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Policy statement

The monitoring of standards of attainment, pupils’ progress, teaching and learning, the curriculum and all other aspects of school life are a key responsibility of the governing body and one which will continue to be given a high priority. Leaders and governors work together to create a culture that enables both pupils and staff to excel. High expectations are set for all.

  • An  effective monitoring strategy is in place as an essential part of St Mary’s leadership and management.
  • Leaders and governors focus on consistently improving outcomes for all pupils, including those with pupil premium and SEND. They are uncompromising in their ambition for all groups of children.
  • Governors systematically challenge senior leaders so that the effective deployment of staff and resources, including the pupil premium and SEND funding will secure excellent outcomes for pupils.
  •  Through carefully planned monitoring and evaluation, leaders and governors have a deep, accurate understanding of the school’s effectiveness informed by the views of pupils, parents and staff. They use this to keep the school improving by focusing on the impact of their actions in key areas.
  • Teaching staff reflect on and debate the way they teach. They feel deeply involved in their own professional development. Leaders strive to create a climate in which teachers are motivated and trusted to take risks and innovate in ways that are right for their pupils.
  • St Mary’s plans for a broad and balanced curriculum and one which inspires pupils to learn. The range of subjects and courses helps pupils acquire knowledge, understanding and skills in all aspects of their education.
  • Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and, within this, the promotion of fundamental British values, are at the heart of the St Mary’s teaching and learning.
  •  St Mary’s  leaders and managers strive to create a culture of vigilance where pupils’ welfare is actively promoted and where pupils are listened to and feel safe. Staff are trained to identify when a pupil may be at risk of neglect, abuse or exploitation and to report their concerns. Leaders and staff will work with external partners to support pupils who are at risk or who are the subject of a multi-agency plan.

Principles of the Policy

  • Our monitoring processes will enable us to carry out data analysis, evaluate processes and outcomes, review, plan and set targets to ensure good progresses and improve and raise the standards of achievement of all pupils.
  • The information gained from monitoring will be used to keep governors, staff and parents well informed about the work of the school.
  • Monitoring information will be used to set the educational priorities of our school improvement plan.
  • The Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team will establish systems for gaining an overview of each aspect of the school’s work.
  • Subject leaders will systematically and regularly monitor their areas of responsibility to enable them to contribute to the school improvement planning process.
  • The  statutory requirements of performance management will be incorporated in this monitoring policy and will underpin the school’s policy for performance management and review.
  • Governors will play an integral and important role in monitoring the effectiveness of the school and its improvements in educational attainment by adopting individual responsibilities in relation to curriculum areas or year groups and by undertaking regular visits as a “critical friend”.

Governors Monitoring Procedures

Every governing body is expected to have a good understanding of the strengths and areas that are needed to be developed. Governors at St Mary’s acquire this knowledge in many different ways:-

  • Headteacher reports given at termly governing body meetings.
  • Reports to governors by other subject leaders given at committee meetings.
  • SFVS financial meeting including analysis of financial benchmarking.
  • Reports from the schools school improvement partner (SIP).
  • The school’s key performance indicators e.g. raise online report which is discussed in the autumn term in a meeting led by the school advisor.
  • Ofsted inspection reports.
  • Any internal test results and teacher assessment results discussed with governors termly.
  • Half termly standards and effectiveness committee meetings;
  • Termly Resources and Curriculum committee meetings.
  • Conducting learning walks.
  • Attending staff training and inset days when relevant.

Linking to a Subject Area

At the annual Governing Body planning meeting in September, all governors are linked with a subject area of their choice. Ideally, governors stay with this subject or area for a minimum of 2 years so that a clear picture of that subject can be built up and relationships with staff can be developed.
The teachers have a very precise and organised curriculum monitoring system in place to enable them to get a view on their subject and how children learn, attain and make progress in this subject. We feel that it is essential to share this knowledge.
Throughout the year, different subject leaders (staff) have the opportunity to  observe lessons, scrutinise planning and work  and speak to children. At this point, the subject leaders have the maximum knowledge of the current position of performance and standards of their subject throughout school.
After a subject leader has had this focus time, they report this information to the staff. We, as governors, take this opportunity to meet with our chosen subject and its leader to share this knowledge.
On at least an annual basis,  there is an opportunity for all staff and governors to meet. This time is used to build relationships, communicate and also meet the subject leader of the governor’s chosen subject or area. The subject leader discusses the evaluated school improvement plan or subject action plan of the past academic year, and the governors and staff discuss the school improvement plan  or action plan of the coming academic year. Therefore, at least once a year each governor meets and discusses their chosen subject or area with the subject leader on an individual basis. If a governor has met staff to discuss their subject or if they have been into school to visit for any other reason, they fill in a pro forma (Appendix A) which is shared at the committee meeting and then placed in the governing body monitoring file. The file is available at every governing body meeting so that all governors have access to it.

Attachment to Year Groups

To get a feel for the heart of the school, governors have been linked to year groups and follow children throughout their 7 years at St Mary’s. This involves children knowing who the governors are and jobs that they do. Governors  aim to make contact with the class once a term. This can be by email, letter, visiting the class, observing a class assembly or going on a class trip. The information about assemblies, topics and trips are given to the governor by the class teacher. Governors take a particular interest in that class and try to attend any special event that is happening. We request that any parent governors do not link with a class that their children are in.
When governors visit school, they follow the school’s policy on governor visits to school (Appendix B).
After any visit to the school, governors complete a governor monitoring pro forma which is shared at the next Governors meeting and placed on the Governors’ file kept in school.

Classroom Visits

The focus for classroom visits should be agreed with the SLT of the school and relate to the school’s current school improvement plan. In addition, for any visit, the school governors should evaluate how the school mission statement  can be seen in action.
If  possible,  the class teacher will discuss displays, children’s work, current topics, resources they are using and the classroom environment. This enables governors to get a feel for learning environment, see children’s work and build up relationships with the teaching and support staff. Governors fill in a monitoring pro forma jointly to discuss at the next full Governing Body meeting, and place in the Governors monitoring file.

Appendix A – Governors monitoring pro forma.
Appendix B – Governors visits to school policy.