A Message from our Chair of Governors
St Mary’s is fortunate in having a strong tradition of local governance. That strength derives from the commitment of the local community, principally the local parishes of Holy Spirit, Marple and St Mary’s, Marple Bridge, and the parents of pupils at the school: at any given time, the Local Governing Body comprises four Foundation Governors appointed by Nottingham Diocese, and two Parent Governors elected by the parents.
Since St Mary’s became an academy as part of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi-Academy Trust, responsibility for staffing and finance has largely passed to the Trust Board. Nevertheless, the Local Governing Body retains an important function as a bridge between the Trust and the school, and between the school and the local community. As the Trust puts it, the Local Governing Body, as a committee of the Trust Board, is the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Trust and a significant resource for monitoring how the school is progressing.
The Trust expects the Local Governing Body to have a significant role, in particular, in promoting and developing the Catholic life of the school; monitoring the School Development Plan; supporting and challenging the Head Teacher; maintaining and developing relationships with staff, parents and the parishes; and ensuring arrangements for safeguarding pupils and staff meet, and if possible go beyond, statutory requirements.
Despite the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic, the Local Governing Body has continued to meet twice each term and to maintain close contact through the Chair with the Head Teacher. Current priorities are reflected in the identification of individual members of the Local Governing Body as ‘link governors’ for Special Educational Needs, Pupil Premium, Safeguarding, Data Protection and Catch-Up Funding (following the pandemic).
Although some governors serve just one term of three or four years, others remain in post for successive terms. Regular renewal of membership is important for maintaining a representative and diverse range of perspectives. The overriding aspiration is to serve the interests of the school community, whilst retaining a friendly and supportive environment in which governors can make their own distinctive contributions.
If anyone is ever interested in finding out more about the role of the Local Governing Body or in becoming a Foundation or Parent Governor, they should feel free to contact me through School Reception.
Chair of Governors