Governors

What we do

The governing body is a crucial and active part of the school community and acts as ‘critical friend’ to the senior leadership team. It provides strategic direction to the school and acts to provide both support and challenge to ensure sound financial management and quality first teaching across the school.

The governing body works with the school to formulate and implement a vigorous and challenging school improvement plan. It strives to provide all children — regardless of their gender, ability, background or beliefs — with a high-quality education in a caring and nurturing environment.

We also regularly engage with our parents, staff and children using formal and informal approaches. This includes annual parent surveys, the government’s Parent View and ongoing surveys with school children through the school council.

How we work

Our governing body is formed by 13 governors drawn from staff, parents, local authority representatives and members of the local community.  The constitution comprises of:

Posts: 13 – 1 x staff, 5 x parents, 5 x co-opted community, 1 x LA plus Head Teacher

Each governor serves a four-year term of office and is appointed to the full governing body and to one or more sub-committee.

The governing body consists of a full governing body and three sub-committees, each with specific terms of reference (which you can see by clicking the links):

 

 

“Watcombe Primary School’s governance is strong and effective. Using skills audits to secure new governors has ensured the board has a mix of new and experienced governors who are clearly working as a team. The governing body has a clear direction and purpose and is led well by the Chair.” [Karen Powell, Effective School Governance]

You can read the full report here: Effective school governance audit July 2017

Terms of Reference for designated governors roles

Chair of Governors
Safeguarding, E-safety
Health & Safety, Security & Premises and GDPR
Sports Premium
Data

Fiona Prior, Rachel Byford

Pupil Attainment Terms Of Reference

Personal development, Behaviour and Welfare
SEND
Vice Chair of Governors
Pupil Premium
Headteachers Appraisal

Fiona Prior and Rachel Byford

Early Years

In addition to the terms of reference, our governors also have a code of conduct detailing their roles, responsibilities and the standards expected of them.

As part of these visits, governors may be: scrutinising performance and attainment data; reviewing attendance registers and measures to improve attendance; reviewing incidence logs of behavior, racial or bullying; visiting members of the leadership team to understand their work; talking to children, parents and staff to gauge their experiences and opinions of the school.

Governors are also involved in the recruitment and appointment of all staff. They attend all parents evenings, some special assemblies and prize givings

Contacting your governors

 

The school governors oversee a number of key areas. Parent governors, in particular, are here to represent your view and can help you if you have any questions, concerns or complaints. If you would like to speak to a school governor informally, we can often be found on the school playground before school. If you would like to contact us formally or are unable to come and speak to us personally, we can be contacted through the school office on 01803 327419 or in writing by leaving a letter for the attention of school governors.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to contact us via the school or cannot pop into the office, you can contact the governors via email: cog@watcombe-primary.torbay.gov.uk

Please note: that most committees only meet a couple of times per term so it may not always be possible to answer a query straight away. However, your query will always be acknowledged and we will endeavour to give you a timescale for answering your questions.

Roles

Chair of governors, Data, Personnel, Head’s appraisal

Category

Co-opted governor

Term of Office

Third term of office 13/12/17 – 12/12/21

Business interests 2020/21

None

Roles

Vice-chair of governors & SEND

Category

Local Authority governor

Term of Office

Third term of office 25/4/18 – 24/4/22

Business interests 2020/21

None

Roles

Chair of finance

Category

Co-opted governor

Term of Office

Seventh term of office 10/12/16 – 9/12/20

Business interests 2020/21

None

Roles
Category

Parent governor

Term of Office

First term of office 08/11/2019 – 07/11/2023

Business interests 2020/21

None

Roles
Category

Co-opted governor

Term of Office

First term of office 04/07/2020 – 03/07/2024

Business interests 2020/21

None

Roles

Safeguarding & Headteacher Appraisal 

Category

Parent governor

Term of Office

Second term of office 2/12/16 – 1/12/20

Business interests 2020/21

Director of Children’s Centre

Roles

Health & Safety & Data Protection Officer

Category

Parent governor

Term of Office

First term of office 15/01/19-14/01/2023

Business interests 2020/21

None

Roles

Early years

Category

Parent governor

Term of Office

First term of office 26/04/17 – 25/04/21

Business interests 2020/21

Director of Children’s Centre

Roles

Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare

Category

Parent Governor

Term of Office

First term of office  21/09/20 – 20/09/21

Business interests 2020/21

None

What they say…

Child safety

“The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Consequently, pupils feel very safe at school and enjoy happy relationships with each other and with adults.” [Ofsted report Feb 2014]

Safeguarding

“The two safeguarding governors visit the school at least termly. They demonstrate a strong understanding of policy and procedures and complete independent checks. Minutes of their visits demonstrate the wide range of safeguarding issues discussed with appropriate challenge.” [Karen Gannon, School Development Partner, 20th September 2017]

Child protection

“Governors recognise that supporting troubled families is a priority for the school and that the problems/underperformance of Torbay’s Children’s Services requires the school to take decisive action. The school’s further development and investment in a pastoral team to provide additional early-help is exampled by governors as decisive action taken to further safeguard children.” [Karen Gannon, School Development Partner, 20th September 2017]

Behaviour

“The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Pupils know the different forms that bullying can take. For example, they are skilled in using computers and know how to stay safe from cyberbullying.” [Ofsted report Feb 2014]

Bullying

“I don’t think bullying happens, it’s just fallouts.” [Pupil survey 2017]

“If I thought bullying was happening I would tell an adult.” [Pupil survey 2017]

“I used to go to a different school and was really unhappy since I moved here I’ve been happy.” [Pupil survey 2017]

Improving governance

“Governors take part in training courses, for example on the safe recruitment of staff, and ensure that their statutory obligations are fully met, including safeguarding. These actions have enabled governors to strengthen the way they check on the work of the school and hold the headteacher and senior staff to account. For example, governors visit the school regularly, often checking on specific aspects such as ensuring that pupil premium funding is used effectively and then report their findings back to the whole governing body.” [Ofsted report Feb 2014]

Update Sept 2017: Five governors attended the local authority level 2 Child protection training (Sept 2017).

Governor efficiency

“Watcombe Primary School’s governance is strong and effective. Using skills audits to secure new governors has ensured the board has a mix of new and experienced governors who are clearly working as a team. The governing body has a clear direction and purpose and is led well by the Chair.” [Karen Powell, Effective School Governance]

You can read the full report here: Effective school governance audit July 2017

Get in touch

The governors are an active and visible presence in school. We are always keen to speak to our parents, carers and children. Your thoughts and feedback are important to us.

If you have any concerns or questions you would like to ask, you can often find one of us on the playground before or after school for an informal chat. Alternatively, you can leave a message in person, by phone (01803 327419) or by letter for us at the school office. You can also contact governors by emailing us at cog@www.watcombe-primary.torbay.sch.uk. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

Join the team

If you are interested in becoming a school governor, see this guidance from Torbay Council.  If you would like to be considered as a governor then please access the documents below:

Parent Governor Election Leaflet

Parent Governor Nomination And Eligibility Form

All new governors are supported in their work by an Watcombe Primary School governor induction and are assigned a mentor drawn from the governing body. All governors — both new and existing— are also provided with access to a range of training opportunities to keep them informed about their responsibilities and developments in education and to help them perform to the highest standard.

Governor skills and knowledge are audited each year and a training and recruitment plan is drawn up to address any gaps as necessary.