St Mary’s Governing Body

The main role of the governing body is to operate at a strategic level, ensuring that the Catholic vision and character of our school is upheld, holding the Head teacher and leadership team to account and overseeing the financial performance of the school. Governors also set the budget, manage the school’s admissions criteria and are involved in the recruitment of senior leadership and other staff.

Foundation Governors – These governors are appointed by the Bishop of Lancaster specifically to preserve and develop the Catholic ethos of our school and represent the Bishop’s education policy (e.g. worship and religious education). This is why in Catholic schools the Foundation Governors will always outnumber other governors.

Parent Governors – Parent governors play a vital role on governing bodies, holding the unique position of having a parental viewpoint of the school. Through their children, they have a first-hand experience of the delivery of the curriculum, and how the school is perceived from the ‘consumers’ point of view. This enables parent governors to bring a different perspective to the strategic management of the school. Parent governors are representative parents, rather than representatives of parents.

Staff Governors – These consist of the headteacher and a member of staff (either teaching or non-teaching). The position of the headteacher being ‘ring-fenced’ (ex-officio), so should the headteacher choose not to be a governor, no-one else can fill the vacancy. Staff governors are representative staff members, rather than representatives of staff; bringing an alternative viewpoint and perspective to discussion.

Local Authority Governors – Local authority (LA) governors are appointed to be a link between the LA and its schools. They must therefore be aware of any local priorities and the reasons behind these, but they cannot be instructed how to vote at meetings. Local authority governors are nominated by the local authority but appointed by the governing body.

Co-Opted Governors – A co-opted governor is a person appointed by the governing body who, in the opinion of the governing body, has the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. A co-opted governor, may have an area of specialist knowledge or experience or bring a wide range of skills and experience to their role as a governor.

Category of GovernorNameTerm of OfficeAreas of ResponsibilityVoting RightsRelationships in School
FoundationFr Kevan DorganJuly 2021 - 2025REYes
FoundationMr Robert GouldingApr 2019 - 2023Buildings/ I.C.T.Yes
FoundationMr William StarkeyApr 2019 - 2023R.E./Prayer and LiturgyYesGrandchild attends school
FoundationMiss Nicola Pettitt - Chair of GovernorsJuly 2021 - 2025Pupil Premium/Sports Funding/ GDPR/Reading/PhonicsYesChildren attend school
FoundationMr Neil CromwellTerm of Office EndedChild attends school
FoundationMrs Samantha StewartResigned July 2020Child attends school
FoundationMrs Claire Cassley - Vice ChairNov 2019 - 2023Attendance/Writing/PSHE/HRSEYes
ParentMrs Christina BeattieNov 2018 - 2022ScienceYesChildren attend school
Staff RepresentativeMrs Carley MillerNov 2018 - 2022YesChildren attend school
Local Authority RepMrs Sarah JardineOct 2020 - 2024Maths/Modern Foreign LanguageYesHeadteacher at Oughterside Primary School
Co-optedMrs Margaret WoosnamJuly 2021 - 2025Safeguarding/S.E.N/ COVID 19YesDaughter is a teacher/Grandchild attends school
HeadteacherMrs Susan StarkieEx OfficioYes
Clerk to GovernorsMrs Anne HillonNoDaughter is nursery teacher/Grandchild attends school
Governor Committees
Staffing  Buildings & H&SFinanceCurriculumDisciplinaryAppeals
M. WoosnamR. GouldingN. PettittC. CassleyN. PettittC. Cassley
N. PettittW. StarkeyR. GouldingC. BeattieS. JardineM. Woosnam
S. StarkieS. StarkieA. Baker (co-opted)S. StarkieW. StarkeyR. Goulding

The chair of each committee is highlighted.

Governor Attendance 2019/20
MeetingsAutumn TermAutumn TermSpring TermSpring TermSummer TermSummer Term
Nicola PettittYYYYYY
Margaret WoosnamYYYYYY
Robert GouldingYYYYYY
Billy StarkeyYYXXXX
Neil CromwellYR----
Sam StewartYYXXXR
Christina BeattieYYYYYY
Sarah JardineYTTTTT
Carley MillerTYYYYT
Susan StarkieYYYYYY
Claire Cassley-YYYYX
Governor Attendance 2020/21
MeetingsAutumn TermAutumn TermSpring TermSpring TermSummer TermSummer Term
Nicola PettittYYYYYY
Margaret WoosnamYYYYYY
Robert GouldingYYYYYY
Billy StarkeyXYXYXX
Christina BeattieYYYYYY
Sarah JardineTYTYTT
Carley MillerTYYYYY
Susan StarkieYYYYYY
Claire CassleyYYYXYX
Fr Kevan Dorgan----YX
  • Attendance key: Y = Present, X = Absent, T = Teaching, R= Resigned/Term of Office ended, – = Not expected to attend.
  • Attendance figures are for full governing body meetings during the academic year, not committee meetings.
  • Each of the governors has signed the Register of Business Interests.
  • None of the above are governors at other educational establishments in the Whitehaven area.
  • Governors who have resigned/completed term of office during the last year are shown in blue.