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St Mary’s governing body consists of 12 governors. There are two parent governors (elected by the parents of the school), one community governor (a member of the local community appointed by the governing body), seven foundation governors (practising Catholics who have been appointed by the diocese), the head teacher and one staff governor. The governors of St Mary’s, at times, also appoint associate member governors – these are people that sit on the governing body as they have an area of expertise that will assist the governors in their duties, but is not a voting governor.

The main governing body meets once every half-term. St Mary’s school governors have an important part to play in raising school standards and are judged by Ofsted during any school inspection to assess how well they are carrying out this role. The governing body is key to the effectiveness of a school and is responsible for ensuring that it is run to promote pupil achievement and welfare.

The governors are given administrative support in their role by the clerk, who also provides advice on governance, constitutional and procedural matters and ensures that the governing body is properly constituted, while managing information in accordance with legal requirements (minutes of meetings, school policies, etc.)

What to do if you are interested in becoming a governor

If you are interested in becoming a governor of St Mary’s you should contact the clerk to the governors by telephoning the school office or by emailing jwilliams@stmarysswanage.dorset.sch.uk

How St Mary’s Governing Body Works within CAST Multi Academy Trust

Plymouth CAST is a single company comprising 36 Catholic schools across Cornwall, Devon and Dorset that fall within the Plymouth Diocese of which St Mary’s is one. In legal terms, the Board of Directors of the company is ultimately responsible for everything that goes on in these schools.

As a single company, there are certain things – for example employment terms and conditions – that have to be consistent from school to school. Also it is much easier to formulate statutory polices centrally rather than every school having to develop its own version. Also, there are times when strategic decisions need to be taken from a network perspective rather than from the perspective of a single school or a group of schools. On such occasions, it is the Board of Directors that acts on behalf of the network.

What then is the role of the Local Governing Board? This may be summed up as:

  • To support and promote the vision, values and principles of Plymouth CAST as a non-statutory body
  • To act as a ‘wisdom group’ for the school, to support and encourage the Catholic life and mission of the school
  • To act as champions and advocates in the local community for their school
  • To support and challenge the Headteacher in fulfilling their responsibilities
  • To have oversight and develop knowledge in key areas, especially RE and Catholic Life, SEND, Safeguarding, Statutory Grant Funding (pupil premium, PE and sports premium), Health and Safety
  • To support and challenge the Headteacher in the implementation of the School Improvement Plan
  • To build bridges between the school and the local community, especially parents and carers and the local parish
  • To support CAST strategic priorities and to contribute expertise and knowledge to the development of building Governor capacity across CAST
  • To be accountable to the Board and, in the case of Foundation Governors, to the Bishop, for their conduct as Governors.
The Scheme of Delegation explains the ways in which the Directors fulfil their responsibilities for the leadership and management of the Academy, the respective roles and responsibilities of the Directors and the members of the Local Governing Body and their commitments to each other to ensure the success of the Academy. A link to the Plymouth CAST scheme of delegation is on the Plymouth CAST page.

A copy of the minutes of the Full Governing Body can be obtained by contating the Clerk to the Governors at jwilliams@stmarysswanage.dorset.sch.uk or calling the school on 01929 424909.

The governing body maintains a record of attendance at meetings: you can view ours here.
Governor Information and Responsibilities, 2023-2024
You can learn more about our governors on this page.
How to Contact the Governors

Any member of the governing body can be contacted through the school office or you can email the clerk to the governors at jwilliams@stmarysswanage.dorset.sch.uk