Annual Governance Statement

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Body of Settle College

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all Governing Bodies, the three core strategic functions of Settle College’s Governing Body are:

1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
2. Holding the Principal to account for the educational performance of the school and its students;
3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governance arrangements

The Governing Body of Settle College was reconstituted on 12th March 2015 to meet statutory requirements and to ensure the best structure and combination of skills and competencies to meet the needs of the school. The constitution is as follows:

1 x Principal (ex officio)
1 x Local Authority Governor
6 x Co-opted Governors (appointed by the Governing Body)
2 x Parent Governors
1 x Staff Governor

There are 11 places on the Governing Body in total. Please click here to view current membership.

Please find detailed below the range of skills required to contribute to effective governance and the success of the school:

• A strong commitment to the role and to the school’s vision and ethos;
• A strong commitment to improving outcomes for children;
• Inquisitiveness to question and analyse;
• The willingness to learn;
• Good inter-personal skills and the ability to work in a professional manner as part of a team and take collective responsibility for decisions;
• Appropriate levels of literacy in English;
• Sufficient numeracy skills to understand basic data.

Specific experience in the following areas exists throughout the Governing Body:

• Experience/understanding of Governance;
• Understanding and experience of strategic planning;
• Experience of project management;
• Experience of Human Resources;
• Experience of performance management appraisal;
• Experience of financial planning/management;
• Experience of premises/facilities management;
• Links with the local community/businesses;
• Knowledge of the local/regional economy.

As Governors, we are well informed, undergo induction and ongoing training and have clear areas of responsibility.

We have a programme of meetings throughout the school year which focus on specific areas of governance.

The full Governing Body meets five times a year. (These meetings are preceded by a training session)
The full Governing Body: Quality & Planning meet once a term
The full Governing Body: Finance & Premises meet once a term

We are required to declare our business or other personal interests for reasons of transparency. The Register of Business/Pecuniary Interests can be viewed here.

Attendance record of governors

A record of our attendance at meetings is kept by the Clerk to the Governing Body. Details of attendance from 12th March 2015-31st August 2015 can be seen here as percentages.

Full Governing Body meetings: 90%
Full Governing Body (Quality & Planning) meetings 80%
Full Governing Body (Finance & Premises) meetings 100%

Meetings need to be ‘quorate’ to ensure that decisions can be made.

The work we have done in Governing Body meetings 2014-15

Once again, it has been a busy year. The College offers excellent opportunities for all students to enable them to ‘Be The Best They Can Be’ and to develop the academic knowledge and independence of skills required to prepare them for a full and successful life. We continue to work with the College to ensure students are happy, safe and confident and that staff are competent, well-motivated and happy and capable of delivering the best experience for students at the school.

We specifically focused our work on ensuring the implementation of strategies for whole school improvement related to the action points identified in the 2013 Ofsted report. This included rigorous and ongoing analysis of Pupil Premium/Year 7 Catch Up funding, including funding allocation and the impact of this on student outcomes. Detailed analysis of reports and challenge of the Senior Leadership team took place to ensure significant improvement on ‘closing the gap’ between identified groups. As a result, the gap was significantly closed in all areas. Detailed tracking analysis also took place of Post-16 predicted target grades to ensure continued improvement in progress and outcomes. External advisors and Improvement Partners were welcomed into the school to ensure continued improvement and progress.

We worked with the school to ensure that strategies to continually improve the quality of teaching, its impact on students’ learning and their rates of progress, were put in place. Improved and rigorous procedures for the performance management of staff were implemented, taking account of Teacher Standards. Members of the Senior Leadership Team regularly attended Governing Body meetings to brief on their specific areas of responsibility, with Governors both supporting and challenging information given and initiatives to ensure continued progress and use of best practice. Reports and presentations on a variety of subject areas gave detailed projections on future results, which were very encouraging.

During the spring term, we approved the 2015/16 budget plan for the school.

During reconstitution, we appointed new Governors based on identified skills gaps and also undertook a rigorous review of our practices, implementing an ongoing and focused self-evaluation programme to allow continued improvement in our work. Individual Governors were allocated to specific areas within the College as ‘Link’ Governors, including areas of the College Improvement Plan. The College Improvement Plan and SEF were also regularly reviewed at full Governing Body level to ensure progress against priorities. College policies and procedures were regularly reviewed/updated throughout the year, in accordance with new legislation, to ensure full compliance. Policies are available on the College website.

The Safeguarding Link Governor met regularly with the Designated Safeguarding Officer, with a standing Safeguarding item being included on full Governing Body agendas for generic reporting as appropriate.

We regularly visited the school to take part in events, undertake work scrutiny and attend meetings with members of the Senior Leadership team. We were involved in transition initiatives, such as Open Days and Open Evenings to increase our profile, meet stakeholder groups and to encourage increased numbers on roll.

We undertook training to improve our own skills as identified by the completion of skills audit initiatives. Training included the new Ofsted Framework and understanding and analysing data, with internal training taking place before full Governing Body meetings, at least once a term.

Approved minutes can be obtained by contacting the Clerk, Mr. Christopher Davey, at christopher.davey@northyorks.gov.uk, or via the school telephone number: 01729 822451

Strategic Planning for the future

We will continue to rigorously monitor progress against the College Improvement Plan and work closely with the Principal and Senior Leadership Team to ensure the College is the best it can be, welcoming external support when required.

We will work with the school community to consider the College Vision to ensure it continues to meet strategic requirements, which will inform the strategic priorities and improvement plans for the future.

We will work on strategies identified from the Governing Body self-evaluation exercise to continue to improve our working practices. We will exercise strong stewardship and support and challenge all areas to ensure the highest possible standards for the benefit of students and value for money.

How to contact your Governing Body

Information about the College’s Governing Body is available on the Governors’ page of the College website.
The Clerk to the Governors, Mr Christopher Davey, can be contacted via email: christopher.davey@northyorks.gov.uk.