Governance impact statement 2016/17

The board of governors are required to publish an annual impact statement. The following statement was agreed by the full board at their meeting on 28 June 2017

Governance impact statement 2016/2017

In accordance with the requirements for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of the Shaftesbury Park board of governors 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

Governance arrangements

Having re-organised during 2015/16 the governing body formally reconstituted in autumn 2017 to a membership of thirteen comprising: the headteacher, one staff governor, one local authority governor, two parent governors and eight co-opted governors. Details of governors, responsibilities and attendance are attached as an appendix.

No governors left during the academic year, but we were pleased to welcome Moya Wilkie and Nathalie Jackson as elected parent governors in autumn term.

Vision and priorities for 2017/2018

The governing body has set the ambitious target of making Shaftesbury Park an outstanding school: this ambition underpins everything it does. Subject to review the current ambitions for the school are:

  1. Provide outstanding governance to support the school’s ambition
  2. Improve school-wide communication
  3. Safeguard the school’s long-term position by creating and implementing multi-year finance and property plans and thoroughly investigating academy status and alternatives.

Progress during 2016/2017

We are clear that our ambition for outstanding status is not just a matter for Ofsted inspection—which may come at any time and before we have made enough progress—but something that everyone involved with the school, staff, parents and students can see and feel. The status is meaningless unless it has a positive impact on the education we provide.

While not complacent we feel strong progress has been made. This progress is reflected not just in our own assessments, but also in the feedback we get from independent and external visitors. The school, both bilingual and enterprise, is an attractive choice for parents and, when there is talk of a national recruitment crisis, we continue to attract a good number of high quality candidates for any vacancies we have.

Some particular points to note from the year are listed below.

Bilingual and Enterprise streams

Governors continued to track the progress of the bilingual stream through the school (2016/17 was the first year of bilingual provision in key-stage 2) and the implementation of the enterprise approach in all non-bilingual classes.

Shaftesbury Park is unique in offering a traditional primary education through two different streams both of which enrich the education offered in the other. This offer appears to be attractive not only to parents, choosing the school for their children, but also to potential staff.

Budgeting

Government changes to the funding formula mean that there is likely to be pressure on the finances of most London schools. Shaftesbury Park is no exception to this, although it will benefit a little over the next three years as the school completes its transition from 45 to 60 children per school year.

Governors have been continuing to set balanced budgets and are starting to budget over three years (Wandsworth practice has been to budget just one year ahead), to help better anticipate and prepare for any funding issues.

Premises

The school has benefited from a lot of investment in its buildings in recent years. The risk, however, is that this means a lot of areas that will need redecorating, refurbishing or even renewing around the same time. Governors have started developing a premises plan to ensure these are anticipated and to enable a more strategic look at how the limited space the school has is used to offer the best education.

Policies

School policies are, mostly, approved by the governing board. We have, however, started a process of delegating such approvals to committees, where possible, enabling a more rigorous review of these to ensure they are up-to-date and fit in with the school’s culture and values.

Performance

The governing board continue to actively monitor the school’s performance via the progress year groups are making over the year. The board is developing a performance dashboard to enable them to monitor overall trends, but also looking in more detail and exploring specific issues that underlie those trends. We are extending the range of performance we routinely consider.

Attendance

The governing board has been paying close attention to attendance throughout the school. While the general trend in recent years has been improvement, there is more work to do, especially as the attendance rate is lower than other comparable schools in the area.

Academisation

Although the government proposal to force schools to become academies has been withdrawn, the financial pressures schools face means academisation is still very much on the agenda for many schools. Governors have begun the process of exploring this to consider whether joining a multi-academy trust is right for the school and what sort of trust would be the best fit for us, or what alternatives there might be if we decided against.

Getting in touch

The governors are always happy to hear from parents. If you want to get in touch you can do so via the school office or by emailing governors@shaftesburypark.co.uk.