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.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A GOVERNING BODY?
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
OUR MISSION STATEMENT AT ST JAMES’S
"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
WHO MAKES UP THE GOVERNING BODY?
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.
HOW DOES THE GOVERNING BODY WORK?
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.
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
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.
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
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.
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.
Ann Edes – Foundation 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.
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
Ciaran Merrigan – Associate
Robert Razzell – Foundation 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
Stephen Wasmuth- Staff Governor – Y2 Teacher/Assistant Headteacher
Frank Glennon resigned October 2022
Edel Hindley resigned December 2022
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.
CommitteesGB Posts Held
|Date of First Appointment||End of Current Term of Office|
Meeting Attendance(*)(School year 2021-2022)
|Declaration of Business Interest|
F Cullasy Doran
Lydia Megan Cuddy-Gibbs nee Gibbs
Elizabeth Ann Edes
Pay & Personnel
Teaching, Learning & Assessment
MAT Working Party
Maiden name Harbison used professionally
Finance & Premises (Chair)
Safeguarding& Pupil Welfare
Julie Ann Key
Maiden name Rice used professionally
Finance & Premises
Pay & Personnel
Professional Learning & Outreach
MAT Working Party
Chair of the Governing Board
Dermott Michael Main Thompson
Pay & Personnel
IT Link Governor
Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Safeguarding & Pupil Welfare
Staff member at local primary school
Robert Steven Razzell
Nicola Sarah Richards
Maiden name Bell used professionally
Justin Matthew Ryan
Maiden name Oram used professionally
Carole Anne Tupper
Teaching, Learning & Assessment
(*) Total possible meeting attendance varies based on committee schedules
Updated: October 2022
Code of Conduct
How to contact us:
The school clearly outlines its preferred communication channels for parents.
Communication should follow this escalation:
Should you need to contact the governors having exhausted this escalation, contact should be made via email to the Clerk of Governors- firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to the Chair of Governors and handed into the school office.