The Role of the Governors

The Governing Body has ten members currently, all coming from a diverse background of Education, IT and Finance. We are allvolunteers and are appointed to assist in the strategic direction of the school. The members include the Chair, the Vice Chair, parent governors, foundation governors, school staff and the Headteacher.

The Governors do not get involved in the day to day running of the school or in how the school is managed, but are there as support to the Head Teacher and senior leaders in promoting high standards of education, welfare and spiritual wellbeing of all our pupils.

We work as a team alongside the Head Teacher and senior leaders to promote and support the success of the school. We act as a “Critical Friend” helping to ensure high standards are maintained and that all of our children remain happy and healthy whilst making outstanding educational progress.

The Governors meet on a regular basis in the form of two committees focussing on the curriculum, school development, admissions, finance, safeguarding, personnel and premises. The full Governing Body meets each term to discuss outstanding issues from the committees and to receive feedback from the Head Teacher and senior leaders regarding the progress of the school.

In addition to this, individual Governors are linked with various aspects of the work of the school and meet periodically with school staff to monitor and promote progress towards targets. Whenever possible, Governors support staff and pupils by attending the many events that take place during the course of the year.

At St Ambrose, there are four types of governing roles as well as the Head Teacher.These are Staff Governor, Parent Governor, Foundation Governor and LA Governor. All members fall into one of these categories and the roles and responsibilities of each differ slightly and are outlined below.

Staff Governor Role

A Staff Governor is elected by the school staff and is a representative, not a delegate of the staff.

As an employee, the Staff Governor has a unique insight into the activities of the school. Therefore, the Staff Governor brings to the governing body an understanding of the school’s ethos and culture as well as a close, professional knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses. The Staff Governor contributes, in partnership with other Governors, to the strategic development of the school. Their role is to present the views of the staff reasonably and faithfully, to seek colleagues’ views and make them known to the governing body, but be free to act in accordance with their own conscience and in the interests of the pupils as they see them. The first responsibility of the Staff Governor is to the school and the governing body. The Staff Governor serves as a useful link between the staff and the governing body. Staff are key stakeholders in the school and as such must have mechanisms for their views to be included in school evaluation and improvement.

Parent Governor Role

A Parent Governor is a representative and not a delegate of parents.

Parent Governors provide a “parental viewpoint”, though they are representative parents rather than representative of parents. To fulfil the role effectively, Parent Governors should:

Make themselves known to the parent body
Try to attend in-service (INSET) sessions
Listen impartially to concerns raised by parents
Guide parents about appropriate lines of action and procedures
Present a balanced view of issues, representing different sections of the community
Parent Governors should establish rapport with other parents. However, they should not become personally involved in any individual concerns as this may jeopardise complaint and appeal procedures. Parent Governors should achieve a balance between impartial representation and the emotional issues relating to a child’s education. The Parent Governor’s role is the same as that of any other governor, and that no specific duties are attached to it.


Foundation Governor Role

At St Ambrose's, a Foundation Governor is appointed by Salford Diocese for the purpose of ensuring that the school’s religious character is preserved and developed.

Foundation Governors have specific functions in addition to the core governor role.

Statutory guidance for maintained schools from the Department for Education (D.f.E.) says:

A Foundation Governor is someone who, in the opinion of the person entitled to appoint them, has the skills to contribute to the effective governance and success of the school, and who is appointed for the purpose of securing:

In all cases, that the school character (including religious character where it has one ) is preserved and developed; and that the school is conducted in accordance with the foundation’s governing documents


LA Governor Role

 In addition to fulfilling the role of a governor, LA governors are expected to:

  • champion outcomes for all children and young people in Manchester;
  • consider national and local priorities and challenge decisions that could be detrimental to other schools or young people;
  • set high expectations through promoting Manchester as a place that children and young people can be proud of, where they can fulfil their full potential and progress to live and work;
  • focus on challenging schools to close gaps in attainment and progression and exceed national averages, particularly for vulnerable groups and learners such as looked after children, children with special educational needs or children from minority ethnic groups;
  • maintain an understanding of and communicate the Council’s priorities and developments at governing body meetings;
  • maintain an awareness about the school’s local area, community and local priorities 



St Ambrose – Link Governor Roles and Committee

Membership 2017-2018


Name of Governor Governance Role Appointed body Role/responsibility Committees Term of Office start date and expiry date

Mrs Margaret Cunningham 


Chair of Governors



Appointed by Diocese



Link governor for Health & Safety/Safeguarding/Prevent and Year 3

Learning, Resources & Pay



02/12/16 - 02/12/19



Mrs Ruth Vayro


Head teacher






Learning & Resources 


29/03/16 - 29/03/19 


Mrs Gabrielle Higham


LA Governor


Appointed by LA 


Link governor for Year 4


Resources & Pay


28/04/17 - 28/04/20 


Mr Francis O'Connor


Foundation Governor


Appointed by Diocese


Link governor for Year 2




31/08/16 - 31/08/19


Mr John Connor 



Foundation Governor



Appointed by Diocese



Link governor for Assessment and Year 5


Learning & Pay



27/04/17 - 27/04/20



Ms Claire Wallace


Foundation Governor


Appointed by Diocese


Link governor for SEND/PPRG and Year 6




28/03/17 - 28/03/20


Mrs Mary Wilson 



Foundation Governor 



Appointed by Diocese



Link governor for Reception





01/10/17 - 01/10/20



Mrs Helen  Murphy 



Staff Governor



Elected by staff



Assistant head






01/07/17 - 01/07/20 



Mr Laighton Walters



Parent Governor



Elected by Parents



Link governor for Year 1






23/09/16 - 23/09/19 



Ms Tiffany Cooper-Jones


Parent Governor


Elected by Parents 

Link governor for Nursery


22/04/17 - 22/04/20

Mrs Angela Ager 



Co opted Governor



Appointed by Governors 








13/03/18 - 22/03/22






Structure of Governing Body


Full Governing body - there are no associate members of our governing body

Chair - Mrs Margaret Cunningham - Foundation Governor

Vice Chair - Mrs Gabrielle Higham - LA Governor

Mr John Connor - Foundation Governor

Mr Francis O'Connor - Foundation Governor 

Ms Claire Wallace - Foundation Governor 

Mrs Mary Wilson - Foundation Governor 

Mr Laighton Walters - Parent Governor

Ms Tiffany Cooper-Jones - Parent Governor 

Mrs Ruth Vayro - Head Teacher 

Mrs Helen Murphy - Assistant Head 

Mrs Angela Ager - Foundation Governor NLG

One Foundation Governor Vacancy


Learning Committee

Chair - Mrs Helen Murphy - Staff Governor

Vice Chair - Ms Claire Wallace- Foundation Governor

Mr John Connor - Foundation Governor

Ms Tiffany Cooper-Jones - Parent Governor

Mrs Ruth Vayro - Head teacher

Mrs Gabrielle Higham - LA Governor


Resources Committee

Chair - Mrs Angela Ager - Foundation Governor

Vice chair - Mrs Mary Wilson - Foundation Governor

Mrs Margaret Cunningham - Foundation Governor 

Mr Francis O'Connor - Foundation Governor

Mr John Connor - Foundation Governor

Mr Laighton Walters - Parent governor

Mrs Ruth Vayro - Head teacher 


Register of Interests 2017-2018

Governance roles in other educational institution:

  •  Mrs Margaret Cunningham - Governor at St Peter's RC High School Gorton Manchester
  • Mrs Gabrielle Higham - Chair at St Elizabeth's RC Primary School, Wythenshawe, Manchester 
  • Mrs Angela Ager - Chair at St Margaret Mary's RC Primary School, Manchester and a foundation director (trustee) of the presumptive Blessed John Henry Newman Multi Academy Trust in East Lancashire.   

Relevant business and pecuniary interests:

  •  Mrs Gabrielle Higham - CEO of catering company


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