The Governing Body of St Mary’s School works together as a team, under the leadership of the Chair of Governors. It makes decisions which are in the long-term best interests of the pupils. The aim is to provide sound and efficient governance/leadership, working in partnership with the Headteachers and their staff. Our ultimate aim is to make this the best school it can be for our wonderful pupils and enable them to be the best they can be.

The Governing Body consists of 12 Governors (Foundation Governors, Parent Governors, Staff Governor, Headteachers as Ex Officio, Local Governor and a Co-opted Governor). Apart from the headteachers, they serve for 4 years.

The Governing Body conducts the majority of its work through committees:

Learning & Achievement

Finance and Audit 

Governors are responsible for conducting regular monitoring visits to school, which focus on specific areas of the School Improvement Plan or areas of statutory responsibility.

There are clear boundaries between the role of the Governing Body and the Headteachers.

The focus for our Governing Body is threefold.

  • Ensuring that our school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction (what kind of school we are, what kind of school we want to be and how we get there)
  • Holding our Headteachers to account for the educational performance of the school (making sure that all our pupils achieve in whatever way they can)
  • Ensuring the school’s resources are used in a sound, proper and efficient manner (we are doing the best we can with public funds)

The Headteachers are responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school, in addition to the educational performance of the school.


Should you wish to see any of the minutes from the governors meetings, please contact Linda Callaghan, the clerk to the governors, via email:


Our Governors

Chair of Governors: Mr Paul Drake

Local Governor

Register of Interests: Governor of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

I am delighted to be involved with the Governance of St Mary’s Catholic Primary, working alongside other governors and school staff. We are all totally committed to providing the best possible education for each and every child in the school, work which we undertake in partnership with parents and carers.

My background involves a number of years of senior management experience in the education sector from Early Years right through to Sixth Form. Prior to this I worked in the IT industry for 13 years.

I have undertaken governing duties for the past 10 years and have served as both a Foundation and a Parent Governor. In April 2014 I was appointed as the Local Authority Governor for St Mary’s and was elected Chair in September 2015. On conversion to an Academy Trust in 2017, I became the Local Governor appointed directly by the Governing Body. I also serve as a Co-opted Governor for St Joseph’s Primary School in Greenwich.

As Chair I endeavour to make sure that the work of the governing body is efficiently and effectively undertaken, and is focused at all times on enabling all our pupils to achieve their best.

I can be contacted via the School office


Vice Chair of Governors: Mr Gary Farrelly

Also vice chair of St Thomas More governing body

Foundation Governor 

I have been associated with St Mary's for many years. Both my children attended and then transferred to St Thomas More. I am a parishioner at Christchurch with a strong background in Finance. I am the Vice Chair and lead the Resources.


Headteachers: Clare Phipps and Jonathan Sims

Ex Officio

Since September 2018, a member of the Governing Body by virtue of position in the school

As Headteachers of the school, we are determined that each child is given the maximum opportunity to realise their potential. With Christ at our centre, our purpose is to create a culture of high expectations where children and staff can excel. 

We aim to provide a high-quality education for all, that is broad and balanced, where creativity and personality are allowed to shine; where perseverance and resilience are developed. 


Fr John Fricker

Foundation Governor

Also serves as governor of St Thomas More

I am the Parish Priest at Christchurch and sit on the Governing Bodies at both St Mary's and St Thomas More. I regularly work with the children and teachers to ensure there are strong links.


Mrs Fay Gosbee

Foundation Governor

Register of Interests: Owner of EAS Interiors LTD. Family member works at school.

I have sat as a Governor for many years. My own children and grandchildren attended St Mary's so I want the very best for the school. I have held many positions on the Governing Body and constantly seek value for money.


Sr Chris Bendin

Foundation Governor

Register of Interests: Institute of Our Lady of Mercy which leases the property to the Diocese

St Mary’s began as a school run by Sisters of Mercy. Although we are no longer in a teaching role, the Convent is situated on site which means that the Sisters are still able to be involved in the life of the school. We are very proud of St Mary’s.

In my role as SEND Governor I have a particular care for children with special educational needs or disabilities. It is important that the decisions we make are always in the best interests of all pupils. I am passionate that every child at St Mary’s achieves his or her potential which is why I do everything I can to support the dedicated work of our SENCo and her team. I also encourage the school to develop its links with the local community.


Mrs Claire Good

Foundation Governor

Register of Interests-None declared

I have longstanding links with St Mary’s through my children and felt I should use my skills and passion for education to further benefit the school and become actively involved. Being a Governor is an opportunity to fully understand the inner workings of a school and to work as part of a team whose job is to ensure the school delivers the best possible outcomes for all the children on the school roll in a happy and safe learning environment.


Ms Mary Duffy

Parent Governor

Register of Interests-None declared

Two of my children attend St Mary's and I feel it is my privilege and duty to give my full support to the school.  In order for each child to reach their capability we must, as parents, teachers and governors endeavour to help them grow to be confident young adults with a sense of purpose and community. 

My role as a Parent Governor is to support and maintain a caring and safe environment, whilst upholding our Gospel principles for the children of St Mary's and to strive for each child to fulfil their potential.


Mrs Michelle Robinson

Foundation Governor

Register of Interests-None declared 

I became a Parent Governor in 2015 as I wanted to be more involved in supporting the school both now and in the future. I attended this school and now have a daughter who attends St Mary's.

I have been a Social Worker for the last 12 years and through my work, been involved in both safeguarding issues as well as planning and commissioning. As a result, I feel that I have the necessary skills to benefit the Governing Body and the school as a whole.


Mrs Jacqueline Hansen

Staff Governor

Register of Interests: None declared. 

I have now been teaching for over thirty years with the last thirteen spent here at St. Mary’s. I have taught in all year groups and am currently teaching in Year 2. I am the Key Stage 1 leader and also have responsibility for English teaching across the school.

I feel strongly that we should provide all children with a creative curriculum where individual strengths are recognised and fostered. It is essential that all our children make academic progress but this should always be within a caring and supportive environment with Christ and his teachings at the centre of all that we do.


John Duffy

Foundation Governor

Register of Interests: None declared.

I have four children who went to St Mary's between 1996 and 2012.They all had a great time  at the school and it was a perfect start to education for them.

As a family we are very grateful to have such a good school in our parish and  community, so I wanted to get involved as a foundation governor to give something back.I work in construction and would like to use my experience to help where I can.


Deirdre Michalakis

Foundation Governor

My background is in catering and my family have been involved in the restaurant business for over 30 years. 

My youngest daughter attended St Mary’s when we moved to Eltham whilst my older children went to St Winifred’s in Lee.I have been a catechist at Christchurch for the First Holy Communion programme for the last eight years. Therefore, I have a connection to the children attending St Mary’s. 

I hope to contribute in anyway I can as a Foundation Governor. 


Sarah Dean

Parent Governor

I have two children at St Mary’s, and work as a child and adolescent Clinical Psychologist within the NHS.  I care passionately about improving the outcomes of children in all areas of their development, and intend to draw upon my understanding of child mental health and wellbeing in my role.  I value the supportive community of St Mary’s and would like to contribute to supporting the school and our children in return.  I attend Our Ladye Star of the Sea in Greenwich, where my father is Parish Priest. 


Governing Body Meetings 2019/20


9th September 2019

28th October 2019

10th February 2020

1st June 2020

13th June 2020  


Finance and Audit:


14th October 2019 7pm

16th March 2020 7pm

11th May 2020 7pm

29th June 2020 7pm



Learning and Achievement:

14th October 2019 4pm

16th March 2020 4pm

11th May 2020 4pm

29th June 2020 4pm





Committee Members for 2019 - 2020

Finance and Audit

Learning and Achievement

Gary Farrelly (Chair)

Mary Duffy (Chair)

Miss Phipps & Mr Sims 

Mr Sims & Miss Phipps

Claire Good

Mrs Hansen

Paul Drake

Fr. John Fricker

Fay Gosbee

Sr. Chris Bendin

John Duffy 

Deirdre Michalakis

Sarah Dean


Attendance and Register Documents

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