“Wow – the governors are in a lot”

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L-R, Claire Lowther, Chair of Governors and Clerk Lisa Alderson

Waterside Primary School in Southampton is now a Good school, according to Ofsted, after fours years of being graded Requires Improvement. The one-form entry primary school joined GovernorHub just after Easter and Chair of Governors Claire Lowther says the system proved really helpful during the inspection in May. For a start, there was no need to trawl back through emails.

Using GovernorHub really helped us to show Ofsted what we’re doing. We had to input the data and make sure we were doing everything right, but the clarity it allowed us to show, in one easy report – the attendance, the monitoring visits, the meetings we’d been to – was great. What the Ofsted Inspector said as soon as they looked at it was, ‘Wow, the governors are in a lot’. The report had a real impact.”

Governors know the school well and are supportive in their roles. They challenge leaders and hold them to account for their actions effectively.

Ofsted report, May 2019

Claire says the board recognised immediately what the system could do for them and how it might help them to improve group working.

We started using GovernorHub straight away in April – our clerk Lisa really championed it. We put everything on there, backdating information for the academic year. Although members vary in their technical skills, it’s been very easy to use. We’d previously set up secure emails for governors but we had so many problems. By contrast, GovernorHub is really easy for members to access via the app on their phones.”

As an RI school, the board has several panels and committees – school improvement panels, working parties. With all of the documentation now on GovernorHub, Claire says transparency and communication has improved.

The nice thing has been that other members can delve in and see what else is going on. Communication is much better – we regularly use the Noticeboard to send messages. Reports tend to be uploaded straight away, so we have even longer to prepare for meetings. We’re also cutting down on paperwork, which is handy.”

Claire says it’s been quite a journey to reach a Good judgement and governors have had to really develop along the way, with great support from Hampshire Governor Services.

All boards in Hampshire are now offered GovernorHub as part of their SLA agreement with Governor Services. Around the country, GovernorHub has 60 partnership agreements with Governor Services providers, which means that lots of schools can now access GovernorHub at a discount.

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