It has been my great pleasure to have been Chair of Governors at Osborne School for a full academic year and now it is time to review the work of the Governing Body.
We had a very successful day last October, where the Governing Body spent a whole day together, with Sonia (Head Teacher). The day was partly led by Chris Slater, from Hampshire Governor Services who supported us in refining our roles. We looked at the School Strategic Plan, agreed priorities for the year and what would be monitored, how and by whom. This enabled us to meet the first of our main statutory responsibilities: To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
Throughout the year Governors have attended Full Governing Body meetings, meetings with Sonia and other staff members, visited classes, read reports, exchanged emails, looked at paperwork, including data and attended various events such as the Celebration assembly, Christmas performance, inset days, new parents’ coffee morning, sports day plus many more. This supports us in our duty to hold the Head Teacher to account for the progress of pupils and staff.
We are very lucky to have two Governors with huge financial knowledge who lead on the third responsibility of overseeing the financial performance of the school, though all Governors are involved in ensuring money is well spent. This is ever more important as the financial situation in schools becomes more difficult and we must continue to support the staff to meet the needs of our students by providing high quality staff, environment, buildings and equipment.
During the year we have said goodbye to some Governors: Steve, Caroline, Kelly and sadly we shall be saying good bye to Penny, who has not only been a Governor but also an outstanding Chair for some years.
We have welcomed new Governors: Brenda Ralston as staff Governor, Sandra Stanbrook, Norma Riddle and Melissa Doughty as co-opted Governors. All these Governors come with new knowledge and skills to enhance our board. We are currently seeking a new parent Governor. If you would like to know more about the role please do get in touch. It is very worthwhile.
The Governors have undertaken various training throughout the year, including a regular safeguarding quiz to keep us up to date and we are taking part in the Leading Governance programme to further develop our skills.
It is sometimes difficult to see the impact of the Governors. At the end of each meeting we do look at this and here are some of the areas we would like to highlight.
We have set up an annual monitoring schedule so Governors and staff know what we will be monitoring, when, how and who will do it.
We have supported Sonia, especially with regard to the new development at Kings School and ensuring this is adequately funded. We have held her to account by questioning her, particularly with regard to progress data, safeguarding systems and training.
Some Governors were interviewed by Ofsted as part of the inspection process. We were delighted with the result of the inspection and were especially pleased that the innovative work the school does in mental wealth was noted. Governors are keen to support the development of this area of the schools’ work.
I have taken on board a comment by a parent that the Governors did not directly communicate with parents and have started to write a note to parents at the beginning of each term. We do have a page on the website so for more info. about who we are and what we do please look there but also feel free to contact any of the Governors if you would like further information.
We appreciate the hard work the staff put in on a daily basis to support the students to achieve and do their best. It is not always easy to show that appreciation but we hope the Easter Tea for staff does just that.
The Governors are a group of volunteers who bring their various skills together in order to challenge and support the school. Alongside Sonia we want to keep expectations high whilst supporting staff to support students. I am looking forward to another year working with a great group of Governors in a great school.
Chris Gayler, Chair of Governors.