Local and CAST Governance
Local Governance - The Governing Body
The Governing Body comprises eight Foundation Governors appointed by the Bishop of Plymouth Diocese, two Parent Governors who are elected by the parents of the school, two Staff Governors who are elected by the staff of the school and the Headteacher. The Governing Body can also appoint Co-opted Governors to support its work.
Parent Governors are elected every four years or on the resignation of a Parent Governor (whichever is earlier). All parents of the school are eligible to be a Parent Governor and will be invited to nominate themselves for such a role should a vacancy arise.
The Governing Body is a hard-working group of volunteers who are passionate about education and give up so much of their time and energy to support the young children in our schools.
In April 2015, St Mary's had a Canon 806 RE inspection and the Governors were key in providing the evidence to enable the inspectors to unanimously evaluate our school as a community which performs collectively according to the Gospel of St John 13:14-15 ‘If I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you are also to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example that you should also do as I have done to you’. We have been fortunate to welcome new Governors to our school over the past 12 months who have been keen to learn about their roles and responsibilities and to take an active part of in the life of the school. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Governor please ask.
The Role of the Governors
The School Governors at St. Mary’s are parent, staff, foundation (Church) and community representatives who are very interested and enthusiastic about the well being of our school, our pupils and staff. The Governors are responsible for the effective running of the school, both financially and educationally. The governing body has organised itself to ensure that it meets all of its statutory obligations by having a named Governor responsible for undertaking a range of specific tasks.
They meet regularly and oversee the leadership and management of the school, providing expertise, critical friendship and a great deal of support to the school. Their chief concern is to ensure a high quality education for the pupils of St. Mary’s and that the school complies with initiatives and legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act.
The minutes of each meeting are available for inspection in the school office.
Our governors at St. Mary’s are extremely approachable and welcome opportunities to share information about their business and to discuss school matters.
- Plymouth CAST Scheme of Delegation - Approved
- Scheme of Delegation Appendix 1
- Scheme of Delegation Appendix 2
Mrs Ann Harris - Co-opted Governor (Chair)
Responsibilities: Chair of Local Governance Board and Personnel Governor
Term of office: 30/03/2017 to 29/03/2018
Meeting attendance 2016/17: 100%
Mrs Helen Armstrong - Staff Governor (Head teacher)
I was appointed as the Head teacher of St Mary’s from September 2014. I am married to Tony and we have two children Lucy and Katie. My first teaching experience was in Germany in a Forces school where I taught across the primary range for 5 ½ years. I then taught in Dorset schools for 15 years in all year groups, with a variety of responsibilities. I was previously the Head teacher of a small Dorset school. In all roles I have been on the school's Governing body and have always enjoyed working with the Governors to improve the provision for our children.
Meeting Attendance 2016/17: 38%
I have been a teacher at St Mary’s since 1995! I am married to Richard and we have two children Nathan and Megan – both of whom attended St Mary’s and are now at St Edward’s. My first teaching experience was in a Catholic school in Sheffield. In my many years at St Mary’s, I have been the Co-ordinator for Art, Key Stage Two and Three, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I am currently Assistant Headteacher and the Designated Safeguarding Lead. I have been on the Governing body for several years and have served on both Pastoral and Curriculum committees. This role gives me the opportunity to work alongside people who are committed to providing the best educational experience for our children, and I look forward to the opportunities where we can develop our role as a governing body even further.
Meeting Attendance 2016/17: 85%
Elected by: The staff of St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Poole
Elected by: Governors of St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Term of Office: 06/11/2017 to 05/11/2018
Meeting Attendance 2016/17: 89%
Elected by: Parents of St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Term of Office: 02/12/2015 to 01/12/2019
I joined St. Mary’s in September 2013 having previously worked in two middle schools in Dorset as well as two years teaching in the state school system in rural Japan. My experience in the primary setting of St. Mary’s has been fascinating and it has been a real pleasure to watch the progress of the children who I have taught in the last five years here. My P.G.C.E. at Exeter included a specific focus on Literature and it is this subject that is still closest to my heart although I also enjoy working with our Academically More Able children and promoting an interest in the world outside school through visits, competitions and making links with local groups in a range of sectors. The current governing body is a committed team with a wide range of skills and a clear focus on ensuring the best for our pupils.Meeting attendance 2016/17: 90%
Mrs Monika Kus-Kwiatkowska - Foundation Governor
I have been appointed as a Foundation Governor in June 2015. I am the member of the Pay Review and Admissions Committees. I am also very enthusiastic about being able to work closely with parents, especially with those, whose children speak English as a second language. I have been living in Poole for the last 7 years and I work for the Local Authority. My daughter started at St Mary’s in September 2014 and I can already see the progress she’s made so far, both academically and socially. It’s a privilege to witness the development of our children at St Mary’s and being able to contribute to their wellbeing.
Responsibilities: Inclusion and Child Protection Governor
Meeting Attendance 2016/17: 78%
Appointed by: Diocese of Plymouth
Term of office: 20/05/2015 to 19/05/2019
Appointed by: Diocese of Plymouth
Term of Office: 11/11/2015 to 10/11/2019
Mrs Mary Norrish - Foundation Governor
I have been a Governor at St. Mary’s since the autumn of 2013. The school is a very different and much more welcoming place since my 4 children attended between 1976 & 1991. The increased pupil numbers benefit from not only better buildings, but also diverse teaching methods, including the advantages brought by the digital internet world, delivered by St Mary’s dedicated and enthusiastic staff team. I really enjoy going into school to observe classes and see that the opportunities for learning are more interactive and the children certainly look to be enjoying the experience, despite the restrictions of National Curriculum and Ofsted requirements. As a governor, I am also particularly interested in ensuring that staff and governors recognise their individual responsibility for safeguarding every child, and that children with additional educational needs are well supported to make the best use of their particular talents. Besides being a school governor, I am also a trustee of the charity Mosaic, supporting bereaved children across Dorset. I belong to the music group at 9:30 Mass, sing in two local choirs, ramble all over Dorset and the New Forest with St. Mary’s walkers every week, and help with my grandchildren too, so it’s quite an active retirement from children’s social work!
Responsibilities: Safeguarding and Equalities Governor
Meeting Attendance 2016/17: 100%
Appointed by: Diocese of Plymouth
Term of office: 14/06/2013 to 13/06/2021
In 1994 I was appointed Bishop’s Secretary and Priest in charge of St Thomas More, Southway, Plymouth, a position I held for four years before moving to St Joseph’s Weymouth in August 1998. Here I also had responsibility for Our Lady Star of the Sea on Portland and Pastoral Care of the Catholic inmates in the Portland Young Offenders institution on Portland. In November 2002 I became a full-time Prison Chaplain initially covering both Chanings Wood Prison in Denbury, Nr Newton Abbot and Dartmoor. After a short time I worked solely in Dartmoor Prison and became the lead chaplain. In 2009, after seven years in full-time Prison Chaplaincy work I moved back into parish work and returned to Crownhill to the recently created parish of St Peter and St Thomas More where I remained until I was appointed Parish priest of St Mary’s in September 2015. On 5th June 2015 (The Feast of St Boniface) I was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter.
Meeting Attendance 2016/17: 50%
Appointed by: Governing Body of St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Term of Office: 01/09/2015 to 31/08/2019
Clerk to Governors - Mrs Patricia Rushton
Dr Nkolika Anyabolu - Foundation Governor (retired)
Term of Office: 18/11/2015 to 11/09/2017
Mr Matt Desmier - Foundation Governor (retired)
Term of Office: 04/03/2014 to 29/03/2017