We were delighted to announce that the school formally joined SFET in July and we look forward to working in partnership and sharing best practices in pursuit of excellence in all aspects of our educational provision.

In parallel, a working group focusing on school development has continued to drive our ambition to create a new home for the Raleigh, liaising with the LA, local stakeholders and the local community. Several routes have been scrutinised to provide a more fitting environment for our 436 pupils, and we continue to hope our hard work will pay dividends for our pupils’ future.

Claire Handley, Chair of Governors

(2) Holding the School to account

The governing body is responsible for ensuring high standards of performance in the school. Performance of teaching staff has an enormous effect on the learning of our pupils, and therefore their achievements. We maintained oversight of how staff, including the Headteacher, performed in their roles, primarily through the Personnel and Pay Review committees.

We also have a responsibility to ensure that the head teacher and staff are adhering to the school’s policies and delivering the best possible outcomes for all children.

The governing body worked extensively with the senior leadership team to review and assess the School’s 2016 data and identify priorities and areas for future development and bet practice.  School policies are reviewed on a rolling programme throughout the year, and the governing body has statutory responsibility for some of these. Our policies are published and can be viewed here.

Children & Learning Committee

The main focus of this committee is to scrutinise the progress and attainment of pupils, in line with the main areas of development on the School Development Plan are met, along with the effective delivery of the curriculum. It meets at least termly to discuss and analyse school data. The committee looks at the progress of all pupils, as well as analysing data by groups of learners including gender, ethnicity, Special Educational Needs and disadvantaged children.

 

Further to the challenges of a new curriculum and new assessment framework in 2015-16, this academic year the committee has focused on ensuring the new systems are embedded throughout the school to ensure that pupils meet the new required standards in primary school. It is clear from the results in summer 2017 that the leadership team and staff have done an excellent job, but there is always more that can be done to ensure that every pupil achieves and fulfils their potential. The C & L committee ensures that the right questions are asked with a constant eye on improvement, and that any necessary changes are implemented to ensure that the school continues on the path to outstanding. Regular visits to the school not only keep governors in tune with school life, whether to observe some of the impressive Arts performances, sporting events or assemblies, or in the case of link governors, to meet with teachers and subject leaders to ensure that their assigned specialised area is resolutely on track with the school development plan.

Pupil premium has also been a major focus, working with the leadership team to validate the strategy in place, and rigorously scrutinise that the many are working effectively to diminish the difference for all our disadvantaged children.

The committee also rigorously oversees that the correct school policies are observed and up to date.

Finally, attendance and punctuality are a major focus for the school, and the committee works closely with the Headteacher to ensure that targets are met and that pupils are given every chance to improve their chances of success.

Julie Atkinson, Chair

 

Personnel Committee

The Personnel committee seeks to support the school to achieve its vision and aims, in the recruitment and retention of high calibre staff and ensuring staff well being.  Additionally, the committee works to ensure that the school’s HR related policies are regularly updated in line with legislation and best practice.

This year, the committee has considered a number of aspects, including:  senior leadership recruitment, succession planning at all levels, resourcing for periods of longer leave, policy updates, introduction of a safeguarding questionnaire and an increased focus on evaluating the performance management system and the link with performance related pay.

Towards the end of the academic year the committee considered any TUPE issues arising from joining the SFET MAT and is now looking forward to progressing the relationship from a personnel perspective, with a particular focus on the Schools Direct opportunities as well as enhancing CPD opportunities for all staff.

Sonya Davies, Chair

 

(3) Financial Well-Being of the School

As widely reported in the media, pressure on school budgets is greater than ever, and this was a key driver in our strategy to join a multi-academy trust. We continue to monitor the school’s finances on a regular basis to ensure the best value for money is being obtained, and the long-term viability of the school is secured.

Finance & Facilities Committee

The remit of this committee is to oversee the financial management of the school and all matters relating to upkeep of the school buildings and grounds.  It includes agreeing the annual budget, and meets twice a term to receive reports from our School Business Manager, Peter Hill and discuss all aspects of finance and facilities.  

The committee conducts a regular Health and Safety check of the school, identifying any areas where action is required.

Government spend on education this year has been further constrained, increasing the focus on careful management of school funds to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children.  

This year the school has needed to minimise capital expenditure, relying on the Friends of The Raleigh School to fund urgent repairs to the fabric of the school.

In order to increase revenue, charging has been introduced for teacher-led clubs from September 2017 and the school is in the process of setting up a School Fund for voluntary parental contributions.

Joining the MAT in July 2017 will provide access to an improved financial software package and SFET expertise, particularly in the area of making Condition Improvement Fund applications.  These benefits will assist governors in managing limited funds from 2017/18. 

Dr Beverley Nash, Chair

Pay Review Committee

The Pay Review Committee is also involved in the promotion of the Raleigh School as an attractive place to work, maintaining staff wherever possible (considering their pay, progress, training and wellbeing), managing turnover and continuing to recruit good and outstanding teachers for our children.

This year the committee reviewed the Objectives by which our outstanding teaching staff are measured and worked within the budgetary restrictions to make sure that these measurements, when achieved, result in meaningful increases in staff pay awards. This means that the best performers are given incentives to stay.

The committee’s review of the support staff has meant that the school has broken away from the Surrey pay scale to recognise the added value that this team provide in terms of their support to parents,  the Leadership team and Headteacher.

Ted Littlewood, Chair