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Our Governing Body

Welcome to the Governors section of our School's website. We thought you might like to know a little bit about us and what we do. There is a message from our Chair of Governors, followed by a brief report of some of the work we undertake. There is also a link to give you more details about your Governors. Please feel free to get in touch with us via the School Office for anything that you wish to bring to the attention of the School Governors.

A Message from our Chair of Governors

My name is Chris Rust and I chair the Governing Body of Mayplace School. I have been a governor for over 12 years at this school and chaired the finance committee for 4 years.  My two sons, now in their thirties, attended Mayplace School. My four grandchildren Arthur, Sienna, Holly and Harry are aged 7 months, 3, 6 and 9.  Holly and Harry are at primary school in Kingston, Surrey.  Most of my working life was spent with Lloyds Bank where I held a senior management role looking after many of the bank’s major buildings and associated budgets in London and the South East. I became Chair of the Governing Body in 2013 and have presided over a sea of change in the School in the years following.

Not only are there massive National changes to governance, the decision to become a ‘sponsored academy’ under The Primary First Trust (PFT) has led to many differences in the way we govern schools within the Trust.  These changes are reflected in the Trusts ‘Scheme of Delegated Governor Responsibilities,’ which defines clearly the areas of responsibilities that are taken by the LGB (Local Governing Body) and those held by the Trust Board.  You can find information about this elsewhere on this website and the The Primary First Trust.

Our three key areas of responsibility are finance, safeguarding, and holding the Head Teacher to account. We do this through a calendar of structured meetings and monitoring visits throughout the school year. These are aligned to the schools improvement strategy, which in turn is based upon Ofsted and the Trust Quality Assurance judgements of our schools performance.

As well as chairing Mayplace School governing body, our chair attends meetings at the Trust with other school chairs of governors and the CEO of the Trust.  The chair takes an active role in many and varied Trust meetings and conferences, to ensure that there is a continuous two way flow of information and that Mayplace is meeting and fulfilling the aims jointly agreed for all Trust schools and children's outcomes.

Our chair and governing body delegates continues to work with the HT and leadership team, having regular meetings to discuss successes, areas for development, progress being made and to support the school to achieve the best possible outcomes for children. Senior and middle leaders attend governing body meetings to share their work and to respond to governors' questions.  Pupil progress data is key in providing governors with information to show how well our children are achieving and a lot of work takes place to ensure governors understand and use the data to the best effect.  You can see Ofsted reported data on this website.  The data shows clear improvement over a number of years and also highlights some areas for development.  Governors are required to use the data to understand how improvements are made and that they continue to ensure the school is on an upward trajectory.

Year 2013 - 2014 Governors Report

In the first year of Chris being the Chair. the governing body have been led through a number of necessary changes. In itself governance has changed dramatically in the past couple of years. Governors have to hold the Head Teacher and senior staff to account by asking ‘challenging’ questions, showing commitment to the school through regular attendance at governing body meetings and taking an active and meaningful role in working with various monitoring and committee groups. A critical aspect of their role is to gain a thorough understanding of how the school works by visiting as often as they can and talking with children, parents and staff. Finally, they must also work with the School in looking at its long-term strategy and ensuring that steps are taken to make it a reality.

You will be aware by now that the School made an important decision to become a ‘sponsored academy’ under The Primary First Trust (PFT). This will help enable us to share in the best possible educational practices in the primary sector jointly with a number of other like-minded primary schools. Our collective aim is to raise standards across all schools within the Trust. More information about this important development will be shared with everyone as we progress into the new school year.

Activities undertaken in 2014 - 2015

From 1st September 2014 the new governing body of 11 was restructured and now comprises a mix of staff, elected parent and governors appointed by the Trust Board.  As well as chairing Mayplace School governing body, Chris Rust attended meetings at the PFT with other school Chairs of Governors and the Chief Executive Officer. He also took part in several PFT meetings and conferences to ensure that there was a continuous two way flow of information and that Mayplace was meeting and fulfilling the aims jointly agreed for all PFT schools.

Chris continued to work closely with Mrs Hamilton, having regular meetings to discuss successes, areas for development, progress being made and to support the school to achieve the best possible outcomes for children. Senior and middle leaders attended governing body meetings to share their work and to respond to governors' questions. Pupil progress data was key in providing governors with information to show how our children were achieving. The data also highlighted areas for development enabling governors to understand the actions undertaken to raise standards.

In order to focus effort, the governance structure changed somewhat and we now have two main committees; a Resources Committee and a Standards & Achievements Committee. These are supported by focused monitoring visits which feed into the termly full governing body meeting.

Governor Activities                              

As School Governors, we are responsible for the vision and strategic direction of Mayplace Primary School.  We hold the Head Teacher to account for how well pupils achieve and progress educationally, and for the quality of teaching.  We also oversee how the school spends its money, making sure the school stays in budget and receives value for money.

Governors attend a number of meetings throughout the Year and these are as follows: -

- The Full Governing Body (FGB) which meets once a term; all Governors are expected to attend.

- The Standards & Achievements Committee, which meets once a term; their responsibilities include the curriculum, reviewing assessment data, quality of teaching, Pupil Premium, safeguarding pupils and so on.

- The Resources Committee, which meets once a term; their responsibilities include finance, premises and personnel.

Note that each committee is expected to review and debate a number of School Policies before recommending them to the FGB for sign-off.  Governors also attend the School for scheduled monitoring visits. These are pre-planned school visits to view specific areas of interest.  A report is written up following the visit along with suggested next steps. Finally, there are also occasional one-off meetings for training or to discuss particular issues.

In the first year of Chris being the Chair. the governing body have been led through a number of necessary changes. In itself governance has changed dramatically in the past couple of years. Governors have to hold the Head Teacher and senior staff to account by asking ‘challenging’ questions, showing commitment to the school through regular attendance at governing body meetings and taking an active and meaningful role in working with various monitoring and committee groups. A critical aspect of their role is to gain a thorough understanding of how the school works by visiting as often as they can and talking with children, parents and staff. Finally, they must also work with the School in looking at its long-term strategy and ensuring that steps are taken to make it a reality.

You will be aware by now that the School made an important decision to become a ‘sponsored academy’ under The Primary First Trust (PFT). This will help enable us to share in the best possible educational practices in the primary sector jointly with a number of other like-minded primary schools. Our collective aim is to raise standards across all schools within the Trust. More information about this important development will be shared with everyone as we progress into the new school year.

New Governors

We have had a number of new governors join us and there will continue to be changes as terms of office come to an end. We have in place, an evolving induction process to help smooth the journey into becoming a governor at Mayplace Primary School. On joining us, governors are required to attend an induction session where they will meet other experienced colleagues and learn how governance works. They will be expected to complete a ‘skills profile’ so that we can agree where they can make the best contribution to school life.  Once they have committed to an agreed area of contribution we can then discuss what training might be needed to enhance their individual skills.  Training is provided through the PFT and also by Bexley Governor Services at no cost to the governor.  All Governors are expected to attend a number of training sessions a year to ensure they keep up to date in all relevant areas.

There are often opportunities to join our governing body either as a parent elected or Trust appointed governor.  You are more than welcome to contact us via the school office if you have an interest in governance.  Soon we are about to enter parent governor elections, as one or two governors will have completed their 4 year term of office.  If you are interested in becoming a governor do look out for the election information in the schools communications parentmail or newsletter.  

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