Meet the Governors
What do we do?
You might think that being a school governor is all about attending lots of meetings and completing lots of paperwork but this definitely isn't the case.
The main role of the Governing Body is to help raise the standards and performance of the school by supporting the work of the head teacher and staff. We work very closely with the Senior Management Team and the rest of the staff to provide support, but we also challenge and ask questions to ensure that the best possible decisions are made for the school and its pupils. We do not become involved in the day to day management of the school because this is the Head teacher’s responsibility but we do hold her to account for the performance of the school.
How do we do this?
We meet as a full Governing Body twice a term to consider a wide range of issues including school improvement, policies and finances. We have also established a number of committees which allow us to discuss issues in more depth and report back to the full Governing Body. Our committees are:
Buildings and Finance, Staffing and Resources
Health and Safety
Curriculum and Standards
Safeguarding and Pupil Welfare
Committees also meet once a term and all governors sit on at least one committee. We also carry out monitoring visits to help us understand and appreciate the work of the school. Sometimes these are learning walks around the building to develop our own knowledge and on other occasions they are focused on a particular aspect of the school's performance and involve discussions with staff and pupils. We do not make judgements about the quality of teaching or the progress of individual pupils because that is the responsibility of the head teacher. We also attend training to assist us in carrying out our duties effectively.
Who are we?
Our governors come from many different backgrounds but we all have one thing in common: we are passionate about St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and dedicated to ensuring that our pupils have the best education possible. We all bring different skills and experiences but we work well together in the best interests of the school. The normal term of office for governors is four years, although sometimes governors are reappointed for further terms if they wish.
Parent governors are elected by other parents of pupils registered at the school. They should be parents of pupils currently at the school but they may serve out their term of office if their child leaves. Parents who are also members of staff are not eligible to be parent governors.
Local Authority Governors:
Local Authority governors are appointed by the local authority which maintains the school, in our case this is Cumbria. Sometimes potential authority governors approach Cumbria LA and ask to be allocated to a particular Governing Body but, in practice, such governors are usually recommended by ourselves and then approved by the LA.
Foundation governors are appointed by the Bishop of Lancaster to represent the religious ethos of the school.
The head teacher of a school automatically becomes a governor at the time of appointment unless they inform the Governing Body that they do not want to be a member. Our head teacher is a governor and this ensures a really productive working relationship. Another staff member is elected by and from the whole teaching and non-teaching staff. Staff governors may not continue to be governors if they cease to be employed by us.
Eddie Byrne Chair of Governors
I have been a Foundation Governor since 1999 and Chair of Governors for three years. I am an Analytical Chemist and take a keen interest in the teaching of Science. I am a STEM science ambassador, a role which involves visiting schools and using various projects and lessons to encourage interest in the sciences. I currently have roles involving Health and Safety, Safeguarding and SEND. All three of my children attended St Mary’s school and I still continue to find the school a very welcoming school with a strong Christian ethos. Outside of work and school my hobbies include fell walking, DIY and photography – and occasionally cycling
Head of School
Mrs C Newland
Being part of the school's Governing Body is an important part of my role as head teacher of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. I work closely with governors with the ultimate aim of providing the best possible educational experiences for our pupils. The work of our Governing Body is effective because we share this vision and all have high expectations of what our pupils can achieve. We work together identifying areas for improvement, setting targets and monitoring actions to ensure that the school continues to provide excellent value for money.
Mrs Margaret Holmes
I have been a Foundation Governor for 27 years! When I first became a Governor both of my sons attended St Mary’s School. Over the years I have been involved in lots of activities within the school. St Mary’s is a very friendly welcoming school with a sound Christian ethos.
Mr Iain Denny
I became a Foundation Governor in February 2017 and I am responsible for Buildings and Finance. My wife and our three children have all attended St Mary’s School and my son completed a teaching training placement here. My son’s entry into the “Design a New School Badge Competition” won and St Mary’s still use his winning design today. All my children have gone on to good careers, having had a solid grounding and education in St Mary’s. This is the reason why I became a Governor as I wanted to give something back after all we have received as a family.
Mrs Pauline Moore
I have been a Parent Governor for 2 years. I am responsible for Safeguarding, pupil’s appeals and staff discipline. I have two children who attend St Mary’s. I work for the NHS as a Podiatrist and also have my own Podiatry business. I enjoy being involved with the staff and children at St Mary’s as it is a welcoming, friendly school who excel at making everybody feel a valuable member of the school.
Clerk to the Governors
Mrs Julie Dyer
C/O St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
Welcome to our Governors' section.
Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.
We have also provided a Register of Governor Interests and an Annual Statement of Issues for your information.