Local and CAST Governance
Local Governance - The Local Governing Board
The Local Governing Board comprises three Foundation Governors appointed by the Bishop of Plymouth Diocese, two Parent Governors who are elected by the parents of the school, two Co-opted Governors, one Staff Governor who was elected by the staff of the school and the Headteacher.
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 Local Governing Board 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.
Contact: The chair of Governors, Mrs Ann Harris
c/o St Marys Catholic Primary School
      Devon Road
      BH15 3QQ
The Role of the Governors
The School Governors at St. Mary’s are parent, staff and foundation (Church) representatives who are very interested and enthusiastic about the well being of our school, our pupils and staff. 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.
Local Governing Board Membership

Mrs Ann Harris, OBE - Foundation Governor (Chair)

I am delighted to be the Chair of Governors at St Mary's Catholic Primary School.  My working life was spent in education as teacher, headteacher, adviser and inspector.  My passion for providing children with the best education possible remains.  I believe effective governance makes a difference and so am happy to be the National Leader of Governance Advocate for Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset which gives me the opportunity to work alongside other Governors.

At home, I am married to a very patient husband, with whom I share three children and eight grandchildren.  I enjoy painting, walking (particularly by the sea) and gardening in my spare time.

Responsibilities:  Chair of Local Governance Board and Personnel Governor
Term of office:  04/02/2019 to 03/02/2023
Meeting attendance 2018/19:  100%
Business Interests:  Trustee Plymouth CAST, Governor Bearwood Primary & Nursery School, Member of IAB St Catherine's Catholic Primary School, Wimborne

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 2018/19:  100%
Business Interests:  Employee of St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Poole


Mrs Lucy Culkin - Co-opted Governor
My son joined St Mary’s in September 2014; I was always keen to ‘give back’ as much as I could to the school community who have supported and nurtured his development within every year group. I am very enthusiastic about being able to work closely with parents and join-up our wider community. I grew up in Poole and chose to settle here, close to family and friends after spending time away at university and abroad. I have worked as a Senior Manager within the charitable sector for the past 14 years, more specifically within organisations who develop informal learning provisions and deliver information, advice and guidance for the most vulnerable within our communities. I have lectured to undergraduate students at Southampton University Business School and serve as a mentor to European students studying in the UK under the European Union Eramus Plus programme. I have a broad range of experience which spans community engagement, education, working alongside government bodies and communication. I hope I can bring some of these skills to the school for the benefit its future.
Responsibilities:  Vice-Chair of Governors, Parents and Wider Community Governor  
Elected by:  Local Governing Board of St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Term of Office:  19/02/2019 to 18/02/2023
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  86%
Business Interests:  None declared
Mrs Rebecca Granger - Parent Governor
I’m married to James and our twin daughters Milly and Candy are flourishing very happily at St Marys. I joined the Governing Board as a Parent Governor in 2015. Together with practising as an architect for 20+ years, I’ve lectured on the architecture degree course at the Arts University Bournemouth, and I continue to offer the students mentoring support during their studies and after graduation, work placements and internships within the construction industry. I have wide-ranging experience in the design and construction of school buildings and I’m able to advise on the continuing plans and objectives for improvements to the school’s teaching environment and its facilities. It is a privilege to be actively involved in the School’s governance.
Responsibilities:  Health and Safety Governor
Elected by:  Parents of St Mary's Catholic Primary School
Term of Office:  02/12/2015 to 01/12/2019 
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  86%
Business Interests:  None declared
Mr Mike Hayward - Parent Governor
Having been born and raised in nearby Salisbury, I moved to Bournemouth in 1985 and have spent the majority of that time working at JPMorgan as a Finance and Business Manager.
I have a broad range of experience in restructuring, change management, budgeting, forecasting and driving operational efficiency.
I joined as a Finance Governor in September 2017 to see how the experience I had gained over 30+ year career at the world's largest Investment Bank could be of assistance.
My wife Christy and I have both our boys settled happily into school life at St Mary's.
Responsibilities:  Finance Governor
Appointed by:  Governing Body
Term of office:  12/09/2017 to 11/09/2021
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  83%
Business Interests:  None declared
Mrs Kerry Houston-Kypta - Parent Governor

I was born in Poole and, apart from my time spent away at University, I have always lived here.

In my working role, I am a Commercial Property Solicitor and Partner in a local law firm. I qualified in 2004 after studying European Law at Warwick and Bordeaux Universities and then completed my training with a large commercial firm in Southampton. I have a lot of experience of dealing with all aspects of commercial property work and hope to be able to bring those skills in to good use in my new role as a parent governor.

I am a mum of 2 daughters. My eldest is in her final year at St Marys and my youngest will hopefully be starting in September. I have seen my eldest daughter grow in confidence and flourish during her 7 years at the school and I am very happy to also be bringing my experience as a parent to the local board of governors.

When I had more free time, I used to be a keen Ballroom & Latin American Dancer and one day I would like to take it up again. In the meantime, most of my free time is spent looking after my daughters and taking them to their various hobbies and activities. I also enjoy gardening, running and going for long family walks along the beach.

Appointed by:  Governing Body
Term of office:  30/09/2019 to 29/09/2023
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  Not applicable
Business Interests:  None declared

Mrs Monika Kus-Kwiatkowska - Foundation Governor

I was first appointed as a Foundation Governor in June 2015. I am the member of the Admissions Committee. 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
Committees:  Admissions
Appointed by:  Diocese of Plymouth
Term of office:  26/09/2019 to 25/09/2023
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  50%
Business Interests:  Employee of Borough of Poole, Planning Department


Mrs Eunice Masters - Foundation Governor
I have been a Foundation Governor at St Mary’s since the autumn of 2015. I work part time in St Mary’s Catholic Church parish office and I now have the time to give something back to the school for all it did for my two sons who attended from 1992 to 2001. As a catechist involved in running the Poole Confirmation Programme and supporting the First Holy Communion Programme, I am really interested in how RE is now taught in school. Since becoming a Governor, I have visited the school for a variety of reasons from just a walk round and getting to know you, to lesson observations and staff meetings. The one thing that really strikes me is how welcoming both students and staff are. The students are fantastic, so much more confident than mine were at that age. They are articulate, polite and very able to tell visitors to their classroom what they are studying and why. I look forward to helping support the school over the coming years.
Responsibilities:  Teaching and Learning Governor
Appointed by:  Diocese of Plymouth
Term of Office:  10/02/2020 to 09/02/2024
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  100%
Business Interests:  None declared

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
Committees:  Admissions
Appointed by: Diocese of Plymouth
Term of office:  14/06/2013 to 13/06/2021 
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  86%
Business Interests:  None declared


Mr Simon Thomas - Staff Governor
I have been lucky enough to work at St Mary’s since the end of March 2019 having arrived on a secondment. I’m the father of two very active daughters who keep me fit keeping up with them on foot or bike. I have taught in Poole schools for twenty years and am still as enthusiastic about education and learning as I was when I first started. My career began in a church school and, in many ways, working at St Mary’s has felt like “coming home”. I have the privilege to represent the hard-working, dedicated staff of our school on the governing body. I look forward to providing an interface between two sets of people who share the success, spiritual development and well-being of the children as the basis for all they do.
Elected by:  The Staff of St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Poole
Term of office:  30/09/2019 to 29/09/2023
Meeting Attendance 2018/19:  Not applicable
Business Interests:  Seconded employee St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Poole

Clerk to Governors - Mrs Patricia Rushton


Governors resigned within the last 12 months
Mrs Sharon Betts - Staff Governor
Term of office:  07/10/2016 to 24/02/2019