St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

A message from the Governing Body


Thank you for visiting the Governor section of our school web site.  We hope you will find it informative.


A governing body was reinstated in November 2020, following a period of time when a small Interim Executive Board discharged governance oversight.


The school has a new Instrument of Governance, which outlines our membership and has been approved by the Local Authority and the Diocese of Clifton.


For a Copy of Instrument of Governance please click here


Governing Bodies have three core responsibilities as outlined in documentation provided by the Department for Education.  The responsibilities are:


  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school;
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.


As a Voluntary Aided school Governors have an additional responsibility for oversight of all aspects of catholicity, which includes religious education and worship.


Please click here for the latest Governors Newsletter.





Term of Office



Jan Downie

Chair of Governors

Nursery and Early Years

School Improvement


4 years from November 2020

Local Authority

Michael Millard






Health and Safety

Liaison with the Order of the Poor Sisters of the Mother of God (PSMG)

Pay and Performance Management


4 years from November 2020




David Wheat

Catholicity and worship.



4 years from November 2020.


Robert Daley


Health and Safety


4 years from January 2021.


Liam Stokes



 4 years from May 2021



Mark Funnell



4 years from May 2021

Parent Governor

Charlotte Hernandez-Larder



4 years from January 2023

Parent Governor


Paul Bacon




Co-Head teacher

Lucy Smith




Co-Head teacher



Alex Stranks




Staff Governor




Governor pen portraits

Jan Downie (Chair of Governors)

I am delighted to be appointed as a local authority governor at St Mary's Catholic Primary School. Although this is my first appointment as a school governor my whole working life has been directly connected to education and training at different educational stages.  I am committed to the transformative impact of learning. I currently work for the Department of Education on a programme set up to improve the social mobility of children and young people through excellent education.

I am responsible for Nursery and school Improvement.

Michael Millard 

I am a former member of the IEB and have been appointed as a Foundation governor.  I have considerable background in Buildings and Premises management and consequently am responsible for Premises, Health and Safety and liaison with the Order of the Poor Sisters of the Mother of God.


Paul Bacon

I have been a teacher and school leader since 1989 and have worked in a number of different schools in this time. My first school was in Swindon where I taught Reception and Year 1. I have also taught in several other schools in Wiltshire, Bristol and excitingly for me, Nepal and Gabon in central West Africa.

Prior to joining St Mary’s in September 2019, I had been a head teacher for 16 years. My first Headship was for the Shell Oil Company in an international school and subsequent to this I had two other headships in Wiltshire.

I also took a sabbatical between 2018 and 2019 to study for an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science. My primary research area was physiology, cardiac health and the effect of physical activity on children’s learning.

I have always felt privileged to work in St Mary’s and feel proud to have been entrusted with the headship of this wonderful school. I am fully committed to the school’s Catholic ethos, the staff and the wider community. I truly want to be part of the journey to be recognised as a good school again. 


Dave Wheat

I have been involved in Catholic Youth Ministry and Education for over 20 years, working in the Dioceses of Brentwood, Westminster and most recently as Coordinator of Youth Ministry for the Clifton Diocese, which I held for 9 years. I am currently the Regional Community Fundraiser for Mission, covering the South of England and Wales. We moved to Chippenham in 2011 and our Son went through St Mary’s and is now attending St Augustine’s College, Trowbridge. I am honoured to be appointed as a Foundation Governor by Bishop Declan and I’m looking forward to supporting the students, staff and parents of the St Mary’s community.

Areas of responsibility: RE & Catholicity, school effectiveness including vulnerable groups and SEND, website compliance, and admissions.


Rob Daley

I was appointed as a foundation governor in January 2021.

I am married, with 2 children, both of whom attend St Mary's School and am a parishioner at St Mary's in Chippenham. I work in operations management in Chippenham.



Governor Minutes

See separate page


Governor Meetings


The Governing Body is currently meeting every fortnight on a Monday at 4pm. 


As Governors we welcome any comments or suggestions which will help us maintain and improve the school. Please contact the Chair of Governors with your comments:


Mr J Downie

Chair Of Governors

St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Rowden Hill


Wiltshire SN15 2AH  

To view the IEB Closure Report January 2021 click here

To view our Annual Review Statement for 2019-2020 click here

2018-2019 click here

To view the St Mary's Virtual Governance Policy click here