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St Dominic Savio Catholic Primary School ‘Serve the Lord with Joy’


"Governors are closely involved in the life of the school. They test the work of the school for themselves, They have been highly effective in improving the school."

(Ofsted, October 2015)


What is governance of a school?

All schools in England have a Governing Board. They are the vision setters and strategic decision makers for their schools. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education that takes every child as far as their talents allow. Crucially, that means creating robust accountability for executive leaders by using and being familiar with objective data on the performance of pupils, teachers and finances to ask the right questions. It means ensuring resources are allocated to strategic priorities and safeguarding the highest standards of financial propriety. It also means ensuring that schools prepare pupils for life and the workplace and implementing their Prevent duty and promoting fundamental British Values to protect them from the risks of extremism and radicalisation. 


The Governing Board works in close partnership with the headteacher, staff, the Portsmouth Catholic Diocese and Wokingham Local Authority to deliver their three core functions:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;

  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent. 


Who are we?

In May 2015 the governing body elected to reconstitute, in keeping with statutory guidance from the Department for Education. We took this decision as it allowed us to change the numbers and types of governors we have and to appoint more people on the basis of the skills they could bring.


From September 2015, the Governing Board now consists of:

  • The headteacher

  • One elected staff governor

  • Seven foundation governors (elected by Bishop Philip)

  • One appointed local authority governor

  • Two elected parent governors


The standard term of office for a governor is four years. The chair and vice-chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year each September.


Much of the work of the governing body is done by our three committees: 

  • Admissions

  • Achievement

  • Resources


The Governing Board of St Dominic Savio:

Dr John McKendrick, Chair of Governing Body

Foundation Governor

Sits on: All committees

Responsibilities: Safeguarding, Curriculum

Register of interests: None


Dr Anthony Barnett, Vice Chair of Governing Body

Foundation Governor until August 2018

Sits on: Achievement (Chair)

Responsibilities: Assessment, RE, Maths, Science

Register of interests: None


Mrs Deborah Gibson

Foundation Governor

Sits on: Admissions (Chair); Resources

Responsibilities: PE

Register of interests: None


Mr James Broadbridge, Headteacher

A member of the Governing Body by virtue of position in school

Sits on: All committees

Register of interests: None


Mrs Rhona Miccoli

Elected staff governor

Sits on: Achievement; Resources committees

Register of interests: None


Ms Clare Woodham

Foundation Governor

Sits on: Resources; Achievement

Responsibilities: Inclusion: SEND, Pupil Premium

Register of interests: None

I have been a foundation governor at St Dominic Savio since October 2013.  I have two children at St Dominic Savio.  My "day job" working for KPMG, a large professional services firm, means that I am particularly interested in contributing to finance committee and the teaching and learning committee, with its strong data focus.  As well as my committee roles, I am inclusion governor, so I act as the governing body's focal point on pupil premium and SEND.


Mrs Gemma Dowse

Foundation Governor

Sits on: Admissions; Resources; Achievement

Responsibilities: English, School Council; Parish links

Register of interests: None

I have been a governor at the school since November 2014, having joined the Governing Body just after my son started here. I am linked with Lower Key Stage Two and hope to have the opportunity to get to know those year groups well. I liaise with the School Council and will attend some meetings, giving me the opportunity to hear the pupil voice. I am currently a full-time mum; having previously worked in HR for a decade, working on projects, reviewing aspects of the business and suggesting /implementing improvements. My most recent HR experience focussed on compensation and benefits, job specifications and pay structures. I have also been a Brownie Leader for 20 years, helping to create an environment for children to grow and develop socially outside school. I am currently the Chair of the PTA.


Mr John Edmunds

Foundation Governor

Sits on: Resources (Chair)

Responsibilities: Health & Safety; Parish links

Register of interests: None


Mrs Michaela Palmer

Parent Governor

Sits on: Admissions, Achievement

Responsibilities: PR of school; Parent liaison; Parish links

Register of interests: None


Welcome from the Chair of Governors

On behalf of the Governing Board, I welcome this opportunity to briefly introduce you to the work the Governing Board undertakes to ensure that your child(ren) will receive an outstanding primary school education.


The Governing Board has a range of powers and duties laid down by various Education Acts. In the main, these responsibilities relate to:

  • 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 Board meeting each term. These formal meetings are supplemented by a series of sub-committee meetings dealing with more specific issues. A number of governors also have responsibilities for specific issues within the school such as English, maths and inclusion.


Governors adopt, review and monitor a range of policies that govern the operation of the school including health and safety, financial matters, curriculum and performance management.


St Dominic Savio draws a unique strength from its success in fostering a close knit family atmosphere where staff, pupils, parents, parish and governors work together to ensure that all our pupils have the opportunity to develop to their full potential as outlined in our Mission Statement. We are blessed with a wonderful pupil body who understand how this Catholic ethos permeates all that they do in School and who demonstrate this through respect for their fellow pupils and teachers. Our pupils see these values made manifest in everything from the smallest acts of worship to the largest whole school projects. Our staff and governors also espouse our Catholic values and we hope this Catholic ethos is evident to and is shared by all visitors to the School.


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


Dr John McKendrick

Chair of Governors


Governing Board Register of Interests

It is the policy of St Dominic Savio Catholic Primary School that governors not only act impartially, but are also seen to act impartially. The governing body and school staff have a responsibility to avoid any conflict between their business and personal interests and affairs and those of the school.


There is a legal duty on all our governors to declare an interest likely to lead to questions of bias when considering any item of business at a meeting, and for the governor concerned to withdraw, if necessary, whilst the matter is considered.


To help put this duty into practice, our governing board is required to establish and maintain a register of pecuniary interests indicating any business interests. This includes, if appropriate, the company by whom they are employed, directorships, significant shareholdings or other appointments of influence within a business or other organisation which may have dealings with the school.


Governors include their own interest and those of any member of their immediate family (including partners) or other individuals known to them who may exert influence. The register of interests enables governors to demonstrate that, in spending public money, they do not benefit personally from decisions that they make.


Our Chair of Governors ensures the register is up to date, complete, and includes all governors. The completed register is retained by the Clerk to the Governors.