Governance statement



Great Paxton School Annual Governance Statement 2023/24


Whole School Focus

Strong foundations and high expectations

School motto = Believe in yourself and each other

For “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13


Governors’ Role

The Governing Body is key to the leadership of Great Paxton Primary School. The Governing Body supports and challenges the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team  to continually improve the school and provide the best education for every child. This Annual Governance Statement is one way in which the Governing Body communicates its work and the impact we have had on school improvement. In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing bodies, the three core strategic functions of the Governing Body at Great Paxton Primary School are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

The Governing Body Structure

The Governing Body is made up of a group of committed volunteers who bring a range of skills and expertise and come from a variety of backgrounds. Governors are committed to improving the education of every child in our school and invest good will, hard work and time.

Great Paxton Primary School has the following structure in place:

  •  3 Parent Governors appointed by ballot of the parents at the school
  •  1 Local Authority Governor appointed by the Local Authority
  •  1 Staff Governor appointed by ballot of the staff
  •  1 Headteacher Governor
  •  3 Foundation (Church) Governors
  •  4 Co-opted Governors appointed by the Governing Body based on a skills audit

There are two vacancies for Governor position’s: 1 x Foundation Governor and 1 x Local Authority Governor

The Governing Body uses the Cambridge County Council ‘Clerks Service’ with a designated clerk who is responsible for arranging meetings, taking minutes, and following up on all actions. The clerk also advises on procedural matters and plays a key role in the work of the Governing Body.

The Chair and Vice Chair are elected annually by the Governing Body and work closely with the Headteacher and the Clerk.


To effectively fulfil its role, it is important that the Governing Body must ensure that all its Governors have the required skills and knowledge to support the achievement of the school’s objectives. The Governing Body have undertaken appropriate training and continue to do so. A specific Governor role monitors all training undertaken, and this process also identifies training needs.

Impact of Full Governing Body & Committee Meetings

The Full Governing Body meets 6 times during the academic year via Full Governing Body meetings to inspect, review and agree school policies and monitor progress against  identified key areas on which the school and the Governing Body wish to focus during the academic year. The School’s Development and  Improvement Plans include measures and milestones that the Governing Body uses to satisfy itself that progress is being made against objectives and that all actions being taken are improving teaching and learning outcomes for all children.  

During the pandemic the Governing Body has met virtually with every meeting being quorate and overall attendance and commitment by Governors remaining high. As well as continuing to meet its statutory obligations, the Governing Body maintained a particular focus on the wellbeing of the Headteacher, the staff, and children and on the complexities of rebuilding after the disruption of the pandemic.

Despite some comparative data being unavailable due to the cancellation of national tests in the summers of 2020 and 2021, at Full Governing Body Meetings the Governors have continued to monitor and challenge to ensure the school’s standards and expectations are high, and scrutinised pupil progress across all ability groups including vulnerable groups, with a particular view to ensuring post covid catch up support is well targeted.

There is a committee structure in place that monitors all aspects of the school. This is via three key committees:

Standards Committee – this focuses on the performance, data and curriculum elements of the school.

Resources Committee – this focuses on the financial management and general running of the school including staff & wellbeing, health and safety and buildings.

Faith Matters Committee – as a Church school, this focuses on the faith elements of the school and includes SIAMS inspections (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methods Schools)

The school delivers a balanced budget each year and this is scrutinised and agreed by the Full Governing Body at an annual Budget Ratification Meeting. The budget is monitored throughout the year at the appropriate committee and fed back to and discussed on a regular basis at Full Governor Meetings.

Benchmarking information allows Governors to compare the school’s spending with similar schools and ensure resources are being used in the most effective ways to support the best outcomes for all children. This includes  making effective use of Pupil Premium and Catch-Up Funding.

Performance Management

Governors are responsible for undertaking the Headteacher’s performance management review each year, and this is conducted by a panel of Governors, supported by an external advisor, who carry out the headteacher’s annual appraisal. The appraisal process allows for the review of the headteacher’s performance, discusses areas of strength and, where necessary, areas for development. New targets are then set against criteria on which the Headteacher’s performance will be evaluated. 

Monitoring Focus Areas

Key areas of focus are identified by the Governing Body and the Committees, and these areas align to the School’s  Development and Improvement Priorities.

Governors will monitor these via committee meetings and via monitoring visits, which are an opportunity to get to know the school better, to observe and communicate with staff and to hear the pupil voice. A monitoring visit report is prepared and circulated following the visit, allowing other governors to ask questions. 

2023/24 Improvement Priorities

Church School


To continue to embed the Christian Ethos as a church school in line with the SIAMS Schedule

Strand 1 – Vision and Leadership

Strand 4 – Community and Living Well Together

Quality of Education


To ensure that pupils make sustained progress considering their different starting points, with a particular focus on the core subjects, narrowing learning gaps and achieving targeted levels of attainment.

To ensure that identified disadvantaged pupils make accelerated progress.

To ensure that the school’s curriculum intent and implementation are embedded securely and consistently across the school.

Strand 2 – Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills

Behaviour and Attitudes


Expectations for behaviour and conduct are high.

Attitudes to education are positive.

Attendance levels are high and children are punctual.

Strand 5 – Dignity and Respect

Personal Development


Enable learners to develop and discover their interests.

Enable learners to develop resilience, confidence and independence.

Prepare learners for future success and next steps.

Prepare learners for life in modern Britain.

Strand 3 – Character, Development, Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy

Leadership and Management


To ensure that the school’s curriculum intent and implementation are embedded securely and consistently across the school, with systems in place to monitor impact.

Leaders are realistic and constructive whilst managing workload.

All staff create a culture of safeguarding.

Strand 1 – Vision and Leadership


Early Years


Provide a stimulating, engaging learning environment both inside and outside, to develop children’s experiences and their potential for rich, learning opportunities.

Strand 1 – Vision and Leadership



  •  We as a staff give reassurance to our children that we are there for them as Jesus was for his flock. We will care and look after them, we will teach them and do not leave anyone behind.