excellence for every child every day
Welcome to the governing body section of Rivelin’s website.
My name is Dave Higgens and I’ve been the chair of governors at Rivelin since October 2014. I’ve been a parent governor since 2009 and have had two children at the school.
As a governing board we are always looking for better ways to communicate with parents, carers and everyone else with an interest in the success of the school. We’re hoping to use this section of the site to make sure parents are informed about what the governors are doing and, hopefully, encourage some feedback. I hope you find the information useful – including the “Chair’s Blog” which I’ve started doing to help keep people in touch with what we are doing.
The governors feel the school has made some great progress in recent years – largely through the dedication and hard work of the teachers, the teaching assistants and the many other members of staff who support them. We are also lucky to have such a fantastic group of children. Visitors to Rivelin always comment on how they find our pupils so well behaved and eager to learn. And they always remark on how easily the children share their enthusiasm – they’re definitely not backward in come forward, which is brilliant.
Our aim as governors is to make Rivelin an outstanding school in every sense of the word and to ensure every single child achieves to their full potential.
We like to think we’re a very active governing board at Rivelin and are very focussed on our role of supporting Mrs Powell and her team in their quest to get the best possible outcomes for every child while also holding the school to account for the decisions it takes. We try to do this by mixing the formal meetings we regularly hold with taking other opportunities to get into school to talk to staff, parents and children.
We are also a very parent-focussed governing board. As well as the parent governors, many of the other governors have children at the school, or have children who have recently left. Two of our governors are even former Rivelin pupils (although I think it was called Morley Street School in those days). But we are always trying to cast our net as wide as possible as we aim to make sure we understand the views of everyone involved in the school.
If you want to talk to me or any of the governors please contact the Clerk to Governors, Claire Wraith. Mrs Wraith works in the main school office and can be contact by telephone on 0114 234 1304 or you can send an email to: email@example.com
Thanks for reading.
Chair of Governors
The governing board at Rivelin has 12 members. It consists of five parent governors, one member appointed by the local authority and one elected by the staff. The headteacher, Mrs Jo Powell, is also a governor. The remaining four members are all co-opted governors, which means they have been invited to join due to the skills and experience they bring from our local community.
The governing board makes key strategic decisions about Rivelin Primary School. Examples of this include setting the budget and deciding on major expenditure; appointing the headteacher; deciding on staffing structures and monitoring the school’s improvement plan.
The Government says that governing boards should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions
:: Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
:: Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of staff
:: Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent
But the governing board does not manage the school on a day-to-day basis. The governors are very careful to leave everyday decisions about the children and the staff to Mrs Powell – that is her job. However it is also part of the governors’ role to hold Mrs Powell and her senior leadership team to account.
As a governing board we believe are always trying to strike the right balance between supporting the senior leaders in their efforts to improve the school and monitoring the decisions they are making.
Rivelin’s governing board has two committees. The Standards Committee deals with issues related to teaching and learning in school and is chaired by Lisa Hood. The Finance and Resources Committee is pretty self explanatory and is chaired by Renata Kirby.
Each of these committees meets once a term. The Full Governing Board meets twice a term. One of these meetings deals with many of the many statutory responsibilities we have. The other tends to be a less formal “development meeting” in which we focus on a particular element of school life – eg. maths or Assertive Mentoring or special educational needs (SEN). These are a little bit like training sessions, where the governors make sure they fully understand particularly topical issues.
The governors try to get into school as much as possible. One way we do this is through Governors in School Days. These involve a group of governors spending a whole day in school (including a school dinner!) looking at different aspects of school life – again, maths, Assertive Mentoring and SEN are good recent examples.
Governors occasionally have to sit on ad-hoc panels which are needed in school from time-to-time. The most obvious of these are interviews for new members of staff. Much rarer are panels that deal with things like complaints, exclusions and disciplinary matters.
Among the other responsibilities individual governors have are: