School Governors

At Eccleston Primary School, we are fortunate to have a keen, committed and knowledgeable Governing Body.  We have a mix of relatively experienced and newly appointed governors.  There are currently two vacancies.  Our governors have a vital role to play in making sure all children at a school receive the highest standard of education possible and are able to achieve their full potential.  They believe that the quality of education we provide for today’s children will affect the quality of society in the future.  School governors come from all backgrounds reflecting different cultures, communities, work skills and life experiences. In a nutshell – teachers do, the headteacher monitors and leads and the Governors evaluate (some would say with a fine toothcomb!).  These roles and responsibilities are even more important in the light of the current pandemic and the lockdown in which children have been unable to attend school with a greater focus on learning at home and working on-line.

Governing Board Information

What our School Governors do

What Our School Governors do:

 

Our school has its own governing body which has specific duties given to it by law including:

 

  • Agreeing school developmental priorities
  • Monitoring and evaluate the performance of the school
  • Setting school targets
  • Making sure the curriculum is balanced
  • Agreeing school policies
  • Agreeing an annual budget detailing planned spending and staffing
  • Appointment of Headteacher and other senior staff

An effective governing body, like ours, is a source of enormous strength to our school.  Governors provide the Headteacher with support and advice.  They ask searching questions whilst respecting the Headteacher’s position as professional leader of the school.  They share in formulating the school’s aims and vision. Being a school governor means being committed to giving time and energy to the role.  Each governor, as a volunteer, contributes to the work of the governing body and shares the load.  Governors are asked to take part in regular meetings, read ‘loads’ of papers and find out about the issues being discussed. In practice, this means going to at least two full governing body meetings each term, together with one or two committee meetings, lasting approximately 2 hours each, plus regular visits to the school during the school day and helping out with school events.  Most Governing Body meetings are held on a weekday at six thirty at the school, although during the pandemic we have, of course, been meeting on-line.  Governors’ understanding and appreciation of the working of the school is extremely beneficial.  Governors receive training and support to help them in their role.  All governors have a duty to act in the interests of all children in the school and maintain discretion and confidentiality.  Our Governors do not all have previous experience of education but are very effective governors.  Everyone has skills and knowledge from everyday life and work which is of enormous benefit to our governing body.  Common sense and the ability to listen and make reasoned decisions together with a commitment to give a few hours of your time are vital ingredients.  The Governing Body acts collectively and the first loyalty of every governor must be to the school.  Governors support the staff and headteacher of our school but will also act as a ‘critical friend’.  The role is strategic not operational.  The head and staff manage the day to day running of the school.  Parent governors are elected by parents of children at the school. Although they are there to represent parents’ views, they are not delegates, and other parents cannot
mandate them on how they should vote, or what they should say in Governing Body meetings.  Likewise, you should not become a Governor to enable you to be proactive in your own agendas.  Sometimes parent governors find they are approached by parents with individual concerns.  In this case, it would not be appropriate to take the issue to the Governing Body and they should encourage the parents to take the matter up with their child’s class teacher or the headteacher.

Governance Statement

Governance Statement

 

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the Longton Primary School Governing Board are:

 

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

 

The day-to-day management of the school is the responsibility of the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team.

The Strategic Direction of the School

The Strategic Direction of the School

 

As was recognised at the last Ofsted review, which rated Eccleston Primary as a good school, there have since been many changes taking place.  A new headteacher was appointed during the summer term 2020.  Mrs Claire Jones began as headteacher at Eccleston School on 6 January 2021.  The Governing Board believes that Eccleston Primary School will remain on the right strategic path under Mrs Jones’s leadership and management.  We seek to continue with the steps of our challenging journey to ultimately become an outstanding school.  This is reflected in our school’s revised vision and aims:

 

Knowing the core purpose of our school is crucial to motivating our children and colleagues. We need a core purpose if we are going to unite the various and varied elements of our school to engender ‘collective mobilisation’.

 

A core purpose sharpens our focus on what really matters, and sometimes a core purpose can help a headteacher make the most difficult of decisions. Fail to shape a core purpose and you lose the opportunity to place learning at the heart of things.

 

Our core purpose at Eccleston Primary School is ‘inspiring confident learners to thrive in a changing world’.

 

In many ways, a schools’ values system is the most important element of building a truly great school. What we value influences how we conduct ourselves in every interaction we have with others. Our values dictate our behaviours as we go about the difficult work of realising our school vision.

 

Ultimately the success of our school hinges upon the nature of the relationships between our children and teachers. ‘The single factor common to successful change is that relationships improve. If relationships improve, schools get better. If relationships remain the same or get worse, ground is lost.’

 

Living by our shared values is key to cultivating healthy relationships. At Eccleston Primary School our values are:

  • Kindness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Resilience
  • Relationships
  • Fairness
Governance Arrangements

Governance arrangements

 

The Governing Board has had a number of new members during the year and for the first time in two years the board will have a full complement of Governors as we start the academic year 2019/20.

The Governing Board is made up of:

  • 2 staff governors (including the Headteacher),
  • 4 elected Parent Governors,
  • 1 Local Authority Governor
  • 8 Co-opted governors.

 

Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Board and are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Board, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.

 

The full Governing Board meets twice each term.  At Eccleston Primary the first Full Governing Body meeting of each term focuses on what would previously been discussed at a Resources Committee, which focused on finance, premises and some personnel matters and a Curriculum Committee, which focused on learning and teaching.  We are currently using committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail, for example, the extended school provision.

 

There is also a headteachers performance review which also acts as a Pay and Performance Committee.  Other committees meet, if required, to consider pupil discipline and staffing matters.

 

The Governing Board has discussed the value of the experience that governors from different backgrounds and interests can bring to the role and have undertaken a skills audit to identify any further skills or training they need to be able to deliver their functions effectively.

 

Attendance record of governors

 

Governors have respectable attendance at meetings and we have never cancelled a meeting because it was not “quorate” (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made).  Details of individual governors’ attendance at meetings can be found at the bottom of this Governor page on our website.

Governing Board and Committee work

The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing board

 

The Governing Board has had an interesting year, focusing on the appointment of the new headteacher and ensuring that the children receive the best education possible in the light of the school closure and the Covid-19 pandemic.  We “skilling up” our new governors and ensuring standards remain high in light of rising expectations and returning to school when circumstances have permitted.

 

The full Governing Board considered the following information:

  • Concise, focused reports from the Headteacher and subject leaders
  • External reports, for example from the school adviser and consultants
  • Presentations from school staff, pupils and external experts
  • Questionnaires to parents and staff
  • Internal performance monitoring information
  • Internal and external analyses of national tests using both benchmarking and comparative information
  • School self-evaluation reports
  • Formal and informal visits to the school to collect information and to talk to pupils and consider the progress they make.
  • The Curriculum Committee has considered and monitored the Quality of Teaching nd Learning. In particular, they have noted:
  • The Pupil Premium expenditure
  • Sports funding
  • The attainment and progress of our more able pupils, PP pupils, SEND pupils….? xxx of these pupils made at least expected progress x of the seven classes.
  • How pupils with special needs are supported with both academic and social progress.
  • The tireless work that has been undertaken to broaden our full curriculum and drive a thirst for learning during each and every day.

 

They also:

  • Monitored and approved the Assessment Policy
  • Received reports from Subject Leaders
  • Received and considered the Headteacher’s report on performance

throughout the school

  • Monitored reporting arrangements to parents.
  • Ensured that SEND and Disadvantaged provision is effective.
  • Reviewed the impact of the budget on the curriculum

 

One of the governors’ roles is agreeing and reviewing a wide range of school policies in line with a planned review schedule. A collection of Policies are reviewed each term in line with a three year cycle.  Curriculum leaders have been busy rewriting our curriculum polices to ensure we are clear about the intent, implementation and impact of each curriculum area.  The Governing Board recognises that the attendance regulations can be a cause for concern for some parents.  Attendance figures at Eccleston Primary School are good and below the national threshold for absence and persistence absence.

 

The Resources Committee has provided guidance and assistance to the headteacher and Governing Board in all matters relating to budgeting and finance, with reference to ‘Keeping Your Balance – standards for financial administration in schools’ (Ofsted/Audit Commission). They have monitored the quality of the school’s wi-fi and internet and the quality of the computers and laptops.  They have also looked at the before and after school clubs and the nursery provision at Beechbuds. In addition, they have looked at the quality of the school’s kitchen.

 

They have also:

  • Monitored Value for Money in any expenditure related to the school development plan.
  • Reviewed financial policy statements, including consideration of long-term
  • planning and resourcing.
  • Monitored income and expenditure of all funds and reported the financial situation to the full governing Board each term.
  • Ensured that the school operates within the Financial Regulations of the County Council and meets the requirements of the Financial Management Standard in Schools (FMSiS).
  • Monitored the impact of spending decisions upon educational achievement in the school.
  • Monitored the effectiveness of the school’s health and safety arrangements.
  • Carried out an annual risk assessment of the school premises.
  • Made termly inspections of the building and grounds.
  • Considered the competencies of governors on the committee and attended training as appropriate.

 

Early in the summer term, the Governing Board approved the 2020/21 budget plan for the school and are pleased to report that a balanced budget was set.  

 

Our Safeguarding Governor monitors the implementation and awareness of the revised keeping children safe in education document (Kcsie), including the monitoring of the whole school single central record. The Headteacher reports on Safeguarding matters in her termly reports.  A decision this year was made to train a further two members of staff to be designated senior leads in relation to safeguarding. This will ensure a trained person will always be onsite.

 

Minutes of Governing Board and Committee meetings are public documents; you can ask at the school office if you would like to see any of the minutes of our meetings.

Future Plans for Governors

Future plans for the governors

 

In the coming year, the Governing Board look forward to seeing the school develop even further.  For the next academic year, we have asked the school to develop our vision for the pupils in our school so that they be healthy and happy in a school where everyone feels safe to learn. We will be at the heart of the local community, helping meet the diverse needs of all of our learners, with the support of all our stakeholders, especially parents.

 

Our school will be rooted proudly in its highly successful past but will be dynamic and forward looking; it will be somewhere that remembers to enjoy the experience of today. We will have a school where everyone has a clear sense of where they are now in their school careers, where they would like to go and how they are going to get there. We will ensure that all learning and teaching is informed by our own best practice, and we will be able to take innovative risks with confidence.

 

Our children will be aware of how personal and political decisions affect the future of the environment and of their responsibility to help sustain the planet. We will be a civilised community which will have a civilising influence on all of us, and positive personal relationships will be an important feature of our school. We will continue to value kindness, resourcefulness, resilience, relationships and fairness. Our community will have a shared vision of the school and will be united by our school core purpose, which will continue to be to inspire learners, and equip them with the skills, confidence and qualifications required to thrive in a changing world.’

 

We are working closely with the headteacher to ensure that we strive to have teaching that is consistently of the highest quality and that learning is not capped for any child, especially in the light of needing to focus on the whole child as a result of the pandemic and lockdown.  This means that the induction of new staff and governors must be strong and effective. It also means that existing staff are held to account and provided with high quality continuing professional development (CPD) and aspirations.

 

As we enter another chapter in our Eccleston journey, it is time to take stock of where we have come from, where we are and where we are going.  It has been a year of great uncertainty and upheaval for the children and adults alike in the Eccleston family and community.  As a motivated and forward-thinking primary school we are seeking to ensure that we educate the whole child in a holistic way to ensure they can maximum of life’s opportunities.  We believe we shall continue to foster a consistent approach for assessment and as always endeavour to keep parents well informed about their child’s progress.  As a Governing Board we will continue to sharpen our skills through further governor training and continue to develop the monitoring role of the Governing Board by governors having a greater presence in the day to day life of school.

Contacting the Governing Board

How you can contact the Governing Board

We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents – please contact the Chair of Governors, Mr Scanlan, via the school office. You can see the full list of governors; their attendance at meetings and more information about what we do, at the bottom of the Governors’ page of the school website.

Our Governors

Governor Details

Mr Neil Scanlan

Name: Neil Scanlan

Category of Governor: Co-opted Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 19.11.20 – 18.11.24

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  Chair of Governors, Safeguarding, Music, MFL, Art and D&T

Register of interests: Governor at Longton Primary School

Mrs Alison Arthington

Name: Alison Arthington

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 30.11.20 – 29.11.24

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  Literacy, Website and Policies

Register of interests: None

Mr Dave Brennand

Name: Dave Brennand

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 19.11.20 – 18.11.24

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  Numeracy, Pupil Premium and Assessment

Register of interests: None

Mrs Claire Jones

Name: Claire Jones

Category of Governor: Headteacher

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: Ongoing

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Register of interests: None

Mrs Cathy Armstrong

Name: Cathy Armstrong

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 12.09.18 – 11.09.22

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  SEND

Register of interests: None

Mrs Sarah Bennett Forshaw

Name: Sarah Bennett Forshaw

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 07.12.20 – 06.12.24

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  PSHE, RE and Well-being

Register of interests: None

Mr George Brindle

Name: George Brindle

Category of Governor: Staff Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 17.09.18 – 16.09.22

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  –

Register of interests: None

Mrs Rachel Faris

Name: Rachel Faris

Category of Governor: Local Authority Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 20.11.17 – 19.11.21

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  Vice Chair of Governors, History and Geography

Register of interests: None

Mr John Dunlop

Name: John Dunlop

Category of Governor: Parent Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 08.10.18 – 08.10.22

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  Health and Safety, Science and Computing

Register of interests: None

Mrs Sarah Menzies

Name: Sarah Menzies

Category of Governor: Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by: Eccleston Primary School

Terms of Office: 07.12.20 – 06.12.24

Committees served on: Staffing and Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee

Positions of responsibility:  Finance, PE and Sports Premium

Register of interests: None