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:

Name Category Term of office start date Term of office end date
Mr Scott Wilson Foundation (Chair) 07/02/2019 06/02/2023
Rev Geoffrey Bennett Foundation 07/02/2019 06/02/2023
Mrs Hannah Stevens Ex-Officio 01/02/2018 N/A
Mrs Vicky Peters Foundation 07/02/2019 06/02/2023
Miss Christina Hourigan                Parent 23/05/2018 22/05/2022
Mrs Nicki Sweeney Parent 18/03/2019 17/03/2023
Mrs Bethan Medlyn Staff 29/03/2019 28/03/2023
Mrs Tracy Stepney Co-Opted 13/06/2019 12/06/2023
Mrs Sharon Bullock Foundation 13/11/2019 12/11/2023

In 2019-20 there were no formal complaints received at St Francis C of E School.

Governor Attendance at Meetings 2019-20

Pecuniary Interests 2020-21

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

St Francis Local Governing Board – Governance Impact Statement 2019/20


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

Governor Newsletters

Governors Newsletter December 2020

July 2020 – Letter to Parents


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