The Governing Body comprises four Foundation Governors appointed by the Bishop of Plymouth Diocese, two Parent Governors who are elected by the parents of the school, the Head of Teaching and Learning and the Consultant Head. Parent Governors are elected every four years or on the resignation of a Parent Governor (whichever is earlier). All parents of the school are eligible to be a Parent Governor.
The School Governors at St. Mary’s are parent, staff, foundation (Church) representatives who are very interested and enthusiastic about the well being of our school and our pupils and staff. The Governors are responsible for the effective running of the school, both financially and educationally. The governing body is also formed into two committees, one having responsibility for finance and the other responsibility for standards in education.
They meet regularly and oversee the leadership and management of the school, providing expertise, critical friendship and a great deal of support to the school. Their chief concern is to ensure a high quality education for the pupils of St. Mary’s and that the school complies with initiatives and legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act.
The minutes of each meeting are available for inspection in the school office.
Our governors at St. Mary’s are extremely approachable and welcome opportunities to share information about their business and to discuss school matters.
Chair of Governors/Parent Governor
Together with my wife Sarah, we run a successful and established family business across Dorset. I have been a parent Governor for three years and the Chair for two. Prior to working with Sarah, I held a number of senior roles within the Engineering and IT industry.
I enjoy my involvement and input into St Marys, as it’s very rewarding and fulfilling and I would like to think I bring something a little different to the mix, based upon my working background and experience.
We have two boys at St Marys and we find the atmosphere of the school is incredibly welcoming and a happy. I have been impressed not only by the quality of the teaching but also by the head and her team’s professional and caring approach to both the children and parents alike, which ultimately is reflected in its results.
Vice-Chair of Governors/Foundation Governor
I have been a Governor at St Mary's for 5 years and I am now vice-chair. Additionally I chair the "Standards" Committee which focuses on ensuring high pupil attainment and achievement and the school curriculum.
I live in Marnhull with my wife, Claire, a GP in Gillingham, and have three children at St Mary's. Originally from Hertfordshire, I am a graduate of the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall. I spent 17 years as an Infantry Officer in the Army serving in Northern Ireland, Georgia, Cyprus and Afghanistan retiring as Major in 2010.
I am a qualified primary school teacher, although not teaching at the moment. I spend my time looking after my children and working locally, most recently as a decorator! Much of my spare time is spent running the thriving youth cricket in the village though I have also been spotted in the village "panto".
I have been in the teaching profession since 1998 and have been at St Mary’s since 2013 when I started as Deputy Head. For the past year, I have led the school and I am incredibly proud of what has been achieved. I am fortunate enough work with exceptional group of staff and governors. We work together to ensure that every child’s needs are met. Each of our pupils are treated as individuals and their interests and skills are fostered to bring out the best in every child.
I live in Gillingham with my husband Rob and my two children, William and Finnley.
I come from a family where working in education is a central feature – my Father and Mother, my wife and three of our four children, a daughter-in-law, three brothers and two sisters-in-law. I spent 31 years as Head of two Catholic schools, a Middle School in Sussex and a very large Primary School in SE London after which we retired to live in Dorset.
Two of my grand-daughters attend St Mary’s and, in December 2014, I was invited by the Diocese to become a Foundation Governor. I have very much enjoyed finding out about and helping with the problems and pleasures of a small rural school.
I have recently joined the Governing body at St. Mary’s and my professional background is in private sector marketing and growth. (Although a Pirate or Astronaut where my first choices at 8 years old)
Both our Daughters have attended St. Mary’s since 2010 and 2012, it has been a delight for my wife and I to see them develop and grow individually with the obvious care, support and guidance they have received from all members of the St. Mary’s team.
I hope to bring a commitment and focus to the school to help develop and continue the momentum towards a successful and enjoyable future for all the Children, Parents and Staff.
Rev'd Deacon Dr Michael Turnbull
After a teaching career covering Chemistry, Maths, I.C.T. and R.E., I became the R.C. Chaplain at HMP Guys Marsh in 2006 and was subsequently ordained as a permanent deacon, serving the parish of Gillingham and Marnhull. I now work full-time in the Prison Chaplaincy.
With my wife Barbara and eldest son, I moved to Gillingham in 1980, after a period teaching in the Caribbean. After some time working as a Chemist, the family travelled again, to work in South America. Now with three boys, the family returned to Gillingham in 1991. All my sons, in their own time, have attended St Mary's, Marnhull.
I am currently in my second period as a Foundation Governor at the school, having responsibility for Safeguarding, and for the RE curriculum. It is a great pleasure to meet the students.
I have recently retired having worked for over 34 years in finance both in commerce and education. As a governor I hope to be able to utilise my experience to help and support the school as it continues to grow and flourish. I am also a member of the Audit and Finance Committees of CAST.
I am a member of St Mary's parish and my eldest granddaughter (of three) is in year one; so I hope to be involved with the school for many years to come'.