St. James’ Governing Body Annual Report 2018-19
2018/19 was again a very successful year for St. James’ with the Governing Body and staff being focussed on achieving our united vision of outstanding education for the children of the school. During the course of the year, the Rev. Arun John left the Parish and Mr. Mike Duckworth was appointed Vice-Chair. Mr. James Cameron replaced Mrs. Clare Taylor as staff representative. We also welcomed Fatima Karolia and Alison Spencer onto the Governing Body.
Following a long period of consultation, the school this year introduced new vision, mission and value statements which underpins the work of the school and Governing body.
This year EYFS and KS1 results compared very favourably with many of the best schools in the Local Authority although the percentage of children reaching the expected standard in KS2 Reading was much lower than anticipated. One of the most important factors in achieving these results has been the dedication of all the staff. The governors’ involvement in setting challenging targets for the Head teacher and Senior Leaders is key to raising expectations and outcomes throughout the school. The Chair of Governors and Pay Committee met to monitor and discuss the progress of the School. Governors feel confident to question and challenge the Senior Leadership Team about key decisions and form an independent view of outcomes.
Governors have a clear understanding of overall performance and the identification of underperforming groups through the detailed data analysis given by the Headteacher and an Independent School Improvement Officer.
Members of the Governing Body attend in-house training, cluster meetings, conferences and courses organised by the local authority and the Diocesan Board of Education. The Link Governor (Janet Chester ) regularly updates the Governing Body with suitable courses to enable each governor to further the knowledge and understanding of his/ her roles. Through this involvement, governors understand and contribute to the effective running of the school.
• Fatima Karolia attending ‘ Children in our Care ’ at Wensley Fold
• Headteacher and Chair attending Ofsted Update Training
• Janet Chester and Clare Taylor attending ‘Valuing All God’s Children ’ training day.
• A very successful training day was organised for all members on the revised SIAMS inspection which we are expecting during 2019/20
The relationship between the Governing Body, the Headteacher, Chair of Governors and the Senior Leadership Team provides both challenge and support. Governors are able to be critical friends to the school, strategically challenging and holding Senior Leaders to account. Governors meet and question subject leaders both individually and at committee meetings, where staff present evidence of progress and impact.
At the Autumn Curriculum Committee, Miss Moore introduced the Blackburn with Darwen School Profile document explained the complex information in each section. Mr. Cameron also presented and explained how data can be extracted from the profile, to provide evidence, informing school priorities.
Miss Moore also gave a Powerpoint Presentation, highlighting the School Action Plan priorities. She shared the overall school aim to provide a “ rich, broad and balanced curriculum, matched to individual needs and augmented by a wealth of high quality, first-hand learning experiences within a learning environment that is stimulating and challenging.” She highlighted priority one – that of ensuring that the whole curriculum best meets the needs of all learners, whilst Mr. Cameron explained priority two – to ensure that school systems and procedures are effective in meeting the needs of the changing population.
During the Spring meeting, a “Community and Inclusion” presentation was given by Mr Parker which included: the showcase of the WW1 commemoration, celebration of British Values and inter-school challenge events.
Through the Steering and Resources Committees, the Leadership Team drew Governors’ attention to the school’s pupil numbers in Early Years Centre and it was suggested that it would be more effective to run one larger session in the morning, which would better meet the needs of parents and pupils. From September 2019, the capacity will increase with staff redeployed throughout the school during the afternoon.
A second bid was successful for LCVAP funding for alterations to the kitchen which will start during the summer holidays. The old PE store will be emptied and the wall demolished. A new serving area will be created with electronic shutters and an in/out system during lunchtime. A new PE store will be built, creating more room within the kitchen. The work will be undertaken over a two year period.
Governor visits to school:
• Carol Coombes observed Intervention groups at work.
• Janet Chester came into school to celebrate Online Safety Day.
• Mike Duckworth met with Alex Yates, Mathematics leader, to look at data analysis and at teaching/learning.
• John Duckworth and Fatima Karolia met with three members of SLT to look at non-core subjects. They observed three classes in KS1 and then three in KS2.
• Tracie Harrison came into school to look at Phonics in KS1.
• Fatima Karolia and Alison Spencer both met with the headteacher as part of their new governor induction process.
• Janet Chester came into school regularly to monitor the teaching of Religious Education and provides a very important link with the Church during the interregnum period.
Safeguarding is effective and seen to be the responsibility of everyone at St. James’. The Safeguarding Governor, Mrs J. Chester, meets at least once each half term with the Designated Safeguarding Lead to monitor policies and procedures, and the impact of safeguarding training. It is considered a priority that all Governors take advantage of Safeguarding Training opportunities on offer.
St. James’ has a higher than average percentage of children with Special Educational Needs. The designated SEND Governor (Mrs C. Coombes) meets the school SENCO on a regular basis to review progress and the impact of interventions for SEND and disadvantaged pupils. Teaching Assistants have an important role in the classroom and ensure all children have access to an inclusive learning environment.
As a Church of England Voluntary Aided primary school in a predominantly Muslim area, St James’ continues to uphold its founding mission of providing quality education for the local community. Links with the church, community and local interfaith groups significantly enhance the school’s Christian character and pupils’ learning.
There is an excellent relationship between the school, church and local community as can be exemplified by the commitment to charitable projects, such as supporting Night Safe, Blackburn Foodbank, and Asthma UK. This year the major focus of fundraising has been to help improve the lives of children and adults associated with Mimtams Primary School in South Africa. This followed on from a visit to South Africa by Mr. S. Patel, chair of the Curriculum Community Committee, who came into school to highlight the importance of this charity to the school community. The school sees this very much of its vision statement and ‘serving one another in love.’
It has been another good year with the school continuing to flourish under the leadership of Mr. Morgan and Miss Moore assisted by the SLT and all the staff. We are also grateful to all the parents for their continued support of the school. We do our best to provide the best possible care and education for all our pupils.