St Dominic Catholic Primary

If we live by truth and in love, we shall grow in Christ


What do Governors do?

School Governors are drawn from all walks of life and as you  will see below there are various types of Governors. Governors give their service voluntarily and no formal qualifications are necessary, although there are eligibility criteria. Governors are ordinary people, aged over 18, with a special commitment to the education and well being of children.Terms of office will be a minimum of one to a maximum of four years.


 St Dominic School Governors

Foundation Governors

Jemma Thomas (Member of the School Improvement Committee)

  • First appointed as Parent Governor 01.12.2015 
  • Appointed as Foundation Governor 1.02.2020
  • Term of office expires 01.02.2023
  • No pecuniary interests 

I was elected onto the board in November 2015 and am delighted to be part of the team. I have three children all of whom are currently attending St Dominic. I enjoy being involved in school life and am on the PTA and help one morning a week in the school nursery. We live in Harpenden and belong to the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes. I enjoy being part of the children's liturgy team there. I am a family solicitor and work part time in London. I am looking forward to working hard to support the school in continuing to provide an excellent education and supportive environment for all the children.

 Anne Bentley (Safeguarding Governor; member of School Improvement Committee; member of Admissions Committee)

  • Appointed 15.05.2017
  • Term of Office Expires 31.08.2024
  • Appointed as Foundation Governor by Diocese of Westminster
  • No pecuniary interests

I have lived in Harpenden with my family for 27 years.  I have three grown up children who all attended St Dominic’s.  I am a research scientist by training and currently teach at Roundwood Park School. In my role as Governor I hope to use my skills and experience to support the Headteacher and the staff to help the school maintain its outstanding education for our children and to continue to provide a positive grounding in the Catholic faith in the environment that makes St Dominic such a special school. 

  Canon Anthony Dwyer

  • Appointed 11.11.2016
  • Term of office expires 31.08.2024
  • Appointed as Foundation Governor by the Diocese of Westminster
  • Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Harpenden since September 2016 
  • No pecuniary interests

Andrew Mottram (Chair of Finance & Premises Committee)

  • First appointed 28.10.2015
  • Current term of office expires 31.08.2023
  • Appointed as Foundation Governor by Diocese of Westminster 
  • No pecuniary interests 

I have lived in Harpenden for 28 years, having grown up in Brighton. My wife Jenny and I have two grown up sons both of whom attended St Dominic's where we were active in the PTA.  I trained as an accountant  and Finance Director within Whitbread before moving into General Management roles in the property industry, much of that involving working across cultures. I became a Foundation Governor in November 2015 when my international travel reduced to more manageable levels! I have no business or financial interests that might impact on my role and no relationship with other governors or school staff.

Michael Hessey (Member of the Finance & Premises Committee)

  • Appointed 28.09.2017
  • Term of office expires 31.08.2021
  • No pecuniary interests 

My family and I moved to Harpenden in 1997 from south London with Olivia and Dominic soon attending St Dominic and then St George’s School before going on to to university. We have all been part of Our Lady of Lourdes parish since then, with my particular role being Chairman of the Parish Council. I am a chartered architect and planner and run a local architect’s office in Harpenden. I am also the club secretary at Harpenden’s local running club, but have a keen interest in all sports, especially football and I was extremely proud to coach the St Dominic football team to the Champions League/Premiership double in 2005/6*.

(*not necessarily true) 

Nuala Pawley (Vice Chair; member of Admissions Committee and School Improvement Committee)

  • Appointed 27.09.2018
  • Term of office expires 31.08.2022
  • No pecuniary interests 

I lived in St Albans for nearly 25 years and served as Headteacher of St. Philip Howard Catholic Primary school in Hatfield for 12 years. Since retiring I was invited to become a Foundation Governor at St. Dominic where three of my grandchildren were on roll. I have recently been commissioned as a  Eucharistic Minister at St. John Fisher and at St. Dominic. I will try my utmost to support the wonderful work done here at St. Dominic so that present and future generations benefit from the provision of an excellent Catholic education. 

James O'Grady 

  • Appointed 18.04.2017
  • Term of office expired 17.07.20
  • No pecuniary interests 

Local Authority Governor                             

Michael Gallagher (Member of Finance & Premises Committee)

  • Appointed 3.11.20

Jane Cooper (Member of the School Improvement Committee)

  • Appointed 30.11. 2016
  • Term of office expired 3.11. 2020
  • Appointed as LEA Governor
  • No pecuniary interests

Headteacher Governor

Miss Clare O'Sullivan ex officio (September 2017)

Parent Governors

 Niamh Macaskill (Chair of Governors; member of Finance & Premises Committee)

  • Appointed 7.02.18 as an Associate Governor
  • Appointed as Parent Governor on 28.11.18
  • Term of office expires 27.11.2022
  • No pecuniary interests 

I have lived in Harpenden since 2006 and have been an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish since then, helping with the Children’s Liturgy on a regular basis.  Pete and I have three children, two of whom currently attend St Dominic.  My experience is in Human Resources with 25 years’ experience across different businesses.  A large chunk of my career was spent at Virgin Media where I held several HR Director level roles.  Recently I have focused on talent management, leadership development, culture & inclusion as well as learning & development, areas I am passionate about and all relevant in both school and business environments. I look forward to using my skills supporting the governors in providing the children at St Dominic with an outstanding education. 

James Korchak (Member of School Improvement Committee)

  • Appointed 3.11.20

Associate Governor

Helen Jennings (Chair of Admissions Committee)

  • No pecuniary interests 

I have been a Foundation Governor at St Dominic since 2013.  My three children attended St Dominic, and I previously worked at St Dominic as a midday supervisory assistant, and currently work part time at St Georges School in the library and as an exam invigilator. I am a member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish, and was a Baptism Catechist for 9 years. Before having children I worked as a Chartered Surveyor. I have no business or pecuniary interests and no material interests. I hope to put my skills and experiences to good use to maintain the high standard of education our children receive, whilst continuing to embody the special moral and pastoral values of the school. 

 Teacher Governor

Mrs Marie Myers

  • Appointed 26.09.2019
  • Term of office expires 25.09.2023


Katie Coxon (LA Clerk)


Governor Attendance 

 Governor Attendance Record 18-19


St Dominic School Governing Body

The Governing Body of St Dominic works with the Headteacher, Leadership Team and teachers to maintain the high standards of achievement at the school whilst also ensuring the welfare of all pupils. The Governing Body’s role is to act as a "critical friend”.

Most governors have children who attended or are currently attending the school, are involved in the parish, or have some knowledge and experience of working in a school environment.

As St Dominic is a Voluntary Aided school, the Governing Body is responsible to the Local Authority, Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster and the school community. There are additional responsibilities for the Governing Body of a Voluntary Aided school in comparison to that of a community school which are outlined below.

Roles of the Governing Body

  • Agrees a strategic plan for the school for the future
  • Approves the School Development Plan produced by the school’s Leadership Team - this sets out how standards in education can be maintained or improved
  • Agrees how to spend the school budget
  • Oversees the general management of the school
  • Oversees school policies, for example child protection, safeguarding, equalities policies

As the Governing Body of a Voluntary Aided school

  • As employers of the staff, are involved in the interview and appointment of new staff
  • Oversees maintenance of the buildings and premises, and ensures Health and Safety procedures are followed
  • Agrees the Religious Education policy and ensures the religious character of the school is preserved
  • Determines the school’s admission policy and manages the admission process in conjunction with the local authority

Committees and meetings

To effectively carry out the above roles the full Governing Body meets 5 or 6 times a year. In addition, governors are appointed to committees which have been delegated certain responsibilities, and who meet twice a term, then report back to the full Governing Body. The committee responsibilities are outlined briefly below.

  • School Improvement Committee
    Agrees priorities for improvement and monitors progress of the pupils. Approves policies such as curriculum, special educational needs, equality.
  • Finance & Premises Committee
    Agrees and monitors financial matters across the school, and oversees staffing. Agrees and monitors repair and maintenance of the premises, and oversees health and safety
  • Admissions Committee
    Agrees the admission policy each year, monitors admissions and represents the school at appeals.

Types of Governor

The majority of governors at a Catholic Voluntary Aided school are Foundation Governors who have been appointed by the Diocese and must be a Catholic. In addition there are 2 Parent Governors (appointed by the parents of the school), a Staff Governor (appointed by the staff), an LEA governor (appointed by the local authority), and the Headteacher. Each governor is usually appointed for an initial term of 4 years.

Governors are also assigned a Link Governor role in a particular area of the curriculum or school life. The role is to gain a more detailed knowledge of that area and work in partnership with the Headteacher and Subject Leader to maintain or improve standards in accordance with the School Development Plan. This involves attending appropriate lessons and activities from time to time. Governors usually choose subjects in which they have a particular interest or expertise. Any comments and observations are reported back to the full Governing Body.

Contacting the Governing Body

Parents are welcome to contact the Chair of Governors by letter c/o the school office.

However, governors cannot get involved in individual pupil matters or problems in the day-to-day running of the school. The class teacher should be contacted in the first instance. Governors will only become involved if necessary as a last resort through the school’s complaints procedure.

A Governors’ surgery is held once or twice a term (subject to demand) at which several governors are available to hear individual comments, suggestions, or queries in a confidential setting. If necessary any points raised will be discussed at the appropriate committee or with the Headteacher.

Please do not contact an individual governor at their personal home or email address.