Proud to be part of the Focus-Trust

Shibden Head Primary Academy


Shibden Head Primary Academy is part of Focus-Trust, a charitable primary schools trust based in the North West of England.

Every school in Focus-Trust is the legal responsibility of the Trust Board. This board focuses on statutory duties and delegates most day-to-day governance responsibilities to each school’s individual Local Governing Body (LGB). This means that Governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

Focus-Trust is non-denominational and does not make any profit from running its schools. Focus-Trust’s relationship with the Secretary of State is set out in the Master Funding Agreement. There are also supplemental funding agreements for each individual school in the Trust, including Shibden Head Primary Academy. 

The Focus-Trust Master Funding Agreement and Shibden Head Primary Academy’s Supplementary Funding Agreement are available on the Trust website – here.

Other key statutory information, including the Focus-Trust Annual Report and Financial Statements, Articles of Association and Scheme of Delegation can be found on the Focus-Trust website - here.


Become a Governor

Governors play an important role in our aim to create great schools at the heart of our communities.

We want our Governing Bodies to be inclusive and reflective of the local communities we serve.  We welcome governors from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences and with a broad range of skills and knowledge.  There are no set qualifications for becoming a governor and you will receive all the training and support needed to fulfil the role. We ask for a commitment to attend six meetings a year plus a few school visits and to abide by our Governor Code of Conduct, based on the seven principles of public life.

If you are passionate about making a difference for children and want to play a part in creating great schools at the heart of the local community then we want to hear from you.

If you are interested in becoming a governor for Shibden Head Primary Academy please contact  

The Local Governing Body of Shibden Head Primary Academy consists of:

Headteacher - Lucy Shaw

1 Staff Governor - Michelle Harrison

2 Parent Governors - Paul Helliwell-Kenny, Jessica Ross

7 Trust Governors - Elizabeth Fiddaman (Chair), Joely Birak (Vice Chair), John Radcliffe, Vicky Oakes,  Helen Dearing, Zoe Farrar

The Clerk to Governors is Mrs Pam Helyar

Governor leaflet pen portraits April 2023.


The contact Governor for complaints is Mrs Joely Birak (Vice Chair of Governors) – Contact via the school email address FAO Mrs J Birak Governor Contact for Complaints. 

The Chair of Governors or the Clerk to Governors can be contacted by emailing the school office at

Get Information About Schools (GIAS) contains a list of our governors along with other school information.

Focus Trust Governance Structure

Please see the chart below which shows the governance structure and how our own local governing body sits within the Trust governance arrangements.

Focus Trust Governance Structure.pdf

Scheme of Delegation

The underlying principles for this Scheme of Delegation are:

  1. That all academies, ultimately, are in a partnership of equals irrespective of their length of membership 
  2. Focus-Trust is a exempt charity and remains true to its aims and objectives.

 Focus-Trust is mindful that their function is to ensure that all statutory obligations are met 

  1. Focus-Trust believes that involving governors, staff, parents and children is the best means of ensuring engagement and involvement with the local community. 
  2. Focus-Trust Board’s intention is to reflect the various governance arrangements across the trust and apply a differentiated approach to individual academies within the scheme of delegation dependent on performance and capacity.

 With this link to the scheme of delegation:

A message from the Chair of the Governing Body – Mrs Elizabeth Fiddaman

I am proud to be the Chair of Governors at Shibden Head Primary Academy and to be able to lead our hard working and dedicated Governing Body. We are responsible for ensuring the quality of educational provision, managing the financial, physical and human resources of the academy, evaluating pupil outcomes and challenging and supporting the academy leadership team, all in order to give our children the best possible opportunity to succeed. We meet at least once every half term and all spend additional time in school focused on our individual responsibilities. We value the views of staff, pupils and parents and I can be contacted through the school office.

I have many years of experience as a governor now, starting as a parent governor in 2009 and continuing as a Focus Trust appointed governor since 2013. I am in the very fortunate position of being able to spend extended periods of time in school every week and so, in addition to working closely with the school management team, I am able to see the academy’s commitment to make a positive difference for all children in practice throughout the working day.

As a governing body we are focused in our role of raising school standards and ensuring the best possible education and educational opportunities for all our children. We ensure that we have a robust culture of Safeguarding and that at our academy children feel safe and secure, are encouraged to be independent, resilient and respectful, want to improve and know how to improve and are engaged in a broad, balanced and exciting curriculum.

I look forward to meeting many of you at school events and to demonstrating through my work as Chair of Governors my firm commitment to ensuring that all of our pupils have the best possible start to their lifelong journey as learners, explorers and adventurers. 

Governor Meeting Attendance

The Academy has a governing body. The key responsibilities of the governing body are to:

• ensure the quality of educational provision
• evaluate pupil outcomes
• challenge and monitor performance
• take decisions about personnel management
• manage financial, physical and human resources
• raise concerns with the Chief Executive of the Focus-Trust in a timely manner

It is a statutory requirement to make available details of any declarations of interest of members of the governing body and their attendance at governing body meetings. Please see the documents below for your information.