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School Information

Review of our work in 2016-17

Thank you for visiting the Governor section of The Wren School website. Here you will find our pen portraits, our roles, terms of office and declarations of interest. The governing body was appointed by The Wren School Academy Trust (SAT) on 8th June 2015, before the school opened to 73 Year 7 students on 7th September 2015, growing to 243 students by the end of 2017 (81 this time last year).

Governors are delighted that the swift and growing success of the school has manifested in high popularity with local families, leading to the 168 Year 7 places for September 2017 being oversubscribed, four years ahead of initial Department for Education figures. Another measure of our success was the pleasing number of applicants for staff vacancies during the year. Firstly, we appointed our Deputy Headteacher, Ms Detterick, and Assistant Headteachers, Mrs Jubb and Mr Zell, and then managed to recruit a very strong field of teachers and support staff in readiness for 2017, despite the national picture of a teacher recruitment crisis in the South of England.

Governors’ principal focus for strategic development during the year was to identify a partner for our school’s long-term development, in the form of a Multi Academy Trust. After a careful selection and due diligence process, governors and trust members voted on 3rd April to join the Excalibur Academies Trust. We are excited to be working with such a progressive and supportive group of people, who have consistently demonstrated excellence in their field, but who are still keen to learn from us as well. The application is progressing with the Regional Schools’ Commissioner, and we would hope that the transition will have been completed by Easter 2018. Nevertheless, it was still business as usual in many other areas of running the school, and other governing body achievements during the year ended 31st August 2017 are shown below.

In addition to another year’s growth in 2017/18, we will be concentrating on the final preparations for the new school buildings, and we also expect an Ofsted inspection at some point between now and the summer. We wish your family an enjoyable school year, and look forward to meeting you at one of the many school events. Finally, we recognise that the successful rate of progress of such a challenging venture could not have happened without the visionary and resolute leadership that Mrs Broadhead demonstrates, and the very steadfast commitment of staff and volunteers. They have our thanks and best wishes for another hectic year to come.

Julia Cottee

Chair of Governors

What do we do?

The governing body works alongside the headteacher and the senior leaders to support and challenge their work. We are responsible for the conduct of the school and for promoting high standards. We aim to ensure that children are attending a successful school that provides them with a good education and supports their well-being. Governors of academies have three core strategic functions:

  1. Establishing (together with the trust’s members) the strategic direction of the school.
  2. Ensuring accountability throughout the school.
  3. Ensuring financial probity.

Our attendance at meetings

Key

GA Grant Abbott
MB Mark Barrett [Health & Safety]
JB Jo Broadhead [Headteacher]
BB Bob Burrowes [Development]
RC Ruth Carney [Inclusion]
JC Julia Cottee [Chair]
JJ Jackie John [Vice Chair]

DZ David Zell [Assistant Headteacher]

 

  GAMB
JBBB
RC
JCDHJJDZ
Full Governing Body22/09/2016YYYYYYN/AYN/A
Resources06/10/2016NYYN/AN/AYN/AN/AN/A
Full Governing Body20/10/2016YYYYYYYYN/A
Staff Appraisal & Pay10/11/2016YYN/AN/AN/AYN/AN/AN/A
Teaching & Learning17/11/2016N/AN/AYYYYN/AYY
Resources24/11/2016YYYN/AYYNN/AN/A
Full Governing Body15/12/2016YYYYYYYYY
Resources19/01/2017YYNN/AN/AYYN/AN/A
Teaching & Learning09/02/2017N/AN/AYYYYN/AYY
Governor Day23/02/2017YYYNYYNYN
Full Governing Body09/03/2017YYYYYYNYY
Extraordinary Full Governing Body03/04/2017YYYYYYYYY
Full Governing Body06/04/2017YYYNYYNYY
Full Governing Body04/05/2017YYYNYYNYY
Premises Walk04/05/2017YYYNYYNYN
Resources18/05/2017NYYN/AN/AYNN/AN/A
Teaching & Learning25/05/2017N/AN/AYNNYN/AYY
Resources29/06/2017NYYN/AN/AYYN/AN/A
Resources06/07/2017YYYN/AN/AYNN/AN/A
Full Governing Body13/07/2017YYYYYYYYY

 

Strategic Function of GovernanceChallenges and AchievementsReview of our Effectiveness
Establishing (together with the trust’s members) the strategic direction of the schoolWe have:
• reflected on identified strategic risks and taken steps to mitigate them;
• contributed towards setting the School Development Plan for 2017-18;
• reported regularly to the members on progress made towards strategic targets;
• together with the members, taken the decision to join Excalibur in 2017/18;
• collaborated with the delivery design team for the temporary and permanent buildings to ensure that our accommodation supports our vision;
• secured over-subscription for admissions in 2017 and conducted subsequent appeals;
• helped to promote the school as a local school for the local community.
We consider our overall effectiveness in this area to be Outstanding*.

Next year we will:
• ensure succession planning for the transition to a Local Academy Board, as part of the EAT MAT;
• monitor the prompt and successful completion of the permanent building, for occupation in August 2018;
• plan for the growth of the school, including the sixth form;
• reconsider the admissions arrangements for 2019 onwards;
• ensure that the school continues to demonstrate the values espoused in its vision and values statement.
Ensuring accountability throughout the schoolWe have:
• continued to develop governor links with school leaders;
• attended training which enables us to develop our confidence and experience in our roles;
• recruited more governors and associate members to give the GB a breadth of skills which allows us to operate as effectively as possible;
• approved the staffing plan for 2017-18 and supported the headteacher with recruitment, specifically with regard to senior staff;
• sought to ease the pressure on the workload of the headteacher, teachers and support staff;
• made use of external quality assurance and triangulation evidence to moderate the quality of education delivered;
• acted on the data given to us, to support and challenge school leaders;
• provided clear guidelines which promote responsible behaviour from every member of the school community;
• been visible throughout the school community, attending school functions and building lasting relationships with staff.

We consider our overall effectiveness in this area to be Good with Outstanding features*.

Next year we will:
• build on training received from the Governor Impact Programme to closely monitor and evaluate attendance and exclusions;
• continue to recruit more governors to give the GB a breadth of skills which allows us to operate as effectively as possible;
• approve the staffing plan for 2018-19 and support the headteacher with recruitment, specifically with regard to growing the admin support team;
• continue to attend training which enables us to develop our confidence and experience in our roles;
• continue to make use of external quality assurance and triangulation evidence to moderate the quality of education delivered;
• ensure that the staffing levels adequately support senior leaders to fulfil their roles, given normal budgetary constraints;
• continue to act on the data given to us, to support and challenge school leaders;
• continue to be visible throughout the school community;
• receive training on the new assessment system, in order to systematically challenge senior leaders to secure excellent outcomes for each student.
Ensuring financial probityWe have:
• appointed internal auditors to visit bi-annually;
• established a detailed set of financial procedures, which formed the basis for the internal audits;
• delivered a financial surplus to put towards reserves;
• continued to stringently monitor financial performance against budget;
• considered value for money, performed relevant financial benchmarking;
• developed a collaborative relationship with the EAT finance team;
• built a financial dashboard for governors for regular review of KPIs;
• developed those governors who are less experienced in scrutinising and challenging schools’ finances so that they can contribute towards the impact of the governing body.
We consider our overall effectiveness in this area to be Outstanding*.

Next year we will:
• procure contracts for catering, cleaning, IT support, sports centre management and site maintenance for 2018;
• consider the impact of the new building on our financial forecasting;
• ensure smooth and efficient transition of the company to become part of EAT;
• investigate potential revenue opportunities.

 

* KEY
For each of the categories in the above table, the available judgements are: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate. These judgements are in line with the Ofsted framework (August 2017).

 

To review our work in 2014-15 click here

To review our work in 2015-16 click here

 

Term Dates

Term 2
Inset day – Mon 30 Oct 2017
Tue 31 Oct – Tue 19 Dec 2017
(Christmas holidays Wed 20 Dec 2017 – Tue 2 Jan 2018)
Term 3
Inset day – Wed 3 Jan 2018
Thu 4 Jan – Fri 9 Feb 2018
(Spring break Mon 12 Feb – Mon 19 Feb 2018)

 

SEE ALL DATES