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About The Governors

The Local Governing Committee is there to help the school provide the best possible education for your children by:

Working strategically to help raise standards.

Monitoring and evaluating progress made towards agreed priorities and targets.

Supporting the head teacher and staff as well as challenging their expectations.

Accounting to all interested parties or stakeholders for the decisions made in trying to achieve the above.

Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

Governors' Responsibilities

Governors ‘govern’ the school and are not responsible for the day-to-day management issues.

All governors are appointed/elected not as delegates, but as individuals to provide a view that is representative of a parent’s, Diocese’s or member of staff’s perspective. 

A governor’s role includes:

  • Working with the head teacher and staff to ensure that the school fulfils its legal and moral duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of the children.
  • Setting the overall budget for the school.
  • Agreeing the priorities for improving the school as part of the overall School Development Plan (SDP).
  • Ensuring that the school fulfils its educational and financial targets and has appropriate plans in place to meet the performance objectives.
  • Ensuring accountability to the community for the use of resources and the standards of teaching and learning in the school.
  • Supporting the Head Teacher and staff, both in terms of challenging and seeking improvement, as well as praising and celebrating achievement.
The Governors’ Code of Conduct outlines the expectations on, and commitment required from school governors, trustees and academy committee members for the Local Governing Committee to properly carry out its work within the school and the community.

Current Vacancies

Our Governors

Catherine Walker
(Headteacher) Staff Governor

I have been Headteacher at St Joseph’s since 2013 and worked within the Diocese for many years. I am also a Section 48 Catholic Schools Inspector. I am passionate about developing future Catholic leaders and have lead the school to its current position of top 25% of primary schools in the country.

Helen Bilton
Co Chair

Helen joined the governing body in 2018 while her youngest son was still at the school. She has three children who were all at St Joseph's before moving on to St Paul's.

Helen has professional experience in information management and research and currently works caring for her family and as a freelance book indexer. She also brings experience of governance from the charity sector having been a Chair of Trustees and currently chairing the local Scout Group. She is not Catholic and is therefore co-opted as a governor by the LGC but is nevertheless committed to Catholic education

Teresa Barnard
Co Chair

Teresa first joined the Governing Body as parent governor while her youngest son was still a pupil at the school. She then re-joined as foundation governor in 2018. She has 2 children who both attended St Joseph’s and St Paul’s.

Teresa’s professional background is in marketing. Since 2000, she has worked as Marketing Director for a Drinks company which she established with her brother. Working largely from home, she is able to combine this role with volunteering as both governor and also supporting children with their reading

Parent Governor

Sara Hill
Foundation Governor

Daniela Spagnoli
Foundation Governor

Daniela is a foundation governor; she has a child in Year 2 at St Joseph's and has two older step-children who are now at university, one of whom did their 6th Form education at St Paul's. She's originally from London where she attended where she attended the Chiesa del Redentore (Church of the Redeemer) in Brixton, and now is a reader at St. Paul's

Daniela's career is in Human Resources which she has worked in for around 20 years , mainly in the postal and rail industries.

She has had previous experience as a Trustee of a Rail Charity which she did for 4 years before having her child.

Kate Steel
Foundation Governor

Kate joined as a Foundation Governor in April 2023 and currently has 2 children at St Joseph's.

Kate previously worked as a Project Manager for a Housing Association and specialises in Safeguarding.

Jenny Williams
Foundation Governor

The Local Governing Committee is comprised of the following positions:


  • Foundation governors – are practising Catholics who have been appointed by the Diocese to represent the interest of the Diocese in preserving and developing the Catholic ethos of the school.

  • Parent governors – elected by the parents of the school, they bring their personal experience as parents of St Joseph’s children. Parent governors are ‘representative parents’ rather than ‘representatives of the parents’. We have two parent governors.

  • Co-opted governors – the Local Governing Committee can co-opt a small number of additional governors. We currently have one co-opted governor. 

  • Staff governors – we have two staff governors including the head teacher. 

The Local Governing Committee has a Chair (Dominic Dow), who leads and manages the governors, and a Clerk (Catherine Frewing) who advises governors on their functions and duties, thereby ensuring that the team operates efficiently and effectively.

One of the governors is also a Link Governor, whose role is to be aware of the knowledge and skills held by members of the Local Governing Committee.

The primary interest of St Joseph’s Local Governing Committee is to ensure high and rising standards of education for all pupils in the school.

The Local Governing Committee delegate functions to various committees, who report back to the full Local Governing Committee at regular intervals with recommendations for approval. The Local Governing Committee also tasks individual governors to take an interest in a specific area, such as Special Educational Needs (SEN) for example.

How are Governors made accountable?

Every year, governors review the Governors’ Code of Conduct and renew their commitment to it. Governors are expected to work as a team for the benefit of the whole school community. Governors must declare any conflict of interest they have with any item of business at any meeting.

Ofsted has published the criteria that inspectors will use to judge the effectiveness of a school’s governance.


Principles to adhere to:

Governors at St. Joseph’s are mindful that in exercising Local Governing Committee functions, they must act with integrity, objectivity and honesty and in the best interests of the school, and be open about the decisions they make and the actions they take.

How can I find out more about being a school governor?

There are many sources of good information online but perhaps the best “first port of call” would be as follows:

Can we ask a Governor (especially a parent Governor) for help?

A Parent Governor, just like all governors, has to maintain a strategic approach to school governance. Although being available to advise parents on appropriate routes of action is an important aspect of the role, it is vital that governors do not become personally involved in individual concerns. Apart from the possibility of this jeopardising appropriate complaints and appeals procedures, no governor has the authority to act individually on the behalf of the school.

From experience, we have found that most concerns can be dealt with quickly and efficiently by talking directly to your class teacher. In addition, the Heads of each Key Stage, the Assistant Head Teachers and the Head Teacher are available to discuss concerns and work with you towards a positive outcome.  In the vast majority of cases, we find that most problems are generally resolved at school level. However, the Local Governing Comittee would step in to bring resolution, in the event that all school stage levels of communication had been exhausted.