- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils and the performance management of staff.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.
The LAB's (Local Advisory Board) Governors meet at least twice a term to contribute to the effective governance of the academy and report into the wider governance structure of Kernow Learning Multi-Academy Trust.
2020-2021 GOVERNORS' IMPACT STATEMENT
Governance of schools in the Kernow Learning Trust is in the hands of a Local Advisory Board, usually referred to as the Governors. Certainly, being a governor over the last two years has been interesting, to say the least, as education has been buffeted by the challenges of the Covid pandemic. It is to the huge credit of many but especially the staff team at St Agnes, that the school has gone well, and we can note many successes.
The local community can be very proud of the work of the school and its terrific children. Let us hope the school year 2021/22 creates many more opportunities for everyone in the community to see their children in action. They are a great credit to their parents, relatives and to the village and for us as Governors, it is a privilege to be linked with them.
Schooling through Covid has only worked so well because everyone has been mutually supportive. As governors our year has certainly been different, as with so many we have had to adapt to new ways of working. Frustratingly, Covid has meant restrictions on our visits into school, but it has not stopped our work. Like many parents and carers, we have had to learn the workings of online technology and the use of TEAMS. Thankfully, it has meant that we can keep on top of things and carry out our roles and responsibilities. Normally one would be writing about academic achievement and standards often referring to national standards and tests, but sensibly these were scrapped this year. However, the governors have had good and regular data from the school based on teacher assessments and encouragingly the performance of our children has been very pleasing. Obviously, some have had and will have to catch up but with the online learning offered and now the return to lessons, most pupils are recovering time lost and the future looks good. In fact, for our Year 6, I suspect a sense of frustration as they will not have had the opportunity to demonstrate their achievements in quite the same way, although suffice to say we are delighted with their progress.
Pupil premium and disadvantaged pupils have continued to be a focus this year and there are clear gains in their learning with teachers often going even more than the extra mile to support them through lockdown. Many parents have commented very favourably on the work of our staff as they have themselves suddenly had to have a higher profile with help for home learning; but things have gone well. A former school inspector regularly visits as our ‘challenge partner’ and reports to the governors. After a summer term visit he paid tribute to everyone’s work by saying ‘What a treat to come to St Agnes. I can see the school is in good hands and clearly on the right track, helping children to grow up as responsible young people as well as ensuring that they make academic progress.’ What a tribute to all our staff and the pupils with great parental support.
While achievement is important, as governors we give considerable time and get good reports and updates on other aspects of school life. It is evident that despite disruption and the strains of Covid, standards of behaviour and courtesy have remained high. The staff have worked extremely hard to ensure that all those rich extra activities that are such an important part of pupil development, have had a place. Whether through sport, music, or outdoor activities, whenever possible they have not only been offered but attended by so many. The Sports premium funding has helped us create opportunities, upskill staff and provide new equipment. The work that went into the Year 6 camp to ensure it was safe, was very special and meant that this cohort will leave St Agnes with happy memories, despite Covid. They will be moving to secondary school in a good place, and we wish them well and look forward to hearing of their many future successes.
All children are important to us at St Agnes, so it is no surprise to hear that the provision for children with Special Needs is good, while the work on the Trauma Informed Practice has continued to be a strength and the emotional needs and learning of children affected continues to be a strength. We pose regularly searching questions and always get clear and positive answers. There is little doubt that staff have gone way beyond what is expected to ensure every child is looked after. In fact, one of our concerns in the later part of this year has been to recognise that our staff personal well-being needs protection and both the Trust and our own senior colleagues have had that at the forefront of their thinking. As we hopefully head towards more normality in September, let us all wish all the staff a relaxing and restful summer break. They deserve nothing less.
For all schools, safeguarding is now crucial and the new legal requirements including a focus on e-safety in a technological world have been given a priority. Alongside good communication with the school, Governors meet regularly to monitor work and activities and hopefully to act as a supportive critical friend. But we are but a small part of a great team and our parents are also hugely valuable and their role in support, encouragement, and fund raising for instance has meant even more this year. Many parents have had to make personal work adjustments when a class has had to shield as a ‘bubble’ and we do appreciate these sacrifices and how they have supported the school when asked to do so. St Agnes as a community has grown stronger through Covid.
Nationally education seems yet again in a state of change and a focus this year has been developing a new curriculum. Governors have enjoyed seeing this develop and endorse the school focus with the curriculum themes of courage; curiosity; community; conservation and connection. This means our children can be inspired by others and the world around them; value where they live; love the natural world and understand other people, places, and communities. Some of this was clearly evident with their participation in the G7 education events including a BBC Spotlight moment while our local beach work and links to Surfers Against Sewage further demonstrates our thinking as a school. As this curriculum is established, there is little doubt that our pupils will be well placed to move forward in an exciting yet challenging world. Our children’s work on the G7 was noted as special with an organiser saying, ‘St Agnes stood out for me for being so passionate, so open, no fuss, no ego, just happy celebrating children.’ We could not have wished for more.
In conclusion, we need to recognise the very good support provided by the Kernow Learning Trust. Not only have they delivered their usual range of support and activities, including particularly good in-service for staff but they have been just a phone call away when tricky Covid decisions have had to be made. We are fortunate indeed to be an active member of the Trust but also to have such good people on hand. But good people barely do justice to our staff team. They have been great people this year. We knew we had a super team but this year words can barely do justice to their enormous efforts for the children. As governors on everyone’s behalf we need to say a huge thank you to Jess Mills and her leadership team and all our teachers and support staff. We are very proud of you; deeply grateful for all you do for the children and hope that rested and relaxed by September you can return and continue to work with us to make St Agnes an even more amazing school.
John Shears Chairman, Governors/LAB.
Mr John Shears
Chair of Governors (Monitoring: Attainment and progress, leadership and management)
Terms of office: 28.09.20 - 27.09.24
John has lived in the village of St Agnes since 1991 and since accepting the position of Chair of Governors, he has been involved in the school through his grandchildren who have been pupils. He has had a long career in education including Headships of two large comprehensives; Chairman of Governors in a Cornish Junior School; Ofsted inspector and education consultant across a number of counties in the South West of England. John is currently continuing some part time consultancy to provide support for school improvement.
Mr Darren Shaw
Parent Governor (Monitoring: safeguarding, eSafety, RSHE)
Terms of office: 26.01.18 - 25.01.22
Darren has lived in Cornwall for the past 17 years and has been in St Agnes since 2017, with one child at the school. During the day Darren works as a financial adviser and in his spare time likes to play squash, go on holidays, and spend time with the family. He felt as though he wanted to give something back to the community and when the governor role came up, was only too pleased to apply. He hopes that his contribution to the school and the local village is a useful one.
Mr Tom Hougham
Community Governor (Monitoring: provision for children who are disadvantaged; maths)
Terms of office: 29.03.19 - 22.03.23
Tom Hougham moved to Cornwall in 2005 whilst a helicopter pilot in the Royal Navy. He moved to St Agnes with his wife and three children in 2015 at the same time as taking a new job at Newquay Airport. He is passionate about children's education and is thoroughly invested in supporting and challenging the school in his role as a community Governor.
Miss Louise Treseder
Community Governor (Monitoring: outdoor provision)
Terms of office: 22.02.18 - 21.02.22
Cornish born and bred, Louise has been working in hospitality for most of her life, including stints in the tourism industry in Thailand & Malaysia. Educated at Tremough Convent, Penryn & Truro Sixth Form, she studied a BSc Rural Environmental Studies at Wye College (University of London) and a MA in Tourism & Social Responsibility at Marjons (University of Exeter). Louise has run the Driftwood Spars, St Agnes, since 2007 and out of that developed the Driftwood Spars Brewery as a separate business. She is also Chairman of St Agnes Chamber of Commerce. When not working Louise loves to swim, cycle & walk the coastal path.
Mr Matt Howes
Staff Governor and Assistant Headteacher
Terms of office: 07.09.18 - 06.09.22
Matt is in his fifth year at the school as Assistant Head and is in his fourth year as staff governor. Matt's other roles include: Year 6 class teacher, P.E Lead and Behaviour Lead. As Assistant Head, Matt wants to be as actively involved with the on goings at school as possible, and wants to work with all stakeholders to ensure the best education for the pupils at St Agnes Academy.
Mrs Lynn Carter
Community Governor (Monitoring: Early Years)
Lynn Carter moved to Cornwall in 1975 and has lived in St Agnes since 1987. She has three children and three grandchildren - soon to be four. A keen grower, Lynn’s polytunnel and veg’ patch feed the family, and an army of mice, for much of the year. Lynn retired in 2018 after 48 years in local government. An Environmental Health Officer, her last role with Cornwall Council was Managing the Community Protection Team. A new Governor, Lynn is keen to join the school family.