Message from the Co-Chairs of Governors

Welcome to St Helens Primary School

As we continue to welcome normality back into our lives we look forward now to a period where we can build on all aspects of school life.

The school’s governing body have elected Matt Searle and Gary Booth as co-chairs of the board for 2023/24.

“We can pledge that the governing body will do all in its power to ensure the children receive the best education, to maximise their potential and provide a safe and caring environment in which to learn and play.

As Governors of St Helens Primary School, we are ambitious for every one of the children at our school, and are committed to pursuing a programme of continuous school improvement to achieve the best possible outcomes. We have signed up to the National Governors’ Association Code of Conduct  and have defined our core aim, namely: to be an effective Governing Body, that works to maximise the potential of every child in a safe and caring environment.

Our main job is to set the strategic direction of the school. These are our three strategic priorities: 

  • Ensuring the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school are clearly defined
  • Ensuring the Headteacher is held accountable for the performance of the school 
  • Ensuring the financial resources of the school are used in a sound, proper and effective way.  
  • Through a programme of school visits and Full Governing Body (FGB) and working group meetings, we monitor progress against the school development plan (SDP) and Action Plan. The  key SDP priorities for 2023/24 are:
  1. To ensure phonics and early reading are fully established throughout the school especially for the bottom 20%.
  2. Pupils develop detailed knowledge and skills in sentence construction and punctuation  and as a result, achieve well. 
  3. To ensure ECT teachers receive the support to enable them to complete their induction period.
  4. To establish a new leadership model in preparation for staff changes.

We ensure we know the strengths and weaknesses of the school and are able to provide a balance of challenge and support to the Headteacher and senior staff in areas including:

  • Teaching, learning and assessment
  • The transition from pre-school and the progress of children in Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Financial management and spending, in particular the effectiveness of Pupil Premium Funding in ‘closing the gap’ in progress and attainment of vulnerable groups
  • Effectiveness and consistency of behaviour management
  • Equality of opportunity and inclusion
  • Effective safeguarding, including the implementation of the school’s Prevent policy
  • Effective promotion of the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (including the promotion of British Values), as well as their physical well being
  • Effective attendance management.
  • Full Governing Body (FGB) meetings 

Our Clerk to Governors manages minutes of the meetings, the governors’ calendar and policy ledger.

In addition to the Full Governing Body meetings, we have a Strategy Group and Finance and Resources Committee. (See the structure of our Governing Body.)

Training is important for all Governors, and we conduct an annual skills audit to identify need. During the past few years Governors have participated in a wide range of training including:

  • Understanding Data
  • Monitoring, Evaluating and improving SEN
  • School finance for maintained schools
  • Safeguarding and Child protection
  • Safer recruitment
  • Ofsted update
  • HT and Chair of Governor’s seminar
  • Prevent training
  • Information management (Data Protection and Freedom of Information)

We evaluate the impact of the Governing Body to ensure we are making a positive contribution to school improvement. We do this in a number of ways, including through our regular Strategy Group meetings.

The Co-chairs of Governors meet with the Headteacher weekly and attend the school’s Awards Assembly on Friday.

If you would like to know more about the Governing Body, please contact the Clerk via the school office.”

Matt Searle & Gary Booth