Governance

St Francis School is proudly part of Kernow Learning. Within the Kernow Learning governance structure, St Francis School has a Local Advisory Board and their work feeds into the on-going work of the MAT Board of Trustees.

The 3 Core Functions Of Governance

Governance exists to provide strong strategic leadership to a school, ensuring accountability for its educational and financial performance.
 
St Francis School is proudly part of Kernow Learning. Within the Kernow Learning governance structure, St Francis School has a Local Advisory Board and their work feeds into the on-going work of the MAT Board of Trustees.

The 3 Core Functions Of Governance
Governance exists to provide strong strategic leadership to a school, ensuring accountability for its educational and financial performance.

The GOVERNANCE HANDBOOK assigns 3 core functions::

  • 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
 
Current School Governors:
Mr Scott Wilson

Chair of Governors - Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 07/02/2019 - 06/02/2023

Scott has been a Governor at St Francis since 2010. As Vice Chair, he helped the Primary School in its transition to academy status. Scott has served as a Parent, LA Governor and a Co-Opted Governor.

He has significant experience and skills in leadership and management. In his private life, Scott is an Accountant, and has been in Private Practice in Budock since 1989, but much prefers to being in his garden.

As Chair of Governors, he is passionate about the importance and need of Local Governance within a MAT structure. That belief has been instrumental in driving forward Governance at St Francis. This has been highlighted as of a high standard in both internal School Improvement Reports and a recent external Governance Review.

Miss Christina Hourigan

Vice Chair of Governors - Parent Governor

Term of Office : 23/05/2018 - 22/05/2022

Christina has been a Governor at St Francis School since 2018. She has worked in secondary education for the past 16 years as both a teacher and a teaching assistant.

When her daughter started school she wanted to become actively involved in the school she was attending. Christina is currently the Vice Chair of Governors and the named Governor for Behaviour, Safeguarding and Attendance. She is committed to helping St Francis School to promote excellence by providing a positive, inclusive environment for learning and growth.

Mrs Hannah Stevens

Headteacher - Ex-Officio Governor

Term of Office: From 01/02/2018

Hannah Stevens is the Headteacher at St Francis CE primary school in Falmouth.
She has been the headteacher of this school since February 2018, and is proud of how the school lives out its vision of every person matters, every person helps, every person succeeds. The school achieved Outstanding in its SIAMs inspection in March 2018, and in July 2019 was the first school in Cornwall to achieve the Wellbeing Award. St Francis is a large school with a family feel, placing Christian and family values as its heart so that the children who attend flourish and develop a love for learning.

Hannah has been working in education for twenty years, and has taught in four very different school across Devon and Cornwall during this time. She has been a Literacy Lead Teacher for Cornwall Council, and worked with Truro Diocese to lead a successful Initial Teacher Training programme. In 2018, Hannah attained a Post Graduate certificate in Coaching and Mentoring achieving a distinction pass.

Mrs Vicky Peters

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 07/02/2019 - 06/02/2023

Vicky is an experienced operational and strategic leader, with 20 years spent working within the education sector; primarily in Further Education but more recently working with businesses across Cornwall to support their training and development needs.

During her career, Vicky's passion for supporting local communities and individuals led her to enjoy roles working with some of the county's most vulnerable groups such as young parents, those at risk of leaving education, and those who were NEET (not in education or training), individuals living with addiction or struggling with their mental health, and those with SEND and LDD. These areas of education continue to drive Vicky in her work.

Vicky is a member of The National Association of Governors and The Society of Education.

Mrs Tracey Stepney

Community Governor

Term of Office: 13/06/2019 - 12/06/2023

Tracy is a chartered accountant currently working for Cornwall Council as a Strategic Finance Manager supporting the Neighbourhoods and Economic Growth and Development directorates. She is an experienced Manager and has a range of financial and analytical skills.

Tracey is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and specialises in supporting, coaching and mentoring trainee accountants.

Tracey has daughter who attends St Francis School.

Rev Geoffrey Bennett

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 07/02/2019 - 06/02/2023

Mrs Sharon Bullock

Foundation Governor

Term of Office: 13/11/2019 - 12/11/2023

Sharon is retired but previous to this she had a long and varied teaching career. She has taught in a special school, secondary school and has also taught in Australia. Sharon has also run an Area Resource Base attached to a Junior school and spent many years in the role of SENCo.

Sharon is delighted to be the Governor attached to SEN as this is an area of special interest to her.

Mrs Nicki Sweeney

Parent Governor

Term of Office: 18/03/2019 - 17/03/2023

Nicki has been a parent governor since 2019 and is the link governor for Wellbeing. Nicki has a son in Year 2 at St Francis and is able to experience the school from different perspectives.

Nicki is the Grants & Compliance Lead for Cornish charity CRCC, responsible for managing the Wellbeing Community Grants programme under a Council & NHS contract; Nicki is also responsible for the operational aspects of data protection within the organisation. Previously Nicki has worked in mental health, adult disability care, and travel.

Mrs Beth Medlyn

Staff Governor

Term of Office: 29/03/2019 - 28/03/2023

Beth has been working at St Francis School for 5 and a half years now; 3 and a half years as a teacher in Year 3, one year as a HLTA and one year as a PE teaching assistant. Before coming to St Francis, Beth taught through an agency, in several secondary schools and in an SEN setting. Prior to that, she worked in Truro College and Penwith College teaching BTEC students studying Sports Science.

Beth is passionate about providing opportunities for all pupils to excel both academically and socially, and has a particular interest in children’s wellbeing. More specifically, their emotional wellbeing through their physical development. Beth’s passion is sport and PE and this is what she studied at University. She is the PE Coordinator at St Francis and enjoy being able to offer the children as many different sporting opportunities as possible.

Beth has been a staff governor at St Francis since 2019 and prior to this, was a parent governor at another primary school. Beth is excited to continue working with the other governors and ensure that St Francis continues to excel and be a safe and inclusive environment for all of our children.

In 2019-20 there were no formal complaints received at St Francis C of E School.
St Francis Local Governing Board – Governance Impact Statement 2019/20

Introduction

Working with the Head Teacher, the Senior Leadership team and school staff, we strive to contribute to all core functions, including, but not limited to;

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school.
  • Ensuring the finances of the school are utilised appropriately and managed effectively.
  • One new Governor has joined the LGB this year, Sharon Bullock. There have been no resignations.

There have been three formal meetings this year and these have fed into the Falmouth MAT governance structure. There has been local Governor representation at MAT Finance, School Improvement and Ethos meetings.

When the school closed in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, local governance was suspended. The CEO undertook monitoring on behalf of Governors and fed back to the Trust Board accordingly. This period also saw due diligence being undertaken to transfer the two primaries within Falmouth MAT to Kernow Learning.

St Francis School governors will fully resume their responsibilities in September but had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Kernow Learning in July so they could be aware of expectations moving forwards. They also started the Kernow Learning governor induction programme.

Key priorities for 2019/20

This year, the key priorities have been:

Quality of Education

  • Curriculum – Ensure Implementation and Impact of Curriculum is effective in building sequences of learning and progression of components
  • Writing – Raise the attainment of writing across the school; narrow the gaps between groups (gender, PP, SEN)
  • Reading – Implement Reading Strategy across the school to raise pupils’ knowledge of books and authors to develop a love of reading for pleasure
  • Maths – Increase progress measure of AA pupils so that achievement is in-line with other groups

Behaviour and Attitudes

  • Raise attendance of PP pupils to be in-line with NA
  • Decrease minutes of lateness to minimize impact of any loss learning time
  • Ensure full implementation of Behaviour Procedures, including lunchtime staff so a consistent approach is used by all

Personal Development

  • Implement ‘Active 30’ into timetable daily
  • Update Healthy School Accreditation
  • Build opportunities for Spirituality and direct teaching of British Values into Curriculum Intent and Implementation

Leadership and Management

  • Develop expertise of middle leaders
  • Build clear impact of governance through triangulation of monitoring; make role of governance clear to all stakeholders
  • Further build capacity of Senior Leadership Team so they understand the strengths and areas for development in the school

Throughout the year, there has been a considerable focus on working towards improvement in progress and attainment across the Key Stages and individual year groups. This has been achieved by;

  • Receiving and assessing reports from external professionals and considering the impact of these, using their content to identify best practice to support the development of strategies and plans for implementation at St Francis CE primary school.
  • Receiving half termly updates at LGB meetings through Headteacher’s reports, which have been scrutinised and challenged with appropriate questions designed to identify areas for potential improvement.
  • Requiring that the Headteacher provides accurate assessments and judgements about the school strengths and areas to develop and reflecting against these with the School Improvement Partner and LGB Governors to ensure they give a balanced account.
  • Appropriate allocation of funds is key to the smooth running of the school and the development of the children, be that academically or from a welfare and sports perspective. The LGB has ensured appropriate and effective use of funding by;
  • Scrutinising both Pupil Premium and Sports Premium funding and holding the Headteacher to account on spend, to ensure correct allocation and appropriate use.
  • Reviewing planning documents, raising challenge questions where required to seek clarity and confirmation that funding has been used to deliver best effect.
  • Interrogating the FMAT Trust Accountant who provides financial information and budget information for Governors.

As well as focussing on these priorities, this year has been a year of review and evaluation for the Governors at St Francis School. In September we welcomed to our school Iain Grafton. Iain is a National Leader of Governance. He was tasked by Falmouth MAT to carry out a detailed, in depth and external Governance Review. During this, Ian interviewed the Governors, probed and evaluated all the minutes and monitoring reports completed over the last twelve months.

Governance Review findings

  • The Chair is an experienced governor who sets an appropriate tone and culture of governance that enables all to participate and offer support and challenge to the Head Teacher and to each other.
  • The LGB has carried out its own self-evaluation and is aware of its strengths and weaknesses. Roles and responsibilities are published for the benefit of the school community.
  • The LGB has a Code of Conduct in place.
  • The Chair remains able to produce a wealth of evidence that meetings are well chaired, effective and focused on school improvement. Governors challenge and support in equal measure and are effective in holding themselves and their Headteacher to account.
  • The Head and Chair continue to work well together and have a healthy relationship of support and challenge for one another. This in turn models’ positive behaviours for other governors to follow.
  • The LGB understands its strategic role in driving school performance, particularly in the improvements needed for disadvantaged pupils.
  • The LGB provides reassurance that the governors focus on their responsibilities for holding the Head Teacher to account for school performance and improvement.
  • We are extremely proud that our hard work has been recognised in this way.

St Francis Key Priorities for 2020/21

  • Reconnect Curriculum: to ensure children return to school and are able to reconnect with school-life, learning, friends and routines. Focus on the mental health and well-being of all pupils following recent events.
  • Personalised Learning: Effectiveness of differentiation and provision for all pupils, especially SEND and the most able.
  • Improving Writing Outcomes: Narrowing the gender gap in writing across the school
  • Impact of the Wider Curriculum: Developing an in-depth knowledge of the impact of the wider curriculum for all pupils.
  • Effective management of the building project with two replacement classrooms planned.
  • Raise the percentage of the pupils in the EYFS achieving GLD by effective use of outdoor space for learning.

How will governors support our leaders to achieve this?

It is hoped that St Francis School will transfer to Kernow Learning on 1st September 2020. Governance expectations are clear and the LAB will meet half termly. In addition to this, the Chair of Governors will regularly take part in the Kernow Learning Chairs meetings. The Chair will also be meeting with the West Hub Super Chair to plan for the year ahead. This will involve changes in the way that St Francis LAB works, however the Governors look forward to the challenge.

Monitoring visits will routinely take place, with specific attention to the School Improvement Plan and the School’s Self Evaluation. There will also be robust scrutiny of headteacher reports and a willingness to listen to all stakeholders.

Although we will be part of a new MAT, our commitment remains steadfast. We will continue to uphold the values of the school, making it an environment where every person matters, every person helps and every person succeeds.

Mr R S Wilson
Chair of Governors


Should you wish to contact the governors, please e-mail the clerk, Mrs Claire Collins ccollins@kernowlearning.co.uk

Governor Newsletters
Governors that have served in the last 12 months:
Name Category Term of office start date Term of office end date
Mrs Leila Doney Co-Opted 13/06/2019 31/08/2020