Governor Impact

Governance Impact Statement  with regard to the Governor Handbook (January 2017)

Spring 2017


Effective Governance at Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School


·         The Board was re-constituted in July 2014 – smaller number of Governors who operate strategically and effectively

·         New Governor Induction checklist designed and followed with buddy system introduced

·         The Board meets twice a term and there are no Committees other than a Pay Committee.  This structure has ensured that meetings focus on priorities and are run efficiently.  However, there has also been a review of Committee structure (revised format/function/Chair of Pay Committee and re-introduction of Finance Committee for 2017-2018 to enable deeper scrutiny / challenge / questioning of financial information)


Features of Effective Governance – Headings and descriptors are taken from the competency framework

Strong Strategic Leadership by Governors championing vision, ethos and strategy

 has impacted in the following areas:

·         Options for becoming an academy have been explored and the decision has been made not to move forward in this direction at the current time

·         The plan for 2015-16 has been successfully implemented with an impact on standards, particularly at KS2 and pupil well-being

·         Robust challenge of data and subsequent action plan has resulted in the school being in the top quartile for progress in the country

·         Clear vision and ethos has enabled the clear articulation of this in the Headteacher’ s welcome to the school on the website

·         Governor scrutiny of the website requirements and subsequent work has enabled the school to be accredited for website compliance

·         Safeguarding is on every Board’s agenda and the impact of this was a very strong audit of safeguarding practice (Autumn 2016)

·         Governors have reviewed the Equalities scheme with the impact that more resources have been bought for the school to support the children’s understanding in this area

Collaborative working with stakeholders has been achieved through stakeholder engagement surveys, with action plans reviewed by Governors and completed.  Comparisons with National Data revealed strong results for Penn Wood.

Accountability: Drives up educational standards and financial performance

·         Rigorous analysis of pupil progress and attainment information with comparison against National benchmarks has had the impact of ensuring that the school’s strategic priorities are the right ones e.g. reading and that targets for pupils are ambitious

·         The Headteacher shares her appraisal targets openly with the Board and this has impacted positively on alignment between Leadership targets, teachers’ targets and support staff’s objectives

·         Governors have exerted controls for managing finances and resources and this has impacted on propriety and value for money

·         Governors have supported the school’s income generation through Training Centre work with the impact that the school’s budget is increased and more money can be spent on the children

·         Governors and Staff appointed to monitor key areas of the School Development Plan.  Regular visits to school reported to monitor progress of the SDP and provide independent evaluation.  Governors know their school well and visit termly in their given roles – SEND, Early Years, etc.

People: right skills, experience, quality and capacity

·         Minutes reflect good governance, highlighting good questions, challenge and support.  Actions are rarely carried forward.

·         The Board has reviewed role responsibilities and so there is clarity about the function and powers of the Board

·         A skills audit has been completed and so there is a clear understanding of  the skills needed to be demonstrated by new Governors  and the need for succession planning

·         The Chair appraises Governors and the impact has been that Governors are clear about their own personal contribution to the work of the Board

·         The newly appointed Staff Governor has a responsibility for training and development in partnership with the Professional Clerk.  This has enhanced the status of Governor training and has enabled discussion about the difference that training makes, ultimately impacting upon children

·         The appointment of a Professional Clerk has impacted greatly on the Board’s understanding of its work and legislation and has enabled dedicated professional working time between the Chair, the Head and the Clerk

·         Professional Advisers have increased knowledge sharing and understanding on the Board and fostered closer working between Staff and Governors.

Minutes demonstrate clear acceptance of the 7 principles of public life – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership

Compliance: statutory and contractual requirements

·         Policy Calendar has been updated and there are clear procedures for managing policies. The impact of this is that Governors are able to ensure that statutory requirements are met without spending unnecessary time on reviewing school procedures

·         The website has been further developed and this means that Governors can monitor, for example, curriculum compliance with ease

·         The school website was reviewed by an external company and enhanced to be fully compliant

·         Governors reviewed compliance issues with premises and found pragmatic ways forward while saving school budget


·         Governance impact measured at all meetings

·         Strong data at KS2 for the last three years

·         External review of governance conducted Summer 2017 - governance deemed to be 'outstanding'


Priorities for Governing Board effectiveness:

Risk management in terms of the National Funding Formula implementation in 18-19.  Everyone on the board needs to know the financial policies and procedures of the organisation, including its funding arrangements, funding streams and its mechanisms for ensuring financial accountability

Succession planning for the ongoing effectiveness of both the board and the organisation.


Penn Wood’s Board of Governors commits to continuous evaluation, monitoring   and improving the quality and impact of governance.  This impact statement for parents will be published on the school’s website and the Board will publish a new statement annually in line with Best Practice.