Welcome from the Oak Cottage Governors. My name is Jonathan Sheppard and I am very pleased that I have been appointed Chair of the Governing Body for Oak Cottage Primary School. I have been Vice Chair for little over a year and have relished this role and am delighted that I can make a bigger contribution. I retired early, my background being mainly in Project Management with my last role working for the Government.
Thank you all for all your contributions to the school, so far, and I really look forward to the years ahead.
The governors are volunteers who are committed to the ethos of our school and ensuring that every child has the best possible experience while they are at Oak Cottage. Getting this right is really important as it means our children will be fully prepared for when they move on to the challenges of secondary school.
The Governing Body is accountable in law for all major decisions about the school and its future.
Governing Body has three core strategic functions:
See Terms of Reference below
How we operate
Our role is often described as one of a “critical friend”, governors both support the headteacher and staff and challenge in a constructive way.
Tasks are carried out by the Governing Body (such as approval of the School Improvement Plan) or delegated to committees or individuals in accordance with the Governing Body Delegation Planner.
The majority of work is carried out in two main committees:
Premises & Resources Committee – ensures the efficient management of the school's resources to achieve best value for money/ensures the school site is fit for educational purposes including the upkeep of the buildings, facilities, contents and the grounds.
See Terms of Reference below
Standards & Achievement Committee - ensures that the school provides the best possible education for our pupils and adopts policies and procedures which ensure that the school and Governing Body comply with their legal, ethical and moral obligations and has due regard to the role of the school in the community.
See Terms of Reference below
Like the Main Governing Body, the committees meet one evening each term at school.
Our Governors - We have fourteen governors on our Governing Body:
1 Local Education Authority Governor – appointed by Solihull MBC - Mr D Price
2 Staff Governors – elected by the school staff - Mrs K O'Keefe (headteacher) & Mrs C Stirk
4 Parent Governors – elected by parents - Mr Baptiste, Mr Henderson, Mrs Deffley & Mrs Demosthenous
7 Co-opted Governors – appointed by the governing body for skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school - Mr J Sheppard (Chair), Rev Campion, Mr Goddard, Mr Grady, Mrs Gopinathan, Mrs Hendry and Mrs Tarpey (observer currently)
The clerk to the governing body is Mrs Lesley Bullivant. If you would like to contact a school governor please contact the school office on 0121 704 9123.
Interested in becoming a governor?
If you are interested in becoming a governor at Oak Cottage or would like to know more about the role, please contact Mrs Bullivant in the school office. Please find eligibility/disqualification information below and Governors Code of Conduct.
Appointments are carried out in accordance with the governing body's instrument of governance.
Review of academic year 2016-17
Main Governing Body – Chair, Mr Goddard
In 2016/17 the Governing Body concentrated on the 3 core functions – finance, educational performance and strategic issues. Financial matters were dealt with in detail through the Resources Committee reporting back to the Main Governing Body; educational performance through the Evaluation Committee.
Safeguarding remains an absolute priority for our school. The subject was discussed frequently by governors and our annual report was presented at the final meeting on 13h July 2017.
This year, after several years of prudent financial management, the school faced its greatest budgetary challenge due to reduced income and increased costs. Thanks to the combined efforts of staff and governors further savings have been found to minimise the impact. Of necessity, this area will be a major focus again next year.
We continued to keep up to date on progress on Multi Academy Trust status. We continued to research the benefits of becoming an academy and setting up or joining an existing Multi Academy Trust and once again concluded that remaining as a community school was the best option for Oak Cottage at the current time. Next year we will be actively promoting collaboration in activities like planning with like-minded schools to reduce duplication in the organisations and to strengthen relationships at all levels.
An important activity of the Main Governing Body is to set and monitor the School Improvement Plan. This year the School Improvement Plan had four priority actions-
To maximise outcomes for all groups of pupils
To develop capacity and ensure effective succession planning
To further embed good quality teaching
To secure high attendance for all groups of children
Finally, governors were delighted with this year’s SATS results, especially given the challenges in staffing Year 2.
Resources Committee - Chair, Rev Campion
The Resources Committee section of the Governing Body is the group which focusses especially on providing the best value in the school from the resources available, so part of our time is given over to budgets and finance, but very much with an eye to overall strategy and future direction. The last year has been especially challenging in view of the limited finance available to the school, and difficult decisions have been made to ensure best value. Several additional meetings have been called to deal with this and much of the work is ongoing. Our work in the Resources Committee is reported back to the whole governing body each term.
Evaluation Committee - Chair, Mrs Demosthenous
Another interesting year for the Evaluation Committee. We've had the benefit of new members which always helps to cast a fresh eye and new ideas over things. Safeguarding has been a key focus for the committee this year, reviewing existing policies as-well as key members attending LA provided training. We had a thorough look at the School Brochure with the new-look document being expected to launch in the autumn. Our main focus of course has been regular review of pupil progress and how the school continuously reviews areas for development through the school improvement plan.
Premises Committee - Vice Chair, Mrs Hendry
The Premises Committee have continued to work hard this year ensuring our building and facilities are in satisfactory order. Regular inspections take place over the year in order for us to highlight safety and cosmetic issues. This year we are very pleased with the new coat pegs outside Year 3. This has created space and a much more comfortable and tidy area for the children. The rickety old gazebos have gone and we have discussed ideas regarding cost savings in school. With constraints on budgets in all schools at present we continue to be mindful of spend but still ensuring the safety and excellent cosmetic look of our school.