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"Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward
from him.” Psalms 127:3

“Not all of us can do great things but we can do
small things with great love.” Blessed Mother Teresa

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Meet the Governors

Welcome to our Governors Page

 

Governors’ information and duties

Welcome to the section of the website where you can find out more about the school’s governors and the work that we do.

The role of the school governor carries a great responsibility with it, so it can be demanding and challenging, but on the whole it is very rewarding. School governing bodies are responsible for working with the school to ensure that it delivers a good quality education. Together with the Executive Head and Head of School, who are responsible for day-to-day management, they set the school’s aims and policies.

 

Key roles of Governors:

    • To ensure clarity of the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction.
    • To hold the SLT to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff.
    • To oversee the financial performance of the school and make sure its money is well spent.

 

Role of the Finance Committee

The Finance Committee meets regularly to ensure the school’s finances are well managed and that we are achieving value for money.

Finance Committee Meetings are attended by the Heads who initially circulates the Agenda for the meeting, which Governors on the committee can add to. At the meetings, the Governors request that the Heads provides detailed information on the current budget position and highlights areas for discussion.

The committee provides challenge and support to achieve overall effectiveness in its responsibilities for the financial position of the school. It feeds back to the full Governing Body at its twice termly meetings.

The Finance Committee complies with the core responsibilities and strategic planning as set out in the ‘Governors External Review’ and is working on the action point regarding PPG performance.

Governors also fulfil a number of other important duties, which include:

    • Making sure the school buildings and grounds are safe
    • Setting and monitoring the school’s aims and objectives
    • Setting standards for the pupils’ behaviour and discipline
    • Ensuring policies are relevant and up-to-date
    • Deciding how to spend the school’s budget
    • The appointing and dismissing of staff
    • Hearing appeals and grievances

 

Who can be a school governor?

You do not have to have children at the school in order to be a governor. However, you do need to be aged over 18 and pass a formal check (DBS) for your suitability to enable you to come into our school.

No specific qualifications are required but there are certain expectations which are set out in the governor’s code of conduct. Similarly, experience of working in a school can be helpful in your role as a school governor but not essential. What really matters to us is that you have the time to commit fully to the role of the governor, playing a proactive part while working as part of a team, and the passion to ensure that every child has the opportunity to realise their potential and be the best they can be. As a school governor, there is no greater achievement than bringing about school improvement to ensure the best possible education for our children. What better way is there of giving something back to your community.

 

If you feel you have what it takes to be a school governor, or would like more information about becoming a school governor, then please speak to Mrs Dyer in the school office or email our Chair of governors: g.duncan@stmarys-harrington.cumbria.sch.uk

 

Our Governors

 

NAME

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

APPOINTED

BY

LAST DATE OF APPOINTMENT

SHERYL SLACK

EXECUTIVE HEAD

Appointed by GB/board

 

CAROLYN NEWLAND

HEAD OF SCHOOL

Appointed by GB/board

01 September 2017

GEMMA DUNCAN

(CHAIR OF GOVERNORS)

LEA GOVERNOR

FINANCE GOVERNOR

CURRICULUM GOVERNOR

 

17 January 2019

EDDIE BYRNE        

(VICE CHAIR)

FOUNDATION GOVERNOR

RE GOVERNOR

CURRICULUM GOVERNOR

Appointed by GB/board

July 2021

IAIN DENNY

FOUNDATION GOVERNOR

FINANCE GOVERNOR

PUPIL PREMIUM GOVERNOR

CURRICULUM GOVERNOR

Nominated by other body and appointed by GB

July 2021

NATALIE JO STRAUGHTON

PARENT GOVERNOR

SAFEGUARDING GOVERNOR

CURRICULUM GOVERNOR

Appointed by GB/board

17 January 2019

FR PAUL HARRISON

FOUNDATION GOVERNOR

CURRICULUM GOVERNOR

Appointed by GB/board

01 April 2014

MARY FEATHERSTONE

FOUNDATION GOVERNOR

tbc

Appointed by GB/Board

17 September 2021

STEPHEN BARBER

PARENT GOVERNOR

HEALTH & SAFETY GOVERNOR

CURRICULUM GOVERNOR

Appointed by GB/board

17 January 2019

FRAN TEASDALE

FOUNDATION GOVERNOR

EYFS GOVERNOR - RESIGNED

Appointed by GB/board

28 March 2017 to  01 March 2020

MARGARET HOLMES 

FOUNDATION GOVERNOR

SEND GOVERNOR

Retired July 2021

Nominated by other body and appointed by GB

01 April 2014

 

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 Senior Leadership Team and staff. We work very closely with the SLT 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 SLT’s responsibility but we do hold them 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 SLT. 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:

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:

Foundation governors are appointed by the Bishop of Lancaster to represent the religious ethos of the school.

 

Teacher Governors:

The head teachers 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 teachers are governors 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.

 

Meet our Governors

Executive Headteacher

Mrs S Slack

I began my teaching career at St Bede's Carlisle.  Following this I moved to St Mary's and after a few years was appointed Deputy Head.  After completing the National Professional Qualification for Headship I was appointed as Headteacher of St Patrick's Workington. I am also a Local Leader of Education and a Section 48 Inspector for the Diocese of Lancaster.

In 2018, it was a privilege to be appointed Executive Headteacher of St Mary's.

I am totally committed in ensuring every child achieves there potential in a caring and nurturing environment.  Being a governor enables me to work with a group of individuals who will ensure that the strengths of every child is fully developed and that high expectations are set and achieved.  My philosophy is based on Christian values of love, truth, respect, justice and honesty. In our St Mary's family everyone is welcomed, valued and special.

 

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.

 

Chair of Governors

Mrs G Duncan

I have been a governor since 2017 and just recently became Chair of Governors in January 2019.  Both my children attend the school and have been given a great start to their lives. St Mary's is a warm, welcoming and friendly school and provides opportunity and experiences for every pupil.

Being a governor is important to me because I believe every child deserves the best start in life as mine have.

I am IOSH trained and just recently completed my Level 2 in Mental Health Awareness.

 

Vice Chairperson

Mr E Byrne

I have been a Foundation Governor since 1999. 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, and the Catholic Life of St Mary's. 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.

 

Foundation Governors

Mrs M 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 I 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.

 

Parent Governors

Stephen Barber

I have been a Parent Governor since the start of 2019. Currently both of my sons attends the school. They both really enjoy going to school there and have been made to feel very welcome. Being a parent governor is important to me because I am interested in the schools future not only for my own sons but for the community and future pupils. It is a great school and I want to see it succeed in the future.

 

Natalie Straughton

As the parent of a children attending St Mary's, I became interested in becoming a parent governor for many reasons. I have a keen interest in my child's education and also understanding the school environment as a whole. I volunteer regularly in school and feel this gives me an excellent insight into the dedication and values of everyone involved. I am proud to take on this role and I hope to give a positive contribution to the future of the school and ensure that all children feel that they are supported to gain the most from their early school years.

 

Foundation Governor

We currently have two vacancies for Foundation Governors

 

Clerk to the Governors

Mrs Julie Dyer

C/O St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

Holden Road

Harrington

Workington

Cumbria

CA14 5LN

 

Welcome to our Governors' section. 


We have provided a Register of Governor Interests and an Annual Statement of Issues for your information.

 

Governor Attendance

 

Attendance calculated for both on site meetings as well as meeting via Zoom due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

 

Attendance 2021-2022 - TO DATE

Percentage

SHERYL SLACK

100%

CAROLYN NEWLAND

100%

GEMMA DUNCAN  (CHAIR OF GOVERNORS)

100%

EDDIE BYRNE   (VICE CHAIR)

100%

IAIN DENNY

100%

NATALIE JO STRAUGHTON

100%

FR PAUL HARRISON

100%

STEPHEN BARBER

100%

MARY FEATHERSTONE - JOINED 17/09/2021

 

 

 

 

Attendance calculated for both on site meetings as well as meeting via Zoom due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

 

Attendance 2020-2021

Percentage

SHERYL SLACK

100%

CAROLYN NEWLAND

100%

GEMMA DUNCAN  (CHAIR OF GOVERNORS)

100%

EDDIE BYRNE   (VICE CHAIR)

100%

IAIN DENNY

100%

MARGARET HOLMES

100%

NATALIE JO STRAUGHTON

60%

FR PAUL HARRISON

 60%

STEPHEN BARBER

80%

 

 

Attendance calculated for both on site meetings as well as meeting via Zoom due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

 

Attendance 2019-2020

Percentage

SHERYL SLACK

100%

CAROLYN NEWLAND

100%

GEMMA DUNCAN  (CHAIR OF GOVERNORS)

100%

EDDIE BYRNE   (VICE CHAIR)

80%

IAIN DENNY

100%

MARGARET HOLMES

100%

NATALIE JO STRAUGHTON

100%

FR PAUL HARRISON

 60%

STEPHEN BARBER

100%

 

Further to Governing Body Additional Meeting on 25/04/2017 - Below are the links to the recommended documents from Joanne Magnay and Sue Leigh.

 

 

Further to Governing Body Additional Meeting on 25/04/2017 - Below are the links to the recommended documents from Joanne Magnay and Sue Leigh.

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