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Meet the Governors

Welcome to the Governors' section of our website where you will be able to get more detail about the Governance of the school and about the Governors, who they are and what they do.


Fist I would like to introduce myself. My name is John Ludlam and I took over from Peter Barclay as Chair of Governors on 4 March 2016. Peter had been a Governor at the school for 27 years and Chair for 19 years. He did an exceptional job and we are all grateful for his hard work and guidance over those years.


I joined the school's Governing Body in February 2011 as Local Authority Governor and became Vice Chairman two years later. I had previous Governor experience some 20 years ago when I was the Chair of Governors of a secondary school in Cyprus. At that time the Governing Body consisted of The Chair, the Head Teacher, a Teacher Governor and a Parent Governor. The school secretary sent out the agendas and took minutes of the three meetings we held each year. To say that things have changed since then would be an understatement!


My background is Army and after leaving The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1966 I served for 34 years in the Royal Engineers. In 2001 I retired from the Army and joined the East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association which has its Headquarters in Nottingham. I retired from the RFCA in 2010 but remained in touch with young people through the Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force and the charity ‘East Midlands Youth’. I have recently finished my tenure with both those organisations but remain the Chairman of the local branch Royal British Legion.


My wife Jacqui and I live with horses, dogs and cats on the outskirts of Cotgrave. Our children are in their early thirties, have moved away and now have families of their own. We have three grandchildren. We regularly attend All Saints church and help run the children’s Easter Holiday Club and the Cotgrave Festival.


But enough about me, although should you wish to get in touch please do so by completing the contact form below.

Contact John Ludlam, our Chair of Governors

Governor Pecuniary Interest Register 2023

The Governing Body.

The Governing Body of Cotgrave Church of England Primary School consists of 10 governors who, represent various stakeholder bodies including: parents (2), staff (1), church (6). They are:


Foundation Governors are appointed by the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and the Parochial Church Council of All Saints' Church.

Reverend Paul Massey, The Rector of All Saints' Cotgrave. Paul is our longest serving Governor on the Governing Body, having joined the Governing Body in 2001. He maintains regular contact with the school and supports a range of school activities. Paul was awarded the Nottinghamshire County Council Long Service Award for Governors in 2017.




Colonel John Ludlam OBE. John is our current Chair of Governors, as well as being a Foundation Governor.




Mr John Barnett. I am a Chartered Engineer now retired with a wide range of experience in facilities management and health & Safety having worked within local authorities, manufacturing, R&D and utility industries. Over the past 5 years I have been Chair of the Crossdale Busy Bees Charitable Pre-school with Before and After school club; also a local governor at Crossdale Primary School which is now a member of the Equals Trust. Being NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) and building services qualified, I would hope to provide support to these areas of running the school facilities. Also to provide a cross exchange of information and ideas from the other settings with which I have worked.


Mrs Katharine Short. I moved to Cotgrave in 2013 as my husband grew up here, and knew straight away that I wanted to contribute to village life. I have been involved in running the Little Lights Sunday School at All Saints Church since 2018, including introducing an engaging new format for the monthly Family Service. I am an archivist and currently work as Special Collections Manager in the Library at De Montfort University, Leicester - this means I look after all the 'old stuff' including archives, rare books and artefacts. The oldest item in my care dates from 1474! I have two daughters who are both at the school. I therefore bring a combination of perspectives to my role as governor; being a parent, a member of the church community and working in middle management/higher education. 


Mrs Aileen Besnard. I moved to Cotgrave three years ago after living and working in Guernsey for fifty years. My husband is Guernsey born and had never lived outside the Island! We both retired from our jobs and felt we wanted to be nearer our daughter and three grandchildren who also live in Cotgrave, We viewed this as a new adventure and were keen to be involved in village life and take on new challenges. My working background is Finance based and I worked in a number of areas ranging from Retail Banking, Investment Administration, Accountancy, Project Management, Business Analyst and Banking systems. 

I have been a Governor since 2020 and am currently the Safeguarding link Governor. I have also recently taken on the role as Church Treasurer.


Parent Governors are elected by parents of the children at the school and must be parents of children at the school themselves at the time of their election. They are:


Mrs Julie Gerrard. I have lived with my husband in Cotgrave for the past 15 years. One of our sons has passed through the school and is now at secondary school and our other son attends the school currently. I have been on the Governing Body since 2015, serving as a parent Governor twice and, in between, as an associate member.  I am a qualified teacher and passionate about the need to allow children  to develop as unique individuals as well as meet educational standards. I have a particular interest in supporting the development of children with special additional needs.


Authority Governors are appointed by Nottinghamshire County Council to serve on the Governing Body of each Local Authority maintained school.


Staff Governors are elected by the staff at the school and must be a member of staff at the time of their election. Unlike the role of Parent Governor (which continues until the end of the term of office), the Staff Governor role is terminated when the member of staff leaves the school.


Mrs Helen Pearson. I have been teaching at Cotgrave C of E since 2014 and became Staff Governor in 2018. During my time here, I have taught in every year group apart from Year 6 and taught in most of the rooms in the building, including the current Staff room! I have a Masters in Teaching and Learning and currently lead English, Geography, History and Music within the school. Outside of school I have two children and we all enjoy exploring outdoors together in our free time.


Head Teachers automatically become a member of their school's Governing Body. They do not have a term of office and, unlike a Staff Governor, do not have to seek re-election to their Governor role. Their Governor role is terminated when they leave the school.


Mr Craig Moxham. I have been on the Governing Body since I was appointed as Head Teacher in 2008. During my 25+ year teaching career I have taught in a variety of schools (in three different Local Authorities and three different Dioceses) ranging from 600+ pupils on roll to 60+ pupils on roll: two Community schools, two Voluntary Controlled church schools and two Voluntary Aided church schools, teaching children in each year group from Reception to Year 6. I have served continuously as a school Governor for the past 25 years (receiving the Nottinghamshire County Council Long Service Award for Governors in 2017) and was a very active Staff Governor for ten years in two different schools before becoming Head Teacher here. I have been a senior leader for 25 years: four years as a Senior Teacher, three years as a Teacher-in-Charge, three years as a Deputy Head Teacher and fifteen years as a Head Teacher. Since graduating from Nottingham Trent University in 1995 (BEd (Hons)) I have undertaken further post-graduate studies in Music Teaching (University of Leicester, 1998), Special Educational Needs (University of Hull/Bishop Grosseteste College, 2001) and Church School Studies (Bishop Grosseteste University College, 2012). I am a Fellow of the College of Teachers (FCollT), a Member of the Chartered College of Teaching (MCCT) and achieved the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in 2007. I have represented the Church of England on the Nottinghamshire County Council SACRE since 2013. Outside of school I enjoy travel, music and a good book.   


Associate Members are invited to join the Governing Body because of particular skills and expertise they can bring to the Governing Body. We currently have one Associate Member:



Roles and Activities.

The Governors at the School are very active, undertaking most of their work through a structure of committees. All the Governors at Cotgrave Church of England Primary School are highly motivated and committed to the ethos, standards and success of the School, many having specific, individual responsibilities. Governors recognise their legal, ethical and community responsibilities to the whole school, including the children, staff and parents. They also recognise the special position that being a Voluntary Aided Church school brings and the links between church and school are very strong.


The Governing Body meets each term and considers business items submitted by the Local Authority, and from members of its own Governing Body. The latter demonstrates that it has an active, not a passive, approach to school governance. When necessary it will convene special meetings to consider specific or urgent items not appropriate to a scheduled termly meeting.


Standards of Governance.

Governors are fully aware of the obligations and responsibilities that their roles bring, and are constantly looking to improve the quality, standards, efficiency and effectiveness with which they fulfil these responsibilities.


The constantly changing nature, law and requirements of school governance are recognised to place an obligation on school governors to be adequately trained and kept up to date. Governors at Cotgrave Church of England Primary School are committed to training, both in areas of a general nature and related to their specific areas of expertise and interest.


Governors undertake regular visits to the school. Although historically these have been of a general nature, they are now focused on the specific responsibilities of individual governors. The outcomes of these visits are reported to the termly meetings of the Governing Body.

Chair of Governors.

As the Governing Body is a corporate entity I, as Chair of Governors, have no individual power; the authority and power rest with the Governing Body as a whole. Nevertheless as the Chair I will lead the Governing body and ensure that it fulfils its functions well. We will focus on the strategic not the day to day running of the school which is the job of the Head teacher and his staff.


This school according to OFSTED is a ‘GOOD’ school and has the capability of becoming an 'OUTSTANDING' school. It has an outstanding Head Teacher in Craig Moxham and excellent Teaching and Support Staff. It has a very strong relationship with All Saints' church, is well supported by its parents and has the support of the Cotgrave Community. It is now a member of the Rainbow Fellowship which will guide its future. My first task was to provide a Strategy for the school for the next 5 years having taken the opinion of as many stakeholders as possible to guide me.


As Governors we are involved in a variety of issues including finance, pupil welfare, public relations, setting school policies, building & grounds maintenance and staff appointments. However, without a doubt, we consider that our most important role is to monitor the welfare and education of the children.


Governors are appointed to ensure that objectives are met and that planning for the future is both visionary and realistic. We are here to support, encourage  and challenge the Head Teacher and all school staff so that the children have  an enriched education and the opportunities they deserve.

John Ludlam