Annual Report

Governors’ Annual Report to Parents 2020-2021

Introduction

This report had been prepared to provide details of the core functions completed by the LGB during 2020-21 under several key headings.

Composition of the Local Governing Board (“LGB”)

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the LGB of Redhill Primary Academy comprised of the following members: -

  • Beth Tutchener-Ellis (Chair)
  • Debra Garside (Deputy Chair)
  • Dara Carroll (appointed 11 November 2019)
  • Hazel Harrison (appointed 11 November 2019)
  • Phillip Nicholls
  • Yogesh Patel (appointed 11 November 2019)
  • Stephen Tidmarsh

By routinely updating our skills audit records to reflect the composition of the LGB, we have continued to ensure that there remains a broad range of skills and expertise amongst members of the Board and in order to effectively support the Headteacher to address the Academy improvement priorities for the year.

COVID-19

From March 2020, the situation with COVID-19 understandably impacted on the ability of the LGB to complete its normal onsite monitoring activities, from meeting in person to discuss progress and scrutinising data reports in this respect and other routine matters.  In consequence, the LGB determined to adopt a pragmatic approach to the situation and, particularly to ensure that all key items of termly business continued to be addressed, where required. Teams meetings were held to still allow the LGB to scrutinise and analyse the progress made by the school. These arrangements were supplemented by the Headteacher providing routine email communications to keep the LGB informed of how the Academy was responding to the effects of the pandemic and also regarding its reopening preparations in line with government directives over the coming months. 

Core Function report

  1. Vision and strategic direction of the Academy

During the year, the LGB has: -

  • Agreed the priorities for the School development plan and the delegation of funds to drive forward improvement.  
  • Reviewed the Academy’s vision, aims and values, as clearly published via the Academy website.
  • Undertaken, as far as practicable, monitoring and evaluation assessments of areas specifically relating to the Raising Attainment Plan and ensured that improvement plans have continued to be focussed on those areas identified for improvement.
  • Reviewed data and reports from monitoring sessions within the Academy to identify strengths and weaknesses and to ensure these were documented in the Academy Improvement Plan.
  • Agreed, reviewed and monitored performance targets for the Headteacher, ensuring that these were appropriate and relevant to the Academy Improvement Plan. Governors agreed quality assurance arrangements.
  • Considered, reviewed and updated key policies to ensure these remain appropriate in accordance with statutory guidance, including those relating to Safeguarding & SEND, Health & Safety, Behaviour, Data Protection, Equality, Home School Agreement and Pay & Performance Management Policy.
  • Sought out, and acted upon the views of pupils and parents through direct discussion and through questionnaires. Results of the parental questionnaires have again been collated and analysed by the Chair of Governor.
  • Attended relevant training courses to improve their skills in order to support the whole academy community and ensure that we continue to be effective in our role.
  1. Holding the Headteacher to account for the performance of the Academy:

During the year, the LGB has: -

  • Reviewed the Annual Summary Report to the Governing Body, provided by Sally Noble, and internal assessments to determine the areas of strength and weakness, and actively challenged the Headteacher to ensure robust systems are in place to address areas of weakness. No Primary Inspection Data Summary Report was available due to school closures in 2019-20.
  • Actively questioned the Headteacher regarding progress towards the Academy Improvement Plan to ensure that resources have continued to be directed effectively to areas of need.
  • Monitored teaching and learning within the Academy, where possible, to ensure that the quality of teaching remained good with many outstanding features.
  • Via Microsoft Teams, scrutinised pupils’ books, alongside senior and middle teachers, in order to gain an understanding of pupil data and tracking methods, pupil progress and attainment.
  • Carried out comprehensive audits of the safeguarding provision and safeguarding records, such as the Single Central Register.
  • Continued to specifically consider the progress and attainment of disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND
  • Reviewed reports provided regarding the Curriculum provision, Pupil Premium provision, Schools Sport Funding, teaching standards, Behaviour and Safety, Progress and Attainment, in order to gain a clear and broad understanding of the context of the work and help to shape strategic questions and decisions.
  • Considered the Academy’s remote learning provision, specifically designed to support learning and teaching during the lockdown period and further developed over the year to ensure that all pupils were being appropriately supported to continue their learning.
  1. Financial management:

During the year, the LGB has: -

  • Worked in collaboration with the TTMAT finance team to set a budget which clearly demonstrated that expenditure plans were appropriate in line with the Academy’s priorities.
  • Ensured that resources for intervention support have been maintained and continued to have a positive impact.
  • Ensured that all expenditure had followed ‘best value’ principles.
  • Ensured that strategic expenditure plans have been formulated to appropriately allocate other grant income to have a positive impact on pupil outcomes.
  • Reviewed the termly risk management reports to identify potential problems before they occur so that risk-handling activities may be planned to mitigate adverse impacts on achieving the Academy’s objectives.
  • Ensured that spending has been cautious due to the loss of income from Extended Clubs which have not been possible to recover. 
  • The governing body considered and approved the proposed budget and continued through the finance committee, to ensure that the spending choices are made in line with the academy priorities ensuring appropriate and needs driven expenditure.
  • The governors have reviewed the management accounts on a monthly basis and address the Finance Director & Financial Controller questions regarding financial performance.  In addition to this, he finance committee reviews and approves the accounts.
  • Reviewed the catering during which members of the LGB evaluated the strength of each proposition from a financial, operational and quality perspective.  
  1. Statutory responsibilities:

During the year, the LGB has: -

  • Considered and approved the risk assessment prepared by the Academy to identify the risks attributable to the possible transmission of COVID-19 and to enable the Academy to partially reopen during the spring term and fully reopen in April 2021.
  • Completed an audit for the Academy website to ensure that it remained current and compliant with statutory regulations, including, but not limited to, the publication of key policies and governance information, the allocation of funding, safeguarding procedures and the provision for SEND pupils.
  • Continued to have a Designated Governor for Safeguarding to ensure that all safeguarding responsibilities continued to be met through comprehensive auditing of the provision.
  • Updated the Academy Safeguarding policy to include the requirements of new statutory guidance and other topical issues.
  • Maintained a robust schedule for monitoring compliance of the LGB’s statutory duties in respect of policies.
  • Ensured that there has been a named Governor with responsibility for Health & Safety and to overview Health and Safety audit reports.
  • Maintained a schedule of business interests in respect of Governors and reviewed the termly schedule prepared to record interests declared by the Academy’s senior leadership team.
  • Approved relationships, sex and health education policy for implementation in September.  Policy was adopted after consultation with parents.
  • Reviewed the schools’ GDPR audit by an external body to ensure the Academy complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

Plans for 2021-22

Redhill Primary Academy continues to be successful and a popular choice of local school.  The LGB, the Headteacher and all staff continue to be committed to driving improvements in pupils’ progress and attainment.

The LGB will continue to undertake routine monitoring activities during 2021-2022, as broadly set out in this report, and it will continue to provide support to the Headteacher to ensure that pupils are provided with an appropriate learning environment, with every opportunity to reach their best possible potential.  In addition to the improvement targets determined for the 2021-2022 academic year, the Academy has formulated other priorities relating to COVID-19.  As such, the LGB will also review progress in these areas, particularly to monitor the wellbeing and attendance of pupils, the support provided for pupils yet to reach age-related standards and the well-being of staff.

As part of this report, the LGB would like to take this opportunity to express its gratitude to the Headteacher, Senior Leadership team and all members of the teaching and administrative/support staff for their hard work and commitment during this challenging period.  Despite the full national lockdown in January 2021, the Academy continued to provide a face-to-face educational provision for vulnerable pupils and also for children of key workers.  Considerable work was undertaken to further develop the high-quality remote learning provision to support pupils to work at.  As a Board, we are immensely proud of the Academy’s employees who have worked tirelessly throughout to ensure that we continue to provide the best education and care possible for our pupils, regardless of the difficulties presented by the pandemic.

To discuss any aspect of this report, or to find out about opportunities which may be able to join the Local Governing Board, please contact the Chair of Governors via the Academy.

Beth Tutchener-Ellis

Chair of Governors



July 2021