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.
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 Governor||Name||Term of Office|
|Foundation||Mr Robert Goulding||Apr 2019 - March 2023|
|Foundation||Mr William Starkey||Apr 2023 - 2027|
R.E./Prayer and Liturgy
|Foundation||Miss Nicola Pettitt - Chair of Governors||July 2021 - 2025|
Sports Funding/ GDPR/Reading/
|Parent||Mrs Christina Beattie||Nov 2022 - 2026||Science||Yes|
|Parent||Mrs Lucy Brannon||Nov 2022 - 2026||Yes||Children attend school|
|Staff Representative||Mrs Carley Miller||Feb 2023 - 2027||Yes|
|Local Authority Rep||Mrs Sarah Jardine||Oct 2020 - 2024||Maths/Modern Foreign Language||Yes|
Headteacher at Valley
|Co-opted||Mrs Margaret Woosnam||July 2021 - 2025|
grandchild attends school
|Headteacher||Mrs Susan Starkie||Ex Officio||Yes|
|Clerk to Governors||Mrs Anne Hillon||No|
Daughter is a teacher/
|Staffing||Buildings/H&S||Finance||Quality of Education||Disciplinary||Appeals|
|M. Woosnam||W. Starkey||N. Pettitt||N. Pettitt||N. Pettitt||M. Woosnam|
|N. Pettitt||C. Beattie||S. Jardine||C. Beattie||S. Jardine||C. Beattie|
|S. Jardine||S. Starkie||S. Starkie||M. Woosnam||W. Starkey||L. Brannon|
The chair of each committee is highlighted.
Governor Attendance 2021/22/23
|1st half term||2nd half term||1st half term||2nd half term||1st half term||2nd half term||1st half term||2nd half term||1st half term||2nd half term|
- 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.