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July 2016


In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies the three core strategic functions of the Governing Body are:


  1. 1.            Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  2. 2.            Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  3. 3.            Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is spent well


Governance arrangements

The governing body currently includes:

The Headteacher:                   Christine Gabbott

Foundation governor:              Penny Robson (Chair)

LA governor:                            Paul Bradley

Elected staff governor:            Rachelle Leech

Co-opted governors:               Kurt Bauwens, Keith Writer, Esme Hadley,   Emily Boynton, and Pat Quinn


During the year Wendy Jefferson (Parent Governor and Vice Chair) resigned due to family reasons and Meri Snowdon (co-opted governor) resigned in July. Both contributed greatly to the work of the governors and we were very sorry to lose them, but very grateful for all their contributions. Kurt Bauwens term of office as parent governor came to an end and he has become a co-opted governor. This means that we have two vacancies for parent governors that will be filled in September.


The governing body is provided with clerking services by Val Brown who helps to provide up to date information from the local authority and ensures that the governing body has all the necessary information about the many changes coming through from government in relation to education and the way in which schools are organised.


This academic year the governing body has had 6 full meetings, 6 meetings of the School Improvement Committee (SIC) and 3 meetings of the Resources Committee. It has been decided that we will discontinue the committees for the next academic year, but hold nine full governing body meetings.


All governors have specific responsibilities and are tasked with coming into school to ensure that progress is being made on delivering the School Development Plan and providing support and challenge to the Headteacher as appropriate.


Attendance record of governors


The clerk to the governors keeps a record of governors’ attendance at meetings. Details of attendance can be seen at the end of this report.

Meetings have to be quorate to ensure that decisions are made


The work we have done in our governing body


1.         Vision, ethos and strategic direction

We focused on developing our vision and strategic direction for the school by holding a specific “visioning” event and also holding a meeting with local authority officers and the Diocese after working through the Diocesan publication: The Future of Rural Schools. We know that it is important for us to form partnerships with other schools to ensure that Pickhill staff and pupils can benefit from wider opportunities than if we were working alone. The school is now a member of the Swaledale Alliance which includes over 50 schools and is developing shared events with other schools.

Governors have kept abreast of developments and attended training in relation to schools becoming academies so that we can understand what is involved and be proactive in deciding whether that should be something we would want to consider for Pickhill in the future.


2.         Holding the headteacher to account

When the school was inspected in 2014 it was judged to be good. Everyone agreed that our aim should be to be judged as outstanding when we were next inspected. To monitor the school’s progress towards achieving this, we decided that individual governors on the school improvement committee would be responsible for monitoring each of the priorities in the school development plan as follows:

  1. To further improve the quality of teaching and learning from good to outstanding – Wendy Jefferson and then Meri Snowdon
  2. To have a high quality learning environment indoors and outdoors – Penny Robson
  3. To further the achievement of all children in all areas – Esme Hadley
  4. To further improve behaviour and safety to outstanding – Kurt Bauwens
  5. To further improve leadership and management to outstanding – Keith Writer


This has worked well and staff are to be congratulated on the progress that has been made across all areas. There are still some issues to address and they will be taken forward when determining the priorities for 2016-17.


SATs (Standard Attainment Tests) results for Year 6 pupils were very good with all four pupils achieving the required level in all subjects.


As well as monitoring priorities, governors have carried out Learning Walks each term, with one focused specifically on Pickhill as a Church school, and also undertaken pupil conferencing so that we can get feedback from pupils. All these activities help us to know our school really well and identify what our strategic aims should be.


The governing body also reviews the school’s policies throughout the year to ensure that they are up-to-date.


3.         Overseeing the financial performance of the school

The Resources Committee, chaired by Paul Bradley, monitored the school’s budget carefully during the year and was advised throughout by the NYCC bursar. Although there was an overall budget deficit of £10,535 at the end of the year, this was because of planned expenditure on supply costs and external painting work. The three-year financial forecast is for a balanced budget to be achieved by 2017-18 provided pupils numbers are maintained,


The NYCC bursar comes into school regularly, prepares financial reports for us and attends meetings as required.



How to contact your Governing Body

Full details of the governing body are available on the school website and any of the governors can be contacted through the school.


Full GB   Meetings                  
Type of Governor / Category  Name 28th September Dec 14th now SIC 25th Jan 14th March 17th May          
Co-opted P Quinn       1 1 50% Did not join until March      
Co-opted M Snowdon 1 0   1   50% Now resigned      
Co-opted K Writer 1 0     1 50%        
Co-opted E Boynton 1 0 1 1   75%        
Co-opted E Hadley 1 0 1   1 75%        
Foudation 2 P Robson 1 0 1 1   75%        
LA 1 P Bradley 1 0 1   1 75%        
Parent 2 K Bauwens 1 0     1 50%        
Parent 2 W Jefferson 1 0       25% Now resigned      
Staff 1 R Leech 1 0 1 1 1 100%        
Head Teacher C Gabbott 1 0 1 1 1 100%        
Committees School Improvement   21st September 14th December 10th March May 9th 27th June          
Head Teacher C Gabbott 1 1 1 1 1 100%        
Co-opted  K Writer 1 1 1 1 1 100%        
Co-opted M Snowdon 1 1   1 1 80%        
Foudation 2 P Robson 1   1 1 1 80%        
Co-opted K Bauwens 1 1 1 1   80%        
Co-opted E Hadley   1 1 1 1 80%        
Head Teacher C Gabbott 1 1 1 1   80%        
Parent 2 W Jefferson 1 1       40% Now resigned      
Staff 1 R Leech 1 1 1 1 1 100%        
Committees Resources   4th November 3rd March 15th June              
LA 1 P Bradley 1 1 1     100%        
Co-opted K Writer 1 1 1     100%        
Parent 2 K Bauwens 1 1 1     100%        
Head Teacher C Gabbott 1 1 1     100%