St Mary's Catholic Primary School


Responsibilities of the Governing Body

The Governing Body currently comprises three Foundation Governors appointed by the Bishop of Plymouth Diocese,  one Parent Governor (Parent Governors are elected by the parents of the school), a Co-opted Governor and the Headteacher. 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 Role of the Governors

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.

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.

St Mary’s Governors

Nick Chambers

Chair of Governors

I have been a Governor at St Mary’s for 5 years. 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”.

Alan Frame


Rev’d Deacon Dr Michael Turnbull

Foundation Governor

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.

Tim Horn

Co-opted Governor

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.

John Carrick

Parent Governor

I am 56 years of age, married to Rachel and together, we have three young children – Nancy, Jack and Billy.

Originally from Reading, I moved to Marnhull 12 years ago, partly to be nearer the coast and to also indulge my love of Dorset and the surrounding area.

I am degree educated and remain fluent, to an extent in French, with a faltering command of German too!

I have worked in Financial Services for over 30 years holding a number of middle to senior management positions and now work as a Financial Adviser within a FTSE 100 company.

Now that Nancy has joined St. Mary’s, with Jack and Billy to follow in due course, I volunteered as a Governor to hopefully ‘give something back’, using my experience of working in large organisations to offer a different perspective to St. Mary’s and the challenges and issues it faces in our ever changing world.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family, tending to my chickens, walking our two dogs Blue and Ella and introducing our children to the wonderful Dorset countryside, sea kayaking and fishing, watching my favourite football team and generally being outdoors.

Ben Holdsworth

Foundation Governor

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.


All documents on the website are available as paper copy on request at the school office.