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 3 staff governors (including the Headteacher), 4 elected Parent Governors, 1 Local Authority Governor and 4 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), a Pay Committee and a 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.
During the year we have had some Governor movement. Of our Co-opted Governors, Mrs Rhian Fisk stood down and our longest serving Governor of Mrs Lynne Oscroft retired, having served as a Governor for more than 32 years. From Parent Governors, Mrs Sarah Steel and Mr Nick Hoffman stood down. We thank them all for their invaluable service and support. In their place we welcomed two new co-opted Governors: Mrs Marianne Parish, who has considerable financial knowledge of the school and Mrs Tracey Wilson. She and our new Parent Governor, Mrs Ruth Leverett, both have extensive teaching experience. The qualities of all three new members will be invaluable.
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 Chair and Mrs Charlick carry out and record termly monitoring checks on process and follow up of all safeguarding incidents, including DBS monitoring.
The Governing Body has again had a very busy year. Our new Headteacher, Mrs. Helen Castell, is now well established and we continue to move forward in excellent manner, generally exceeding National standards. In spite of financial restrictions, by diligent management, we have managed to fund release of our Deputy Headteacher Mrs. Tracey Wilson for two non-teaching days per week. This enables her to take a greater management role, to the benefit of our supervision structure, without disadvantaging teaching in any way.
We continue to focus on regularly updating the School Development Plan to actively promote continuous school improvement. Our last 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 of ‘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.
During the last year we have trialled merging the Curriculum Committee with the Full Governing Body meeting, as we found that separate meetings were duplicating the process. This is working well and we will continue with this arrangement for the time being. 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 ensure that the school is on track to fulfil 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 and concentrating on closing the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children.
The Finance and Premises Committee looks at the maintenance and development of the school premises, and makes decisions about how the school should use the budget.
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 2017 summer term, the Finance and Premises Committee approved the 2017/18 budget plan for the school. The school is in a sound financial position and we are pleased to report that we can afford to run all our classes with qualified and dedicated teachers. We are able to support an adequate number of well trained Teaching Assistants, ensuring we give the best possible support to all our pupils and adding value to their education.
We are constantly reviewing and agreeing school policies, of which there are many. As part of our continuous Policies Review Programme we have considered a number of key policies this year, including Anti Bullying, Behaviour Management, Child Protection, Concerns and Complaints, Data Protection, the Prevent Action Plan, Special Education Needs and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE). Our Attendance Policy, as a result of legislation changes that no longer allow schools to authorise term time holidays, continues to work 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 close to our target and hopefully will be in line with National figures when they are published.
All policies and minutes of Governing Body and Committee meetings are public documents. You can ask to inspect any of them by calling at the school office, or you can download policies from our website.
Works carried out during the year include:
After all that, I am pleased to say our 2017/18 Budget still shows a reasonable level of carry forward to take us into next year, 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||19.05.2019||Governing Body|
|Mrs Rhian Fisk||Co-opted||02.10.2014||01.10.2018||17.11.2016||Governing Body|
|Mrs Joan Gentle||Local Authority||28.05.2017||27.05.2021||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. Ruth Leverett||Parent||21.02.2017||20.02.2021||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||31.08.2016||Governing Body|
|Mrs. Marianne Parish||Co-opted||01.09.2016||31.08.2020||Governing Body|
|Mrs Sarah Steel||Parent||19.03.2015||18.03.2019||09.11.2016||Parent Vote|
|Mrs. Tracey Wilson||Co-opted||01.12.2016||30.11.2020||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
|Finance & premises
|Personnel meetings attended||Pay meetings attended||CPD courses & training|
|Helen Castell (Headteacher)||3/3||4/4||3/3||n/a||
|Relevant business and
|Governance roles in other
|Relevant material interests arising
from relationships between governors or relationships between governors and school staff
|Natalie Booker||None||None||Member of staff|
|Ralph Bray||None||None||Partner of Mrs. Joan Gentle|
|Helen Castell (Headteacher)||None||None||Member of staff|
|Rhian Fisk (stood down November 2016)||None||None||Member of staff|
|Joan Gentle||None||Governor Writtle Junior School (stood down December 2016)||Partner of Mr. Ralph Bray|
|Sarah Steel (stood down November 2016)||None||None||None|
|Tracey Wilson||None||None||Member of staff|