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Brandlehow Primary School

Governance statement 2022-2023

Who are we?

We are local people, parents and staff who have volunteered to become school governors. 

What is our purpose?

The purpose of the governing body is to work with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to set, monitor and evaluate the school’s aims and policies.  We strive to provide the best possible education for the children through a rich and varied curriculum in a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment where all children can thrive and reach their full potential.

Overall aims of the Governing Body:

Ensuring that the school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction

Scrutinising pupil performance and ensuring that all are making expected or better than expected progress

Holding the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to account for the school’s performance

Overseeing the appointment, development and management of staff to ensure consistent high quality teaching and wellbeing of staff

Overseeing the financial management of the school and making sure its money is well spent

Making decisions about the school buildings and ensuring they are properly maintained and that all health and safety requirements are met

Ensuring the safety of all including safeguarding of the children

Ensuring the needs of children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are met

Supporting delivery of a compliant as well as broad, balanced and inspiring curriculum, and an engaging learning experience for all both in and outside the classroom

What are we responsible for?

Ensuring that the school has rigorous safeguarding procedures and policies in place and that the well-being of the children and staff is paramount

Holding the school to account for the educational standards it achieves and the quality of education it provides

Planning for the school’s future direction

Selection of a Headteacher

Performance management of the Headteacher

Ensuring effective financial management of the school, including setting the school’s budget and planning resources and staffing

Making sure the National Curriculum is taught

Deciding how the school can encourage pupils’ spiritual, moral and cultural development

Making sure the school provides for all its pupils, including those with additional needs

Investigating and dealing with formal school based complaints

Providing strategic guidance on key decisions for the school

Ensuring school, local authority and government policies which relate to schools and education are implemented and reviewed regularly 

Providing strategic guidance on communication with parents, the local community and other stakeholders

What is expected of school governors?

Attend regular and special meetings of the governing body, both Full Governing Body meetings and committee meetings (see below)

Visit the school to evaluate and feedback on different aspects of the school’s work, including safeguarding

Attend training courses where appropriate

At Brandlehow Primary School we also expect our school governors to demonstrate a commitment to improving education for all, our school vision and our ethos as a community school.  

Governance Arrangements

Brandlehow governing body has a scheme of delegation with the core work delegated to three committees: Resources; Curriculum and Achievement and Children, Families and Community.

The Full Governing Body meets three times a year and each of the three committees meets at least once termly.

The Resources Committee oversees finance (including scrutinising the budget), personnel HR, school premises and grounds, security, health and safety and safeguarding.

The Curriculum and Achievement Committee oversees the curriculum, progress and attainment, quality of teaching, assessment, provision for SEND (special educational needs and disability), children with EAL (English as an additional language) and PP (pupil premium) children, home learning and safeguarding.

The Children, Families and Community committee oversees safeguarding and child protection procedures, pupil admissions, attendance and punctuality, behaviour, pupil wellbeing, engagement with parents, carers and the community, equality and diversity.

The staff pay policy is agreed annually by the Full Governing Body.

The Headteacher’s performance is assessed by the Chair and two other members of the governing body, with the help of an external advisor.

Attendance Record

The governing body has an excellent attendance record. Please see attendance records on school website for further details.

Assessment of effectiveness

Brandlehow Primary School governing body is comprised of dedicated individuals with a broad range of skills that enable us to perform our role effectively.

Each governor has opportunities to lead an area to enable the development of more detailed expertise on the governing body.  Individual ‘link’ governors have responsibility for safeguarding, e-safety, SEND, health and safety, finance, behaviour and attendance, as well as different aspects of the curriculum.

We have good working relationships with the Headteacher and other school staff and our visits to the school are welcomed and encouraged.

We provide a strong mix of support and challenge, holding the school to account at governor meetings and interrogating performance data, targets, evaluation, budget setting and staff development to ensure that the school meets its overall objectives.

We visit the school regularly, attend events, have good relationships with staff and are committed to promoting high standards across all areas of school life.

The Headteacher and Chair meet regularly to monitor safeguarding and to share and review any concerns.

Copies of non-confidential meeting minutes are available from the school office.

Key Governor contribution 2022-2023

The academic year 2022-23 was a busy year for Brandlehow School. The school is now operating at very close to full capacity as a two-form entry school with only one remaining year group as one form.  The new spaces created by the building work that took place from 2019 – 2021 are now fully utilised and an invaluable addition to the day-to-day operation of the school and the richness of the children’s experience.

As experienced by many schools, Brandlehow faced a number of challenges in this academic year including financial pressures (in part as a result of inflation, in particular an unprecedented rise in energy costs), the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the school community, and the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The governing body provided support and challenge to the School Senior Leadership Team throughout the year on these issues and many others.

Working closely with the Local Authority the governing body oversaw the recruitment process, selection and appointment of a new Head Teacher for Brandlehow School, James Lacey, who took up post in September 2023.

The governing body also closely assisted in the recruitment and appointment of a new Deputy Head for Equality and supported the Senior Leadership Team in the recruitment of other members of Teaching and Support staff.

We visited the school many times. Our visits focused on different areas linked to the School Strategic Plan including safeguarding, health and safety, data protection, finance and budgeting, special needs provision, pupil attainment, pupil premium, behaviour, attendance, observing school assembly, attending school council meetings, assessment and marking, curriculum subject focussed teaching and more.

We helped oversee the implementation of the School Strategic Plan.

We continued to advise the school in its role as Wandsworth Lead School for School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT).

We updated the Strategic Risk Register to identify, prioritise and monitor strategic risks to the school.

We continued to advise on how best to communicate with parents, carers and the school community.

We oversaw the financial management of the school and provided guidance and support on cost increases due to inflation (for example increased energy costs) and the impact of changes to school budgets and subsequent requirements.

We continued to review all school policy documents, in line with the Policy Review calendar.

We welcomed new governors and associate governors to the governing body.

We continued regular Governor training as appropriate to roles.   

Actions and to further develop

Support the new Headteacher and new SLT (including one new Deputy Head) throughout the challenges of the year ahead, including continued financial challenges and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the associated impact on families, in particular with regard to:

·         The wellbeing of all children and staff

·         Safeguarding

·         Educational attainment for all children (including SEND and vulnerable children and those in receipt of Pupil Premium Grant)

·         Health & safety and risk assessment

Continue to visit the school and challenge the school leaders on the delivery of the priorities of the School Strategic Plan.

Continue to oversee the financial management of the school.

Support and monitor the school in maximising the use of the recent new school buildings, including the Grove Hall, the Nicholls Hall and improved outside spaces for the benefit of the school and its community.

Keep the consideration of academisation and links with other schools under review, with their implications for Brandlehow.

Further Information

For further information about Brandlehow Primary School governing body please visit the school website:


Contact the governing body

Bridget Smith is the Chair of the governing body. She can be contacted via the school office, or email: info@brandlehow.wandsworth.sch.uk or leave a written message with the school office.