About our Governing Body

Welcome to the Governing Board of St John Fisher Catholic Primary School. We are a committed team who are dedicated to raising standards and achieving better outcomes for all our stakeholders. Through strong skills set, knowledge, experience and ongoing training each member of the Governing Body  has something vital to bring to the team; Education, Finance, Health & Safety, an understanding of stakeholders views from the staffroom, parents at the gate, strong community perspective.

We are very fortunate in having so many dedicated governors who take their role seriously and regularly attend training to ensure they are up to date with new requirements, legislation and ways of working. Training is very well attended with the expectation that learning is disseminated to all governors.

Governing bodies provide strategic leadership for our schools and have a critical role in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools this is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’.

We are constantly building and developing our governance and we are certain with the members we have we will become stronger as a team in delivering a brighter educational experience for our young people.

What is it?

All schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, to ask questions, ultimately to represent the school community.

The Governing Body works in close partnership with the Headteacher, staff, Archdiocese and the Local Authority. Whilst the Headteacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the Governors are involved with such things as staffing, curriculum, school buildings and finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the full range of academic and social objectives.

Reviews of the school year outline some of the Governing Body activities:

  • 2019-2020 – please see Chairs News!
  • 2019-2020 – please see Governors Development Plan

Who are we?

St John Fisher Catholic Primary School Governing Body Constitution is as follows:-

The Governing Body consists of:-

  • Seven Foundation Governors
  • One Elected Staff Governor
  • One appointed Local Authority Governor
  • Two Elected Parent Governors
  • Headteacher

The standard term of office for a governor is four years. The chair and vice-chair are elected at the first meeting of the academic year and serve a two year term of office. Governors are very much in support of succession planning hence the election of chair and vice-chair ever two years; after two years the chair hands over to the vice-chair who supports the new vice-chair in ‘getting ready’ to ‘drive’ the governing body and school in raising standards.

The Chair of Governors is Mr Daryl Oprey, who can be contacted via the school office, or through the Clerk to Governing Body via email at: lorraine.morris@knowsley.gov.uk

The Vice-Chair of Governors is Mrs Catherine Gilhooley, who can be contacted via the school office or through the Clerk to Governing Body via email at: lorraine.morris@knowsley.gov.uk

Much of the work of the Governing Body is carried out by committees. At St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, we have the following committees:

  • Finance, Personnel and Environment Committee
  • Standards and Quality Committee
  • Inclusion and Safeguarding Committee
  • Admissions Committee

A message from Mr Daryl Oprey  – Chair of Governing Board

On behalf of the Board of Governors, I welcome this opportunity to briefly introduce you to the work the Governing Body undertakes to ensure that your child (ren) will receive a sound primary school education. The Governing Body has a range of powers and duties laid down by various Education Acts:-·         Setting targets and promoting high standards of educational achievement

·         Setting the strategic framework within which the school operates

·         Management of the school’s delegated budget

·         Ensuring that the curriculum for the school is balanced and broadly based

Governors discharge the above responsibilities, together with many others, through a Governing Body meeting each term. These formal meetings are supplemented by a series of committee meetings dealing with more specific issues. A number of Governors also have responsibilities for specific areas within the school such as Safeguarding, Inclusion and Religious Education.

Governors adopt, review and monitor a range of policies that govern the operation of the school including Health and Safety, Behaviour, Curriculum and Performance Management.

National Governance Association – Peer Review

As part of our ongoing Continuous Professional Development the Governing Board has been involved in a Peer Review with three other Knowsley schools facilitated by the NGA. This will support governors in improving the overall effectiveness of the Board, thus improving outcomes for our pupils.  

The Governing Body is, therefore, rightly proud of the achievements of the school, not only in terms of academic results, but also in the solid foundations it provides in preparing all our pupils for the remainder of their formative education.”

Testimonial from previous Parent Governor- Mrs Stanners

“Even though my time as Parent Governor has been short I have thoroughly enjoyed it and found the role most rewarding. St John Fisher is a school I am proud to say I have had involvement with and my daughter has thrived beyond expectations. Thank you very much for allowing me to be part of an amazing team which I am sure will go from strength to strength”.


If you would like to know more about the Governing Body of St John Fisher, please contact the school office or the Clerk to the Governors:

Mrs L Morris: lorraine.morris@knowsley.gov.uk

The Governing Body of St John Fisher Catholic Primacy School is currently:-

Mr Graham Ennis

Foundation Governor

Foundation Governor: January 2020 – January 2024
Member of the Standards and Quality Committee
Attendance: FGB meetings and relevant Committees 

“ I am a Senior Local Authority HR Officer and as my children attended St John Fisher I feel a strong sense of involvement in all aspects of the school. I use my skills to support the school in strategic decision process and look for the better outcomes for all concerned.”

Vacancy – Foundation Governor

Foundation Governor: 

A member of:
Attendance: FGB Meetings and relevant committees

Vacancy – Foundation Governor

Foundation Governor:
A member of :
Attendance: FGB Meetings and relevant Committee

Pamela Langan

Foundation Governor

Foundation Governor: November 2018 – November 2022
Member of: Finance, Personnel and Environment Committee
Attendance: All FGB meetings and relevant committees

“I joined the governing body when my child joined reception in 2018. As a parent, resident and parishioner of Knowsley Village, I wanted to support St John Fisher Catholic Primary School in achieving their Mission and Vision. With a background in business analysis, training and career coaching I bring a variety of skills to the board. I am committed to working closely with the board and the school to ensure every child gets the best possible education at St John Fisher Catholic Primary.”

Vacancy – Foundation Governor

Foundation Governor:

Member of:
Attendance: All FGB meetings and relevant committees

Mrs Christine Smith 

Foundation Governor

Foundation Governor: July 2020 – July 2024

A member of: Standards and Quality, RE Governor

Attendance: FGB meetings and relevant committees

“I am delighted to join the Governing Body of St John Fisher Catholic Primary School.  I began my teaching career here over 25 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed serving the school community as a teacher, member of the SLT and teacher governor here until 2009.  I have since worked at a junior school in Halton and am now a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at Liverpool John Moores University.  I am keen to use my years of experience in education and my passion for Catholic education in Knowsley, where I have lived for my entire life, to contribute to the continued high performance of this wonderful school as a member of its outstanding governing body.” 

Mr Daryl Oprey

Chair of Governing Body

Foundation Governor: August 2020 – August 2024

Member of Standards and Quality Committee, Finance, Personnel and Environment Committee (Chair), Admissions Committee

Attendance: FGB meetings and relevant committees

“ I have been a Foundation Governor since September 2016 after over 30 years in the Fire and Rescue Service. I have extensive knowledge and experience of ensuring Corporate and Strategic plans are understood and how to make them work. As a National lead for Equality and Inclusion I also have a lot of experience in ensuring that policies are applied in a fair and ethical way. In my short time as governor of our great school family I know I can help and really look forward to making our school as enjoyable and successful as it can be.”

Mrs Sue Orme

Local Authority Governor

LA Governor until: April 2018 – 2022
Member of:  Standards and Quality Committee
Attendance: FGB meetings and relevant Committees 

I have been employed in Education for almost 30 years from class teacher through to Headteacher. At present I am self-employed and within this role I provide bespoke support to school staff within various capacities – teachers, TAs and senior staff. Additionally, I am an NPQML/SL/H accredited Assessor and online Facilitator.”

Mrs Val Fillingham

Staff Governor 

Staff Governor July 2019 – July 2023
Member of:  Inclusion and Safeguarding Committee, one of two Safeguarding Governors
Attendance: FGB meetings and relevant committees

I am Learning Mentor in school and a member of the Inclusion and Safeguarding Committee. I am committed to ensuring that all our children in school, whatever their ability are kept safe and are able to reach their full potential. I have been a Foundation Governor at a large Knowsley Junior school for ten years where I hold the position of Link Governor for SEND and Chair of the Curriculum and Policies Committee.”

Mrs Catherine Gilhooley – Vice Chair of Governing Body

Elected Parent Governor

Parent Elected Governor: July 2019 – July  2023
Member of: Standards and Quality Committee
Attendance: FGB meetings and relevant committees

“As a parent of two children at St John Fisher, one in Year 1 and one Nursery, I  value the opportunity to help strengthen the school’s commitment to deliver good quality of education.

As Governor Support Officer for the Local Authority I feel I have the skills and knowledge to strengthen the board, providing support to the school and challenge when needed. I am also a Local Authority governor in another primary school, so I have experience of being on a  school governing board. I was previously a family support manager in a social care team for 9 years and I feel my strengths are in safeguarding, ensuring that policies and procedures are in place and adhered to.

I am looking forward to working with the other governors, senior leaders, staff, children and parents in the school continuing to see St John Fisher achieve its full potential and shine!”

Mrs Claire Shenton

Elected Parent Governor

Parent Elected Governor until – December 2020
Member of: Finance, Personnel and Environment Committee, Digital Lead Governor
Attendance: FGB meetings and relevant committees

“I am delighted to be a Parent Governor at the school and look forward to a very successful and rewarding term of office. I have long had a passion for the school with a vested interest in the education and wellbeing of the children.  I have had two children go through the school and two children currently attending the school – this is why I am so passionate to ensure all our children have the best possible start.  As well as juggling a busy family life and work schedule I have volunteered at the school and been a long standing member of the PTA.  I am committed and strive to do what is needed to ensure all our children are happy, healthy, and safe and challenged by excellence in all areas of school life.”

Skip to content