St John Fisher RC Primary School

Come Follow Me and I Will Make You Fishers of Men

Manor Road, Manchester, Lancashire, M34 7SW, United Kingdom


‘Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men’As we walk in the footsteps of Jesus we let our FAITH shine through our prayers, thoughts, words and actions.We welcome you as we would welcome our friends and family with LOVE, respect and compassion.We seek to be the best in all that we learn and do, showing creativity, self-belief and PASSION for learning and life.We will have COURAGE to change the world for the good of others and be proactive in protecting all of God’s creation. FAITH LOVE PASSION COURAGE

Meet the Governors

Co-Chairs of GovernorsDonal Townson & Nicola Duffy

Co-Vice Chairs of Governors: Lindsey Hamnett & Niall Johnson 

Donal Townson 

Having spent 40 years, before retiring, teaching in primary schools in Tameside, including twenty-four at St. John Fisher RC Primary,  I wanted to use my classroom and senior management experience in service and support for a school which operated with a philosophy that held those things as important which were close to my heart, such as a real partnership aimed at all children achieving their potential through delivering a wide curriculum, including excellent extra-curricular sporting provision – St. John Fisher is such a school.

I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in 2015 by Fr. Peter and have just signed up for another four years term of office because the school is on such an exciting journey with Headteacher, Mrs. Harris and her dedicated staff and I would like to be part of it. I’m the Chair of Governors for 2019-2020.

Since 2015, I have completed a wide range of Diocesan, LA and NGA training courses to enable me to support and challenge the Headteacher in terms of achieving the best possible outcomes for all pupils. In 2017, I completed the National Governors’ Association’s Chair of Governors Leadership Development Programme. I’m also a member of the Tameside Schools’ Forum, Tameside Governors’ Forum and the Tameside Children’s Working Group.

In addition to my governance duties, I’m a member of the parish leadership team, the parish social group, the parish global healing group, Secretary of Tameside Schools’ FA, a keen supporter of non-league football, a regular walker with the Tameside Ramblers and, finally, a family man with three children and a recent grandfather, with the arrival of our first grandson, which has given me great joy. A second grandchild is due in April 2020. D.V.

Mandy Harris

 I am very proud to be the Headteacher at St John Fisher RC Primary School. I came here in September 2018 from St Catherine's RC Primary School in Didsbury, where I was the Deputy Headteacher for four and a half years. I have taught for 27 years and have experience ranging from Year 1 right through to year 6. My favourite subject is Maths and I still love to teach it. I have lots of experience in curriculum development and assessment and quality first teaching. All of which are skills I share with the staff here at St John Fisher. I have also previously been the Teacher representative on the governing body. 

I have four children all of whom were educated in the catholic sector and I am committed to developing the faith life of our school in conjunction with the academic. Developing the whole child and helping them to be ready for the next stage in their lives is an important part of our job. 

I am passionate about education and am dedicating to making St John Fisher the best Catholic Primary School it can be. 


Lindsey Hamnett

I am a Foundation Governor appointed 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 16 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.

I am a stay at home mother to 4. My eldest, Aimee is currently studying A-levels at college. My son Harry is at secondary school and my youngest two daughters, Charlotte and Megan attend St John Fisher.

Having four children of my own I understand that every child is unique and special. I volunteered to be part of the governing body to ensure each pupil reaches their full potential at this school.


Claire Higgins

My appointment as Local Authority Governor commenced in March 2019 and I attended my first Governors meeting that month.  My two boys attend St John Fishers and I am very keen to support St John Fishers to perform as well as they can to provide an outstanding level of education to young children.  I look forward to the challenge ahead.

I have 20 years’ experience in postgraduate medical education as a Specialty School Manager for the Schools of Medicine and Surgery at Health Education England (formally the North Western Deanery).  This role provided invaluable insight in to monitoring standards and ensuring appropriate recommendations were set and delivered by the Specialty Training Committees and Hospital Trusts to improve training opportunities.  I very much see this as transferable to the role of LA Governor.  From January 2018 I became a Co-Director and Business Manager of my parent’s business, upon their retirement, with my husband Keith.  I am particularly interested in finance, attendance, performance, health and safety, risk assessments and ensuring that policies and procedures reflect any changes in legislation. 

Outside of work I enjoy being with my family, supporting my boys with their many hobbies, holidaying and being a member of a running club.


Nicola Duffy

I am a Foundation Governor at St John Fisher and have been since November 2018

I was born and raised in the parish and attended both St John Fisher and St Thomas More schools.

Both of my children are currently following the same educational path and they have been very happy and active in the school community.

My career background is in both Audit and Management Accounting, which helps with the financial and resources side of my governing duties. I currently work for an insurance company which, as a part of the financial services sector, is highly regulated and this insight into needing robust policies and procedures in place also helps with my role as a governor.

I am keen to support the school and to help ensure that the children have every opportunity to achieve their full potential. Being able to give something back to St John Fisher, which has played such an important role in my family and been a great source of pride to me, is something I am very passionate about.


Niall Johnson

It is a privilege to be appointed as a Foundation Governor at St John Fisher. Having lived in Haughton Green since a child and having been a former pupil of St John Fisher and St Thomas More, I know the local community well. I am a Teacher of Religious Education and Head of Year 8 at St Thomas More. I work in an outstanding department and have been part of an outstanding section 48 inspection. My curriculum and teaching and learning experience and knowledge of the spiritual life of Catholic Schools will be valuable in ensuring that the children of St John Fisher receive a Catholic education that allows them to leave as rounded individuals, equipped with the skills and knowledge to face an ever-changing world.

Maria Higgins

It is a privilege to be appointed by Bishop John Arnold (Salford) as Foundation Governor at St John Fisher.  Although I am a relatively newcomer to the parish, I have helped to lead the music at Sunday Mass for some time now and encouraged the school children to partake in action songs and play percussion instruments during the liturgy.  I am a Eucharistic minister and I have also played an active role in the parish ‘Live Simply Award’ which was achieved during Covid-19.  This Cafod award involved liaising with our two parish primary schools as well as St Thomas More and as a governor of St John Fisher, I am keen to look at ways this work can be embedded further and observe the sense of responsibility that the children have in caring for the world around them.

I am a retired teacher. Eight years of my career were spent in Primary Education and the other thirty years in teaching adult Literacy/English in many different settings and communities across Tameside and North Manchester.  This knowledge and experience taught me the importance of a rounded education particularly at an early age when the foundations are laid.  As a governor, I welcome being part of a team that monitors and evaluates the school’s progress towards achievement ensuring the best for each child.  

 Finally, the effect that Covid-19 has had on children’s lives is yet to be fully realised as the school reopens.  The loss of education in the classroom and the lack of interaction between the children are just two examples that have had a massive impact on our young.  As a governor I welcome the opportunity to support staff as they tackle the many problems they face at this time.


Ryan Bardsley

It was a proud moment to be elected as the new Staff Governor for St John Fisher RC Primary School. I have worked in St John Fisher since 2013 delivering Physical Education and School Sport and I am currently also responsible for co-ordinating Educational Visits and Extracurricular Activities. St John Fisher has a rich history of sporting success and I am very proud that the school has been able to build on that history in the past couple of years. 


Outside of school, I am a keen sportsman who plays regular recreational Football and I also play Cricket for Denton Cricket Club where I am also the Deputy Child Welfare Officer.


Manor Road, Manchester, Lancashire, M34 7SW, United Kingdom