Whipton Barton Federation Annual Governance Statement 

The Department for Education Governance Handbook (November 2015) states that: 

All boards, whether in the maintained or academy sector and no matter how many schools they are responsible for, have three core functions:  

1.  Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction; 

Governors are responsible for setting the school’s strategic framework, identifying priorities for school improvement and monitoring progress towards these goals. Governors are also responsible for setting a school ethos of high expectations of behaviour, progress and attainment of all pupils and of conduct of staff and governors. 

2.        Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils; 

Governors must provide challenge to the school and hold the Headteacher and senior leaders to account for improving the quality of teaching and learning and school performance. Governors do this through questioning and through regular monitoring and analysis of data on children’s performance and progress. Governors hold the Headteacher to account for the performance management of teachers. The performance management of the Headteacher is conducted by governors together with an external advisor. 

3.        Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure it’s money is well spent. 

Governors look at financial statements and ask questions to ensure that the school makes efficient use of its budget and provides best value for money.  


Governance Arrangements 

The table below outlines the Governor names and their roles. 





Executive Head teacher 

Gary Read 




James Norman 

Head of School/ Teaching and Learning 




Gemma Wills 

Head of School/ Teaching and Learning Committee 



Jayne Hall 

Business Manager 



Co opted 

Jo Stranks 

Teaching and Learning Committee 


Co opted 

Sarah Norcliffe 

Teaching and LearningCommittee 




Mike Beresford 

Co-Chair/Resources committee 



Bob Hooper 

Teaching and learning Committee 




Bethan Jones 

Resources committee 



Beck Ramsdale 

Resources Committee 





Stacey Andrew 


Health service 


Oli Birley 

Resources Committee/ Health and Safety 

Public sector 

Staff Governor 


Vicky Smith 

Resources Committee 


Clerk to Governors 

Jessica Benger 



Over the last year, we have had governors attend various training including: 

  • Introduction to Governance 

  • Safeguarding 

  • Prevent training 

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 

  • Achieving Good in OFSTED 

We have also held in-house training to support Governors in monitoring and self-evaluation This has led to us developing a Governance action plan which has then fed into the Federation Development plan as one of the key priorities for 2016-2017 


Attendance record of Governors 

All Governors are aware of the importance of attending meetings. We have never had to cancel a meeting due to not being quorate. All details of Governor attendance can be found in the Full Governing Body meeting minutes on the Federation website at: 

The Full Governing Body meets twice a term. The Teaching and Learning committee and Resources committee also meet twice a term. We have yearly Pay and performance and Headteacher Appraisal meetings. We have other committees to handle complaints, staff matters and pupil discipline as these arise. 


The work that we have done 

Our biggest challenge of the last year was to find a replacement Executive Headteacher when we learnt of the retirement of Jo Davies last summer. Although the recruitment process was not easy we were delighted to secure the employment of Gary Read, an experienced and successful school leader who we believe will be a great asset to the school in helping it move forward to the next stage of its development.  

The schools federated in April 2015. This gave us an opportunity to strengthen the existing links between the schools and create one governing body who would work together to improve outcomes for all the pupils. We have spent the last year further consolidating these links and building on the progress we have made so far.  

There has been a lot of work surrounding governor recruitment. As a Governing Body we value the experience that Governors from different backgrounds can bring to the Federation. We have carried out a skills audit and identified areas where we need to further develop our training and also to aid in the recruitment of new governors. 


Future of Governors  

As a Federation, we are aware that improving pupil outcomes and diminishing the difference is vital to the success of the children. 

We still have Governor vacancies to fill and will continue the recruitment process over the next year.  

We have plans to investigate the possibility of joining a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), however this is not something we will rush into. The schools have been through a period of significant change over the last 3 years and we will only do what is in the children’s best interests. 


School Improvement Planning 

Governors have high aspirations for the school and believe it will achieve great things in the future. The key aims and priorities as set out in our improvement plan for 2016-2017 are: 

1.To diminish the difference in attainment between Whipton pupils and children with similar starting points nationally, particularly at KS2, where the gap is largest. 

2.To improve parental interest in pupils’ learning. 

3.To ensure that Whipton schools are the first choice for parents in our designated area. 

4.To continue to improve attendance and punctuality. 

5.To improve the schools’ effectiveness in managing social, mental and emotional health in “high needs” pupils, particularly in relation to impact on learning. 

6.To ensure that the federation governing body works effectively, with focus on the strategic direction of the federation. 


Contacting the Governing Body 

We welcome any questions or comments and can be contacted at: 

or we can be contacted via the school office 


Governing Board  Minutes

Below are the meeting minutes of the Full Governing Board. If you would like to review the minutes of the Teaching & Learning Committee or the Resources Committee please contact the school or the Clerk to Governors.