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Governance information and documents relating to our school.

Governors are volunteers who collectively make up the school’s Local Governing Committee. The Local Governing Committee is comprised of individuals drawn from the school’s community, both as elected and appointed members.

The Diocese appoints Foundation Governors specifically to ensure:

  • That the Catholic character of the school is preserved;
  • That the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed; and
  • That the religious education curriculum is in accordance with the Bishop’s policy for his Diocese, based on the Bishops’ Conference Curriculum Directory.

The Headteacher is a Governor and each school also has elected Parent and Staff Governors and may also co-opt a Governor for a specific purpose.

The role of a Governor within the Trust is an important one. The governance structure ensures that, as far as possible, the responsibility to govern is vested in those closest to the impact of decision making. Governors play a crucial role in the leadership of our school. They share in the strategic responsibility of promoting high educational standards on and ensuring that the school is conducted as a Catholic school. The overall role of the Local Governing Committee is to support and challenge the school leaders to provide the best possible education for all children.

Governors attend at least three full Local Governing Committee meetings a year, will have a monitoring role which helps them develop a deeper understanding of the school and may also sit on a sub committee, where specific issues are considered, such as admissions, staffing, finance or standards.

Governors are expected to attend training, which is provided free of charge through the Trust, and are required to undertake annual safeguarding training.

Governors are accountable to the Directors and the Bishop and must ensure that, at all times, they act in good faith and in the best interests of the school and the Trust, exercising care and skill using their knowledge and experience.

Academic Year 2023/2024

Local Governing Committee Membership & Register of Pecuniary and Other Interests (attendance covering the 2022/23 academic year)

The Chair of Governors is Wendy Ross.  The Vice Chair is John McArdle.  They are elected annually from amongst the Foundation Governors. Information correct as of 15 May 2024.

The Chair can be contacted via the school office or via

Full Name  Category of Governor & Appointed byDate of Appointment  End of Term of Office  Date stepped down (if applicable) Attendance at LGC meetings   Relevant Business & Pecuniary Interests  Roles/links to sub committees/ monitoring links  
Nick WoodsHeadteacher St Joseph’s Middle / Ex Officio01/09/2022  4/4NoneAdmissions, Outcomes  
John McArdle  Foundation/ Appointed by the Diocese03/12/202002/12/2024 3/4Governor at St Mary’s First School, HexhamVice Chair, Math, Finance, H/T PM, Admissions, Outcomes
Michael Jonas  Foundation/ Appointed by the Diocese15/12/202014/12/2024 2/4NoneRE, Art, Music, Outcomes  
Anne Dunn  Foundation/ Appointed by the Diocese03/12/202002/12/2024 2/4Governor & Vice Chair at St Mary’s First School, HexhamSEND, Personal Development, Careers, H/T PM, Outcomes
Wendy RossFoundation/ Appointed by the Diocese03/12/202002/12/2024 4/4NoneChair, H&S, Safeguarding, Humanities, Admissions, H/T PM, Outcomes
Paul KilduffFoundation/ Appointed by the Diocese23/10/202322/10/2027 0/0NoneRE, Science, Admissions, Outcomes  
Emilia MarkParent/ Elected by Parents10/05/202409/05/2028 0/0NoneEnglish, PE
Alison DuthieStaff/ Elected by Staff09/10/202308/10/2027 0/0None 
Governos who have left in the last 12 months (2022/23+) – Defederated from St Mary’s First School, Hexham on 31/8/2023
Sarah OakesHeadteacher St Mary’s First/ Ex Officio  31/08/2023   
Mark Dotchin  Foundation/ Appointed by the Diocese  31/08/2023   
Tomas Neeson  Foundation/ Appointed by the Diocese  31/08/2023   
Father Jeff DoddsFoundation/ Appointed by the Diocese  31/08/2023   
Nicola Vaughan  Foundation/ Appointed by the Diocese  31/08/2023   
Grace DoddsStaff Elected by Staff  31/08/2023   
Jen BallantyneParent/ Elected by Parents  31/08/2023   
Father Luke Wilkinson Foundation/ Appointed by the Diocese  04/09/2023   

How To Become A School Governor

If you require further information on the roles of a Governor or you are interested in becoming one, contact the school or the Trust at

To nominate yourself to become a Foundation Governor, please complete the application form on the Diocesan website. The Diocese encourage all applicants to read the additional guidance documents.

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Updated | 21st May, 2024 |