School Governors are ordinary people, aged over 18, who are drawn from all walks of life.
Governors give their service voluntarily and no formal qualifications are necessary, although there are certain criteria to consider when appointing a Board of Governors.
Governors, along with the Head Teacher and the school’s senior staff, form the leadership team of the school. They have a crucial role in ensuring the school is successful in meeting the needs of all its pupils and in achieving high standards.
Their term of office is usually four years. This may be extended.
Foundation Governors of a Catholic school are appointed by the Bishop and have special responsibilities as his representatives, to preserve and develop the distinctive Catholic character of the school.
All governors of the school can be contacted via the School Office.
Julie Bowyer:I am a newly appointed foundation governor. My background is in pharmaceutical
sales but I now work part-time as a medical receptionist. I am an active member of the parish of St
John Mary Vianney, where I read in church and serve as a Children’s Liturgy catechist. I am a
regular visitor in St Paul’s school and I am enjoying getting to know the staff and pupils and seeing
how school really works. As a former pupil of the school I feel very privileged to serve in this role.
I am extremely proud of our school, with its wonderful children and dedicated staff. I will work
hard to fulfil my responsibilities as a governor and hope to assist the school in maintaining its high
standards of education and strong Catholic ethos.
Bernadette Duffy: I live locally and I attend Mass in the parish. I became a Foundation
Governor in 2013 as I have an interest in and a commitment to Catholic education. I am the mother
of three children, one of whom still attends St Paul’s School. My professional background is in
commercial litigation, and having been a partner in a law firm for over 10 years, I hope to be able
to use my management skills and legal knowledge to help the Governing Body to set clear and
ambitious strategic priorities and targets for the school. My aim, as a Foundation Governor, is to
ensure the continued high standards of achievement for all the children at St Paul’s by supporting
and constructively challenging the management team of the school.
John McDermott: My family has had connections to St. Paul's for over 40 years. Many members of my family attended the school as pupils, and now I am a parent, as my daughter is a pupil at St Paul’s. I have worked as a Secondary School Teacher in the Yorkshire area for nearly 20 years, so I take a special interest in the educational development of the pupils in the school as well as their readiness for transfer to secondary school. I hope that my awareness as a parent and of the social and academic requirements of school life in KS3 and KS4 will help support staff and pupils in all aspects of their work.
Ann O’Brien: I obtained BA and LLM degrees and practised as a solicitor, specialising for many years in employment law. I am now retired. I have been a governor of many (Catholic and non-Catholic) schools over the past 36 years. For eight years, I sat on the management committee of an Education Action Zone in West Yorkshire, and am now on Leeds City Council’s School Admission Appeals Panel. I am also a director of the Leeds Diocesan Trust and was awarded the title Dame of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II. My aim as a governor is for our school to be outstanding in all aspects and to maintain its Catholic heritage.
Shaun Vickers (Chair of the Governing Body): Sixteen years ago when we moved into the area, we had a choice of schools for our elder child, then six, and we selected St. Paul’s. As a consequence we joined the worshiping community of St. Paul’s Parish where my family were very active parishioners for several years. In 2003, I became a Foundation Governor at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, so I have been associated with the school as a parent, then a governor, for sixteen years now.
I work in the IT Department of a finance company. I feel there is a synergy between my role as a governor and my management experience at work. My experience as a school governor, supporting an area where I am not an expert, education, has greatly helped me to take on new challenges at work and my management experience at work has helped me to understand and support the management challenges that can be faced within the school.
Father Tim Wiley (Vice Chair of the Governing Body): I am the Parish Priest of Saint John Mary Vianney, which incorporates the Catholic Churches of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St Paul the Apostle. I am also the Dean of North Leeds. I was educated at St Nicholas Primary School before going on to St Michael’s College in Leeds. After employment in the Civil Service, I trained for the Priesthood at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, in Durham and I was ordained in July 1988. I have over 25 years of experience on school governing bodies. I am a regular visitor to both parish schools, along with our assistant priest, Fr Michael Doody. As part of our regular visits into school, we visit all the classes but we spend special time with the children in Year 3, and their parents, helping them prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and their First Holy Communion.
One more Foundation Governor to be appointed.
Peter McQuillen-Strong (Executive Head Teacher)
Bernadette Twohey (Teacher): My whole career has been in Catholic education and as a parishioner, I have been privileged to teach at St Paul’s since before my son started here as a pupil. My three children really enjoyed their primary years at St Paul’s and I do my best as a teacher and governor in the school, to ensure that the children entrusted to my care get the same variety of positive opportunities.
Mariclaire Langstaff: I have a very long association with St Paul’s having attended the school myself and now as the mother of son in Year 5.
I have worked in a number of senior management roles in the private and voluntary sectors and ran my own business for a number of years. In addition I have been a board director for two large credit unions during which time I worked with the supervisory and internal audit functions.
I retrained as a teacher in 2010 and I currently teach History and RE at St John Fisher’s RC High School. My work in education gives me an insight with the challenges schools are facing in terms of constant curriculum change and ever increasing financial constraints. I have already provided some guidance to St Paul’s with regard to changes in KS2 History curriculum.
I have a strong commitment to catholic education and I am keen to further my contribution at a strategic level.
Felix Akonde (Recently Appointed)
Richard Powell:I live less than a mile from the school and I have been living in this parish for nearly 20 years. I am able to use my professional skills as an accountant to support and challenge the school. I have a son of primary school age so I combine a busy family and working life. I take an active interest in school life at St Paul’s as a Governor and parent.