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Brandlehow Primary School

Governance statement 2016-2017


Who are we?

We are local people, parents and staff who have volunteered to become school governors.


What is our purpose?

The purpose of the governing body is to help the school provide the best possible education for its children. We work with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to set, monitor and evaluate the school’s aims and policies.


Overall aims of the Governing Body:

·         Ensuring that the school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction

·         Looking at pupil performance and ensuring that all are making expected or better than expected progress

·         Holding the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to account for the school’s performance

·         Overseeing the appointment, development and management of staff to ensure consistent high quality teaching

·         Overseeing the financial management of the school and making sure its money is well spent

·         Making decisions about the school buildings and ensuring they are properly maintained

·         Ensuring the safety of all including safeguarding of the children

·         Supporting delivery of a compliant as well as broad, balanced and inspiring curriculum


What are we responsible for?

·         Ensuring that the school has rigorous safeguarding procedures and policies in place and that the well-being of the children and staff is paramount

·         Accountable for the performance of the school

·         Planning for the school’s future direction

·         Selection of a Headteacher

·         Performance management of the Headteacher

·         Making decisions on the school’s budget and staffing

·         Making sure the National Curriculum is taught

·         Deciding how the school can encourage pupils’ spiritual, moral and cultural development

·         Making sure the school provides for all its pupils, including those with additional needs

·         Investigating and dealing with formal ‘non curriculum’ school based complaints

·         Ensuring school, local authority and government policies which relate to schools and education are implemented and reviewed regularly


These are not simple matters. They affect the interests of pupils, staff morale and how parents and others see the school.


What is expected of school governors?

·         Attend regular and special meetings of the governing body

·         Spend some time in school to get to know it as a governor

·         Attend training courses where appropriate


At Brandlehow Primary School we also expect our school governors to demonstrate a commitment to improving education for all, our school vision and our ethos as a community school.


Governance Arrangements

·         Brandlehow governing body has a scheme of delegation with the core work delegated to three committees: Executive, Curriculum and Premises.

·         The full governing body meets three times a year with each committee meeting at least twice termly

·         The Executive Committee is responsible for finance, personnel and HR

·         The Curriculum Committee oversees the curriculum, progress and attainment, quality of teaching, SEND (special educational needs and disability), equality and accessibility, behaviour and safeguarding

·         The Premises Committee is responsible for school premises and grounds, security, health and safety and safeguarding.

·         Pay is determined annually by the full governing body.

·         Similarly, the Executive Committee scrutinises the budget each year before presenting it to the full governing body and local authority.

·         The Headteacher’s performance is assessed by the Chair and two other members of the Executive Committee, with the help of an external advisor.


Attendance Record

·         The governing body has an excellent attendance record. All meetings this academic year have been quorate, which has meant all necessary decisions have been taken. See attendance records on school website for further details.


Assessment of effectiveness

·         Brandlehow Primary School governing body is comprised of dedicated individuals with a broad range of skills that enable us to perform our role effectively.

·         Each governor has opportunities to lead one academic and /or non-academic area to enable the development of more detailed expertise on the governing body.  Individual governors have responsibility for safeguarding, e-safety, SEND and Health and Safety.

·         We have good working relationships with the Headteacher and other school staff and our visits to the school are welcomed and encouraged.

·         We provide a strong mix of support and challenge, holding the school to account at governor meetings and interrogating performance data, targets, evaluation, budget setting and staff development to ensure that the school meets its overall objectives.

·         We visit the school regularly, attend events, have good relationships with staff and are committed to promoting high standards across all areas of school life.

·         The Headteacher and Chair meet regularly to monitor safeguarding, share and review any concerns.

·         Copies of non-confidential meeting minutes are available from the school office.

Key Governor contribution 2016-2017

·         Four new parent governors (three elected and one co-opted) were appointed in November 2016. Three of them have attended new governor’s training provided by Wandsworth.

·         All of the new governors have completed online safeguarding training.  Other governors have, or are in the process of updating their training

·         We appointed a second safeguarding link governor and an e-safety link governor.

·         We visited the school many times throughout the year. Our visits focus on different areas: finance and budgeting, special needs provision, pupil attainment, observing school assembly, attending school council meeting, assessment and marking, KS2 English writing moderation, French teaching and safeguarding to mention a few.

·         The chair of the Premises Committee has supported the school in attracting new regular tenants and we’ve put in place a new lettings policy.

·         We helped oversee the implementation of the School Improvement Plan.

·         The Chair supported the Headteacher in the recruitment of four new teachers for the next academic year.

·         We supported the Headteacher in discussions with Wandsworth Council about the consultation on admissions from September 2018.


Actions and to further develop

·         Plan for the transition to a one form entry school from 2018.

·         Review how we can best use our premises and explore the viability of various options for creating more communal space.

·         Continue to visit the school and challenge the school leaders on various aspects of the School Improvement Plan.

·         Consideration of academisation and its implications for Brandlehow.


Further Information

For further information about Brandlehow Primary School governing body please visit the school website:



Contact the governing body

Jean Nicholls is the Chair of the governing body. She can be contacted via the school office, or email: info@brandlehow.wandsworth.sch.uk or leave a written message with the school office.