A Note from Jim Hutchinson, the vice chair
It is with great sadness that we shall be saying farewell to our Chair, The Rt. Hon. Sir Simon Hughes, who has stepped down as Chair of Governors. Simon has been a tremendous source of sage advice for many years. His wide knowledge of and deep attachment to the local community has meant that he always knows someone or some organisation that can help when problems arise.
He has fought tirelessly over the years to ensure that all pupils at St.James’ have equal access to the best education possible. Parents and carers will know of his support as MP for the radical and effective Pupil Premium initiative.
We know parents and carers will join me in wishing him well as he takes up his new post as Chancellor of London University of the South Bank and hope that he’ll keep in touch with St.James’, a school dear to his heart and one which he has helped to mould over the years.
At the end of November the Governors will be electing a new Chair. In the meantime I shall be taking over Simon’s role.
What do Governors Do?
That was one of the questions a girl asked the governors when they visited the school recently.
A good question!
Ultimately we are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the school and making sure that the children receive the very best education while they are with us.
Much of the work of the governors is carried out in specialist committees. These, in no special order, are as follows:
The Finance and Personnel Committee scrutinizes the multi-million pound budget; approves the teachers’ performance management and targets; reviews and agrees pay policy, staffing levels, etc.
The Curriculum Committee is concerned with all aspects of teaching and learning and takes a keen interest in the attainment and progress of all the children. The committee receives regular reports from the various subject leaders and keeps abreast of what goes on in the classroom.
The Learning Environment Committee deals with all sorts of questions from the really big decisions about extensions to the building, to deciding how many toilets we need or what to do about the Hall floor. An important function of this committee is to make sure that all Health and Safety checks and procedures are being observed.
The Admissions Committee has one of the knottiest problems to deal with – setting a fair and transparent admissions policy which meets local needs and satisfies the Department for Education regulations.
Underpinning all we do is the importance of upholding the Christian ethos of the school. The Faith Committee meets regularly and reviews and advises on this.
We have recently set up two new groups. One monitors all the policies and regulations we are required to keep and another has been set the task of improving communications at all levels.