With You Beside Me All Is Possible


St John’s Governing Body

The strategic development of St John’s School is the responsibility of its governing body known as the Full Governing Body (FGB). The FGB comprises different sorts of Governors, including members of staff, those appointed by the Bishop of our local Catholic diocese, and those elected by parents/guardians of children at St John’s.  

The FGB alone is responsible for making decisions on strategic and policy matters, but is assisted by several committees with special responsibilities. Individual governors additionally work closely with members of staff on key areas, such as literacy, outside learning and health and safety through the Link Governor Monitoring Scheme (LGMS). It is important to note, however, that no individual governor has any decision-making other than the Chair, and only then following delegation of such power(s) by the FGB.

Please see below for further information on the committees which support the work of the FGB, together with a full list of the Governors and their areas of responsibility under the LGMS.  Also a register of Governors' interests which we are required to publish by law.


St. John’s RC Primary School Bath


Governing Body Register of Interests*


Listed interest

Giles Mercer

Deputy Chair of Governors at Downside School

Michael Proulx

None listed

Mr Laurence Swan  

Supply buffet to Governor meetings

Sir Elgar Jenkins

None listed

Barnaby Dodwell

None listed

Karen Neate

None listed

Mary-Lou Elliot

None listed

Canon David Ryan   

None listed

Marilyn Strevens

None listed

Michèle Tayler

None listed

Kaleigh Pentecost -White

None listed

Tish Bourke

None listed

Anna Meo

None listed



* Interests to include: business, pecuniary, governance roles in other education institutions and any material interests arising from relationships between governors or relationships between governors and school staff (including spouses, partners and close relatives).             


Key responsibilities of the Full Governing Body

The FGB is charged with ensuring the school is conducted as a Catholic school in accordance with the teachings, faith and mission of the Catholic Church. Under the authority of the Bishop of Clifton, the FGB seeks to ensure that the school is centred on God and that it serves as a witness to Jesus Christ.  

The FGB primarily has the following three core strategic functions:

  • ensuring clarity of vision, strategic direction and ethos;
  • holding the headteacher to account for the educational progress and performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
  • overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The FGB seeks to set and safeguard the highest expectations of everyone in the school community. Thorough-going and exacting professionalism of governors and staff is demanded at all times, in the interests of the welfare, progress, behaviour, and attainment of the pupils, who are their chief concern.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

To reach decisions the FGB considers a range of information/data sources. These include:

  • Pupil learning and progress
  • Teaching quality
  • Pupil applications, admissions, attendance and exclusions
  • Staff absence, recruitment, retention, morale and performance.

Crucially, the FGB also selects and appoints the headteacher, and continuously holds him or her to account, while providing whatever support is possible.                                                                                               

Finally, the FGB ensures the school is run in accordance with statutory and diocesan policies, principally in regard to religious education and admissions but also in regards to special educational needs and other matters. Mrs Mary-Lou Elliot is the named Governor responsible for safeguarding and protection of children and Canon David is responsible for RE, the Catholic life of the school and overseeing collective worship policy and provision.


Members of St. John’s Governing Body

There are several different categories of Governors. Governors have different ‘sponsors’ who elect or appoint them, but they all share in strategic decision-making. Below is a list of the categories of Governors. 

Foundation Governors:

These are appointed by the Bishop of Clifton Diocese, currently Bishop Declan Lang, and represent the Bishop.  They ensure the:

  • religious character of the school is preserved and developed;
  • the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed;
  • the religious education curriculum is in accordance with the Bishop’s policy for the Diocese.

Parent Governors:

Parents, including carers of pupils, are eligible to stand for election as governors. Parent governors are elected by other parents/carers at the school.   Any election that is contested must be held by a ballot. While they are elected by parents, parent governors are not expected to represent the views of the whole parental body on issues. Indeed, such a task would be impractical and unreasonable. Naturally, parent governors take into account their experience as parents and their sense of parental views, but they are elected to make their own decisions on specific issues. 

Associate Governors:

These can be appointed by the FGB and may attend FGB meetings.  They are not full governors in the sense that they have voting rights, but the governing body may assign some voting rights in the committees to which they are appointed and their views are welcomed at FGB meetings. 

Staff Governors:

The Headteacher is a staff governor ex officio. Other staff, both teaching and support, may become governors as long as they are salaried employees– volunteers are not eligible.  Staff governors are elected by the school staff.  Any election that is contested must be held by a ballot.  St John’s currently has a place for one teacher governor and one support-staff governor. 

Local Authority Governor:

Local authority governors are appointed by BANES, the local authority which maintains the school and should be appointed irrespective of any political affiliation or preference. 






Start Date

End Date


Mrs Sharon Stewart


01 Jan 2010    






Tish Bourke


18 Oct 2013

17 Oct 2017







Mr Barnaby Dodwell


3 Dec 2013

2 Dec 2017


Ms Mary Lou Elliott


1 April 2013

31 March 2017






James Henderson


 27 Sept 2016

 26 Sept 2020



Dr Giles Mercer

Foundation – CHAIR

1 April 2016

31 March 2020


Mrs Karen Neate

Foundation – Parent

1 April 2014

31 March 2018


Dr Michael Proulx

Foundation – Parent

1 April 2013

31 Dec








Canon David Ryan


1 Sept 2015

31 August 2019








Mrs Marilyn Strevens


1 Sept 2013

31 Aug 2017


Mr Patrick Weaver


Mrs Michèle Ryan

Mrs Kaleigh Pentecost-White  

Mrs Anna Meo 


Foundation –Parent







1 Sept 2013



Nov 2015     


June  2015

 8 Dec 2015






31 Aug 2017



31 Aug 2019


30 May 2019

 7 Dec 2019






Committees supporting St John’s Full Governing Body

The Full Governing Body normally meets four times a year with an additional fifth meeting to approve the annual budget. The FGB is supported in its work by several committees, listed below, which normally meet three times a year.

The FGB delegates detailed tasks to these committees, but the FGB alone has decision-making rights.

The committee chairs are elected annually by the FGB at its first meeting of the academic year, each September, along with them the Chair and Vice Chair of the FGB.  Committee membership is also reviewed and agreed at the September FGB meeting.



Admissions (Chair - Marilyn Strevens)


Key duties include:

  • Determining (within statutory provisions and FGB policy) which child should be admitted to the school
  • Reviewing admissions policy and making recommendations to the FGB
  • Reporting to the FGB the admission policy category of all pupils admitted to the school.


Curriculum (Chair – Michael Proulx)


Key duties include:


  • Advising the FGB on standards and quality of teaching and learning
  • Considering curricular issues with implications for Finance and Personnel
  • Ensuring specific areas of provision are considered.


Personnel (Chair - Mary-Lou Elliott)


Key duties include:


  • Reviewing (with the Headteacher) staff structures
  • Establishing a staff pay policy
  • Overseeing the appointment procedure of staff – with a particular duty to preserve the Catholic character of the school
  • Establishing and reviewing the staff appraisal policy
  • Monitoring staff work-life balance.


Resources (Chair - Karen Neate)


Key duties include:

  • Annually reviewing and updating finance policy
  • Drafting (with the Headteacher) the formal budget plan
  • Ensuring the School operates within LA financial regulations
  • Making decisions on service agreements, expenses, pay increments etc.
  • Ensuring (where possible) health and safety actions are prioritized.

Steering (Chair - Giles Mercer)


Key duties include:

  • Agreeing the work of the FGB and the committees over the next school year
  • Overseeing governor involvement in formulating and monitoring the School Development Plan
  • Monitoring the progress of work of the committees.


Further committees meet only when needed. These are: staff discipline, staff appeals, and pupil discipline.  A Headteacher’s performance panel also exists.



Dates and times of FGB and committee meetings are shortly to be advertised via the school governors’ notice board.  A summary of the FGB meetings is also posted in the school newsletter. 

Minutes of FGB meetings are public documents and are available on request from the school office.  The FGB clerk and all other Governors can be contacted via the School Office. 


School governors are responsible for the strategic management of the school. The FGB has corporate responsibility and is held to account by the Board of Trustees of the Diocese of Clifton and the Local Authority of BANES.

Ofsted measures the effectiveness of governance as part of its scrutiny of Leadership and Management.

Governors are drawn from communities that elected or appointed them. They do not, however, represent only the interests of their sponsor/s, but all communities across the school.

Further information on the conduct of FGB meetings, its composition is set out in the school’s Standing Orders; and Instrument of Government. A memorandum of understanding also exists between the FGB and the Headteacher.  Both documents are available from the Clerk of the FGB.