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Governance here at Velmead

The Department for Education (DfE) sets out information on the role of governing bodies in its Governance Handbook. The handbook says the purpose of governance is to:

... provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.

It then outlines the three core functions of the governing board:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

Here at Velmead, we have two committees who work to assist the full governing body to cover all the aspects of governance to the highest standards:

  • Curriculum and Standards focusses on the breadth and balance of our school curriculum, the quality of teaching and learning, the progress and attainment that pupils make in the core learning subjects (Reading, Writing, Maths and Science) and how pupils are prepared for the next stage of their education
  • Resources – Human and Financial focusses on all the personnel and financial aspects of running the school as well as the fabric of the building and school site.  

Both committees has a committee chair who can also act as a Vice-Chair of the full governing body should the need arise. 

From January 2017, we have held monthly meetings at which we consider all the aspects of governance.  Most of our monthly meetings naturally has a bias towards either Curriculum and Standards or Resources.  As a result, we have decided to embed the relevant committee meeting within the full governing body meeting so that we have time to consider all the necessary aspects of governance in greater detail.  At the end of each committee meeting, we then reconvene the full governing body so that we can ratify the decisions made during the committee stage.

We feel that this change has a number of advantages as we save a great deal of time by not having to go over the major discussion points and decisions from each of the committees at the full Governing Body meeting.  It has also given all of us a better understanding of the full range of GB responsibilities which has, in turn, has enabled us to take more informed decisions.  The new process has also allowed us to accelerate Velmead’s progress towards becoming an outstanding school by ensuring that we have the ability to consider all the aspects of a strategic change at the same meeting.  In this way we can direct funding to where it is needed quickly without the delay caused by waiting for the next round of meetings.  

In addition to our regular business, we also have initiated our plan to provide governors with a broader understanding of the school by carrying out more planned learning walks or receiving presentations from subject leaders. We use this opportunity to work with senior teachers to talk about specific subject areas be it Reading, Writing, Maths or specific interventions.  This allows Governors to put questions to staff about specific aspects of their data.  We hope that this increased governor and staff contact time during our monthly meetings will help us to demonstrate for OFSTED that we are asking probing questions and always seeking to improve. 

To contact the Governors please email: adminoffice@velmead.hants.sch.uk

For details of our Governors click here

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