Annual Impact Statement 2022-23 from the Chair of Governors

The purpose of this annual impact statement from Bexton’s Chair of Governors is to highlight the contribution made by the Local Governing Body (LGB) in providing support and challenge to the Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and meeting its other statutory obligations.

The school year 2022 – 23 was another successful year for Bexton Primary School and Nursery. Recently published SATS results for last year’s outgoing Year 6 placed us in the top 2% nationally, and our fantastic Progress and Attainment results across the whole school are all causes for celebration.

Our successful OFSTED inspection, perhaps 6 months earlier than we expected, also demonstrated that the whole School team is doing a great job. Feedback from the Inspector validated the state of readiness we had already achieved.

As the Governing Board of our school, part of a multi-academy trust, our fundamental statutory responsibilities encompass three principal areas:

  1. Ensuring effective strategic planning within the school.
  2. Holding the Head Teacher and SLT to account.
  3. Maintaining good financial control and decision-making.

Ensuring Effective Strategic Planning

The Governing Board has shown a significant commitment to strategic planning, with careful planning over several years enabling us to be in a position to pursue our plans for the development of a new multi-purpose building over the coming two years.

That project, amidst the current financial challenges facing the UK today, represents our dedication to the long-term stability and growth of the school, and our continued commitment to community service. Our decision to prioritise this investment over short-term financial relief reflects our commitment to sustainable growth and future income generation, which is crucial for the school's long term financial health. The new building will unlock continued and increased income generation which contributes each year to a healthy balanced budget for the School.

Our strategic involvement has also extended to shaping the school's vision in areas such as Safeguarding, Health and Safety, Curriculum, Assessment, and Equality. These efforts were recognised during the recent OFSTED inspection, where Governors’ knowledge of the School and the support we give in Governance were commended as one of the many areas of the school that are outstanding.

Holding the Head Teacher and SLT to Account

Our role in holding the Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team accountable has been proactive and insightful.

The last few years has seen a decline in the number of births in the UK, and this has been reflected in our application numbers for Reception places. That trend is looking likely to continue for at least the next 3 or 4 years, because 2022 saw the lowest number of births since 2002. This resulted in a small decline in applications for places at Bexton school, so we challenged the SLT to consider the school’s market positioning. We have appointed a Governor with marketing experience and strong local links to support this thinking.

Our Link Governors have regularly visited various school departments, providing us with an informed perspective to offer nuanced and constructive feedback, helping to shape and refine school policies and practices. Governors have provided guidance and support to the Head Teacher and SLT on an ongoing basis.

Ensuring Good Financial Control and Decision Making

Financial governance has always been a key area of focus, but perhaps never more so than in the last year in the face of the cost-of-living crisis we all face. School is no different, with rising energy costs and the increasing cost of materials, in a year where the school roof has had to be largely replaced, being just two areas where our close governance of the School budget has been critical to our success. We were able to successfully secure more than half a million pounds of capital funding for the roof replacement, and the strength of our business case was underpinned by a solid budget. The strong financial control demonstrated by the School Business Manager and the SLT, supported by Governors, over the last several years has allowed us to confidently proceed with the plans for the multi-purpose building (as discussed earlier). We supported the SLT in this significant investment, believing in the long-term benefits of having that facility over any temptation to use those accumulated funds to ease any immediate financial pressures.

Other areas of impact

In addition to the three core areas of Governance influence, the Bexton LGB has also supported the Leadership and Trustees of Cheshire Academies Trust by lending specific expertise from our Governors to the review and creation of improved policies and processes. We have been influential in the refresh of the Trust’s complaints policies, including the introduction of a policy to support school leadership in addressing the issue of persistent and vexatious complainants. We have also helped to shape the process and statutory documents that capture the Quality Assurance and Compliance of Governance in the Trust’s schools.

Overall, the SLT and I feel very lucky to have such a skilled and dedicated group of volunteers and staff forming the Local Governing Body at Bexton School.

ContactUs

Bexton Primary School and Nursery

Blackhill LaneKnutsford, Cheshire WA16 9DB

Becky Ayre | School Business Manager

01565 632816

admin@bexton.cheshire.sch.uk

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