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The Governing Body

On behalf of Highworth’s Governing Body, may l welcome you to the Highworth Grammar School website.

Our priority is, and will always remain, the delivery of a high quality education for all students and to equip them for a life beyond school that allows them to realise their ambitions and to live successful and productive lives.  We pride ourselves on the provision of a safe, nurturing and supportive environment that allows all students to gain confidence and realise their full potential. 

As a school, we consistently achieve excellent results at both GCSE and A Level public examinations.  Despite our successes, we continuously strive to improve our outcomes through close scrutiny of results and doing our utmost to address any perceived deficits in a timely manner.  This activity is led by Paul Danielsen and his senior management team and the Governing Board is routinely appraised of progress and challenges in this respect.

Our academic performance against the current Government measures, which were introduced in 2016 (Progress 8 and Attainment 8), reflect excellent standards of achievement.  These capture the progress of students from the end of primary school right through to the end of their time at Highworth and focus upon eight core subjects, with double weighting applied to both English and Mathematics.    

Highworth Grammar School maintained its standards as an ‘Outstanding’ school following the last Ofsted visit in 2013.  In particular, the school was praised for the quality of teaching, excellent results, exemplary Sixth Form leadership, an inclusive atmosphere and strong senior management team. 

The Governors and the school’s Leadership Team operate in an open and transparent manner and this is evidenced by the depth and regularity of meetings and communication that occurs formally and informally through the existing Board and supporting committee structures.  From the Headteacher, there is very much an ‘open door’ policy for students, staff and governors alike to express any concerns or views.   

The students' opinions are always important and our Student Governors have continued to play an important role on our committees and Board.  They often express views and positions that only they are fully aware of, being at the sharp end of what the school endeavours to achieve.  They don’t hold back!   Apart from attending all the meetings of the full Governing Body, they also sit on the sub-committees where their views contribute to all aspects of the school’s well running and Governance. 

From a financial perspective, Highworth remains in a comfortable position despite challenging times, with a significant sum in reserve at the start of the current school year. Our robust financial planning, supported by an excellent finance team, allows us to forecast our cash position over a four year period and this facilitates informed decision making relating to expenditure and future commitments.  Our Auditors, who act for a large number of academies, have consistently noted and documented that Highworth’s accounts and the related infrastructure are of the highest quality and accuracy.  The efforts of our Finance Manager, Lynn Wilson and her team, have played a major role in this outstanding achievement.  Whilst cuts in Government funding in education do represent significant challenges, we remain confident in our ability to maintain our standards of excellence for all our students.  Governors always assume a cautious approach to future financial planning and routinely challenge, in a constructive manner, any proposed expenditure or projects. 

We recently completed the extension to Gower House which has provided excellent new performance space for students. We are currently in the throes of embarking upon an exciting new project to construct a purpose built sports hall facility that has been made possible primarily through the successful bid for capital funding in this regard.  We will be working closely with a third party who will be managing the project on our behalf.  Within this relationship, we have ensured that the design and functionality of this sports hall remains conducive to the overall physical aspects of the existing school.  At the same time, we continue to make minor alterations and repairs to the existing main school building to maintain the quality of the teaching space.  We have also been successful in obtaining significant capital funding to repair the aging plumbing and water supply to the school.  This work will commence shortly. 

As the safeguarding of our student remains paramount, we have recently enhanced site security and access. CCTV coverage has been improved and all entrances are now far more secure with access codes.  The school’s buildings are now in the best condition for many years and will require significantly less expenditure to maintain over the next few years.

As a governing board, we are fortunate to enjoy the input of a wide range of professional skills.  As of September 2017, we are welcoming a new governor to Highworth, Rob Rose.  Rob has extensive NHS management experience and has been a Chair of Governors at another school, so his services and support will be invaluable. 

On a personal note, three of my children have had the privilege of passing through Highworth in completing their education.  One is still mid flow and enjoying her time immensely.  This has given me a first-hand opportunity to appreciate the support and nurturing environment that the school has always provided, underpinned by academic excellence.    I remain dedicated to Highworth and enjoy working with all the staff and management team.  Above all that, I have had the pleasure to work closely with some of the students who have needed occasional support from time to time and they will always remain my priority. That is my driving passion at Highworth.

Who are the School Governors?

  • Parent Governors
  • Staff Governors (including the Headteacher) 
  • Community Governors
  • Student Governors

Following the review of the Governing Body methods of working, below is a summary of the new structure:-

  • Full Governing Body: The Full Governing Body meets six times a year, with additional meetings if required. An agenda is set in advance and a wide range of issues concerning the school are discussed. Reports are always presented from the various sub-committee groups.
  • Community Development Group: Now part of the Leadership Team and  includes Governors and Students
  • Curriculum Development Group:   See above
  • Staffing & Management Group:  Consists of four Senior Governors who meet with the Headteacher and other Senior Managers as necessary to look at all staffing matters and the strategic longer term management of the school
  • Buildings & Finance Group: This group controls and monitors all the school’s financial, building and maintenance issues.  Is is attended by both Governors and Student Governors together with the Facilities and Finance Managers.
  • Student Voice: The Head Girl presents a report to each FGB meeting covering issues discussed by the Student Voice Council
  • Careers:  The Chair and Head Girl meet the Careers Manager on a regular basis. Links to employers will be expanded in the current year.  


What are their Responsibilities?

The governing body is responsible to parents, funders and the community. Its main role is to challenge and support the Headteacher and all staff to raise standards of achievement and excellence.
 
The Governing Body:- 
  • is accountable for the performance of the school to parents and the wider community
  • plans the school’s future direction
  • appoints the Headteacher and monitors his/her performance
  • makes decisions on the school’s budget and staffing
  • ensures the national curriculum is taught
  • decides how the school can encourage students' spiritual, moral and social development
  • makes sure the school provides for all its students, including those with special needs

The governing body is not responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school which is the responsibility of the Headteacher.


Governors of Highworth Grammar School

Name

Type of Governor

Committee Membership

Mr Amer Khalil Chair of Governors All
Mr Daniel Valentine Vice Chair of Governors Staffing & Management/
Finance & Buildings
Mr Felix Boucher Student Governor (Head Boy) Community Development
Mr Paul Danielsen Headteacher

Staffing & Management/Finance & Buildings

Miss Zara Daw Student Governor Curriculum Development
Mrs Sue Heuch Member Community Development
Miss Faye Hood Student Governor Finance & Buildings
Miss Madura Lokesh Student Governor Finance & Buildings
Mrs Colette 
O'Sullivan
Parent Governor Curriculum Development
Mrs Linda Patterson Staff Governor Community Development
Mr Simon Robinson Director Community Development (Chair)
Mr Rob Rose Director Staffing and Management
Miss Nicole Szekeres-Tapp Student Governor (Head Girl) Community Development
Miss Beth Thornton Student Governor Curriculum Development
Mr Martin Vink Member

Staffing & Management/ Finance &
 Buildings (Chair)

Mrs Simone 
Williams-King
Director Staffing & Management/ Curriculum
Development
Mrs Vicki Wise Directors Curriculum Development (Chair)/
Community Development 

Representatives from the Senior Leadership Team attend meetings
 

To contact the Chair of Governors, please email Mrs Tina Brobyn - Clerk to the Governors


Latest News from the Governors

For those of us who know and love Highworth, and have seen our daughters (and sons) thrive and achieve there, it is not really a surprise to see the school awarded 5 stars in a recent rating. The ratings have been produced by Schools Guide, who have awarded 29,000 schools across the UK with up to 5 stars based on Ofsted reports, exam results and Department of Education performance tables.

We must pay tribute to the staff, managers and all the support staff for their endless hard work in enabling the school to perform so well in all areas of academic and non-academic life. They provide lots of support to the students, a huge variety of extra-curricular activities, and work tirelessly to help students achieve their potential.

We mustn't forget the students, most of whom work hard to achieve their place at Highworth, and then continue to aim high while they are there, responding to the encouragement and support of the staff.

All the Governors would like to congratulate the staff and students on this fantastic achievement, and encourage them to keep going with their varied and numerous activities that make Highworth such an excellent school.

More information on these rankings can be found at schoolguide.co.uk