In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the Writtle Infant School Governing Body are:
The role of the Governing Body is to give Strategic direction to the School, provide constructive challenge in constantly endeavouring to raise standards and ensure finances are well managed.
The Governing Body of Writtle Infant School was reconstituted in 2015 in accordance with Government requirements and is made up of 2 staff governors (including the Headteacher), 4 elected Parent Governors, 1 Local Authority Governor and 5 Co-opted Governors. Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
The full Governing Body meets once each term, we also have a number of committees to consider different aspects of the school in detail. At Writtle Infant School we have a Finance & Premises Committee, which focuses on finance, premises and some personnel matters; a Curriculum Committee (for teaching and learning) and a Pay and Personnel Committee. When urgent matters dictate we hold occasional extraordinary meetings to deal with them. We also have committees that meet if required to consider pupil discipline and staffing matters.
Governors conduct regular monitoring visits to the school and at least termly attend curriculum related school assemblies. All governors jointly attend in-house CPD sessions at the school, when school improvement and other key issues are discussed and regularly attend Local Authority CPD courses.
There is a list of Governors with the number of courses attended below.
The Governing Body is committed to:
Governors place great value on safeguarding and equality. We have a Nominated Governor for Safeguarding (Mrs. Bobbie Charlick) who gives a termly report to the governors about all such matters where applicable.
The Governing Body has again had a very busy year, with the appointment of our new Headteacher Mrs. Helen Castell who joined the school in September 2015 after the retirement of Mrs. Eileen Thomas – our long serving, popular and well respected Headteacher. During the transition period Mrs. Tracey Wilson stepped up to the plate and took the reins of Acting Headteacher in most excellent manner.
We continue to focus on regularly updating the School Development Plan to actively promote continuous school improvement, our OFSTED inspection in January 2014 gave the school a ‘Good’ rating. This outcome was due to the hard work and efforts of staff, pupils and the Governing Body. The OFSTED report has many positive comments, with many elements judged ‘outstanding’ in respect of all participants, both pupils and school team; we continue to maintain and improve on that high standard for the future. We continue to work with the Junior School to improve transition between the two schools.
At full governing body meetings we continue to progress the introduction of the new curriculum and governors analyse key data giving the results of pupil achievement and progress, so that we can be sure that the school is on track to fulfill its ambitious targets for all pupils. We also pay particular attention to our “vulnerable groups” of children and focus on how wisely the Pupil Premium and Sports Premium Grant is being spent by the school and what impact this has on their outcomes, ensuring continuity of the benefits provided.
The Finance & Premises Committee looks at the maintenance and development of the school premises, and makes decisions about how the school should use the budget. We also have a Pay & Personnel Committee which meets once per term.
Mr Bray is our Health and Safety Governor and he carries out termly checks of the premises with Mrs Castell and Mr Turner, the school’s site manager.
Early in the summer term, the Finance & Premises Committee approved the 2016/17 budget plan for the school; the school is in a healthy position financially and we are pleased to report that we can afford to run all our classes with qualified and dedicated teachers. Teaching Assistants ensure we give the best possible support to all our pupils with adequate training to ensure they are adding value to pupils’ education.
One of the roles for the governors is constantly reviewing and agreeing school policies, of which there are many, this year we have considered a number of key policies, including Behaviour Management, the new Prevent Policy and Safeguarding. Our new Attendance Policy, as a result of legislation changes that no longer allow schools to authorise term time holidays, is working effectively. The Governing Body recognised the problem that may cause for some parents, but we are very pleased that as a consequence of the support and understanding of parents, attendance figures at the school are on target, which is key to OFSTED reports.
Policies, Minutes of Governing Body and Committee meetings are public documents. Policies can be found here, alternatively you can ask to inspect them and the minutes of all meetings at the school office.
In line with Government requirements the improved catering arrangements in conjunction with the Junior school to provide free school meals for all Foundation and Key Stage 1 children in the school, is now securely in place and is working well and has proved a great benefit to children and their families.
Works carried out this year, overseen by our Site Manager, have included:
After all that, I am pleased to say our 2016-17 budget still shows a reasonable level of carry forward to take us into next year, all thanks to the prudent and shrewd management of our Headteacher and Mrs Capps.
|Governor||Category||Date of appointment||Term of office||Date stepped down
|By whom appointed|
|Mr Ralph Bray||Co-opted||01.04.2015||31.03.2019||Governing Body|
|Mrs Natalie Booker||Staff||20.03.2014||19.03.2018||Governing Body|
|Mrs Helen Castell||Headteacher||01.09.2015||Ex officio||Ex officio|
|Mrs Bobbie Charlick||Co-opted||20.05.2015||20.05.2019||Governing Body|
|Mrs Rhian Fisk||Co-opted||02.10.2014||01.10.2018||Governing Body|
|Mrs Joan Gentle||Local Authority||28.05.2013||28.05.2017||Local Authority|
|Mr Christopher Harland||Parent||19.05.2016||18.05.2020||Parent Vote|
|Mr Nick Hoffman||Parent||31.10.2014||31.10.2018||Parent Vote|
|Mr Dismas Joseph||Parent||17.03.2016||16.03.2020||Parent Vote|
|Mrs Alison Marks||Parent||09.02.2015||08.02.2019||17.03.2016||Parent Vote|
|Mrs Karen Marsh||Co-opted||07.07.2016||06.07.2020||Governing Body|
|Mrs Lynne Oscroft||Co-opted||31.08.2012||31.08.2016||Governing Body|
|Mrs Sarah Steel||Parent||19.03.2015||18.03.2019||Parent Vote|
|Mr Mick Townley||Co-opted||06.10.2014||05.10.2018||17.03.2016||Governing Body|
Governors have excellent 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). See details of individual governors’ attendance at meetings below.
n/a = not on that committee
|Full governing body
3 meetings +
|Finance & premises
2 meetings – 1 combined with FGB
|Pay & personnel
|Number of CPD –
courses /conferences attended
|Ralph Bray||7/7||4/4||2/2||n/a||Moving from good to Outstanding; Wellbeing; Complaints & Concerns; Data Handling; Monitoring & Evaluation|
|Natalie Booker||6/7||n/a||n/a||n/a||Staff – separately listed|
|Bobbie Charlick||4/7||n/a||n/a||1/2||Update for experienced governors|
|Helen Castell (Headteacher)||7/7||4/4||2/2||3/3||Staff – separately listed|
|Rhian Fisk||7/7||n/a||2/2||n/a||Staff – separately listed|
|Joan Gentle||7/7||4/4||n/a||3/3||Safeguarding; Moving from good to Outstanding; Wellbeing; Complaints & Concerns;|
|Christopher Harland (joined in year)||1/4||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Alison Marks (resigned in year)||0/1||n/a||0/2||n/a|
|Karen Marsh (joined in year)||1/1||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Lynne Oscroft||5/7||4/4||n/a||3/3||Safeguarding; Moving from good to Outstanding; Update for Experienced Governors|
|Sarah Steel||6/7||n/a||2/2||0/1||Governors Induction; Moving from good to Outstanding; Supporting Senior Leadership Team; Overview of finance & HR|
|Mick Townley (resigned in year)||1/2||1/2||n/a||1/2|
|Relevant business and
|Governance roles in other
|Relevant material interests arising
from relationships between
governors or relationships between
governors and school staff
|Ralph Bray||None||Governor Writtle Junior School stood down from WJS
31st August 2016
|Partner of Mrs. Joan Gentle|
|Helen Castell (Headteacher)||None||None||None|
|Rhian Fisk||None (Staff co-opted)||None||None|
|Joan Gentle||None||Governor Writtle Junior School stood down from WJS
11th December 2016
|Partner of Mr. Ralph Bray|
|Lynne Oscroft||None||Governor Writtle Junior School||None|
|Tracey Wilson||None (Staff co-opted)||None||None|