Our vision “Be the Light” underpins our aim to sustain and develop a good or outstanding experience of primary education for our young people in the communities in which they reside.
The Federation shares its vision statement and aims and values across all four schools. The nurturing ethos and exciting curriculum allows us to enhance learning opportunities for our children.
We share our staff expertise across the four schools enabling a wide range of knowledge and experience to be used creatively. We have appointed individual staff to be subject leads in all aspects of the children’s learning.
The school staff work closely together supporting each other with curriculum areas and assessments. They plan joint learning events for the children where they can form a wider circle of friends in an enriched environment.
There is one Governing Board for the whole Federation which oversees the work of all four schools.
The Governing Board, as a whole, meets regularly throughout the year, in addition to the meetings of its various subcommittees. We have a standing finance committee, chaired by Mr Kester Horn, whose responsibilities include setting and monitoring the school budgets. All Governors are also linked to aspects of the Federation Development Plan through agreed key lines of enquiry which are monitored regularly in terms of intent, implementation and impact.
As part of our role, we also agree the principles guiding Federation and School policies and actively monitor and evaluate how the policy framework is applied within the Federation and individual Schools. The Governing Board, as a whole, meets regularly throughout the year. Due to the small nature of the school communities complaint panels are formed on an ad hoc basis as and when required.
In order to discharge their duties effectively the Governing Board has a range of skills. These include experience and expertise in Financial and Business Management, Teaching and Learning, School Leadership, Public Relations, Human Resources, Marketing, Health and Safety, Safeguarding, Premises Management and Performance Management.
Anne Vetch, Chair of Governing Board
Our vision statement is: Be the Light
Our core purposes are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding the Headteachers to account for the educational performance of the schools and their pupils.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the schools and making sure money is well spent.
- Developing and maintaining the distinctive ethos of our three Church schools.
Our major priorities for the forthcoming year 2023-24 are as follows:
- Monitoring, with the EHTs and subject leaders, the work of pupils in the classroom.
- Scrutinising the work done by pupils.
- Examining and challenging internal and external performance and progress data.
- Ensuring the judgements of staff and the Headteacher are in line with local and national standards through Local Authority validation, OFSTED and the Diocese.
- Ensuring that the individual needs of pupils are met through appropriate interventions.
- Judicious financial planning.
This is all accomplished through a nurturing and supportive ethos.
The detailed work we do in our working groups and in the Governing Body meetings revolves around the Federation Development Plan. This details our priorities for the academic year and we work on these with the Executive Headteacher, Local Authority, Diocese and all staff.
In addition, we must fulfil our statutory responsibilities in the areas of;
- Financial Management
- Performance Management of the Headteachers
- Health and Safety
- Reviewing and updating statutory policies
- Monitoring the effectiveness and impact of pupil premium, sports premium and catch-up funding
Governors have undertaken a variety of training including Local Authority Networks, OFSTED preparation, School Improvement, Safeguarding, Finance, Complaints, Data, Distinctive Ethos, SIAMS new framework, Leadership in Action – Beyond the measurable, Introduction to Governance, GDPR, Special Needs, Federation networks.
Our major aims for the forthcoming year 2022-23 are as follows;
- To continue to provide support for our staff and children as they continue to work in the challenging circumstances brought about by the Pandemic and its results.
- To maintain and develop a sustaining and nurturing ethos
- To work with our two Co-Heads on moving the Federation forward in terms of curriculum, teaching and learning and finance.
- To continue to ensure that teaching and learning are at least consistently good and work towards their becoming outstanding for all pupils.
- To continue to plan for a sustainable future.
- To work effectively to implement the school development plan within the Federation.
Who we are
The Federation has one Governing Body which consists of two elected Parent Governors, one elected Staff Governor, one Local Authority Governor, the Executive Head teacher(s) ( one vote), and four Foundation Governors. In addition, three Co-opted Governors positions are appointed to the Board filled following a skills audit analysis: this ensures a balance and inclusion of necessary skills.
The Governing Board is made up of two elected Parent Governors, Mrs Harriet Wills and Mrs Katy Mason, the Executive Co-Headteachers, Mrs. Greenwood and Mr Parkhouse. The elected Staff Governor is Miss Wendy Thompson. The LA Governor is Mrs Anne Vetch. Our three Co-opted governors are Mr Rick Festorazzi, Mrs Emma Shepherd and Mrs Debbie Nicholson. The Foundation Governors are Mrs Brenda Williams and Mr Kester Horn. We currently have two vacancies for Foundation Governors.
We have one Associate Governor, Mrs Siobhan Tywang.
The Governing Board has a duty to report on attendance by Governors at meetings and to publish all Declarations of Interest, including relationships to members of staff, etc. A number of the governors held posts on the predecessor Governing Bodies.
The Governing Board of the Upper Wharfedale Primary Federation aims to meet six times a year.
All Governors are also linked to aspects of our current School Development Plan, and to curriculum areas which they monitor through visits to school and discussion with staff.
How could I become a Governor?
School governors and make a valuable contribution to children’s education, opportunities and futures.
Being a school governor is a challenging but hugely rewarding role. It will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people, give something back to your local community and use and develop your skills in a board-level environment. You will also be joining the largest volunteer force in the country: there are over a quarter of a million volunteers governing state funded schools in England.
Schools in general and UWPF in particular, need governing boards that have a balance and diversity of knowledge, skills and experience to enable it to be effective. Ofsted (the national inspection body for schools) has repeatedly noted that the most effective schools demonstrate effective leadership and management – including by the governing board.
Anyone aged over 18 can be a governor and you do not need to be a parent. There is no requirement for you to have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute. There is plenty of training available to help you learn about education. Our schools and Federation need and benefit from a range of professional knowledge on our governing board including education, finance, human resources, legal, marketing and public relations, property and estates management, and organisational change.
As a governor of the Federation you would be able to:
- Use your own experience of education and life beyond school to inform conversations
- Develop and utilise your skills in a board-level environment
- Make a valuable contribution to education and your community
- Support and challenge the school so that it improves for pupils and staff
- Bring your unique experiences, perspectives and insights in to decision-making in the interests of the school community
What do governors do?
The governing board provides strategic leadership and accountability in schools. It has three key functions:
- Overseeing the financial performance of the schools and making sure its money is well spent
- Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the Federation and its pupils by:
Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
- Governors set the aims and objectives for the Federation and set the policies and targets to help achieve those aims and objectives. They monitor and evaluate the progress the Federation is making and act as a source of challenge and support to the headteachers.
We do this by:
- Appointing and performance reviewing the head teacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay
- Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent
- Engaging with pupils, staff, parents and the school community
- Sitting on panels and making decisions about things like pupil exclusions and staff disciplinary
- Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged pupils, pupils with special needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment
- Looking at data and evidence to ask questions and have challenging conversations about the school
- Visiting the schools, during and outside the school day, scrutinising pupils’ work, and observing how policy is being put into practice
- Governors must be prepared to adopt the Nolan principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
As well as full governing board meetings, we have various committees, both standing and ad hoc, four of our Governors assume the link governor role with each school and all Governors are linked to some aspect of the curriculum, key lines of enquiry, or school life.
Governors should also be committed to their role and to young people; confident in having courageous conversations; curious with an enquiring mind; able to challenge the status quo to improve things; collaborative to build strong relationships; critical to improve their own work and that of the board; and creative in problem solving and being innovative.
What would be expected of me?
The average time commitment is 10 hours per month, although it will vary depending on the needs of the school and the role. This includes meetings, background reading and school visits. As well as full governing board meetings, we have various committees, both standing and ad hoc, four of our Governors assume the link governor role with each school and all Governors are linked to some aspect of the curriculum and or school life.
Like magistrates or members of a jury, school governors and trustees have a right to reasonable time off work for their public duties, although this may be unpaid. Your company’s HR department will be able to tell you about its policy Governance is a voluntary role and therefore it is not paid. Some schools and trusts may pay travel and other expenses, but this is not the policy of the UWPF board.
We currently have two vacancies of the UWPF Governing Board.
Role of different governors
Parent governors are elected by other parents at the school. Any parent, or carer, of a registered pupil at the school at the time of election is eligible to stand for election as a parent governor. Parent governors may continue to hold office until the end of their term of office even if their child leaves the schools.
Teaching and support staff who, at the time of election, are employed by either the governing body or the local authority to work at the school under a contract of employment, are eligible to be staff governors.
Staff governors are elected by the school staff. They cease to hold office when they cease to work at the school. The Headteacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of their office.
The headteacher may at any time resign as a governor, and withdraw their resignation, in both cases by notifying the clerk in writing.
Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body. They are not political appointments. The local authority can nominate any eligible person as a local authority governor, but it is for the governing body to decide whether their nominee has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school and meets any other eligibility criteria they have set.
Foundation governors are appointed or take the role by virtue of an office that they hold (one of our Foundation Governors is an ex officio Governor as Rector of Linton Parish Church) or by the Diocese or by appointed by the Lord Craven Trust (Burnsall)
A foundation governor is someone who, in the opinion of the person entitled to appoint them, has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school, and who is appointed for the purpose of securing, in all cases, that the school’s character (including religious character where it has one) is preserved and developed; and that the school is conducted in accordance with the foundation’s governing documents.
Co-opted Governors are appointed by the governing body. The governing body may only appoint a person as a co-opted governor if they believe that they have the skills needed to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school: in the case of the UWPF we have three.
The Governing Board meets every half term for a full governing board meeting and the finance committee meets termly. Other committees meet as required.
Copies of the agenda and minutes are available on application to the clerk: she can be contacted through any of the schools offices.
For information about how to contact members of the Federation’s Governing Board, please email firstname.lastname@example.org