Our Governing Body is made up of representatives nominated by the Local Authority, parents and staff from the school and co-opted members from the local community. The Full Governing Body and all Committees meet at least once a term but individual Governors also make focussed visits to the school throughout the year. The Chair of Governors meets the Headteacher regularly to share any concerns or discuss any new developments in the school.
The Governors are responsible for seeing that the school is properly run and that the building is safe and adequate for the children’s needs. They are involved in safeguarding, the appointment of staff and the delivery of the curriculum.
Our Chair of Governors is Fiona Coombe.
Our Designated Governor for Safeguarding and Child Protection is Gemma Seakins.
Our Designated Governor for Special Educational Needs and/or Disability is Kitty Dearman.
Our Designated Governor for Health & Safety is Fiona Coombe.
If you wish to contact Fiona or any of the Governors, please contact the school office.
The Governing Body has three Committees:
- Finance Premises and Personnel Committee
- Teaching, Learning and SEND Committee
- Family and Extended Services Committee
Each Committee has their own Terms of Reference and Scheme of Delegation, reviewed and updated annually, which ensures that the responsibilities of the Governing Body are undertaken appropriately.
Our Governing Body comprises:
Emma Williams All Committees - appointed September 2014
Camilla Alton Family and Extended Services Committee - appointed March 2017
Gemma Seakins Teaching, Learning and SEND Committee - appointed June 2017
Sarah Stearns - Family and Extended Services Committee - appointed June 2015
Ed Mcrandal Finance Premises and Personnel Committee – appointed June 2016
Dan Price - Vice-Chair of Governors and Chair - Family and Extended Services Committee - appointed November 2016
Local Authority Governor
Fiona Coombe Chair of Governors and Chair - Finance Premises and Personnel Committee - appointed November 2017
Aisling Boland Teaching, Learning and SEND Committee - appointed March 2017
Kitty Dearman Teaching, Learning and SEND Committee – appointed May 2016
Alison Pitter Teaching, Learning and SEND Committee - appointed June 2018
As of October 2018, there are four co-opted vacancies on the Governing Board.
In the last year, four Governors resigned from the Governing Body – Jonathan Davies-Jones (Co-opted Governor and member of the Family Services Committee and Advisory Board), Katharina Kieslich (Co-opted Governor, Chair and member of Advisory Board and all Committees), Lauren Young (Co-opted Governor and Chair of the Teaching, Learning and SEND Committee) and Ruth Daniells (Co-opted Governor and member of the Finance, Premises and Personnel Committee)
In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of Balham Nursery School and Children’s Centre (BNSCC) Governing Body are:
- Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
- Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils.
- Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.
As a Governing Board, we pay special attention to what we view as the core ethos that lies at the heart of everything we do at BNSCC: To place the children at the centre of any decisions that are made and to work together as a family of leaders, staff, children, parents, carers, governors and the local community to achieve the best learning outcomes for the children at BNSCC.
The Governing Body of BNSCC was re-constituted in June 2015. It is made up of 14 governors, of which 2 are staff governors, 8 are co-opted governors, 1 is a Local Authority governor and 3 are parent governors.
Co-opted governors are appointed by the Governing Body and are people who, in the opinion of the Governing Body, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.
The Governing Body has a programme of meetings throughout the school year. We meet as a Full Governing Body once a term and call extraordinary meetings if there are developments that require urgent attention. We also have a committee structure that focuses on specific areas of governance. We currently have three committees that meet on a termly basis:
- Finance, Premises and Personnel (FPP) Committee
- Teaching, Learning and SEND (Special educational needs and disability) Committee
- Family Services Committee
Attendance record of Governors
A record is kept by the clerk to the Governing Body of governors’ attendance at meetings. Meetings need to be ‘quorate’ to ensure that decisions can be made. We are pleased to report that governors’ attendance at meetings has been outstanding throughout the year, and that we did not have to cancel any meetings as a result of not being quorate.
The work we have done
As another exciting, successful, but in many ways also challenging, year comes to a close, we reflect on our work and our effectiveness as a Governing Board. As governors we use a number of ways to carry out our strategic roles. One of the most enjoyable parts of being a governor is visiting the school in the context of a ‘governor school visit’ in which individual governors spend a few hours with the senior leadership team, the staff and children and focus on a specific topic. This year, we have carried out several of such visits, with a particular focus on:
- Mark making in the outside space;
- Strategic planning at the staff INSET days;
- Safeguarding (led by our designated safeguarding governor, Jonathan Davies-Jones);
- Health and safety (led by our designated health and safety governor, Fiona Coombe);
- ‘Children in School with Medical Needs’ (led by our designated SEND governor, Joanne Saich)
We are pleased to report back that safeguarding practice continues to be strong at BNSCC. As a Governing Body we will continue to monitor safeguarding practice at BNSCC and we are pleased to say that all governors have undertaken safeguarding training in the form of online courses or training sessions offered by the Wandsworth Local Authority.
The children at BNSCC continue to make excellent progress in key learning areas. We monitor progress very closely in our termly Teaching, Learning and SEND Committee meetings in which we take the time to analyse the data on pupils’ progress, whilst always keeping in mind that progress and attainment data is only one way to look at how children are doing at BNSCC.
BNSCC has a dedicated SEND Coordinator who supports families at whatever stage of referral/assessment their child may be. The SENCo plays a vital role in ensuring the best outcomes for our children with SEND needs.
In addition to the more formal school visits, you may have also seen us at several of the fun school activities throughout the year such as the Christmas fayre and the summer fayre. Several members of the Governing Board have helped at these events in various ways, for example at the entrance gate meeting and greeting our families and friends. We also conduct ‘parent exit interviews’ at the end of every year to find out what has worked well throughout the year and what could work better, so that we can strive to improve wherever possible. Additionally, we organise the annual ‘celebration evening’ held in July, following on from the children’s photography exhibition and provide a forum to reminisce and celebrate the year! We hope to increase our visibility even further in the next year by doing some ‘meet-and-greet’ sessions in the mornings throughout the terms.
A very important activity for the Governing Body this year has been the support of the senior leadership team and the staff at BNSCC as we progress towards the merger with Fayland Children’s Centre. This merger offers exciting new opportunities for extending the fantastic work of our children’s centre. Inevitably there are strategic and operational challenges that need to be addressed, but we look forward to offering much-needed services to the children and families in our community.
We have also been working closely with our Headteacher, Emma Williams and the entire senior leadership team, to address the challenges arising from the national changes to education and early years funding. One of our governors attended the House of Commons Early Years Lobby Day with ‘Save the Children’. We have also reached out to our local Member of Parliament and our local Councillors in both private and official governor capacity in order to ensure that the voice of our children and community is heard beyond Balham.
All of our work is captured in approved minutes of the Governing Body, which are available through our School Business Manager, Bryanna Patterson, on request.
Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to the entire BNSCC community and especially to our leadership team and staff, not least to Emma, for their commitment and hard work in making BNSCC an educational space in which every voice is heard.
How to contact your Governing Body
We always welcome feedback, comments or suggestions. You can contact the Chair of the Governing Body, Fiona Coombe, via the school office, email: email@example.com.