St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Cross Street, Chesterfield, S40 4ST

01246 232170

St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Let Your Light Shine

Governors Impact Statement 17/18

Governors Impact Statement 2017/18

At the end of each school year, we reflect on what we have achieved and where we still have work to do. It is a really important activity for the collective and for individuals; as a Governing Body we can learn from what has happened to make changes and improvements where necessary.  This reflection includes feedback from the pupils, staff, governors, PTFA and from parents via the annual Governor’s questionnaire.  The results of this are analysed and contribute to the new School Improvement Plan.  This document sets out what we think have been our key impacts as a Governing Body during the 2017/18 school year.
The Instrument of Governance states the Governing Body is made up of 14. We currently have 11 governors who will soon be joined by a further 3 Foundation Governors.  These additions are part of the planned changes to the school’s leadership team and the retirement of the Chair of Governors.
As a voluntary aided Catholic School our Governing Body is  made up of 8 Foundation Governors. Foundation Governors are selected by the Parish Priest and appointed by the Diocese. These governors act on behalf of the Diocese to ensure that the Catholic nature of the school is protected and nurtured. The Governing Body also has  2 parent and 2 staff governors, the Headteacher, a Local Authority governor, governors co-opted for their particular skills and expertise and associate governors. Historically we have, at times, operated with governor vacancies and have learnt important lessons from that.  We started the 2017/18 year with a full complement and are again starting the 2018/19 year with a robust plan and a keen eye on succession planning.
During the 2017/18 year we started down a road that would see significant leadership change in the school with the Head and Chair of Governors indicating their intention to step down at the end of the year.  We approached this calmly and with a great deal of aspiration, discussing as a collective how we could take this opportunity to set the direction for the coming years. We were very pleased to appoint Mrs Brown as Head from within St Mary’s and Mr Downing as Deputy.  We have also taken the decision to create a temporary post of Assistant Head to support our senior leaders through their first year in role
We have been pleased to see improvements in performance over the past year. Our 2018 KS2 data shows positive progress in all areas and attainment at both age related expectations and greater depth is above national in all areas.  (Based on provisional data) We remain conscious that there is still work to do in ensuring that more pupils reach greater depth in reading and writing, particularly amongst boys.  This view was confirmed by OFSTED when they inspected the school in January.  The inspection went very well. The school continues to be good and we look forward to welcoming OFSTED inspectors back into school in the coming year to complete a Section 5 inspection.
Our school mission is to build a spiritual and dynamic community which is enthusiastic for learning and which embraces the achievement of potential for all. We use this to test our impact as governors.

Our work is done in committees and these are:

  1. Full Governing Body
  2. Resources
  3. Curriculum
  4. Pastoral

We have a lot of business to do and therefore we have terms of reference for each committee which clearly states what delegated decision making each committee has. The Full Governing Body retains the oversight of all the committees and receives reports from them at each meeting.
You should see our governors regularly either in school, in church or in the playground.  Please feel free to pass on any feedback about the school to any of our governors or email your comments to

Resources Committee – Chair: Iain Findlay
This is the committee where decisions are made about how the financial resources of the school will be spent in line with the school improvement and asset management plan. It is a challenging role as there are fewer resources than aspirations and it is necessary to prioritise carefully and make difficult decisions in meeting the needs of the building and staffing. Ensuring the best possible outcomes for children in the short and medium term, and making long term improvements to our provision is at the core of our decision making.

Last year we supported the following activities:

    • Continuing the improvement programme to the classroom environment. We have made excellent progress on this over the past few years and we are now reaching the end of the class room refurbishments. Our aim is to modernise the school and support both the learning environment for children and deliver a professional working environment for staff.
    • Removal of Medway which was a legacy building that was no longer relevant that we have wished to remove for some time.
    • Management of staffing levels – whilst unpleasant to have to consider current and future staffing needs as a result solely of financial constraints, there is a statutory responsibility for the school to operate within its budget so we had to make some decisions about staffing levels. This was dealt with as sensitively and professionally as possible balancing the needs of children, budget and staff.
    • Engaging new caterers – this was a milestone decision for the school and was taken in order to address pupil and parent concerns as well as financial pressures. This was a difficult process that could have been used as a reason not to change, but staff and governors have put considerable energy into moving this provision forward and we are confident that the new suppliers will provide better choice, freshly cooked food on site and larger portion sizes for the older children.
    • Engaging new cleaning/caretaking provider – following the success of the catering provision our attention turned to the cleaning service.  Whilst the change has actually seen a small increase in cost it is firmly believed that we will see an improvement in the level of service and accountability that will contribute to a much improved learning environment for children.
    • New ramps and walkways installed – at the front of the school there was a legacy issue with ramps that were functional but not compliant.  Following considerable research and investigation we have taken the opportunity to lay a new tarmac walkway whilst rectifying the ramps issue.  This enables teachers to take their classes outside in good weather, ensures children can enter the building without walking in mud during bad weather and allows parents and teachers to have contact at the classroom door at home time.


Curriculum Committee – Chair: Pippa Sharp

The Curriculum Committee works to ensure high standards of teaching and learning across the school.

The committee is responsible for ensuring that the approaches used are having the right impact on the children’s learning and we do this by scrutinising children’s progress data to ensure no child is able to fall behind.

We compare ourselves to other schools locally and nationally to be sure our children are progressing as expected. In 2018 our Key Stage 2 average scaled scores were significantly above the national average in reading, writing, spelling punctuation and grammar and maths. Furthermore, our progress in reading and maths was also significantly above the national average. As well as this, our greater depth children achieved significantly above average compared to the national average.

We are an outward facing school, actively learning from and sharing our good practice with other schools. We are constantly seeking new ideas to improve our practice and give our children a world-class education.

The committee is also responsible for GDPR and ensures via our DPO (Data Processing Officer) that policies and procedures are adhered to.

Pastoral Committee – Chair: Helen Louzio

In the Pastoral Committee we have many roles and duties.  We are constantly reviewing the experiences of the school users to improve school life.  We regularly send out , analyse responses and act on questionnaires.  The themes of these surveys usually arise from the School Improvement Plan.

We deal with any complaints or suggestions that school members, neighbours or the general public may have and deal with them.

We are involved in keeping the Catholic Faith in the heart of the school and participate in Chaplaincy matters too.

Issues of Special Educational Needs, bullying, fostering, school attendance, pupil premium, health and safety and safeguarding and the related policy writing come under the umbrella of the committee and the members have to maintain training to ensure that the school is current in the relevant legislation.

We have a legal requirement to ensure that matters relating to safeguarding and The Prevent Duty are handled in the correct manner. We ensure that these, and other, issues are regularly reviewed and that all visitors are aware of the role they must take.