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Governors

Structure

The Sunnyhill Governing body is made up of eleven governors plus the school’s Head Teacher.

  • one governor is appointed by the local authority,
  • two governors are elected by parents,
  • one governor is a staff governor
  • nine are co-opted governors.

Each year we hold four full governors meetings, over the course of the year.

The role of Chair of Governors is currently held by co-opted governor, James Canvin.

The role of Vice Chair is currently held by co-opted governor, Lilly Kotsieper.

Governance Responsibilities

The school governing body has specific responsibilities which are defined by the Department for Education as:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

These duties are reflected in the agendas for our termly meetings. Governors also carry out duties as part of working parties and make visits to school to carry out their duties.

The Sunnyhill governing body has two subcommittees, Resources Committee which meets monthly and the Curriculum & Standards Committee which meets each half term. 

Governor’s individual link topics

To hello the governing body carry out its duties effectively, individual governors take responsibility for building up in-depth knowledge and additional duties related to specific areas of school life and the required policy areas. The current distribution of specialist topics is:

Name

Governor type

Responsibilities

Christina McGill

Co-opted Governor

  • Link Governor for premises and school environment

Michael Holland

Staff Governor

  • Link Governor for Health and Wellbeing, and Arts

Tracie Franco Davila

Parent Governor

  • Link Governor for Teaching and Curriculum (shared)

Julia Cardenas

Parent Governor

  • Link Governor for Teaching and Curriculum (shared)

Paulina Bartman

 Co-opted Governor

  • Link Governor for SEND

Lilly Kottsieper

Co-opted Governor

  • Vice Chair of Governors
  • Chair and Member of Resources Committee

James Canvin

Co-opted Governor

  • Chair of Governors, Member of Resources Committee
  • Link Governor for Safeguarding
  • Link Governor for Citizenship

Elyanne Hatton

Co-opted Governor
  • Member of Resources Committee

Tom Veness

Co-opted Governor
  • Member of Resources Committee
  • Link Governor for Data Protection and Equality
Diana Nortey Associate Governor
  •  
Shreena Kotecha Associate Governor
  • Member of Resources Committee

Sunnyhill Governing Body Annual Statement 2019-20 and 2020/21

The Sunnyhill Governing body is made up of thirteen governors plus the school’s Head Teacher. We have one governor appointed by the local authority, two parent governors (elected by parents), one staff governor and nine co-opted governors. At the time of writing this report we have two vacancies for co-opted governors.

The core functions of the Governing Body are to:

  • ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school;
  • hold the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and
  • oversee the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

This statement covers the two academic years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

In 2019/20, six full Governing body meetings were held with good attendance. The Governing body was delighted to be working with new headteacher Sarah Wilson and to collaborate with her and the senior team to confirm the vision for the school.

We are proud to endorse and, as part of the school community, aspire to Sunnyhill’s vision statement that Learning together, we will all be exceptional.

The Covid pandemic impacted school life profoundly from the spring of 2020 with lockdown meaning a move to online learning for the majority of pupils for most of the summer term. As governors, we kept in close contact with school leaders, supporting the implementation of national and local policies so that the school community could be kept as safe as possible. We also attended regular virtual briefings provided by Lambeth’s education and public health teams to inform best practice within schools across the borough. The pandemic has been the most challenging possible time for leaders and staff right across the school and we are extremely grateful for their determination to do the best for Sunnyhill’s pupils.

We also introduced a new sub-committee structure to ensure all Governor matters get the scrutiny they deserve. This was implemented at the start of the pandemic through the use of online meetings. The Resources Committee focus on financial, staffing and premises issues whilst the Curriculum and Standards Committee’s remit includes delivery of the curriculum, review of pupil progress data and covid ‘catch up’ strategies.

As pupil numbers across Lambeth are reducing, Governors focused on the financial impact that this would have on the school and what could be done to promote the school to the local community. As part of our response to the reduced number of pupils, Governors supported a full leadership restructure, scrutinising the plans and participating in the recruitment of the two deputy head positions that were established by the changes.

In 2020/21, three full Governing body meetings were held, one in each term. Although all of the full Governing Body meetings this year have taken place virtually, owing to COVID restrictions, we have continued to have good attendance with any absences explained and accepted by the board.

Governors have also continued to undergo training during the pandemic, including induction training, training on equality, diversity, and inclusion, and safer recruitment processes. Some school visits were able to take place but, in the main, discussions with staff members were arranged virtually. These visits and meetings help Governors understand elements of the school’s business from different perspectives. It is clear that Sunnyhill Primary is lucky to have so many creative and dedicated staff. We are looking forward to more face-to-face engagement next year, including once again attending student events.

One of the key issues for the Governing Body in 2020-21 was the reorganisation of school support staff. The reorganisation was designed to be more financially viable, to better meet the needs of pupils, and to reflect the reduction in pupil numbers. The Governing Body’s role in this process was to provide challenge, agree a final proposal and then provide support during implementation.

In our role we have continued to receive regular updates on how the school was responding to the impact of COVID, provided scrutiny to decisions about where to target additional support and ensured plans are in place to assess progress in the absence of national testing. We have also been pleased to see that previously planned changes have still been able to be implemented such as the new, clearer, behaviour policy with greater focus on rewards and motivation. This included hearing about how staff have been supported to use the behaviour principles consistently.

Throughout the year we have reviewed and signed-off school policies to ensure they remain up to date and in line with Lambeth guidance. Members of the Governing Body supported Sunnyhill in completing a website review and compliance check.

We have continued to use a sub-committee structure to support school governance. These sub-committees meet at minimum once per term.  

  • The Curriculum and Standards Committee focussed in particular on expectations for pupils, and how reading and maths were being taught and assessed.  
  • The work of the Resources Committee included reviewing the school budget for 2021-22, carrying out the annual assessment against the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) and refreshing the school recruitment principles.

The last year has been extremely challenging for all schools as they were asked to deliver a combination of in person and remote learning during ongoing COVID restrictions. We are very grateful for all the staff at Sunnyhill for their incredible work to keep the school going and support the students – and for the support they have offered to each other.

Sunnyhill Governing Body Annual Statement July 2018-19

The Sunnyhill Governing body is made up of nine governors plus the school’s Head Teacher. We have one governor appointed by the local authority, four parent governors, one staff governor and three co-opted governors.

This year we have had six full Governing body meetings, one in each half term. During these meetings we have the chance to hear about how the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) have been delivering our school improvement plan and keeping the school running as normal whilst we made arrangements to recruit a new permanent Head Teacher. We are very grateful for all they have done, particularly Ms Condron, to ensure that children at Sunnyhill had an excellent and stimulating educational year.

Recruiting a new Head Teacher is the most important task that a Governing body has to undertake and  all the governors took part in some aspect of the process, from writing the advertising pack, to planning the recruitment tasks and serving on the interview panel. A panel of five governors spent two days interviewing candidates and Sunnyhill pupils were also involved, represented by members of the school council who interviewed the final candidates. After putting candidates through their paces, Governors were unanimous in our decision. We very much look forward to welcoming Mrs Wilson to the staff team in September and working alongside her in the years ahead.

Another decision that we took part in, which has already taken very visible shape around the school, was the idea of changing the school uniform, following feedback from pupils. We were very pleased to see the children propose their own ideas and lead development of the new school emblem and the full uniform design.

A very important part of our role this year has been to monitor the school’s finances as, like so many schools, Sunnyhill has had a significant cut to their budget. With the support of parents, teachers and the whole school community we are pleased to have had a positive end to the financial year, however the times ahead will continue to be challenging. We will be making the financial stability of the school a major priority in the coming year.

To help us undertake our duties, Governors attend training and development events. The courses attended this year have included training on Effective Governance, Parent and Pupil Engagement, Financial Governance, Safer Recruitment Training and Induction for new governors.

Governors have visited school throughout the year, sometimes coinciding with our school celebrations or special occasions such as Careers Day, performances and end of term celebration exhibitions. Behind the scenes, we have also spent time in school with other duties, such as checking that arrangements for safeguarding are all in place and in order, and hearing about how the school site is being maintained in a safe and appropriate manner.

We reviewed a long list of school policies this year and are looking forward to seeing them made available for all through our new school website which will go live from September.

At the last meeting of the year we had a detailed look at the progress and achievement of all pupils at Sunnyhill and we were very pleased that the overall achievement of our pupils is good. We know from our discussions with the SLT that all staff at Sunnyhill work very hard to make sure that every individual pupil has the teaching, opportunities and the challenge that they need in order to achieve their best and we are very proud of all the hard work that they and the students put in.

Early in the new Autumn term 2019, we will be taking the opportunity to review the vision and plans for Sunnyhill Primary. We will focus on making sure that we can adapt to the new financial challenges that all schools are facing, so that pupils at Sunnyhill will continue to have an enjoyable, nurturing and stimulating learning experience at our school.

You can read more about individual Governors and see a copy of our constitution on the Governance page of this website.

Sunnyhill School Governors                                                                                                                    July 2019