Governors

Highfield School Governors

All governors are checked against section 128 barring list
List of scheduled meetings 2018-2019 – here
Annual Statement of the Governing Body 2018-19 – here
Register of Business Interests Information 2018-2019 – here

Governors newsletter October 2018 – here

Governors newsletter October 2017 – here

Governor Roles

Who are the school governors and what do we do?

The school’s governors are a group of volunteers including parents,  staff and members of the local community. We meet once or twice a term and work closely with the Headteacher to support the school. We monitor the school’s performance and are also involved in setting targets to improve standards and for financial planning.

Within the governing body we have three committees which again meet each term and concentrate their discussions around a particular area of responsibility. These committees are Staffing and Curriculum, Finance, and Premises/Health & Safety.

Composition of the Governing Body

Highfield Primary School has a governing body of  members with representatives from 4 categories.

The categories of governor are as follows:-

Parent – Parent governors are elected by members of the parent community. They must have legal parental responsibility for a child registered as a pupil at the school. If insufficient parents stand for election, the governing body can appoint parent governors.

Staff – Staff governors are elected by all staff, either teaching or support staff. The head teacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of his/her office and counts as a member of the staff category.

Local Authority –This category of governors is appointed by the Local Authority.

Co-opted – Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing body through a skills audit. Governing bodies are encouraged to recruit representatives from local businesses and charitable organisations. This category can include parents and members of staff or elected members of the LA. Appointments are made by nominations and voting by all governors at the full governing body meeting.

The Governing Body Committees

It is not practical for the full governing body to make decisions on every aspect of its business. There are, therefore, a number of committees which have specific areas of work delegated to them. These committees meet at intervals during the term and report back to the full governing body for ratification of their decisions.

Brief details of the Committee responsibilities are below; – Each committee has provided a more detailed description of their duties which can be accessed in a separate section

Staffing and Curriculum Committee

The curriculum committee ensures that all children have access to the national curriculum and that high academic standards are maintained. To do this we discuss the school’s curriculum policies, monitor the quality of teaching and study the annual attainment test results. We also check that pupils with additional needs are provided for and treated fairly.

The Staffing committee oversees the appointment of all staff in the school, their professional development and their well-being. To do this we discuss the school’s policies related to personnel including behaviour and attendance policies, equal opportunities policies relating to staff and pupils, anti-bullying and child safeguarding policies.

Premises Committee

The premises committee ensures that all the children have a suitable and safe school environment. To do this we check that the buildings are fit for purpose and well maintained. We carry out risk assessments where appropriate and address any health and safety concerns that arise.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee oversees the financial management of the school and makes sure that it operates within budget and makes the most effective use of the funds it receives from the Local Authority. The Finance Committee helps the Head Teacher to set a 3 year plan of projected income and expenditure and also advises on policies relating to financial matters.

Staffing and Curriculum Committee

A successful school requires a broad and balanced curriculum which meets the needs of every child, enabling them all to make good progress. The role of the Curriculum Committee is to monitor the curriculum provision, attainment and achievement of all pupils and provision made for particular groups (SEN/Gifted and Talented/ vulnerable groups / gender etc ). It also monitors attendance to ensure that poor attendance is not a barrier to learning.

Assessment : Attainment and Achievement

It is the role of the Curriculum Committee to interrogate the school assessment data in order to maintain high standards and high expectations of all pupil achievements. Reports are given on pupil progress within school and areas of strength and weakness are discussed, including more formal target setting for Key Stage 1 and 2. Areas which are in need of further improvement become part of the annual School Development Plan, with the Curriculum Committee monitoring the progress of the actions throughout the year. All governors are appraised of the assessment procedures within school and discuss the impact of these on the achievements of the pupils. The progress of all children, of differing abilities is monitored here with a termly SEN and Gifted and Talented reports to the committee.

Curriculum

The governors on this committee discuss and review curriculum policies and any changes to the provision, frequently meeting with staff and pupils to gain an insight into a particular subject area. They often visit the school and go on trips which provide a valuable insight into the life of the school and they are also responsible for overseeing arrangements for all educational visits. Governors are also invited into staff training days and they also ensure that the school complies with all relevant legislation relating to equality and diversity, eg disability, gender etc. Members of staff also report to the governors on their subject leadership role. The quality of teaching and learning is also monitored as this has a bearing on how the curriculum is delivered and how much progress is being made.

Attendance

The Curriculum committee monitors the attendance of all pupils, checking on trends and helping to set attendance targets on an annual basis.

Staffing Committee

It is widely recognised through a range of research that children have the best chance of reaching their full potential at school when they are actively supported by a quality staff team and at home. A staff team at school needs visionary and active leadership. It also needs talented, dedicated teachers, and a competent business staff.

At Highfield Primary school the staffing committee is part of the school’s human resources system for supporting the recruitment, training, motivation, evaluation and retention of the staff team. We aim to support the building and maintenance of a human resource management system that meets the requirements of the law and required procedures. At the same time, at the heart of our system is a commitment to the ‘just’ treatment of staff. We believe good human resource practices should help to create a work environment that supports the mission of the school, the aims for and safety of the children and encourages employees to develop and thrive.

Specifically the staffing committee functions include being involved in:

Staff Appointments which includes following agreed procedures for involvement in the recruitment and selection, conditions of service, promotions and teaching allowances;

Staff Management which includes staff attendance, career break and job sharing schemes, leave of absence/special leave, staff conduct and discipline, staff suspensions and dismissals; staff redundancy and retirement Schemes;

Staff Performance which includes induction training, review, development and unsatisfactory performance;

Staff Welfare – well being and support;

Safeguarding – taking a lead role on policies and practice;

Governor’s welfare and involvement – induction, ongoing support and training.

The staffing committee meet once a term to review and report back on the above matters. They also provide a summarised report to the full governing body at the end of each term. The committee has developed a personnel plan to guide and support the work underway at any one time.

The Staffing committee aim to ensure that by completing a thorough and regular review of the human resource elements of the school systems that the school remains, as far as possible, a safe and enjoyable environment for all those who use it.

Finance Committee

Running any successful school requires good management of its finances, particularly in the current economic climate. With this in mind it is important that everyone associated with the school has some understanding of how the school finances work.

How does it work?

Each year the Government allocates a certain amount of money to local authorities, in our case Enfield Local Authority, the money is for them to provide all the services we need in our Borough e.g. Roads, Transport, Community Services, Planning, Recycling etc.
Enfield local Authority then allocate a certain proportion of this money to be spent on its schools.

The annual amount per school is agreed at the start of the school’s financial year, April, and it is then for the Head teacher, supported by the Governors, to determine how best to spend that money.

In addition schools prepare a 3 year plan of projected income and expenditure to demonstrate to the LA how they intend to spend the money and that they will be able to manage their finances without overspending and going into a deficit.

Income

The LA allocates most of the money based on the number of pupils in school, with different amounts given for the different Year Groups. We receive a set amount per pupil.

We are also very lucky that the Friends of Highfield make valuable contributions from their fundraising.

We can also apply for a variety of grants to support various areas of school development

Expenditure

The Head Teacher and the Governors recognise what has enabled Highfield to achieve a Good OFSTED rating, it is to concentrate on the educational needs and well being of every child. To achieve this we focus on getting the right teaching staff and support in place and the result is we spend the vast majority of the budget on both salaries and training for teachers, teaching assistants, clerical staff and midday supervisors.

The remaining then has to cover everything else to run the school, the main things being:

Building maintenance and repair

Ground maintenance

Heating, Gas, Electricity, Water and Sewage

Rates

Learning resources such as book, paper, chairs, desks and PC’s

School meals

School trips and transport

As the different Governor committees ( Staffing and Curriculum, Premises and Health & Safety) identify new items of expenditure these are then reviewed by the Finance committee to understand if there are sufficient funds available. Unfortunately with the current cut backs it does mean having to make tougher decisions on what the school spends its money on.

Premises Committee

A school cannot function unless its buildings and equipment are safe and fit for purpose. The Premises committee has the responsibility to ensure that the school’s buildings and grounds are well maintained and provide a safe and suitable environment for the pupils and staff. The Premises committee also covers the governor’s Health and Safety responsibilities.

How do we work?

The premises committee meet once a term initially producing an annual plan for the tasks that need to be carried out and then working from this plan. These tasks can be broadly divided into three areas:

1. Building maintenance

As our school is a ‘maintained school’, the school buildings are owned by Enfield Local Authority but the school is responsible for paying for all the expenses involved in running the school out of the money they receive each year from the local authority.

The central heating and other installations need annual servicing to ensure safe and efficient running and it is the governor’s responsibility to ensure that this is done. In these austere times, the governors ensure that we are buying in these services as cost effectively as possible.

The governors undertake an annual inspection of the school premises and meet with staff to identify any parts of the building that are in need of repair or are causing problems. Recently, we have had a new build of a nursery and 9 classrooms, these have had to be closely monitored to ensure suitability for providing a suitable and safe learning environment for our children.  In addition within the older part of the building constant monitoring has to take place to watch for occasional problems.

2. Health and Safety

Nothing is more important to the staff and governors than the safety of the children and hence this a responsibility that governors take very seriously.

Thorough annual risk assessments are carried out encompassing three main areas; an assessment of general risks whilst within school, a fire risk assessment and a security risk review. Any deficiencies highlighted by these risk assessments are addressed as soon as possible. An example of this would include producing a fire action plan with mapping of escape routes this was needed for the new building.

Other equipment that needs to be maintained in a safe condition include the PE and games equipment, ladders, the outdoor play equipment and the school grounds in general

3. School Policies

The Premises committee ensures that various policies relating to the school premises and health and safety are in place. These policies demonstrate the school’s approach to a certain issue and hence are used by staff and available to parents. Policies are reviewed regularly and amended as necessary in accordance with new guidance from the government, local authority or Ofsted. Eg: Following our new build we needed to make amendments to our – Medical Policy and Asthma Information, these have now both been changed to take into account KS1 and KS2 changes in asthma pump and Epipen storage. ( Sep 2014 )

We ensure that by completing a thorough and regular review of the school premises and of health and safety arrangements, and by arranging for cost effective maintenance and repairs within the limits of the school’s budget, that the school is as safe and pleasant environment as possible for all those who use it

Diana Wren (Chair)

I have lived locally for a number of years, and have always taken an active part in the local community.
I have been involved with the school for a number of years, starting when my own 4 children attended here. At that time the school was called Winchmore Infant and Junior School.  Also my grandchildren now attend Highfield.

I have seen many changes over the years and feel I have been very fortunate to have been the Chair of the Governing Body whilst we have been going through our recent expansion.  It has taken considerable amount of hard work from Staff, Governors, children and parents to get to completion, but it has been very exciting to see the new build taking shape!!!!!!

I am committed to support Highfield Primary to ensure that it will continue to provide a wonderful education to all of their pupils .

My main interests, apart from my family, are reading, theatre, sport, gardening, eating out & spending time with friends.

I enjoy serving on the Governing Body as I have a real interest in young people’s education.

Eamonn Dempsey – Parent Governor

I am a parent governor with 2 children at Highfield, currently in Year 2 and Year 5. I live in Palmers Green and work in IT Support at an Asset Management firm in London. I sit on the Finance Committee and the Premises Committee (of which I am chair) and am also the governor responsible for Pupil Premium and complaints against the school.

Dan Greenwood – Parent Governor

Having actively participated with Friends of Highfield since my older son joined reception in 2015, I would welcome this opportunity to further contribute to the school’s tremendous achievements, promoting a love of learning in an inclusive environment.  These values are shared by me with the University of Westminster, where I am a senior lecturer in Politics.  While university and primary schools are different worlds, I have gained the following skills through 13 years in academia:

Teaching, curriculum design, committee/group work project, political analysis, report writing, staff recruitment/appraisal, Administration/IT and managing budgets.

Central to my approach are reliability, listening, teamwork and organisation.

Naomi Bulliard – Parent Governor

A multilingual educator and linguist, I have worked in education throughout my career in various countries.
I am currently managing research and innovation projects and international partnerships at University of the Arts London. The majority of the projects I am involved with concern diversity, social responsibility, multiculturalism and skills development.
Both as a parent and an educator, I am committed to improving children’s educational attainment, especially through intercultural dialogues, language learning and the arts.
Having worked as a teacher and in curriculum development across primary through to higher education, I am a strong believer in lifelong learning and in preparing children to be confident global citizens.

Bevin Button – Local Authority Governor

For Information on Bevin – click here