The Governing Body

The governing body is a group of individuals, made up of parents, staff and members of the local community. We work on a voluntary basis to support the strategic leadership of the school. Governors typically serve for terms of four years, and will have a variety of responsibilities during this time.

You can see who they are here.

What Do We Do?

Whilst the governing body carry many legal responsibilities for the school, this only represents part of the overall story. These activities include:

  • Oversight of the effective delivery of the curriculum
  • Monitoring the progress of children throughout their school life
  • Helping to develop and monitor the annual budget and finances
  • Long-term planning for the future development of the school
  • Ensure effective policies covering areas such as child welfare, recruitment, health & safety etc.
  • Prioritising repairs and improvements to the school buildings and grounds

At Holly Park we have a clear expectation about the role of Governors. Please see the attached booklets with our Handbook and our Governor Code of Practice. It would be important to read these documents if you are considering being a governor at this school.

Holly Park Governors come into school and do learning walks and open mornings regularly. In these sessions they look in books, speak with key staff, observe parts of lessons, talk to children, attend assembly and go out in the playgrounds to observe the children.

These visits into school are planned out for the whole year as part of the school calendar of events. The visits are linked to the School Improvement Plan so that governors can focus on specific issues that will feed into the plan. These visits give them opportunity to see the work of the school in action and to ask questions and make suggestions about what they see.

These are the issues relating to the School Improvement plan that governors are monitoring in 2017-18:

  • September-  Feedback to pupils
  • November-  Bullying
  • December- The Restorative Approach
  • January –    Safeguarding
  • February – Writing

These are the issues relating to the School Improvement plan that governors  monitored in 2016-17:

  • Learning walk – Healthy food – September
  • Learning walk – Spelling – September
  • Learning walk – Global dimension – October
  • Open morning – Circle time, phonics, healthy eating – November
  • Learning walk – Maths – December
  • Learning walk – Maths – January
  • Learning walk – Use of TAs & Interventions – March

These are the issues relating to the School Improvement plan that governors  monitored in 2015 -16:

  • September Learning walk  – Nursery & Reception Baseline
  • October – Phonics in Y2
  • November – Governor Open Morning – Values, Rights Respecting Schools, lunchtime behaviour, lesson study
  • December – Learning walks –  Pupil Premium children & writing
  • February – Learning walks – Spelling, punctuation & grammar
  • March – Governor Open Morning – PP and writing, lunchtime behaviour, monitoring, EYFS writing
  • April – Learning walks –  TA interventions
  • May – Learning walks – Online safety
  • June – Governor Open Morning –  ​Subject leaders, boys and Writing
  • June – Learning Walk – SEN progress

The impact of Governors at the school in 2017-18:

  • Governors agreed that a formal letter should be issued when a debt of over £50 is incurred, signed by one of the Governors.
  • Governors agreed that only cases requiring escalation should be brought to the attention of the finance committee going forward, for example amounts over £50 where there appears to be no agreement to settle.
  • Governors have been very much involved on trips and residentials this year.
  • Governors agreed to start a funding/bid writing group by a governor on behalf of the governing body due to ever decreasing school budgets. This group will involve staff and the PTA. The aim is to try to raise more funds for large projects by writing bids to outside agencies and companies etc. This has been set up.
  • A governor suggested providing parents with a guide as to what to look for in their child’s book at the ‘book look.’ This was initiated.
  • A governor suggested making our writing priority more visual in the school so that children felt proud of their writing. A river of writing was created in the school hall.
  • A governor suggested that behaviour was analysed as a breakdown between boys and girls. This has been initiated.
  • The governor learning walk on bullying meant that the governors could see the need for a governor linked to anti bullying. A governor volunteered for this role.
  • Governor learning walks have made governors very clear about why certain areas of the curriculum or initiatives are part of our school improvement plan.
  • Governors gave great thought to how to involve parents more on the subject of bullying and getting them involved more.
  • After the governor learning walk on Young Carers, governors felt that it was very important that staff were made more aware of the situations some of these children are in. This will be built into Inset in Autumn 2018
  • Following most recent Learning Walk on LAC, governors requested that current governor for safeguarding also becomes lead governor for LAC.
  • Governors asked to meet with the catering company following negative feedback from a number of HP parents etc. This happened at the spring term FGB meeting.  Governors challenged portion sizes for infants and juniors and some healthy eating issuers etc.
  • Governors requested that the Achievement meeting become the Progress meeting and all chairs must attend. This was so that ALL governors took more responsibility for outcomes. Progress was to look at all aspects of progress across the SIP. The first meeting was held in the Spring term.
  • A governor suggested that we need to clarify roles and responsibilities within the governing body and what the expectation of each role is. Initial work on this has begun.
  • Governors agreed to move sub committees to 8am. This has been implemented and meetings are better attended and are more efficient.
  • Governors voted on which cleaning company we would use in the new financial year. The new company began in April.
  • A Governor shared information about the BEAM Charity which gave children insight into the world of raising money.  The idea was to crowd fund homeless people who were either supported or monitored.  And it would give children the opportunity to email conversations with them for a more personal experience. The DHT will look into this for next year.

The impact of Governors at the school in 2016-17:

  • Following ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions, a governor suggested –‘Meet the SENCO’ meetings. – this did not happen due to Maternity leave
  • Following a discussion about parent governor coffee mornings being poorly attended – governors suggested having a governor table at parent evening and a rota of governors to mingle with parents and speak to them and listen to them – this was actioned.
  • Following a discussion about healthy food etc – governors suggested having water available for all in the centre of tables along with cups so that ALL children can access water. This would cut down on packed lunch children bringing in other sugary drinks – this was actioned
  • A governor suggested that computing be a learning walk focus. This was actioned and it became a lesson observation focus in the summer term.
  • A governor suggested that the half term Black History H/W could link to students’ own experiences of music, through their cultures and families etc. This was actioned
  • In response to a governor suggestion, Ann Pelham agreed that the learning walk model is the most effective way for governors to monitor the impact of the SIP, policies and initiatives. From now on, instead of governor open mornings, Ann Pelham will replace with additional learning walks throughout the academic year. This was actioned.
  • A governor suggested the clearing of allotment beds twice a year by the gardeners to make it more suitable for children to use – this was planned in the budget and actioned.

The impact of Governors at the school 2015-16:

  • A new governor suggested having a document control on all of our policies so that they are all the same. This includes a list of revisions made, by whom and why. It also includes the date of next review and who the policy has been circulated to and how. This was actioned.
  • A parent governor was asked by some parents about why parents couldn’t accompany their own child on school trips as is in the policy. They also commented that there was inconsistency between classes and teachers. The governor brought this to the T&L committee. There was discussion both ways. Governors suggested a contract for parents to sign if they did accompany their child on a trip. The discussion was then taken to the SIT. SIT approved the idea brought by governors with a parent contract. The decision was reported in a newsletter to parents Oct 2015. Another parent governor then helped draft the contract that would go to parents. This was implemented November 2015 and the policy was amended to reflect the new decision.
  • A governor asked (at November full governors) about how as a school we could engage more with some members of our community about FGM. We discussed about possible inclusion in sex education lessons for Y6. The governor then sent a link to a recent resource pack re: FGM on the gov.uk site under publications. There are some useful bits under the schools section.  We are considering this and how we might use it.
  • Following a governor Open morning in November, governors were pleased to see our new TA training schedule in place. After talking to TAs they suggested taking TA feedback on what training they would like and feel they need and also possibly differentiating training – running some sessions with two options for those who feel more competent and those who feel they are in need of the basics. We have implemented this from January 2016.
  • After a review of Safeguarding procedures (Dec 2015) a governor suggested running a session for a small group of children who we know have experienced some form of bullying/ friendship issues and asking them their opinion of the school policy and if we need to amend it in any way in light of their comments. This was actioned
  • Governors made changes to the uniform policy – tightening up on some procedures and making things more explicit. This will be implemented September 2016. This was actioned.
  • Governors voted to charge for swimming – asking for a voluntary contribution. Implemented April 2016.
  • Governors suggested keeping nursery extended fees the same for 2016/17 as this year. This was actioned.
  • Governors suggested making breakfast club £2.50 from Sept 2016. Parents were informed via newsletter in July that this would happen in September.
  • In the Spring Term, a governor asked for figures for the finance meeting ahead of the meeting so governors could look at these and come to the meeting more informed and with questions in mind – this was implemented for the summer term.
  • A governor suggested using the digital leaders to help update the school website for class pages. A meeting was held with the digital leaders and the governor present. Work began on doing this and will continue next year.