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Respect, Pride, Choice


Our Governance Structure


The day to day operation of the school is under the management of the headteacher. As governors we oversee all aspects of school life, having three statutory responsibilities:

  • Setting the school's strategic vision, direction and ethos
  • Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the pupils and the school
  • Overseeing the finances of the school and ensuring money is well spent


We operate a risk-based management governance structure at Coppice Valley. All of our activity is assessed and tracked in our risk and issue matrix. Priority items (above our risk appetite) are discussed by the Chair of Governors, the Head Teacher and the Deputy Head weekly and reported to Full Governing Body Board meetings. All other items are reviewed on the agreed schedule at each update. That leaves us providing assurance as follows:


Weekly – Risk Management

Chair of Governors, Head and Deputy Head, 1 Hour (on-site preferred but video conference acceptable).


Fixed agenda:

  1. Safeguarding and Health and Safety
  2. Risk and Issue Register – review of all items above our risk appetite and any other items reaching their scheduled review date.
  3. Other urgent operational notices (e.g. staffing, finance, buildings)
  4. Head and Deputy Head well-being


Three-Four Weekly – Risk Management

Chair of Governors, Head and Deputy Head (and Office Manager for items 1 and 2), recurring weekly slot extended to 2 Hours (on-site essential)


Fixed agenda:

  1. Safeguarding and Health & Safety
  2. Risk and Issue Register – review of all compliance-based items regardless of risk appetite (premises, insurances etc.)
  3. Other urgent operational notices (e.g. staffing, finance, buildings)
  4. Head and Deputy Head (separate) personal development, objectives, workload, career planning as appropriate


Four-weekly – School Development Plan (SDP) and Aspire Project, 1-2 hours (on-site preferred but video conference acceptable)  Chair of Governors and Deputy Head (Head Teacher and other governors optional)


Fixed agenda:

  1. Deputy Head’s status update
  2. Exception report (priority discussion items where delivery is behind plan or unexpected events have required re-plan).
  3. Work stream deep-dive (in rotation)


Half-termly – Full Governing Body Board meeting. 1.5 hours max (on-site essential).


Fixed agenda:


  1. Standing items (declaration of interests etc.)
  2. Safeguarding and Health & Safety
  3. Head Teachers report; one page narrative on position of school in previous period and expectations of the next period. Staff well-being and pupil engagement are top priorities. 10 mins
  4. Management Information
  5. Financial report; year to date, forecast, investment options.
  6. Risk and Issue Report – items above the appetite and other exceptions at the discretion of the Head and the Chair of Governors.
  7. Performance data. To include one page management summary and explanation. 10 mins
  8. SDP report; one page summary from Deputy Head; achievements in previous period, exceptions to plan, expectations for the next period.
  9. Governor visits programme – refresh.
  10. Forward Agenda Planning.
  11. AOB


On-going – Programme of Governor floor-walking in classrooms. We have not found the model of link governors assigned to particular areas effective for us. Instead all governors cover the full breadth of subject matter. Visits structure around assurance of the School Development Plan, but also include meetings with the Vulnerable Pupils Leader (SENCO and Pupil Premium Manager), Pupil Voice meetings and operational matters (H&S, buildings, outdoor provision, site presentation etc.)


At least 1 governor visits the school each week, as per the governor calendar.


Half-Termly – Governor/SLT lunch with pupils. Either in main lunch hall or a separate buffet in the meeting room. Pupils are encouraged to find out more about the work of the governors, as well as governors accessing pupil opinions about the school.


On-going – Programme of Governor engagement and relationship-building with pupils and parents. At Governors’ discretion (hearing readers, helping with baking/crafts, direct classroom support, attending parents’ meetings, workshops and school events).