The Governing Body at St Mary's Leyland are the strategic leaders of our school and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. This is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of maintained school governing bodies is to 'conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school'.

We have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils;
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The Governing body meets at least once a term. We use committees to look at more detailed aspects of our work. Committees look at issues like the curriculum, wellbeing, finance and premises.

Governor Secure Area

If you wish to speak to any of our governors please do so by contacting them through the school, ether by phone on 01772 421909 or by email via our contact page.

Governors are volunteers and come from a range of backgrounds, bringing varied knowledge and experiences to the role. The Governing Body at St Mary's currently consists of the following people:


Chair of Governors

Mrs G Donohoe

Gill has been a school governor since 2007, a parent governor at a local primary school for six years and a foundation governor at St Mary's since 2009. She is Chair of the pupil welfare committee, Nominated governor for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), Safeguarding and Child Protection governor and Training Link governor. Mum of three children, one of whom is a pupil at St Mary's. Gill has a background in finance having worked locally for an international charity for over 30 years. Currently employed by Lancashire County Council as a governing body adviser. Gill is a qualified swimming judge and officiates at swimming galas throughout the north west. Foundation Governor appointed by the Archdiocese on 12 Jan 2015, Term of Office ends Jan 2019.


Vice Chair of Governors

Mr S Mercer

Stephen is a Foundation Governor, Chair of Resources Committee, member of both Pay Committee and Staffing Review Committee. He's taught in secondary schools in Cheshire and Berkshire, and then worked as an education officer for Berkshire County Council. From 1990 until retirement in 2011, he served as a senior education officer with Lancashire County Council, in various posts with responsibilities including school funding and organisation, schools requiring special support, and special education. Stephen has experience as a governor in three other schools. He enjoys watching rugby, football and cricket. Foundation Governor appointed by the Archdiocese on 12 Jan 2015, Term of Office ends Jan 2019.



Mr P Mooney

Phil began his career at St Augustines RC High School, Billington as a Maths teacher in 1984. After successive promotions in Pastoral roles he was promoted as Assistant Headteacher for Curriculum & Assessment in 1997. In 2001 Phil was promoted to the role of Deputy Headteacher in the same school. In 2005 Phil was appointed as Headteacher at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School, Fleetwood working there until he joined St Mary's as Executive Headteacher in January 2015. A Blackburnian, Phil is a very keen sports enthusiast, in particular playing cricket at representative level in the Lancashire League and as professional on several occasions. These days squash, running and skiing are his preferred sports. Teacher Governor appointed 1 Jan 2016.


Regional Director

Mrs M Chistie

Melanie is Regional Director, North West, for the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales) and in her role supports over 12,000 fully qualified chartered accountants and students in training across the North West, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. She also sits on the Court of the University of Central Lancashire, is a member of the employer forum at Accrington & Rossendale College and is a local advisory board member for Growth Accelerator. In her free time Melanie enjoys reading, cooking, baking and long walks with her family and their dog. Parent Governor appointed by St Mary's Staff on 13 Nov 2013, Term of Office ends Nov 2017.


Mr J Cobham

John taught construction at Preston College (formerly W. R. Tuson College) and worked at the college for 25 years 'retiring' 10 years ago as Dean of Academy of Construction & the Built Environment. After a period of 12 months or so as an education consultant John set up a Construction Training Centre in Leyland from which he eventually retired from in July 2015. Married with three grown up children, all of whom attended St Mary's Leyland John enjoys shooting, going out with his dogs, spending time with his poultry and tending to his large garden. John has been a Governor of SS Peter & Pauls Mawdesley for over 30 years & has been Chair or Vice Chair for over 20 years. He joined the governing body of St Mary's in October 2013 and was invited to become a governor on the reconstituted board. Foundation Governor appointed by the Archdiocese on 12 Jan 2015, Term of Office ends Jan 2019.


Clinical Psychologist

Dr C Dixon

Clare has professional experience of working with children & young people in health settings and also in higher education. Her job as a Clinical Psychologist currently involves working with children and young people with chronic illnesses and their families, at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. She also works as a Clinical Tutor at Lancaster University training clinical psychologists of the future. Clare is a parent of a pupil at St Mary's and is an ex-pupil of the school herself. When not on the M6 she enjoys travelling and being outdoors. Foundation Governor appointed by the Archdiocese on 12 Jan 2015, Term of Office ends Jan 2019.


Mrs C GriffinFoundation and Link Governor for teaching and learning, Claire taught at St Anne's Catholic Primary School in Leyland before leaving to have her family. She taught at St Mary's in Chorley where she was Deputy Headteacher and Acting Headteacher before becoming Headteacher at Our Lady and All Saints Catholic Primary School in Parbold. The school was judged to be outstanding in all areas in January 2013. It is a Benedictine school. She was Associate Headteacher at St Joseph's, Wrightington last year. She enjoys spending time with her family and cruising on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Foundation Governor appointed by the Archdiocese on 12 Jan 2015, Term of Office ends Jan 2019.


Mrs G Reader

Staff Governor Gail has been a teacher here at St Mary's Leyland since September 1999. Over this period of time Gail has taught Food Technology, Graphics and RE, been a Learning Manager for 8 years and continues her Pastoral role today with responsibility for improving and monitoring attendance and punctuality. She is passionate about her subject and helping all pupils to achieve their full potential. Staff Governor appointed by St Mary's Staff on 1 Feb 2015, Term of Office ends Feb 2019.


Parent Governor

Mrs G Reader

Rachel is a Global Software Asset Manager for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and has worked in IT for large corporate firms for the last 25 years. Her experience covers many aspects of IT and management. Rachel has two teenage daughters one currently at St enjoys the sport of CrossFit/Olympic weightlifting and also walking and hiking in the Lakes. Marys. Another role she currently holds at AstraZeneca is the Diversity lead in IT and is member of the leadership team for Network of Women in the UK. In her spare time she Parent elected Governor 13 November 2017, Term of Office ends November 2021.