The Local Governing Board of Skyswood has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of the School and for the use of the financial resources delegated to the school. The Local Governing Board play a crucial role in both supporting and challenging the school’s performance. They are a vital component in demonstrating and assisting the implementation of the school’s vision at a local level and supporting effective leadership. The general role is to provide the local context, challenge and support to the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to ensure that the vision of the Trust to share educational excellence for everyone is achieved.
Local Governing Boards are not responsible for operational issues and their roles and responsibilities are to develop effective working practices relative to the school’s development plan objectives and targets.
The Local Governing Board’s role is to support the AAT Trust Board, CEO and relevant members of the executive team in their responsibilities for the educational performance, financial resources and safeguarding of the Trust and its pupils in the context of the Trust’s strategy.
The Local Governing Boards are effectively the eyes and ears of the Trust Board within the school that they serve and their delegated role in the Scheme of Delegation is to work essentially in four key areas:
Strategy and Leadership
The Local Governing Board will act as a critical friend to question, evaluate and have oversight of the following;
Strategy & Leadership
Governors work with leaders to set the strategic vision and plan of the school and monitor its delivery. They work alongside school leaders in the creation and maintenance of the school’s self-evaluation process and comply with all statutory regulations applying to the school as follows;
The Local Governing Board are responsible for appointing a SEND Governor to review and monitor the SEND provision throughout the school. the role of this governor will be to monitor that the Trust policies around SEND are being implemented and to report any areas of concern to the Trust. Governors ensure that the SEND Information Report is agreed in the Summer term for publication on the school’s website in the Autumn term.
The Local Governing Board appoint a Safeguarding Governor to ensure that the school’s policies, procedures and training comply with statutory duties. Governors attend the AAT Safeguarding Link meetings and ensure that any safeguarding updates, including updates in Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE), Child Protection, Online Safety, PREVENT and any other safeguarding requirements are fully embedded within school policy and practice. The Safeguarding Governor monitor’s the Trust policies around safeguarding and has a duty to report any areas of concern to the Headteacher/Trust. Governors complete Level 1 Safeguarding training every three years. The key changes in KCSiE for September 2023 include the school’s statutory duties with regard to monitoring and filtering to ensure the best possible practices in Online Safety. The school are implementing termly ‘Monitoring and Filtering’ checks, alongside an Annual Monitoring and Filtering Review. The school have chosen to adopt the Project Evolve Online Safety Scheme alongside Jigsaw in order to provide a comprehensive Online Safety education within the P.S.H.E. curriculum.
The governors check with school leaders to ensure that the school is compliant with the statutory duties in regard to the school website.
HEALTH & SAFETY
The Local Governing Board appoint a Health and Safety Governor to be involved in strategically monitoring the school’s health and safety management systems, ensuring that they are in place and effective. School leaders provide regular reports to the Local Governing Board on Health & Safety within the school. Governors conduct an Annual Health & Safety Audit.
GDPR and CYBER SECURITY.
Governors are trained on the Trust’s Data Protection processes as part of their induction. All governors read and sign an Acceptable Use Agreement and complete Cyber Security training for school insurance compliance. Governors are aware of the AAT Cyber Security Policy and monitor its application at school level.
Governors ensure that School Food Standards are being met and receive reports on the culture and ethos of healthy eating at the school.
RELATED PARTY DECLARATIONS
Governors complete an annual Register of Business Interests and ensure there are procedures in place to deal with any conflicts of interest and connected party in relation to governors and staff.
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN
The Local Governing Board monitor the progress on the School Improvement Plan through half-termly School Improvement Committee meetings, along with half-termly meetings of the Full Local Governing Board.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
The Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team set school targets with agreement of the Local Governing Board. Governors receive and review reports on the key performance indicators across each phase of education within the school. Through reviewing the progress targets, governors ensure that strategic objectives are being met.
QUALITY OF TEACHING
Governors receive regular reports on the quality of teaching to monitor the level of support, challenge, training and intervention that is in place to support the delivery of positive educational outcomes.
CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT
Governors work with school leaders in setting the curriculum to meet the strategic objectives of the Trust, statutory responsibilities and review effectiveness.
NARROWING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
Governors review and challenge the value for money of Pupil Premium, Sports Premium, CLA/PLA catch up, EHCP and SEND in terms of educational outcomes.
Governors set and determine the Admissions Criteria in line with Herts County procedures. This is set by the annual deadline of 28th February and recorded in governor minutes.
Governors receive and review reports on student issues: attendance, suspensions/permanent exclusions, equality measures, punctuality and behaviour. These are included in half-termly Headteacher’s Reports to the Full Local Governing Board.
The Local Governing Board determine formal student disciplinary appeals through convening a governors’ disciplinary committee hearing.
Governors review the use of suspensions if a student is suspended over 15 days in total in a term.
Governors ensure that the school is adhering to the AAT Supporting Children and Young People with Medical Needs Policy and ensure that the school holds adequate insurance and liability cover.
Governors review the Accessibility Plan and Equal Opportunities Policy annually in order to monitor progress. The Local Governing Board strive to ensure that their membership reflects the diversity of the community served by the school. Governors receive reports on achievement and progress for groups of students (including Pupil Premium, SEND, age and gender).
Governors respond objectively to complaints about the school in accordance with the AAT Complaints Policy.
SCHEME OF DELEGATION
Governors adhere to the AAT Scheme of Delegation of financial authority and related financial policies and procedures to ensure that there are appropriate financial controls so there is regularity, probity and value for money in relation to the management of public funds. The Resources Committee receive and review monthly audit reports and end of financial year reports. These are then presented to the Local Governing Board for approval. The Local Governing Board support the school with the annual budget setting process.
The Local Governing Board review the school’s Risk Register to monitor the management of significant risks to the school and to check that risks are being actively managed.
RESTRICTED SCHOOL RESERVES AND SCHOOL FUNDS
The Local Governing Board monitor these in line with the AAT Financial Handbook and any internal policies and controls.
The Local Governing Board review and approve school staffing structures annually.
The Local Governing Board conduct annual and mid-year appraisals of the Headteacher. These appraisals are conducted by a panel consisting of a minimum of two governors and the CEO of the Trust.
Appraisals are reviewed and monitored for all staff in line with the Trust Appraisal Policy.
The Local Governing Board convene a panel for disciplinary and capability issues in accordance with the Trust Disciplinary and Capability policies.
THe Local Governing Board process the Grievance Procedure in accordance with the Trust Disciplinary and Capability policies.
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Local Governing Board monitor that the continuing professional development of staff in school correlates with the appraisal process and receive monitoring reports on staff appraisal.
The Local Governing Board review and monitor the school’s approach to supporting and improving staff wellbeing.
The quorum will be three local governing board members, consisting of at least two non-staff members. If any meeting is not quorate, no business can be undertaken and the meeting must be re-arranged. The Trust Board must be notified by the Clerk should this ever occur.
We advise and support the Headteacher and staff.
We help and support the School in meeting the needs of all pupils.
We are responsible for ensuring that the National Curriculum is delivered to the highest of standards.
We are responsible for discipline within the School.
We have ultimate responsibility for personnel matters and recruitment.
We are a vital link between the School, the AAT and the local community.
We decide upon school policy and share responsibility for the management of the school with the Head Teacher and Senior Management Team.
We work together as a team to discharge these responsibilities. The Local Governing Board meets twice each term, and there are also two committees (School Improvement Committee and Resources Committee) that also meet on a half-termly basis to focus on the Curriculum, Finance, Personnel, Safeguarding, Health & Safety and Premises issues. In addition, Governors undertake termly visits to the school to focus on key areas that have been identified through the School Improvement Plan. Targeted visits this year include a focus on Curriculum Drivers and School Vision (November 3rd 2023), Sustainable opportunities for Outdoor Learning across the Curriculum (spring term 2024) and Emotional Health and Well-Being (summer term 2024). These visits help us as Governors understand the school better and really get to know the staff and pupils. The Head Teacher and Chair of Governors meet regularly to discuss specific issues affecting the running of the school and to exchange ideas on current topics.
We have now completed the School Improvement Plan for this academic year, which is a working document for use by the school. It is based on the school’s analysis of current levels of performance, our assessment of how current trends and future factors may impact on our school and it sets out priorities and targets for improvement for the period ahead. Analysis of the Annual Parental Questionnaires and Pupil and Staff Surveys play a major role in forming our School Improvement Plan. As Governors these questionnaires help us identify areas that we need to focus on to continue to improve Skyswood’s performance, so we greatly appreciate you taking the time to complete the questionnaire.
In essence, the Governors of the school work together as a group of ‘critical friends’ to support the management of the School for the benefit of the pupils, staff and parents.
Current List of Governors (Terms of Office in Brackets)
Chair of Governors
Mr James Mansell
Vice Chairs of Governors
Mrs Sarah White
Parent Governors – Appointed by Parent Election
Mr David Eady (03/04/2020 – 02/04/2024)
Mr Lakshmanan Ganesan (24/11/2020 – 23/11/2024)
Mrs Claire Wallis (24/11/2020 – 23/11/2024)
Mr Michael Rodrigues (05/10/2021 – 04/10/2025)
Mr Darren McCabe (21/11/2022 – 20/11/2026)
Mr Bob Bridle (01/09/2006 Onwards) – Headteacher
Mrs Jenny Kerr (01/09/2022 – 31/08/2026) – Appointed by Staff
LEA Governors – Appointed by the LEA
Mr James Mansell (29/03/2019 – 28/03/2023)
Co-Opted Governors – Appointed by Governors
Mrs Lisa Foster (01/10/2020 – 30/09/2024)
Mrs Sarah White (26/11/2019 – 25/11/2023)
Mrs Lisa Shipley (01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025)
Mrs Jo Easter (05/07/2022 – 04/07/2026)
Clerk to Governing Body
Mr John Conlon
With the exception of Mrs Sarah White who is an Assistant Headteacher at a local secondary school and Mr David Eady whose wife works at a local secondary school, the governors have no relevant business interests to declare. Neither do any of them govern any other educational establishments and none of them are spouses, partners or relatives of any member of Skyswood Primary & Nursery School staff.
School Improvement Committee
Mrs Sarah White
Mr Bob Bridle
Mrs Jenny Kerr
Mr Lakshmanan Ganesan
Mrs Lisa Shipley
Mrs Jo Easter
(The role of Chair is shared on a rotation basis)
The School Improvement Committee ensures the pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum, by monitoring and reviewing academic and pastoral arrangements, to ensure this is achieved in keeping with the ethos of the school and the requirements of the National Curriculum. We ensure effective provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and ensure there are effective policies on safeguarding, child protection and anti-bullying. Together the Head Teacher, the Senior Leadership team, and the School Improvement Committee monitor and review the school improvement plan throughout the year.
Resources Committee Membership
Mr David Eady(Chair)
Mr James Mansell
Mr Bob Bridle
Mrs Claire Wallis
Mrs Lisa Foster
Mr Michael Rodrigues
The Resources Committee looks after everything that is not to do with the curriculum or the pupils. We consider staffing and pay levels, and also the state of the building and equipment. Importantly, together with the Head Teacher, we prepare the annual budget and keep a close eye on the financial position over the year.
A record of governor attendance at meetings can be found here: