Hitherfield Primary School and Children's Centre

Governance Statement

Hitherfield Annual Governance Statement 2017 - 18

The Governors

Hitherfield Primary School has a body of 16 Governors with the following status: 3 associate members, 1 Local Authority appointment, 7 co-opted, 1 headteacher, 4 parent, 1 staff.  The co-opted members can be drawn from any background (e.g. they may be parents).

There are two sub-committees that scrutinise items such as budgets (Resources Sub-Committee) and pupil performance tracking data (Learning & Personal Development Sub-Committee) before passing recommendations or information to the larger Governing Board.  We are appointed for fixed terms of 3 years and anybody may apply to become a Governor.

School Context

Hitherfield Primary School is a three-form entry Community School with a school roll of 704 (compared to 385 average roll for Lambeth and 281 nationally).  We have a Nursery with a full-time equivalent of 72 children and a Children’s Centre operating on the school site and in Hillside Gardens. Hitherfield strives to be an inspirational school, producing good citizens for the future in an atmosphere that promotes confidence, high academic achievement, physical health and emotional wellbeing. The school is heavily oversubscribed despite pupil numbers beginning to fall in the borough, receiving well over 300 applications for the reception classes for the last 4 years.

External Reviews

Hitherfield was subject to a short Ofsted inspection on the 24th January 2018 which judged that we continue to be a good school.  The School Improvement Advisor for Hitherfield has visited each term and been very positive in his assessment of learning, teaching and leadership:

  • Outcomes for pupils showed that “strong performance at each key stage continued with national test initial indications”

  • “The quality of teaching remains exceptionally strong and powerfully drives pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding forwards”

  • The leadership of the school is central to its outstanding effectiveness”

National Test Results

Pupil attainment in 2017/2018 continued to be strong against national measures.    The table below shows that the percentage of Hitherfield children achieving expected level or better at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage exceeded Lambeth and National averages.  We, as Governors, are reassured that children leave Hitherfield with a good educational grounding. Informal feedback from secondary schools indicates that Hitherfield pupils are well prepared for the rest of their school journey.    

Table 1: Percentage of Children Achieving Expected Level or Higher at KS1 and KS2 in 2018

 

KS1 Teacher Assessment

KS2

 

Hitherfield

National

Hitherfield

National

Lambeth

Reading

77%

76%

86%

75%

78%

Writing

75%

70%

86%

78%

82%

Maths

78%

76%

90%

76%

80%

Combined (R, W and M)

 

 

75%

64%

69%

 

We are particularly proud that pupils from more disadvantaged backgrounds (eligible for ‘pupil premium’) do well at Hitherfield.  Nationally, 39% of poorer pupils (eligible for PP) were working at expected standard in reading, writing and maths compared to 70% from better off households (not eligible for PP).  That is a big gap of 31 percentage points. In Hitherfield there is still a gap, but it is narrower (11 percentage points). And 69% of our eligible children attained the expected standard.  

Table 2.  KS2 Results - Working at expected standard in reading, writing and maths

Pupil Premium (Children who are Looked After and Free School Meals)

No.

Hitherfield

National

Lambeth

Eligible for PP

39

69%

39%

62%

Not Eligible for PP

45

80%

70%

77%

Total

84

75%

64%

69%

 

Impact of the Governors

The Governing Body is one element of the school community, alongside parents, teachers, leaders, pupils, and the wider neighbourhood.  We actively share the vision of a vibrant school where children thrive. Our main contribution is time, given voluntarily, to this statutory role.  Our role is to provide strategic leadership and accountability by:

  • overseeing financial performance – In 2017/18 the accounts were submitted to the LA with a £240k surplus;

  • holding the headteacher to account for educational performance – The national test results above are a good indicator; we scrutinise progress of children across all groups, also challenging and pressing for as many as possible to attain a ‘higher than expected’ standard;

  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction – A strategic plan was developed 2015/18 (cemented through annual Away Days) that focused on six key areas, e.g. developing enrichment opportunities throughout the pupils’ school experience; maintaining the position of the school as a school of choice for local parents.  

Governors are now working on the strategic plan for 2018/20.  Hitherfield has maintained its Community School status in the face of government policy drives towards Academies and Multi Academy Trusts.  We will continue to assess the school’s place in the changing political and financial environment.

 

Information about individual governors’ attendance can be found in the Governors Register of Business Interests which is also on the website.

 
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