Sunday, 29 May 2011

Effective Governing Body Case Study: Boyne Hill CoE Infant & Nursery School

Boyne Hill Church of England Infant and Nursery School, Windsor and Maidenhead
The school is located in a multi-ethnic community. A substantial proportion of the pupils use English as an additional language. The governors have a high profile in the school; they are well known to staff, pupils and parents and operate as a close-knit team.

A clear, shared view of their roles and responsibilities, and high expectations of their effectiveness have been developed and established during the past five years. The governing body used its wider networks to recruit new governors from the local community. This shared view and active recruitment were key factors in sustaining outstanding governance.

A well-managed and efficient committee structure made the best possible use of time. The delegation of specific responsibilities for monitoring and evaluating the work of the school to working groups and individual governors was closely aligned to the school’s improvement priorities. Sharply focused minutes from governing body meetings identified precise actions and arrangements for monitoring and informed further improvement planning.

Governors made a significant contribution to the effectiveness of the school’s engagement with
parents and carers. The responsiveness and approachability of governors were valued strongly by parents. Governors recognised the challenge of communicating with parents in a school where 21 languages were spoken and many ethnicities, religions and cultures were represented. They regularly talked to parents in the playground and welcomed them into the school to celebrate their children’s work and achievements, for example, in contributing to creating a new vision statement for the school. Through this informal contact, parents were encouraged to run clubs and attend workshops and meetings about their children’s learning.

Governors also invested considerable time and commitment to ensuring that the views of parents on their children’s learning and well-being were heard. These views were then taken into account and used to identify priorities for improvement in a more formal way. Governors took responsibility for devising questionnaires that were written in plain and accessible English which could be translated if necessary. The questionnaires were sent out annually with pupils’ reports and whenever a need to consult parents was identified during the year. All responses were read and noted. Parents recognised when things happened as a result of their feedback. The prompt response from governors made parents more inclined to engage further with the school, which was evidenced in their high response rates.

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