1. Annual Statement Of Governance

What we do

In accordance with the Government’s requirement for all governing boards, the three core strategic functions of the Governing Board of St John Fisher RC Primary School are:

  1. To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.,
  2. To hold the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of its staff.
  3. To oversee the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governance arrangements

The Governing Board of St John Fisher was re-constituted in June 2015 and consists of the following members; The Headteacher, one staff governor, two elected parent governors, one Local Authority Governor and seven Foundation Governors.

Foundation Governors are appointed by the Diocese and are people, who, in the opinion of the Diocese, have the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school: on our Governing Board, four of our Foundation Governors are parents and the remaining three are active members of the Church Community.

The Full Governing Board meets once each term, and we also have committees who meet to consider different aspects of the school in detail. Here at St John Fisher, we have a Resources Committee, which focuses on finance, premises and some personnel matters and a Curriculum and Wellbeing Committee who receive regular updates from subject leaders, as well as updates in relation to Safeguarding and Special Educational Needs. We also have committees that meet if required to consider pupil discipline and staffing matters.

Attendance record of governors

Governors have excellent attendance at meetings and we have never cancelled a meeting because it was not “quorate” (the number of governors needed to ensure that legal decisions can be made).

A detailed meeting attendance record can be found below in section 4.

The work that we have done on our committees and in the governing board

The Governing Board has had a particularly busy year so far, focusing on continuous school improvement and implementation of the new curriculum which was introduced in September 2014, Reconstitution and changes in new Governor roles and personnel.

The Curriculum and Wellbeing committee has spent time evaluating the introduction of a new curriculum next year and governors also discuss key data giving the results of pupil achievement and progress, so that we can be sure that the school is on track to fulfil its ambitious targets for all pupils. We continue to focus on “vulnerable groups” of children and how the Pupil Premium Grant is being spent by the school and what impact this has on their outcomes. Governors have a nominated safeguarding Governor (Elaine Heyes) who gives a termly report to the governors about any safeguarding matters.

The Resources Committee looks at the maintenance and development of the school premises, and makes decisions about how the school should use its budget. One of the roles for the governors is reviewing and agreeing school policies, and this year we have considered a number of key policies. In September 2014, a new Attendance Policy was adopted, following a change in legislation which no longer allows schools to authorise term time holidays. The Governing Board recognises the problem that this may cause for some parents, but we are very pleased that attendance figures at the school have improved considerably and are very grateful to parents for the support they have shown in relation to this.

Minutes of Governing Board and Committee meetings are public documents – in the coming months you will find them on the Governors’ page of our website or you can ask at the school office if you would like to see any of the minutes of our meetings.

Future plans for the governors

To further develop the role of Link Governors. To develop the Governing Board’s own self evaluation skills to enable the GB to have an accurate view of the impact of its work.

How you can contact the governing body

We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents – please contact the Chair of Governors, Donal Townson, via the school office.

2. Current Governing Board Information

 Governor Appointment Information    

Register of Interest


Governor Full Name Term of Office (years) Category Appointing / Elective Body Commitees and Roles Relevant Business / Pecuniary Interests  Other Educational Establishments Governed Material Relationships (with staff or governors) 
Donal Townson (Chair)  2015-2019 Foundation Diocese of Salford Curriculum, Wellbeing, Training Link Governor, Year 3 Link Governor  
Lisa Thorley (Vice Chair) 2016-2020  Foundation Diocese of Salford Curriculum, Wellbeing  –  – 
Elaine Heyes 2015-2019  Foundation Dicoese of Salford Curriculum, Wellbeing   – 
Lindsey Hammnett 2015-2019  Foundation Diocese of Salford Curriculum, Wellbeing  –  – 
Mary Ann Davison 2016-2020  Foundation Diocese of Salford Curriculum, Wellbeing  –  – 
Hilary Woodhead 2016-2020 Foundation Diocese of Salford Resources      
Fr Peter Kinsella 2019-2023  Foundation Diocese of Salford None  –  – 
Donna Kiernan 2018


Governing Board All  –  – 
Claire Wilkinson 4 years Elected Staff  Governing Board Curriculum, Wellbeing   –  –  – 
Deborah Singleton 2017-2021  Elected Parent Governing Board Resources –  – 
Kirsty Gosling 2015-2019 Elected Parent Governing Board Resources 
Philip Carr 2017-2021 LA Tameside LA Resources 

3. Governors who positions expired or who left during 2016-2017

Governor Appointment Information

Register of Interest

Governor Full Name

Date of Appointment

Date Ceased Office

Appointing / Elective Body

Relevant Business / Pecuniary Interests

Other Educational Establishments Governed

Material Relationships (with staff or governors)

Charlotte Conlon


Philip Jackson


Jennie Jackson


Paula Brannelly

Josie Fowler      

4. Governing Board Attendance Record

Governor Full Name       Meetings (P if Present, A if Absent)



Resources Curriculum GB Resources Curriculum GB Resources Curriculum GB
21.10.16  07.11.16 10.11.16 06.03.17  13.03.17  16.03.17  03.07.17 10.07.17 13.07.17 
Donal Townson (Chair) –  –     P  P
Lisa Thorley (Vice Chair) –  –     P  P
Elaine Heyes –  –   A    P
Lindsey Hammnett –  –     P  A
Mary Ann Davison –  –     P  A
Hilary Woodhead P –  –   P    P
Fr Peter Kinsella –  –  –  –       P
Helen Hayes  P  P
Claire Sumner –  –     P  P
Deborah Singleton –  –  –  –   P    P
Kirsty Gosling –  –   P    P
Philip Carr  –            

5. Meet The Governors

Donal Townson (Chair)

My name is Donal Townson and I am very pleased to be invited to be the Chair of Governors at St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Primary School.

For the past 24 years I have been the Deputy-Headteacher at St. John Fisher, and have taught in Tameside for the whole of the forty years of my teaching career. I was Secretary of the Tameside Catholic Schools’ Sports Association for twenty-five years and I am currently still serving as Secretary of the Tameside Schools’ Football Association after eleven years.

Having retired in Summer 2015 which was also the school’s Golden Jubilee Year, I was honoured to be invited to be a Governor and I am looking forward to bringing my many years of experience and skills to the role, to experiencing new challenges and to contributing to the excellent education and caring community already in place at St. John Fisher.

As deputy-headteacher and class teacher I always worked hard to make sure that every child received the very best opportunity to achieve their individual potential and I look forward to being a part of the excellent team at St. John Fisher who work so hard to make this happen.

Lisa Thorley (Vice Chair)

I have been on the governing body since 2012. As part of my role, I work closely with the whole governing body, to hold Mrs Hayes accountable in order to ensure the school has a clear vision and provides the very best education and opportunities for every child in the school. I myself am a primary school teacher and have a valuable insight into many of the issues that schools face, as well as being aware of the expectations. My own children also attend the school and therefore I have a vested interest in helping the school on their success journey.

Elaine Heyes

I’m Elaine Heyes one of your Foundation Governors

I am married with two children; I have a daughter at St Thomas More RC High School and a son at Audenshaw High school.

I am in my forties, and my background is that I have always worked for the NHS for many years, firstly worked many years as a support worker at Tameside Maternity Unit, Then I went on to work for the Health Visitors in Ashton Crickets Lane, currently I work with the School Nurse Team as a Family Health Mentor for Denton, Droylsden and Audenshaw Schools, that’s five high schools and 21 primaries we may go in, trying to promote Emotional Health and wellbeing for healthy lifestyles for better outcomes for children, young people and their families.

I attend St Mary’s RC Church Denton for mass on Sunday’s and on some occasions go to St John Fisher parish too.

I am on the Rota at St Mary’s for the children’s liturgy.

I believe that children are entitled to be taught a good education and faith messages no matter what the circumstances in their life or families’ life are, and they can be nurtured and helped to succeed to achieve their full potential in life.

I enjoy trying to keep fit doing Zumba classes once or twice a week, and I enjoy family time and my friend time, also social networking, that’s my background in a nutshell basically.

Lindsey Hammnett

My name is Lindsey Hamnett and I have recently been appointed as a Foundation Governor at St John Fisher R C Primary by the Bishop of Salford. My Job is to ensure that the school is conducted in accordance with the rites, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Faith.

I have been a part of the school/church community for 12 years volunteering at PTA events as well as being a Faith Friend helping out with the sacramental programme and the children’s chapel at St John Fisher Church.

Aimee and Harry, my 2 eldest children, attend St Thomas More. Charlotte is currently in reception here at school and Megan my youngest will start nursery here next September.

Having 4 children of my own I understand that every child is unique and special. I am eager to be part of a team that helps to ensure each pupil reaches their full potential.

Mary Ann Davison

My name is Mary Ann Davison and I am a Foundation Governor. In addition to holding the Headteacher to account and being a ‘critical friend’ to the school, in particular Foundation Governors are appointed on behalf of the Bishop of Salford Diocese to ensure the preservation of the school’s Catholic identity and character.

I joined the Board in 2012, and am currently enjoying my second term of office (each term of office lasts 4 years). I work at Manchester Grammar School on a part-time basis as the Archivist – this means I get to look after 500 years of the School’s history which is fascinating! I am also qualified in records management and so advise the School on related matters, including the Data Protection Act.

I have three daughters, two of whom attend St John Fisher. They have thrived in the St John Fisher community and I am proud to say that they attend the school. I am also proud to be a part of the Governing Body and am always happy to speak to anyone who has questions about the work of the Governors.

Hilary Woodhead

I am a retired Air Traffic Controller who moved to Haughton Green in 2011. After I was widowed in 2014 I wanted to give something back to the community which had given me so much support both as a newcomer and as a widow. Having a lifetime interest in education, it seemed a logical step to offer my time and services to St John Fisher Primary School. I was asked to become a Governor after a period of coming into school to help certain individual pupils. Having given the matter considerable thought, I accepted the request.

My other interests include music, travel and the natural world with a special interest in birds and mammals.

Donna Kiernan 

Interim Headteacher from 19th February 2018.

Claire Sumner

As a newly qualified teacher in 1997, I was delighted to be successful in gaining a teaching post at my old primary school, St John Fisher. I began my teaching career here in Year Two and during the years since, have also taught in all Key Stage Two classes. Currently I teach in Year Six, which I really enjoy. Within the school, I am subject leader for Literacy and Special Educational Needs. In my time here as a teacher, it has been lovely to see many ex- classmates who have returned to the school as parents. I was given an excellent start to my own education here at St John Fisher and am proud to be part of the St John Fisher family.

Kirsty Gosling

I’m delighted to be a parent governor here at St John Fisher. I have three children, Rosie who is  now in high school, Zachary who is in Year Four and Finley who is now in Reception. I am very passionate about all children having a positive experience throughout their education to prepare them as individuals for the world ahead. Which as a parent is my main drive to taking on this post. I am originally from the south coast in Sussex but came to Manchester in 2001 as a student to study a BA (hons) in Early Childhood Studies. Apart from two years where I had the privilege of living in New England in America serving a local church I have not returned to the south and have with my husband and children become in embedded here in Haughton Green. Up until having Finley I worked for Choices Community Trust which is a getting work ready charity based in Gorton my role was within the finance department. Currently I am a full-time parent but do volunteer one day a week at The Oasis Centre a community drop in centre also based in Gorton. I would love to however go back to my degree routes of Early Childhood Studies once Finley is safely packed off to school next September.

Philip Carr

My name is Philip Carr and I’m currently serving as the Local Authority Governor having previously served as a Parent Governor. I am a father of two children who have previously attended St. John Fisher R.C. Primary School,

After graduating from University, I have largely been employed in Sales positions for parcel carriers and then in the pharmaceutical industry. I finally left Sales to start up an estate agency, Red Roof Estates, which is currently mainly involved in property development.

My attitude to education and schooling is that it is an essential foundation that children will build on for the rest of their lives. But despite the importance of teaching key skills, such as literacy and numeracy and a host of other subjects, it is vital that school provides a warm, supportive atmosphere in which children can grow up in to becoming well-rounded individuals that are a credit to society. 

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