Chair of Governors’ annual report

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Board of Little Sutton Primary School July 2019

In accordance with the government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the 3 core strategic functions of the governing board of Little Sutton Primary School remain as:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure it’s money is well spent.

Governance arrangements

The governing board was re-constituted under the 2012 School Governance Regulations in May 2013 following the creation of a co-operative with other local schools.

At the end of the school year 2018/19, the governing board incorporates:

  • 2 staff governors (including the Headteacher)
  • 2 foundation governors
  • 3 elected parent governors
  • 1 Local Authority governor
  • 6 Co-opted governors

Co-opted governors are appointed by the governing board and are people who, in the opinion of the governing board, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school: one of the co-opted governors is a vacancy and the remainder are members of the local community. One of the foundation governor positions is also a vacancy.

The full governing board meets once each term and also has an interim meeting once each term where a shortened agenda is used to enable greater discussion and debate.

The following committees meet at least once per term – Buildings and Finance, People, Standards & Achievement. The Income Generation Working Party has devolved authority from the Finance Committee and also meets once per term.

There are also governors with designated responsibilities who act on behalf of the full governing board but with particular knowledge or expertise for Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs, Religious Education, Collective Worship, Health & Safety and Looked After Children.

Attendance record of governors

Mark Griffiths 100 100 100 100 100
Philip Palser 100 100 80 93
Mike Hammond 60 60 100 73
Les Ashton 40 40 40
Bev Ashton 80 80 60 73
Rachel Davis 100 100 80 93
Paul Farley 75 50 40 55
Caroline Hawkes 100 40 70
Jun Du 75 40 58
John Hunt 80 0 40
Jo Warren 100 100 100 100
Sairah Hussain 100 100 50 83
Claire Philpott 50 100 75

Governors’ attendance at meetings this year has continued to be excellent.

On the website you can also see our Register of Business Interests and guidance about what a governor is expected to do. Each governor has signed a code of conduct which reflects their role and the behaviours that are expected.

Governors have attended school for one full day to enable them to see the school in action, meet the children and confirm that activities are undertaken as reported at meetings.

The governing board have undertaken a skills audit and identified that we have a very good selection of skills and wide experiences on the board to enable us to fulfil our duties. A training plan has been constructed to encourage individual governors to increase their skills.

The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing board

Our strategic improvement priorities are actioned through the school improvement plan; both in approving it and being involved in the actions undertaken. This year the school has become an “English Hub” providing training and expertise to other schools in the area. This is a very prestigious achievement and has enabled the school to further improve its capabilities in reading. It has also meant that further focus from the governing board was required on finances as significant monies was managed through the school to other schools requiring assistance. Finance issues continue to be the key priority while budgets are so tight.

Data will always be at the heart of much of what we do as we hold the head teacher and all the staff to account by asking challenging questions to ensure all the children progress. A change in the curriculum and a greater focus on a broad education has meant that the school has undertaken significant revisions and increased clarity within the curriculum and the governing board have scrutinised these changes and use the date to see the impact.

Each year the finance committee and full governing board analyse and ultimately approve the school budget which is then closely monitored throughout the year. This year we have continued to focus on how we might increase the school budget through revenue generation activities and also how we might reduce the expenditure. The success in becoming an English hub does present some opportunities for increased income from offering additional services and support.

As a member of the Learning Trust for Excellence co-operative trust, the board also ensures that the school not only takes an active part but that the school and its pupils benefit from the arrangement. This year the focus has been expanding the trust and inviting other local schools to join. We have 3 new schools with a trial agreement for 1 year to see how the relationship develops. So far the feedback has been 100% positive and hopefully will lead to a new chapter in the trust’s development.

Another important role for governors is ensuring the safety and well-being of the children and we have a nominated Governor for Safeguarding who reports to the governors about any safeguarding matters.

Governors also review and agree key school policies. This year governors have approved many policies and we continue to follow a rolling programme of reviews.

The minutes of Governing Board meetings are public documents and you can ask at the school office if you would like to see any of the minutes of our meetings.

Future plans for the governors

The board will continue to focus on helping deliver the school improvement plan, keep safeguarding at the forefront of our minds and implement our plans to ensure our financial situation remains healthy.

How you can contact the governing board

We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents.  You can contact the Chair of Governors, Mark Griffiths, via the school office or via email: