January 2023

Dear Parents, Carers and Children,

Last year I introduced myself to you as the new Chair of Governors and so this year I would like to tell you what that first year has been like for me. Firstly, let me say that it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve alongside such a dedicated body of staff – both teaching and support staff – who all have the best interests of this wonderful school community as their main priority.

My pride in this school culminated last month in the highly successful visit from the Ofsted inspector who set out in his letter what I have long suspected – that this school really should be recognised as ‘outstanding’. Some of the phrases he used about the children were so spot on that I feel they should be reiterated here:

“Pupils come to school with real enthusiasm”, they “feel safe and they know that staff are there to help them”. “Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary” and they “have an excellent attitude to their learning”.

He went on to praise the richness of our curriculum and the dedication and detailed subject knowledge of our staff. He also acknowledged the wide range of activities and experiences we offer outside the classroom.

As I said last year, I am proud to be a part of such a thriving school community and to chair a board of caring and dedicated volunteer governors who are all striving to ensure St John Vianney provides the best educational experience possible in a caring and safe environment, whilst remaining true to our school motto: “Everything we can be, with Christ in our hearts”.

Should you wish to share any thoughts or ideas with us, please contact the parent governors or myself through the school office.

With all best wishes for a healthy and happy 2023.

Kind regards

Catherine Smith

Chair of Governors

The Role of a School Governor

The role of the school governor is to contribute to the work of the Governing Body in raising standards of achievement for all pupils. This involves providing a strategic view for the school, acting as a critical friend and ensuring accountability.

The individual governor has a responsibility, working alongside other members of the Governing Body, to the staff and pupils of the school, the school’s wider community and where they are representatives, to their particular group (parents; staff; teachers; church; etc).

 Responsibilities include:

  • developing the strategic plan for the school;
  • determining aims, policies and priorities of the school;
  • setting statutory and non-statutory targets;
  • monitoring and evaluating the work of the school;
  • appointment of staff and ensuring the implementation of a range of personnel procedures;
  • management of the budget;
  • securing high levels of attendance and good standards of pupil behaviour;
  • ensuring that all children in the schools have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which is suitable to age, aptitude and ability, which prepares them for adult life;
  • ensuring the health and safety of pupils and staff.

 Tasks include:

  • to get to know the school, its needs, strengths and areas for development;
  • to attend meetings (full Governing Body, committees and working groups);
  • to work as a member of a team;
  • to speak, act and vote in the best interests of the school;
  • to represent the perspectives of groups, where appropriate;
  • to respect all Governing Body decisions and to support them in public;
  • to act within the framework of the policies of the Governing Body and legal requirements;
  • to commit to training and development opportunities.

Governing Body Members

Governor Attendance 2021-22

Foundation Governors 

Foundation Governors are appointed in the name of the Archbishop and form the majority of the Governing Body. They have a legal duty to preserve and develop the Catholic character of the school. They must:

  • Be familiar with and supportive of the policies and procedures of the Diocese;
  • Represent those policies to the Governing Body;
  • Consider not only the interests of the individual school but the interests of other Catholic schools throughout the Diocese;
  • Respond to the needs of the Catholic community as a whole as represented by the Archbishop.

 Local Authority Governors 

Local Authority Governors are appointed by the Local Authority in which the school is situated. All Local Authority Governors are expected to be committed to raising standards at the school to which they are appointed.

Elected Governors 

Parents and staff elect representatives to the Governing Body. Elected Governors although representatives for particular groups are not delegates for that group.

The Governing Body Committees

Committees are set up to deal with the statutory duties of the Governing Body. They formulate policies and are delegated to make decisions on behalf of the Governing Body within their terms of reference.

 The main committees are:

Resources Committee (covering Personnel, Finance, Premises and Health and Safety) 

Chair: Connor McIntyre

Members: Fr. Joe Ryan, Catherine Smith, Stephen McNicholas, Nuala Kennedy, Eoin Hourigan, Victoria Garala, Holly Seabrook (appointment to Governing Body pending).

School Improvement Committee (covering Curriculum, Achievement and Admissions)

Chair: Zofia Wozniak-Rutkiewicz

Members: Siobhan Clarke, Susan Griffin, Stephen McNicholas, Nuala Kennedy, Ola Smuklerz, Zofia Wozniak-Rutkiewicz, Andrea Crosby-Josephs