Our Governors

St Mary's Governors

What do we do?

Governors make collective decisions. Our main purpose is to help raise the educational standards and performance of St Mary's School by challenging and supporting the work of the Headteacher and school staff. We ensure that the school runs effectively, that quality teaching and learning is happening across the school, that the budget is spent wisely and that St Mary's provides good value for money.

We make strategic decisions on how the school is run and are answerable to parents, the wider community and most importantly the children who attend St Mary's. We govern rather than manage, giving direction and focus. The management of the school remains the responsibility of the Headteacher. We are responsible for:

  • Appointing all staff and ensuring the implementation of a range of personnel procedures.
  • Managing the school's budget.
  • Determining aims, policies and priorities for St Mary's.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the work of the school and setting targets.
  • Ensuring high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour.
  • Ensuring that all children in the school have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, suitable to age, aptitude and ability, which prepares them for adult life.
  • Ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff.

We meet 3 times annually, once each term. In addition to these full Governing Body meetings our committees also meet at least once a term. The committees are Learning and Teaching, Finance, Pay and Personnel and Premises, Health and Safety. These committees discuss items in depth and make recommendations to the full governing body.

Who are we? The St Mary's Governing Board is made up of the following governor positions:

1 Head teacher, who is an ex officio governor.

1 Staff Governor, who can be a teacher or other member of staff employed by the school and is elected to the governing board by all staff.

6 Co-opted Governors who are appointed by the governing board. They bring a wide range of skills and expertise to the governing board. 

3 Foundation Governors who are appointed by the Diocese of Oxford.  Foundation governors have a special care for the Christian character of a Church of England school.

1 Local Authority (LA) Governor who is appointed by the LA which maintains the school. They do not work for the LA but are people who live or work locally and are interested in supporting a local school. LA governors bring different perspectives to the governing board.

3 Parent Governors who are voted onto the governing board by other parents of children who attend the school. Parent governors play an important role in shaping the education and experience of children at St Mary's.

1 Clerk provided by Bucks Learning Trust, who is an integral part of the governing board, although not entitled to vote. The clerk's role is to minute meetings, prepare agendas and give advice on the regulatory and administrative framework that governors work within.

 

Alison Weaver

Chair of Governors

Governor’s full name: Mrs Alison Weaver
Roles and Responsibilities: Chair of Governors, Child Protection Governor, SEND governor,
Committees: Learning & Teaching, Finance, Pay and Personnel, Premises, Health & Safety
Date of appointment: 1/9/2013
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Foundation Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100%
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100%
Alison Weaver, Chair of Governors
I moved to Fairford Leys in 2000 and since then both my children attended St Mary’s School. I am a primary school teacher in a local faith school where I currently work part time 2 days each week. Previously I was a staff governor at that school for 4 years before being appointed by the Diocese of Oxford as a Foundation Governor at St Mary’s school. During my time as a governor at St Mary’s I have met with Ofsted during the most recent inspection, been SEND and Pupil Premium governor, Chair of the Learning & Teaching committee and Vice Chair of Governors. I completed the Chair of Governors Leadership Development Programme before being appointed Chair of Governors.
I am a dedicated governor who is passionate about making sure that all children receive a high quality, enjoyable primary education - especially those children who are in the most vulnerable of circumstances. As governors it is our duty and responsibility to support and challenge our school leaders to ensure that every child in our school community has the opportunity to develop their full potential, not just in terms of academic ability but also through the values embedded in our school ethos that enable our children to become caring and compassionate individuals.

Robert Brown

Vice Chair

Governor’s full name: Mr Robert Brown
Roles and Responsibilities: Vice Chair of Governors, Chair of Premises, Health & Safety Committee, Health & Safety Governor
Committees: Finance, Pay and Personnel, Premises, Health & Safety
Date of appointment: 27/01/16
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Co-opted Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): Sibling is employed in school office.
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100 %
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100 %

I have worked in Property and Facilities Management and commercial building maintenance for the last 17+ years. I have held senior positions within large commercial property management companies and also ran my own Facilities Management business for 6 years. Currently I am taking some time out and looking at various opportunities for my next career move, but whilst I now have some free time, I am keen to play an active role as a Governor.
My sister currently works in the school office and my 2 nephews attend St Mary's so I have always been keen to give something back to the school and the community and support the development and growth of the school. I also live on Fairford Leys and moved to Aylesbury, from Swansea, in 2001
I was recently appointment Vice Chair of the Governing Body and am looking forward to working with and supporting our new Chair and also the Head Teacher in the continued growth of the school
I am also involved in the Finance committee and the Premises and H&S committee and feel I can bring a lot of experience to these particular areas.
I am keen for the school to reach its full potential and for the Governors to all play their role and for our Governing Body to be a professional and active group that is committed to the continued development of our school.

Ken Baldwin

Parent Governor

Governor’s full name: Mr Ken Baldwin
Roles and Responsibilities: Sports Premium Governor
Committees: Finance, Pay and Personnel, Learning & Teaching
Date of appointment: 27/01/16
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Parent Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100%
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: n/a
We moved to Fairford Leys in 2007 and have two children who attend St Mary’s School; Elly in 4T and Thomas in RL. The Sales Director for the UK division of OPEN MIND Technologies, a worldwide CADCAM software vendor based in Munich, I manage a team of sales people, where I set and expect high standards and outcomes.
At home, I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. I run and cycle, each year setting myself new challenges; 2013 was a 24-hour bike ride from Manchester to London with 2014 and 2015 cycling from London to Paris in under 24-hours, unsupported. In October 2015 I ran my first marathon in Amsterdam. I relish the challenge of pushing limits and getting out of my comfort zone.
Through becoming a governor, I want to be part of a team responsible for enabling all St Mary’s children to achieve, through offering support and challenge to move the school forwards on its journey towards Outstanding.

Suzy Clark

Co-opted Governor

Governor’s full name: Mrs Suzy Clark
Committees: Learning & Teaching
Date of appointment: 9th Feb 2017
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Community Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): Employed as a Teaching Assistant at the school
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: N/A
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: N/A
Whilst growing up in London, I never thought I would move away from the hustle and bustle of city life. However, in 2001 my husband and I moved to Fairford Leys, where we began to raise our daughter, in a community that we have grown to love. As she is now about to attend university I feel that I would like to support the development and growth of the school which has been part of our lives for so many years.
My career started in Barclays Bank where I worked for twelve years. I carried out a range of duties from working on the tills to personal banking. After starting my family, I decided I wanted to re-train and began to work with children. While working for the local pre-school, I developed in my role from a general practitioner, to deputy leader and then finally to the pre-school leader - six years later. During this time I studied for my level 2 Certificate in ‘Pre-school Practice’ which I attained in September 2004. I then moved on to gain an NVQ3 in ‘Early Years Care and Education’ in January 2006.
I started working as a Teaching Assistant at St Mary’s in September 2007 and have worked in a range of year groups since starting. I am currently in year six where I support the children in moving on to their secondary schools and help to ensure they achieve their full potential. I feel privileged to be part of a child’s primary education, in a school where they are provided with an enriching and safe environment where they are able to learn, develop and grow. Within the school I am also the ‘Pupil Voice.’ This means I work regularly with the school’s Junior Leadership Team, House Captains, Junior Road Safety Officers and run the Playground Squad. This allows me to ensure that the children of St Mary’s are involved in the running, improving and development of their school.
As a newly elected governor, who is part of the Teaching and Learning Committee, I am passionate about children’s education. I am looking forward to being part of a team which ensures the children of St Mary’s school receive an education which allows them to flourish and become rounded individuals.

Patricia Gurton

Headteacher

Governor’s full name: Mrs Patricia Gurton
Roles and Responsibilities: Head teacher
Committees: Learning & Teaching, Finance, Pay and Personnel, Premises, Health & Safety
Date of appointment: Sept 2011
Term of office: N/A
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Head teacher
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100%
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100%
Patricia Gurton
Headteacher

I joined St Mary’s as Headteacher in September 2011. I began my teaching career in 1988 in the London Borough of Harrow. Following a career break I joined the staff of Haydon Abbey School in Aylesbury in 2000. I subsequently worked at Winslow CE Combined School as Key stage Two Leader, at Bearbrook Combined School as Deputy Headteacher and then at Wingrave CE combined School as the Headteacher.
I am proud to be Headteacher of this school where the needs of the children always come first. Together with our Governors I am committed to ensuring that the school continues to improve and strive for excellence and I am very excited about leading the school on the next step of our upward journey.

Andrew Harris

Community Governor

Governor’s full name: Mr Andrew Harris
Roles and Responsibilities: Pupil Premium Governor
Committees: Learning & Teaching
Date of appointment: 28/09/2016
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Co-opted governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: N/A
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: N/A

Andrew Harris
Pupil Premium Governor
I have been a secondary school teacher since 2010 and currently hold the post of Head of Year. Prior to teaching, I worked within the Ministry of Defence and for the Northern Ireland Office. My interests lie in the field of teaching and learning and maximising progress for all pupils.

Anthony Howells

LA Governor

Governor’s full name: Mr Anthony Howells
Roles and Responsibilities: Development Governor, Numeracy Governor, RE Governor
Committees: Learning & Teaching
Date of appointment: 18/5/2016 (as LA governor) completed 1 previous term of office
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): LA Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100 %
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 60%
I was appointed as a Governor of St. Mary’s when I took up the role of Minister of The Church on Fairford Leys in September 2010. I served as a Community Governor for 10 years in my previous post. I have always had close links with the primary schools in my community, and have fostered good relationships between the organisations. I lead the collective worship assembly at the school on most Thursday afternoons and this gives me another opportunity to meet pupils and staff.
Before Ordination I trained in Electronic Engineering and worked for a number of software companies, before moving into IT systems in the financial sector. I retain an interest in IT and technology and support the school in the provision of high quality and innovative teaching resources.
I act as the link Governor for numeracy, as I have a particular interest in maths and science. I attend the Learning and Teaching committee, the Strategic working group, and joined other Governors at the 2015 meeting with Ofsted inspectors.
I am keen to ensure that the school provides opportunities for children to explore a wide range of learning experiences; I believe music in schools is something that should be better resourced nationally, and I hope to be involved personally in the development of the St. Mary’s chess club.

Radha Kotyankar

Parent Governor

Governor’s full name: Mrs Radha Kotyankar
Roles and Responsibilities:
Committees: Learning & Teaching (as of 18/5/2016)
Date of appointment: 27/01/16
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Parent Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 50%
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: N/A

Alice Tame

Staff Governor

Governor’s full name: Miss Alice Tame
Roles and Responsibilities: Staff Governor
Committees: Premises, Health & Safety
Date of appointment: November 2016
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Staff Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: N/A
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: N/A
I joined St Mary's in September 2015 as a reception class teacher, after completing my training at Oxford Brookes University as an Early Years specialist teacher. Prior to my PGCE teacher training, I studied at Nottingham Trent University for my BA Hons degree in Early Childhood Studies.
Outside of school I enjoy cooking and trying new arts and crafts projects. During the school holidays I like to travel and explore new places abroad or in the UK, with my friends and family.

Donna Riley

Foundation Governor

Governor’s full name: Mrs Donna Riley
Roles and Responsibilities: Chair of Learning & Teaching Committee, Literacy Governor
Committees: Learning & Teaching
Date of appointment: 11/5/2015
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Foundation Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100 %
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 80 %
Hello, my name is Donna Riley and I was appointed by the Oxford Diocese as a Foundation Governor in May 2015. This is my first experience of being part of a governing body and I very much look forward to working with the governors, staff, parents and pupils at St Mary’s School.

I have been part of St Marys Church in Aylesbury for over twenty years. During that time I have been involved in many aspects of church life. Currently I am a Eucharistic Minister, Server, Electoral Roll Officer, part of the Sunday School Team and the ‘Bloomers’ (flower arrangers).

I live on Fairford Leys with my husband and son. My son is now nearly 22 years old, so I have experienced the education system from start to finish! Choosing schools, SATS, 11+, GCSE’s, A levels and selecting universities.

My working life started in the Personnel department of a large company then moved on to Social Services working with adults with learning disabilities. Currently I work as a Teaching Assistant in a local primary school.

I hope to bring a wide range of skills and experience; I am looking forward to being part of a hardworking and successful team which benefits the pupils at St Marys School.


Chris Umpleby

Parent Governor

Governor’s full name: Mr Chris Umpleby
Roles and Responsibilities: Equality Governor, PSHE Governor
Committees: Finance, Pay and Personnel, Premises, Health & Safety
Date of appointment: 1/12/2013
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Parent Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 66%
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 83 %
I am the deputy duty officer for a police force, controlling and overseeing all the incidents and events that arise within the organisation from a strategic tactical and operational level. Previous to this I served as an Operational Commander on the Tactical Firearms Team.

As a child I was privileged to live in Liberia West Africa and attended an international school. This gave me a good insight how different cultures and backgrounds can come together in a supportive and learning environment.

This is my second year on St Mary’s Governing Body and am currently the Chair of the Finance Committee, Health & Safety and PSHE, where my understanding of budgets and purchasing within the public sector gained during my service are put to good use.

As a parent governor I am keen to ensure the school provides the best possible education for my own children and the children of Fairford Leys. St Mary’s was initially formed as a school for the community. I strongly support this ethos and recognise the diverse and eclectic make up of Fairford Leys and St Mary’s communities. Unfortunately in my professional career I have seen and experienced the negative and destructive results when children do not receive a good education and traditional values are ignored.

I am keen to maintain the momentum gained following the recent Ofsted inspection and strive to ensure that our school continues to develop. We will be working hard towards our next goal to become an “outstanding school”. This goal is definitely achievable but the journey towards “outstanding” will require whole community involvement (Staff, Governing Body, Parents and Children) to work together in order to do so.

Lorraine Wilde

Community Governor

Governor’s full name: Mrs Lorraine Wilde
Roles and Responsibilities: EYFS Governor, Chair of Finance, Pay & Personnel
Committees: Learning & Teaching (from September 2016) Finance, Pay and Personnel, Premises, Health & Safety
Date of appointment: 30/9/2015
Term of office: 4 years
Appointed by the governing body (in accordance with the governing body’s instrument of government): Co-Opted Governor
Relevant business and pecuniary interests (as recorded in the register of interests: None
Governance roles in other educational institutions: None
Relationships between other governors or school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives): None
Attendance record at governing body meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100 %
Attendance record at committee meetings over academic year 2015/2016: 100 %

When my husband and I moved to Fairford Leys a number of years ago I decided that I would like to become involved in St Mary’s school. The success of the school is, after all, one of the reasons we have chosen to raise a family in the area.
For many years I took my own education for granted but I have since seen the affect a poor education can have on a child. As a result I am now passionate about the provision of a good education for every child and I wanted to volunteer my services to help achieve that goal in any way I can.
I strongly believe that schooling is not just about educating a child in an academic sense, but also about providing a safe and familiar environment for them to learn important social skills, have memorable experiences and grow into well rounded people.
I have a young child who is not yet of school age and I hope to play an active part in her education when the time comes. As such I recognise the importance of the relationship between the governors the school and the parents.
Having trained and practiced in London as a solicitor for 10 years, I recently joined the property department of an Aylesbury firm. This saving in travel time enables me to spend more time with my family, and to commit time to my role within the governing body.
It has been an honour to be appointed to the board of governors and I am excited about the challenges ahead in helping the school achieve an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating

Misbah Shah

Co-opted Governor