Governing body effectively holds school to account

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Governing body effectively holds school to account

Governors at Ysgol Emmanuel clearly understand the school’s performance and the needs of pupils and staff, rigorously holding it to account for the standards it achieves. They have been allocated clear roles for specific aspects of the school's performance and play an active role in monitoring and evaluating standards.

Number of pupils: 473
Age range of pupils: 3-11
Date of Estyn inspection: 11th -14th October 2010

Description of nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice

The effectiveness of the governing body and the rigorous way they hold the school to account.

Governors at Ysgol Emmanuel have an in depth knowledge of the performance of the school and rigorously hold it to account for the standards it achieves. Governors have a clear understanding of the school’s performance and achievements and the needs of pupils and staff.

The Governors’ monitoring role includes reviewing the school’s curriculum and management policies. This is timetabled to ensure that the policies and procedures are updated on a regular basis. There is also a timetable for monitoring standards and provision across the school which is set well in advance to enable Governors to make the necessary arrangements to take an active role in the process.

The school has identified Governors to be responsible for different aspects of the school’s work. This includes individual curricular areas. For example, the Governor responsible for literacy plays a full part in monitoring the standards of literacy at the school. The literacy coordinator monitors a sample of pupils’ work with the governor and they relate the work to the skills framework. Other activities include the governor discussing the literacy work with groups of pupils. This helps them to increase their understanding of what and how the pupils learn. A sample of literacy lessons across the school are then observed by the governor. The main aim of these activities is to raise Governors’ awareness and understanding of provision and standards at the school. They also assist the curriculum leader to provide feedback on the main findings at the next full Governors’ meeting.

The school arranges an assessment week each term to gauge the extent to which pupils and classes are on track to meet projected targets. The Governors discuss the results with the school leaders and this enables them to understand how well individual classes and groups of pupils are performing. If there are discrepancies between targets and results, strategies are put into place to bring about improvement. The school has a robust and meticulous system to track progress leading to clear actions that have an impact on standards.

The school leaders also discuss the core data sets with the Governors and identify the main messages and actions to be taken.

The monitoring undertaken by the Governors enables them to develop their understanding of the context and how well the school is performing in comparison with other similar schools. They meet regularly with key skills leaders and take an active part in monitoring and evaluating standards and provision. As result, all staff understand that they are fully accountable for securing improvement in pupils’ attainment. In addition, Governors, acting as critical friends, are able to challenge the school leaders in a supportive manner.


  1. raising of standards in all the key skills - especially over the last three years that have seen the school in the top quarter for language, maths, science and CSI; The Value Added attainment of pupils has also improved significantly. 
  2. reduction in the number of pupils on the Additional Learning Needs register as they progress through the school; and 
  3. an increase in the number of pupils on the More Able and Talented register.