Chair of Governors’ annual report

Annual Governance Statement for the Governing Board of Little Sutton Primary School July 2021


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 its 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 2020/21, 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: two of the co-opted governors are vacancies and the remainder are members of the local community. One of the foundation governor positions is also a vacancy. The board has discussed and agreed that we do not currently need to fill the vacancies but will retain them should specific skills be required to be recruited.

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, Mental Health, Special Educational Needs, Health & Safety, Collective Worship, the Creative Arts, Wellbeing and Looked After Children.

Attendance record of governors

Governors’ attendance at meetings this year has continued to be excellent. Given the COVID-19 lockdown measures the committee and board meetings have been held via video conference. All of this has been in line with Government guidelines.

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.

This year due to COVID-19, governors have not been able to visit school for one full day and see the school in action. This has obviously been a great disappointment but necessary given the current pandemic.

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.

Mark Griffiths 100 100 100 100 100
Philip Palser 100 100 100   100
Mike Hammond 83 83 100   89
Les Ashton 100 100     100
Bev Ashton 83 83   50 72
Rachel Davis 100 100 100   100
Paul Farley 100 83 100   94
Caroline Hawkes 83     80 82
Jun Du 100     80 90
John Hunt 100   100   100
Jo Warren 100 100   100 100
Sairah Hussain 67 67   67 67
Kelly Ruston 100     75 88
Rita Kaur (NV) 100 83 100 67 88
Nicola Arkinstall (NV) 100 100 83 67 88
(NV)=non-voting associate member

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 continued to develop as an “English Hub” providing training and expertise to other schools in the area. The school has also taken the lead nationally in completing the relaunch of “Letters and Sounds” as a methodology for teaching reading to young children.

Finance issues continue to be the key priority while budgets are so tight and have been a focus of all board meetings. Due to the continued pandemic the focus on data has been significantly less than previous years and the focus has been on ensuring that the school properly plans the children to be in school and minimise the number of times a bubble needs to be self-isolating.

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 and wellbeing 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: