The Governing Board at Milford Primary School is responsible for ensuring the school provides the best possible education for its pupils. The Board acts as a corporate body providing strategic leadership, and works closely with the Headteacher. As Milford Primary School is a Local Authority maintained school, the Board is directly accountable to Derbyshire County Council.
As you will see from the governor profiles in the governance section of the school’s website, we are a diverse group of people, mostly volunteers, who bring a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge to our governing role. We are completely committed to the school and are very ambitious for the children and the community which we serve.
As a Governing Board, our core functions are:
The Board is also responsible for appointing the Headteacher. The Headteacher is responsible for the day to day management of the school and for implementing the strategic framework established by the Governing Board.
Our Governing Board consists of 12 Governors. The Headteacher is a permanent member of the board by virtue of her position. Members of staff elect a single staff governor. Two governors are elected by the parents of the school and one governor is appointed by the Local Authority. Seven co-opted governors are appointed by the Board. Each year, the Governing Body carries out a skills audit and we aim to appoint new governors to fill any identified gaps. A number of our co-opted Governors have been recruited through Governors for Schools, a national education charity which links skilled professionals who want to volunteer as school governors with schools. Each governor is appointed for a 4-year term of office. From time to time, non-voting associate members may also be appointed for their particular skills. Our current Instrument of Government can be found in the Governing Board Documents section of the school’s website.
Governing Board Structure
Our work is carried out in a combination of Full Governing Body (FGB) meetings and 4 sub committees. All governors attend every FGB meeting and are also members of either the Resources or the Curriculum Committee. The Resources Committee oversees the school budget and plans for school's expenditure and the Curriculum Committee oversees the children's learning outcomes. Some governors also sit on the Policy and/or the Pay and Performance Management Committee. The policy committee reviews school policies and the Pay and Performance Management Committee oversee the Headteacher's performance management (with support from the Derbyshire's School's Improvement Advisor (SIA)). Terms of reference for all these committees can be found in the Governing Board Documents section of the school’s website.
A key part of our role is to drive and secure educational improvement by holding the Headteacher to account for the school's performance. Governors work with the Headteacher and School Improvement Advisor to devise an annual Self-Evaluation Survey (SES) for the school. The school’s performance is evaluated against the Ofsted Inspection Framework and the results of this SES inform the annual school improvement plan (SIP) which is written by the Headteacher in conjunction with governors. The SIP sets out the key improvement priorities and key actions for the academic year. Governors then focus their monitoring of school performance to the priorities in the SIP. A summary of the key improvement priorities for the current academic year can be found in the Governor’s section of the school’s website under “School Development Priorities”.
Staff also conduct monitoring exercises with other local schools in the Belper Cluster which is fed back to governors to provide external insight into our children’s learning.
The SIA also gives reports and presentations to the Governing Board, which provide robust external verification of the performance of the school.
Budgets and Target Setting
The Board sets an annual budget which is used to drive school improvement. Governors in the Resources Committee carefully review and monitor budget spend to ensure that resources are used to bring about improvements and to deliver a quality, broad curriculum, whilst ensuring financial stability for the school. As we are a Local Authority maintained school we access budgetary guidance and support from financial officers at Derbyshire County Council.
We set challenging and aspirational targets for pupils and staff, including the Headteacher, and we monitor how the school performs against these targets. This is done by analysing the school’s data, questioning the Headteacher and regular visits into school to scrutinise all areas of the curriculum. Most of this work is done in the Curriculum Committee but data summaries are brought to the Full Governing Body. All governors recently received training by "Insight" the organisation which analyses the school's academic performance data.
The Board is responsible for providing performance management for the Headteacher and the Pay and Performance Committee conducts this in conjunction with our external School Improvement Advisor. The Headteacher is responsible for setting performance management targets for all of the staff and provides pay award recommendations, based on performance, to the Board for review and approval.
Additional Statutory Duties
The Governing Board also reviews all policies which determine how the school operates. We review each policy for compliance and also check that policies are implemented properly and appropriately. Much of this work is done within the Policy Committee.
Governors are very committed to the school and regularly visit to fully understand and evaluate how it is doing. Governors attend most school events including plays, book days, new Reception parent meetings and Parents’ Evenings where we provide tea/cold drinks and biscuits and chat to parents and children. Governors join the Headteacher and the School Improvement Advisor (SIA) on “learning walks” to deepen their understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development. We have also accompanied the Headteacher on visits to other schools to experience best practice in other settings. Each governor is linked to several curriculum subjects which they review in depth each year through school visits. Prior to each visit the governor will look at the planning for the subject (on the Curriculum pages of the website) and any subject specific priorities identified on the School Improvement Plan (SIP). Then, in school, governors look at children’s books and displays, and talk to children and the curriculum lead about the subject to evaluate how closely the subject being taught matches the SIP. (For example, if the SIP identifies boys’ writing as an area for improvement the English governor will look in particular detail at boys’ writing and see if the strategies outlined in the SIP are being carried out.) Maths and English each get two visits each year and all other subjects are visited on an annual basis. Governors also include questions in the school’s questionnaire to parents to elicit parents’ opinions about the school.
The safeguarding governor reviews the school's single central record for staff each term and regularly meets with the Headteacher, our designated safeguarding lead. The health and safety governor undertakes regular monitoring walks across the school site and our SEND governor meet with our SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) to discuss provision for children with special educational needs. We also have governors responsible for Pupil Premium and Sports Premium who meet with the school’s lead twice a year to monitor the effectiveness of spending in these areas. We have also recently appointed a governor to the role of monitoring positive mental health and well-being throughout the school for both children and staff.
The Board acts as a “critical friend” to the Headteacher and curriculum leaders by providing a blend of support and challenge. This means we routinely ask searching questions, engage in healthy discussion and debate whilst working together to create the best possible educational experience for the children in our school. We offer encouragement and support and act as a “sounding board”. The Co-Chairs meet with the Headteacher on a fortnightly basis and are always available to discuss any issues that arise. Governance provides accountability for the school by providing a vital check and balance mechanism.
In line with government expectations, we monitor individual governor attendance at meetings during the year and publish details of governor’s attendance on the school’s website.
We maintain a register of governor’s business interests each September which is published on the school’s website. Governors are also expected to declare any business interests at the start of each meeting.
Development and Training
As a Board, we are constantly reviewing our practice to drive school improvement forward through informed decisions based on quality training.
Governors annually complete a skills audit which identifies areas of experience and knowledge and also highlights skills gaps. The results are used to inform vacancies, new governors are usually appointed based on the skills required by the Board.
Governors are expected to grow and develop professionally and attend training sessions provided by the Local Authority and other providers. Governors have support from the Derbyshire Education Authorities Governor Support, the National Association of Governors (NGA) and Better Governor (which provides articles and webinars) and some are members of the Derbyshire School Governors’ Association (DSGA). Governors also attend governor meetings across our local Belper Cluster of schools which aim to improve best practise across its schools. Governor attendance at training sessions is recorded by our Clerk to Governors and monitored by the Chair of Governors.
Clerk to Governors
Our Governing Board is supported by a highly skilled and competent accredited Clerk to Governors who has recently passed the DfE Course in Professional Clerking. Our Clerk sets the agenda for and minutes all meetings - copies of minutes are held in the school’s office. The Clerk has a number of key duties, including: minuting all meetings, advising the Board on procedural and legal matters, inducting new governors, maintaining a timetable for policy review, compiling a register of Governor’s business and pecuniary interests, and updating a log of governor activity including school visits and training attendance.
Ruth Baker and Pat Royal
Co-Chairs of Governors
Either Chair can be contacted using the e-mail addresses below or in writing (delivered to the main school office).
Governing Board Minutes
Minutes from the governing board meetings are available to interested parties on request to the school. Please contact the school office for further information.