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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 July 2020.

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 her 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. We currently have two Co-Opted Governors but the board can appoint up to three depending on whether there are specific skill-set gaps.



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 Nicola Richards. 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 Jane Palmer. 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 Liz Green. 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, sitting on the board of St Giles Trust, a national charity, and being a magistrate.

Committees: Finance, Pay & Personnel, MAT working party

GB Posts held: Chair of Governing Board


Ciaran Beatty – Staff Governor (Headteacher)

Committees: All committees


Peter Cousins – Foundation Governor

Peter joined the governing board in March 2018. He is a qualified accountant and works as a management consultant at one of the major multinational professional services firms. Peter has a young daughter and lives in St. Margaret’s.

Committees: Finance, Teaching, Learning & Assessment (Chair)

GB Posts Held: Pupil Premium Link Governor


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  



Mary Cunnane – Foundation Governor

Mary is a parishioner of St James’s parish and joined the governing board in June 2019. She has two adult daughters, who both attended St James’s school.  Mary was a support teacher, then Sendco, at St James’s for 11 years.  She now works independently as a home-based teacher and assessor for children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.  Her interests include reading, theatre, cinema, music, learning French, walking and travel

Committees: Safeguarding, Teaching, Learning & Assessment, MAT working party

GB Posts Held: Inclusion Link Governor


 Ann Edes – Foundation Governor

Ann joined the governing board in January 2014. 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 in a voluntary capacity for the Citizens Advice Bureau and Home-Start, Richmond. Ann is a parishioner of St Margaret of Scotland.

Committees: Admissions, Pay & Personnel

GB Posts Held: Vice Chair



Edel Hindley – Parent Governor

Edel has been a parent at St James for 6 years and has one daughter in the school. Edel was elected as a parent governor in January 2018 having recently completed 2.5 years as Chair of the PFA, and before that was a class rep and acting treasurer. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in her home city, Dublin, and worked in Central Europe for several years before moving to Twickenham. She is currently working in business process governance for a large multinational company.

Committees: Finance (Chair), Safeguarding

GB Posts Held: Sports Premium Link Governor


Dermot Main Thompson – Associate Member

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


Colin Messenger – Co-opted Governor

Colin’s two children were at St James’s during which time he was Chair of the PFA. His daughter is now a local primary school teacher. Colin’s work involves researching technology in schools across 70 countries. He was a member of the UK Government’s DfES’ Classroom of the Future Project and is a STEM Ambassador, where he visits schools enthusing on careers in Science and Technology.

Colin has a passion for cricket and is vice president of Twickenham Cricket Club, where he has been a coach for many years. Colin joined the governing board in March 2016.

Committees:  Admissions, Teaching, Learning & Assessment,

GB Posts Held: IT Vision Link Governor


Jane Palmer - Foundation Governor

Jane joined the governing board in September 2016. She is a qualified solicitor and following many years in private practice in both the City and Paris now works as legal counsel for a company supporting its European business. She lives in Teddington and enjoys travelling, theatre and spending time with family and friends. 

Committees: Safeguarding (Chair), MAT Working Party

GB Posts Held: Safeguarding & Looked After Children Link Governor


Robert Razzell – Co-Opted Governor

Robert joined the governing board in May 2019.  Robert has two daughters, both 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; Teaching, Learning and Assessment,

GB Posts Held: Mental Health & Well-being Link Governor


Nicola Richards - Foundation Governor

Nicola joined the governing board in September 2016. Originating from Cape Town, South Africa, she has lived in the UK for over 16 years and has moved to the Hampton area from St. Margaret’s. Nicola currently works as a Consultant Solicitor and her passions include playing tennis, watching rugby, fashion and technology. Nicola's legal career has spanned employment, HR, litigation and corporate immigration law and she plans to utilise these skills as a Foundation Governor. 

Committees: Pay & Personnel (Chair), Safeguarding


Justin Ryan – Foundation Governor

Justin joined the governing board in May 2019. He is a Fellow of the Australia & New Zealand Chartered Accountants & works as a management consultant in Insurance and Banking in the City of London.  Justin has two children at St James and lives in Strawberry Hill.

Committees: Finance & Safeguarding


Aileen Sharp – Clerk


Fiona Shepherd – Foundation Governor

Fiona joined the governing board in September 2015. She has a son at St James's. Fiona works part-time at the National Theatre as Technical Administration Manager.

Committees: Admissions (Chair)

GB Posts Held: PFA Link Governor, Environmental Link Governor


Claire Simms - Parent Governor

Claire was voted as a parent governor and began her governorship in September 2016. Claire has been a parent at St James's for 12 years and has five children. The three eldest are in secondary school and the other two are pupils at St James's. Before becoming a parent, Claire was a primary school teacher and Head of Science for 10 years.

Committees: Admissions, Teaching, Learning & Assessment


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 and are now at university.

Committees: Pay & Personnel, Safeguarding

GB Posts Held: RE Link Governor


Stephen Wasmuth- Staff Governor – Y3 Teacher

Committees: Teaching, Learning & Assessment 


Governors who have stood down in last 12 months:


Holly Moore – resigned December 2019

Louise Yarnell - resigned August 2020

Liz Green - end of term of office August 2020

Updated: September 2020








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



GB Posts Held

Date of First Appointment

End of Current Term of Office

Meeting Attendance(*)

(School year 2019-2020)

Declaration of Business Interest

Peter Cousins


Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Pupil Premium Link Governor

Mar 2018

Aug 2021



Lydia Megan Cuddy-Gibbs nee Gibbs


Teaching, Learning & Assessment
June 2020 June 2024 1/1 None

Mary Therese Cunnane


Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Inclusion Link Governor

MAT Working Party

June 2019

Jan 2022



Elizabeth Ann Edes


Pay & Personnel

Vice- Chair of Governing Board

Jan 2014

Aug 2021



Elizabeth Green

Teaching, Learning & Assessment (Chair)

MAT Working Party

Early Years Link Governor

Sept 2008

Aug 2020



Edel Hindley

Maiden name Harbison used professionally

Finance (Chair)


Sports Premium Link Governor

Feb 2018

Feb 2022




Julie Ann Key

Maiden name Rice used professionally


Pay & Personnel

MAT Working Party

Chair of the Governing Board

Feb 2016

Aug 2023



Dermott Michael Main Thompson


Pay & Personnel
June 2020 June 2024 Recently appointed None

Colin Henry Manwaring Messenger


Teaching, Learning & Assessment

IT Vision Link Governor

Mar 2016

Aug 2021



Holly Moore

Resigned December 2019





Jane Ann Palmer

Safeguarding (Chair)

MAT working party

Safeguarding & Looked After Children Link Governor

Sept 2016

Aug 2020



Robert Steven Razzell


Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Mental Health & Well-being Link Governor

May 2018

May 2022



Nicola Sarah Richards

Maiden name Bell used professionally

Pay & Personnel (Chair)


July 2016

Aug 2023



Justin Matthew Ryan



May 2018

Aug 2023



Fiona Shepherd

Maiden name Oram used professionally

Admissions (Chair)

PFA Link Governor  & Environmental Link Governor

Sept 2015

Aug 2021



Claire Louise Simms

Also known by maiden name, Scholes


Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Sept 2016

Aug 2020



Carole Anne Tupper

Pay & Personnel


RE Link Governor

Apr 2016

Aug 2023



Stephen Wasmuth

Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Sept 2017

Aug 2021



Louise Yarnell

All Committees

Sept 2016

Ex officio



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

Updated: September 2020

How to get hold of us.

If you have any issues, concerns or want to ask any questions you can get hold of us through one of the following means: