The Governing Body carries out a very important job behind the scenes in supporting and challenging the school staff to improve the outcomes for children.
Governors have three core functions:
We carry out regular audits of our skills in the light of the skills and competences we need, taking account of the Department for Education’s Competency Framework for Governance. We update our knowledge through governor training events, reading, visiting school and presentations at our meetings.
Currently there are 8 members and all have voting rights on their committees and in the Full Governing Body:
2 parent governors (appointed by parents)
Mrs Gail Broadbent - Term of office – 1st December 2016- 30th November 2020
Mrs Marie Cavailier - Term of office – 1st December 2016- 30th November 2020
1 Staff governors (appointed by the staff):
Mr Adam Medlock – Term of Office – 20th September 2017 – 19th September 2021
5 Co-opted governors (appointed by the Governing Body):
Mrs Debbie Sweet – Headteacher (ex – officio)
Mrs Christine Graham - Term of office 22ndJanuary 2016 -21st January 2020
Mrs Brenda Montieth – Term of office 3rd December 2014 – 2nd December 2018
Mr Austin Crowther (Vice Chair)- Term of office 1st September 2014- 31st August 2018
Mrs Stella Spencer (Chair) – Term of Office 1st October 2016- 30th September 2020
Our Clerk to the Governors is Mrs Jane Blackburn
GOVERNOR PROFILE OF SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
Mrs Stella Spencer OBE (Chair)
Stella had a senior role in governance in a department of the Civil Service. This covered areas such as HR, data protection, security, budgets and quality amongst others. In her role as Area Director she was awarded the OBE for services to diversity. Stella has previous experience as the Chair of Governors in a mainstream primary and had experience on the finance and buildings sub committees and organised the setting up out of school care. The school had an Ofsted inspection in 2003 and made it onto the chief inspector's list of 415 outstanding schools and colleges across the country.
Mr Austin Crowther (Vice Chair)
Austin worked in the building industry for many years and gained experience of all aspects of premises building and management including financial management. Austin is involved in a range of charities which support children and adults with disabilities. Austin also serves as a Governor at Ravenscliffe High School.
Mrs Christine Graham
Christine is an ex Head teacher and has worked as an inclusion manager and SENCO. She has previously worked for the Local Authority as a consultant working to support children with SEN to access the curriculum. She has an excellent working knowledge of the SEN agenda, pupil progress and assessment and continues to work in a consultant capacity as part of the Highbury outreach service.
Mrs Brenda Montieth
Brenda is currently an SEN officer for Bradford Local Authority and has a wealth of experience working with schools. She has an excellent understanding of the Code of Practice and has been part of the Bradford strategy to successfully introduce EHC plans. Brenda is also an experienced Head teacher who worked to support many primary schools across Calderdale as an interim Head.
Mrs Marie Cavalier
Marie previously worked in the legal sector. She worked at a local firm for many years as a Conveyancer then as the IT Manager of 3 offices. She has experience in legal documentation, managing staff and offices, IT systems and working to strict deadlines. As a parent of a child with disability, Marie has worked with Calderdale Parent and Carers (now Unique Ways) and understands the pressures and difficulties parents face. Marie currently volunteers in a school and is on the committee of two Parent Teacher Associations. As a result of this and other fundraising work Marie does, she demonstrates a wide range of valuable organisational skills.
Mrs Gail Broadbent
Gail is the parent of a child with complex needs who attends the school and is able to understand the challenges parents face and the need for high quality, child centred education. Gail has a wealth of experience in child care and early childhood education as she is the manager of a very successful pre-school provision and owns and manages two out of school provisions. Gail has experience of personnel management and co-ordinates CPD for her staff team.
Mr Austin Crowther - Governor at Ravenscliffe High School
Trustee of Friends of Highbury
Trustee of Pellon Baptist Church
Mrs Christine Graham - Works in Highbury school one day a week
Mrs Debbie Sweet - None
Mrs Brenda Montieth - Senior SEN officer BMDC
Mrs Stella Spencer - None
Marie Cavalier - Relative works for Calderdale MBC.
Trustee of Friends of Highbury
Partner in business with relative.
Gail Broadbent - Self Employed in childcare business.
Adam Medlock - None
In July we told you about Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector’s survey to investigate the challenges facing governing bodies in schools. At Highbury School, governors read the report and took particular notice of the need for effective self-evaluation and training for all new governors on understanding progress measures when evaluating outcomes for pupils.
We also told you about the new Competency Framework for Governance, structured around the DfE’s newly identified “six features of Effective Governance”. The governance handbook 2017 states that “Boards should carry out regular audits of the skills they possess in the light of the skills and competences they need, taking account of the department’s Competency framework for governance”. We have completed an audit of individuals to help identify any knowledge, experience, skills and behaviours our governing board still needs to deliver our functions effectively.
To pull the evaluation of us as a board and our individual evaluations of our skills and knowledge together one of our governors, Chris Graham is gathering evidence to inform a self-evaluation of our collective governance which governors will use to identify areas for improvement.
Various governors have attended pupil progress meetings throughout the year and have been sent reports on pupil progress 2016-2017 and pupil premium in advance of our meeting to discuss them on 27 November.