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What we do
Many people work hard to make Burstow School an excellent educational environment for your child to enjoy learning and achieve their full potential. While teachers and other staff often make themselves available for a chat, you might not get to meet the school governors very often, so we’d like to tell you a bit about ourselves...
We’re a group of local people who want to make a positive contribution to your child’s education here at Burstow.
What do the governors do?
School governing bodies play an essential part in raising school standards. Ofsted (the monitoring body for schools) notes that the most effective schools demonstrate excellent leadership and management - and that includes the governing body.
As governors at Burstow, we have three important roles to play:
- Setting strategic direction - we’re involved in setting aims and objectives for the school and the policies and procedures needed to achieve them. We help the school set high standards and targets for school improvement.
- Ensuring accountability - we monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making against its objectives. We help the school respond to the needs of parents and the community. We also monitor the budget.
- Acting as a critical friend - we provide support and challenge to the head teacher and teaching staff.
How do we do it?
We hold six full governors’ meetings per year (two per term), which every governor attends. We also have three committees:
- Children and learning - covering all aspects of learning, teaching and the curriculum, and emotional well-being.
- Resources - covering human resources, finance, health and safety and the buildings and premises.
- Pay – covering staff pay and performance.
Governors’ meetings include a variety of the following:
- progress updates from the head teacher and other members of staff responsible for particular areas of the school curriculum, for example literacy or numeracy;
- regular updates from the Windmill Centre Manager and the County Nurture Room Manager, as we’re also responsible for ensuring these run successfully;
- the opportunity to challenge and ask questions about the running of the school;
- the chance to thank staff and congratulate them on successes;
- discussion of particular problems or issues arising in school and how they can be solved efficiently and effectively;
- debate about how best to spend particular parts of the budget;
- approval of school policies and procedures.
Burstow School governor meetings are open for anyone to attend or read the minutes - you can find details of meeting dates, agendas and past minutes below.
Governor visits to school
We hold a governors’ week twice a year, in which we visit a number of lessons to monitor learning in particular areas of the school improvement plan. In the past our monitoring has included phonics, numeracy, science, reading, handwriting, topic work and assertive mentoring. We also look out for evidence of children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
We all enjoy visiting the school and finding out from the children what they are learning, what they are finding difficult and the progress they feel they are making. All visits are recorded and any questions are addressed by the head teacher and staff at children and learning committee meetings.
School improvement plan monitoring
We hold two evenings a year - one at the beginning and one at the end - to hear from teachers about plans and progress against objectives. This gives us a chance to speak to a range of staff and ask questions about where things are going well and where there is room for improvement. It’s a great opportunity for us to feed our thoughts and views into the school improvement plan.
We award the governors’ star once every term. The award is a way of recognising excellence in school in many different forms. We choose a different topic every term and ask teaching staff to put forward one pupil from each class. We then assess the entries anonymously and present the governors’ star to the winning child. The governors’ star is not always awarded for the highest academic achievement, it is often awarded for the biggest improvement, the best attitude or the most effort.
We provide a whole range of support to the school in other ways too:
- regular progress meetings with the head teacher and other teaching staff;
- attending visits by external consultants and Ofsted inspectors;
- help with staff recruitment interviews;
- safeguarding (all governors have attended training);
- supporting school events, productions and trips;
- improving the buildings and premises;
- sitting on discipline panels if needed;
- occasionally dealing with complaints.
Did you know...?
- School governors form one of the country’s largest groups of volunteers - there are around 300,000 of us.
- Governors come from every walk of life and many different parts of the community - you don’t necessarily have to be a parent to be one.
As governors we are always happy to hear parent / carer thoughts.
With this in mind we have set up an email address, for you to send in your ideas on how to improve the school.
This is a tool we have set up for parents / carers to put forward proactive ideas that would have a positive impact on the school. Any operational/teacher/pupil concerns should be taken to the Headteacher.
This is a great opportunity for you as parents to put forward any ideas on anything you feel the school could do better.
No idea will be too big or small, so please let us know.Email us at: Yourthoughts@burstow.surrey.sch.uk