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St James's Catholic Primary School

St James's Catholic Primary School

‘Put out into the deep’


Welcome to our Governors’ section. 

Please find below details of how our Governing body is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.


The DfE states that the key purpose of a Governing Body is to help schools provide the best possible education for pupils. Governing Bodies do this by:

  • Working with the Head Teacher and staff to set strategic aims for the school, based on its mission and strategies

  • Monitoring and evaluating performance, acting as a critical friend to the Head Teacher and Senior Management Team to support and challenge them in running the school

  • Ensuring that the school is accountable to the children and parents it serves, to its local community, to those who fund and maintain it, as well as to the staff it employs



"St James's is a Catholic School in which each individual grows in the knowledge and love of Christ. In partnership with parents and the whole community, our purpose is to provide a high standard of education, giving the maximum opportunity to realise each person's potential"

Our focus as a Governing Body is to strive to ensure that the school is able to deliver that mission. We therefore focus our attention on making sure that:

  • Every individual is able to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ

  • Children and staff have the maximum opportunity to realise their individual potential

  • The school provides a high standard and a broad based education

  • We work in partnership with parents, staff, the local community and other stakeholders in the interests of the children and the community we serve



The Governing Body is made up of a combination of the following:

Parent Governors (2) are elected by, and act as representatives of the parent body. They serve a term of four years with the next elections in October 2024.

Foundation Governors (10) are appointed by the RC Diocese of Westminster and serve for four years. Under Diocesan guidelines, only two foundation governors can be parents who have children currently attending the school.

Staff Governors (2) The Head teacher is a member of the governing body by virtue of his position. School staff elects one other staff governor.

Local Authority Governor (1) is nominated by the Local Authority (LA) and appointed by the governing body. Appointments are made on the basis of the individual’s interests and experience at work, home or elsewhere which may be relevant to being a governor.

Co-opted Governors (3) are appointed by the Governing Body. Appointments are made taking into account the skills required to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school. 



The Board of Governors administers business through five sub-committees.

  • The Admissions committee is chaired by Fiona Shepherd. The committee’s role is to set and annually review the school’s admissions policy to ensure compliance with legislation and the guidelines of the Diocese of Westminster. The committee checks all applications for entry to the school and prepares a ranked list of Reception applicants for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (LBRuT) who administer school place offers. The committee also processes Nursery applications, in-year admissions and prepares a response to any appeals.
  • The Finance committee is chaired by Edel Hindley. This committee is responsible for the strategic and efficient management of the school budget in line with the requirements set by the Local Authority and/or Department of Education. It regularly monitors expenditure and considers and approves budget priorities in order to ensure value for money. The finance committee also manages the Governors’ fund.
  • The Pay & Personnel committee is chaired by Ann Edes. The purpose of this committee is to ensure that all procedures relating to the recruitment, selection, appointment of staff and their related salaries comply with legislation and current LA guidelines. This includes review of the appropriate school policies, participation in interviews for new (and exiting) staff and in meetings relating to any disciplinary matters, as well as reviewing staffing structures with the Headteacher.  In addition, the committee is responsible with the Chair of Governors for undertaking the performance management of the Headteacher and ensuring that the school’s performance management policy is operating effectively.

  • The Safeguarding committee is chaired by Carole Tupper. Its purpose is to ensure the school is a safe and nurturing environment for all stakeholders. This includes child protection, school security and inclusivity.
  • The Teaching, Learning and Assessment committee is chaired by Robert Razzell. It forms the link between the governing body and teaching and learning in the school. The committee reviews and seeks to maintain and/or enhance standards within St James’s by assessing relevant subject and curriculum areas, including statutory assessment requirements. It reviews relevant data to monitor progress, set targets and review subsequent actions, giving regular feedback on school actions and their intended outcomes, and reflecting systematically on the effectiveness of teaching approaches. It aims to inform and involve governors on the progress of teaching and learning as outlined in the School Development Plan and individual subject plans.
  • In addition to the sub-committees, this year, some of the governors are involved in a working party organised by the Diocese of Westminster to consider implications of current educational strategic thinking around Multi-Academy Trusts.



Chair of Governors – Julie Key, Foundation Governor

Julie was a parent at St James’s School for eleven years, having had a daughter and a son in the school. Before giving up work to focus on family life, she was a forensic accounting partner in a large London accountancy firm. She serves the school as a foundation governor, having joined the board in September 2015, and shares the rest of her time between her family, being a member of the management committee of Malden Oaks School and Tuition Service, sitting on the Board of St Giles Trust, a national charity, and being a magistrate.

Committees: Finance & Premises; Pay & Personnel; MAT working party; Professional Learning & Outreach

GB Posts held: Chair of Governing Board


Ciaran Beatty – Staff Governor (Headteacher)

Committees: All committees


Claire Biagioni – Parent Governor

St James’s has been a part of Claire’s life for the last 8 years.  She has 2 daughters, one of which has now moved on to senior school and a second in Year 5.  Claire has been a primary school teacher for 23 years. Her teaching career is extensive, having worked in both private and state schools, as well as teaching in an international school in Rome for 2 years. Her most recent experience has been at St James’s, where she worked in Years 1 and 2 for 5 years. Last year, Claire reluctantly gave up her position to pursue a new business venture. However, children and their education are her passion and her ties to the school remain extensive where she continues to support the school on a voluntary basis.  

Committees: Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare; Admissions


Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs – Local Authority Governor

Lydia is a teacher and experienced school senior leader. Currently, she works as Head of EYFS for a large multi-academy trust. She lives in Twickenham with her young daughter, husband and two cats. In her spare time, Lydia enjoys baking and going to the theatre. Lydia is a parishioner of St Margaret of Scotland.  She joined the Governing Board in June 2020.

Committees: Admissions; Teaching, Learning & Assessment  

GB Posts Held: Early Years Link Governor; Inclusion Link Governor


F Cullasy-Doran - Co-opted Governor

They are currently training to be a Clinical Psychologist for the NHS at the University of Surrey. Prior to this they were working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Before pursuing their career in psychology they taught science to pupils from year three up to sixth form. In their spare time they love to read and travel as much as possible. They have three children, two of whom are at St. James’s. They were co-opted to the Board in November 2020.​

Committees: Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare

GB Posts Held: Diversity Link Governor


Neil D'Mello - Foundation Governor

Neil joined the Governing board in December 2021. His daughter attended St. James and he was keen to help and support the Governors board, as a foundation governor. He works for a large national independent insurance brokers, dealing with all types of clients. Neil lives locally in Teddington with his wife and daughter who has recently qualified from Nottingham University.   

Committees: Finance & Premises; Professional Learning & Outreach


Ann Edes – Foundation Governor

Ann joined the Governing Board in January 2014 and has served as Chair of the Pay and Personnel Committee and was Vice Chair of the Governing Board from Sept 2015 until Sept 2021. She has two grown-up daughters. Her professional career has been with a global management consultancy firm, with experience in the spheres of both finance and human resources. She now works on a part-time basis for a local charity, Home-Start, Richmond, Kingston & Hounslow. Ann is a parishioner of St Margaret of Scotland.

Committees: Admissions (Chair); Pay & Personnel (Chair)


Fiona Forrestal – Parent Governor

Fiona joined the Governing Board in July (or September) 2022 and has 2 daughters at St. James’s. She is originally from Ireland and has also lived and worked in Switzerland before settling in Twickenham. Her professional career is in drug development and she is currently a Director of Biostatistics for a biotechnology company. Her background in Mathematics and Statistics makes her passionate about promoting STEM to children from a young age, especially to girls. 

Committees: Finance & Premises; Admissions


Iain Hildreth - Co-opted Governor

Iain joined the Governing Board in 2022. A parent at St James for 15 years his daughters now attend Waldegrave and Tiffin School, with his son at University College London. He has worked in commercial, marketing and strategy leadership roles for listed and private-equity businesses in the UK and France, developing expertise in branding, communications and digital transformation. He has lived in the area since 1999, now in Hampton Hill.

Committees: Professional Learning & Outreach,(Chair): Pay & Personnel


Dermot Main Thompson – Foundation Governor

Dermot is barrister of Grayʼs Inn and a part-time judge (Recorder), originally allocated to the Western Circuit and now with more of a “roving brief”. He adjudicates in civil, criminal and family cases and is a Deputy High Court Judge of the Family Division. Born in the Garden of England to Irish parents (Tipperary and Offaly) he is a dual national, educated in Kent, by Berkshire Benedictines at Douai and at the University of Cambridge (MA and LLM). A Munster-supporting Harlequinsʼ season ticket holder and faithful aficionado of The Arsenal FC (44 years and long-time season ticket holder), he numbers travel, the theatre, the countryside and gardening amongst his interests. He is a French and Spanish speaker. Dermot has been a parishioner of St Jamesʼs for nearly 20 years and joined the Governing Board in June 2020. 

Committees: Admissions; Pay & Personnel


Ciaran Merrigan – Associate

Ciaran joined the board in October 2020 and has one son attending St James’s. He has worked in advisory roles across government and the private sector, including at the Department for Education: investigating and advising on reducing teacher and school burden and improving teacher recruitment and attainment, at the Home Office and GCHQ: providing technical leadership to encourage global technology firms to improve protection for children from online harm and with the Royal Navy: upskilling personnel with digital, data and technology skills and designing / building new digital services.  Ciaran is also a children’s football coach and life member of local sports club.  

Committees: Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare

BG Posts Held: IT Vision Link Governor


Vice Chair of Governors - Hilary O'Sullivan - Foundation Governor

Hilary has been a parishioner at St James church for over 20 years.  She is the parent of 3 children who all attended St James’s School between 2006 and 2017.  One of her children has SEND so she has a special interest in special education and inclusion.  Before her children were born, Hilary had a career in advertising.  Whilst her children were at St James' Hilary did a PGCE at St Marys and now teaches in a local primary school. Hilary joined the Governing Board in September 2020.

Committees: Admissions; Teaching, Learning & Assessment

GB Posts Held: Pupil Premium Link Governor


Robert Razzell – Foundation Governor

Robert joined the Governing Board in May 2019.  Robert has two daughters, the youngest of which is at St James’s.  He qualified as a chartered accountant at a Big 4 firm, and has since worked in both the private and public sectors, specialising in major projects and property, including the London Olympics and the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Committees: Finance & Premises; Teaching, Learning and Assessment (Chair),

GB Posts Held: Well-being Link Governor; RSE Link Governor


Justin Ryan – Foundation Governor

Justin joined the Governing Board in May 2019. He is a Fellow of the Australia & New Zealand Chartered Accountants & is a Project Director at the UK Endorsement Board, part of the Financial Reporting Council.  Justin has a daughter in year 6 at St James and lives in Strawberry Hill.

Committees: Finance & Premises; Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare

GB Posts Held: PFA Link Governor; Global Citizen Link Governor


Aileen Sharp – Clerk


Carole Tupper – Foundation Governor

Carole joined the Governing Board in April 2016. She qualified as a solicitor and worked in commercial property before having children. She now works as a Practice Manager for a firm of architects. Her two daughters attended Gumley House and the London Oratory – one is now working as a doctor and the other is training with Teach First.

Committees: Pay & Personnel; Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare (Chair)

GB Posts Held: RE Link Governor; Safeguarding Link Governor


Stephen Wasmuth- Staff Governor – Y2 Teacher/Assistant Headteacher

Committees: Teaching, Learning & Assessment; Admissions 


Governors who have stood down in last 12 months:

Nicola Richards resigned due to relocation November 2021

Fiona Shepherd resigned July 2022

Frank Glennon resigned October 2022

Edel Hindley resigned December 2022

Updated: January 2023


Details on Governors meeting attendance, terms of office and declaration of interest can be found here. 

Please note the data in the document below is for the academic year 2021/2022.




GB Posts Held
Date of First AppointmentEnd of Current Term of Office

Meeting Attendance(*)

(School year 2021-2022)
Declaration of Business Interest

Ciaran Beatty

All Committees

Sept 2020

Ex officio 



F Cullasy Doran

Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare

Diversity Link Governor

Nov 2020

Nov 2024



Lydia Megan Cuddy-Gibbs nee Gibbs

Teaching, Learning & Assessment

MAT Working Party

Early Years Link Governor

Inclusion Link Governor

June 2020

June 2024



Neil D'Mello

Finance & Premises

Professional Learning & Outreach
Nov 2021

Aug 2025



Elizabeth Ann Edes


Pay & Personnel

Jan 2014

Aug 2025



Fiona Forrestal

Finance & Premises

July 2022July 2026Newly appointedNone

Frank Glennon

Teaching, Learning & Assessment

MAT Working Party

Oct 2020

Oct 2024



Iain Hildreth

Pay & Personnel

Professional Learning & Outreach
July 2022July 2026Newly appointedNone

Edel Hindley

Maiden name Harbison used professionally

Finance & Premises (Chair)

Safeguarding& Pupil Welfare

Feb 2018

Aug 2024




Julie Ann Key

Maiden name Rice used professionally

Finance & Premises

Pay & Personnel

Professional Learning & Outreach

MAT Working Party

Chair of the Governing Board

Feb 2016

Aug 2023


Maiden Oaks School Governor

Dermott Michael Main Thompson


Pay & Personnel

June 2020

June 2024



Ciaran Merrigan

IT Link Governor

Oct 2020

Oct 2024



Hilary O’Sullivan

Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare

Vice Chair of the Pupil Premium Link Governor

Governing Board

Sept 2020

Aug 2024


Staff member at local primary school

Robert Steven Razzell

Finance & Premises

Teaching, Learning & Assessment (Chair)

MAT Working Party

Well-being Link Governor

RSE Link Governor

May 2018

May 2026



Nicola Sarah Richards

Maiden name Bell used professionally

Resigned 2021/22

July 2016

Aug 2023



Justin Matthew Ryan

Finance & Premises

Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare

PFA Link Governor

Global Citizen Link Governor

May 2018

Aug 2023



Fiona Shepherd

Maiden name Oram used professionally

Resigned 2021/22

Sept 2015

Aug 2025



Carole Anne Tupper

Pay & Personnel

Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare (Chair)

RE Link Governor

Safeguarding Link Governor

Apr 2016

Aug 2023



Stephen Wasmuth


Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Sept 2017

Jul 2025



(*) Total possible meeting attendance varies based on committee schedules 

Updated: October 2022

How to contact us:

The school clearly outlines its preferred communication channels for parents.


Communication should follow this escalation:

Class Teacher

Team Leader

Assistant Headteacher

Deputy Headteacher



Should you need to contact the governors having exhausted this escalation, contact should be made via email to the Clerk of Governors- or in writing to the Chair of Governors and handed into the school office.