Annual Report by Chair of Governors

In accordance with the Government’s requirements for all governing bodies, the three strategic functions of Epinay governing board are:

  • Ensuring the Vision, Ethos and Strategic direction is embedded in all School activities.
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school.
  • Monitoring the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The Governing board works with the Head Teacher to promote and maintain high standards of educational achievement. This annual statement outlines how the Governing Body has fulfilled its responsibilities and how it has met the core strategic functions of the school’s Governing Board.

Our governing board consists of up to 13 members who have the skills and expertise required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school.  As governors we provide challenge to the school by holding the Head Teacher and senior leaders to account for improving the quality of teaching, learning and school performance. We achieve this through questioning, regular monitoring and analysis of data on performance and progress. Governors hold the headteacher to account for the performance management of teachers and robust target setting.
We have a wide range of experience from various walks of life and the business environment. We utilise our skills to enable us to meet and overcome challenges we face.

We would like to thank our resigning Chair of Governors, Cllr Audrey Huntley.  Due to other commitments, Audrey has resigned both as Chair and as a governor. Audrey has supported the school for many years. including fighting to keep the school open and, more recently, the move to a new school site.  We would like to thank Audrey for her magnificent work for Epinay over her 12 years as a Governor.  I am delighted to take over the role as Chair of Governors and look forward to continue supporting Epinay school, alongside the new Vice Chair.  We welcome a few new Governors to the Board bringing in fresh skills and thank those who are standing down this year for all their commitment in the past.

What a wonderful year we have had in our first year at the new school site on Nevinson Avenue.  The school is now fully functioning and we are delighted with the additional space and classrooms, all the new facilities and we are keen to unlock the many opportunities that we have ahead of us.  We have also seen our pupil numbers increase again this year, moving from 201 students in 2022-23 to 215 students in 2023-24.

In June, we had a very successful OFSTED where we retained our Outstanding rating. We would like to say a huge thanks to the staff and pupils and share the success of this achievement.  The school has also gained recognition for areas of work including; careers, reading and family first quality award and are working toward a SMSC quality mark as part of the school’s continuous school development.

You can see Governors information, attendance and business interests information via this link

The governing board considers:

  • Standards, attainment and progress of all school groups
  • The School’s Improvement Plan
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Safeguarding
  • Staffing
  • Budget and finance monitoring
  • Pupil Premium allowance and its impact on pupils
  • Health and Safety for premises and stakeholders
  • Support the Mental Health of All.
  • Ensures Teaching is outstanding
  • The effective tracking systems in place

Here are some of the ways in which the governing board has made impact on the strategic management of the school:

School Move to new site Location

We successfully moved school sites from Jarrow to South Shields. This had opened an amazing number of opportunities for our young people.  Our Governor team were at the fore front of enabling the transition to take place and on time for children to start in Sept 2022, they worked tirelessly to chairing LEA Liaison meetings, examining Legal Documents and being on the ground checking progress. The Grand Opening was held in December 2022 and the spotlight shone on our new school setting and showcased the work our children produced; we are very proud of them.

Self-Evaluation Plan (SEF)

Senior leaders share the SEF with governors, so we can identify and monitor progress made towards the key area objectives. The SEF is based on priorities identified from data and Ofsted priorities. The SEF is reviewed and monitored continually


Governors review all relevant policies on a programmed basis to ensure that all guidance is current and up to date. Special attention is paid to ensure that the school complies with the Department of Education’s mandatory policies and adopt and add as required by our school South Tyneside Education Policies.

Data and Curriculum

Data is made available to governors with both verbal and written presentations followed by question-and-answer sessions with the headteacher and members of the senior leadership team, enabling the governors to benchmark their data against similar schools,

pupil progress across all groups is the basis on what we see as impactful inventions,

The curriculum is monitored and adapted by the Head Teacher, Senior Leadership Team, and staff to ensure the curriculum provides for all children with what they need, it’s ambitious, very stretching, the children’s learning environment is inspirational and exciting.
The school ensures the well-being of all students, and the curriculum supports their development, develops their confidence and stamina, and prepares them for the next stages in their lives effective use of our Pupil Premium Grant.

We use a targeted intervention programme for all pupils that require additional support, we have commenced the Read Write Inc Model, and have seen improvements from early attainment data.


Safeguarding is always of paramount importance. The school’s policies are reviewed and approved by the Board of Governors, and they ensure they meet the full requirements. Our Safeguarding Governor Audrey Huntley meets with the Head Teacher regularly to offer support, advice, and challenge.
The Governors have attended safeguarding training delivered by the Local Authority and our external partner Clennell.  All staff and Governors have received Part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education training and are given a link to the full version. The Single Central Record is checked by the Chair of Governors every half term


Members of the governing board have attended training on school finance management, and the budget is monitored effectively through regular review. The school finances have been closely monitored with 6/9/12 month reviews.

As a requirement of School Financial Value Standards (SFVS) we report that at present the school has 1 employee whose gross salary exceeds £100k.

Governor Visits and Training

Governors are required to visit the school regularly to ensure the priorities of the school are evident and to understand more effectively the key issues on the SIP. A visit is reported back to governing body meeting for discussion. Governors bring a variety of expertise to the school, and this helps to ensure the school is moving forward. Governors attend a variety of training to enable them to perform their roles effectively.


Governor attendance is good, any absences are explained and accepted by the governing board. There is a very good level of commitment shown by all members of the governing board, each brings a wealth of personal and professional experience


The governing board annually performs a skills audit of its members.

The Governing Board continually seek improvement for the provision of education at our school. We are an outward looking school who and we take an individual approach when considering the development of all our pupils. Working closely with the Head Teacher, Senior Leadership Team, and all members of staff, we are constantly striving to improve and develop the school in all areas. The relationship between the Governing Body, the Senior Leadership Team and all the staff is based on trust, respect, and support. The results of which are a great education from of the school being judged outstanding by OFSTED.

We are a multi skilled dynamic Governing Body, with a wide range of experience in all walks of life and the business environment. We utilise these skills to enable us to meet and overcome any and challenges we have faced and those which will no doubt come our way in these unprecedented times ahead.

We look forward to a productive year ahead and will continue to work with the Head Teacher and all the staff for the benefit of all the pupils.

We are always ready to listen, ready to learn together – #Team Epinay.

We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents and carers. Please contact the Chair of Governors, Mr Robert Whitelaw, via the school office.

More information about our Governors can be found on Our Governors page, or via this link