The Role of the Governors

The Governing Body has eleven members currently, all coming from a diverse background of Education, IT and Finance. We are all volunteers 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, 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 RC Primary School 

 Membership & Structure - 2019-2020

 There are no associate members of our governing body


Name of Governor

Governance Role Appointed body     Term of Office start date and expiry date  

Mrs Margaret Cunningham       

Chair of Governors        Appointed by Diocese             02/12/16 - 02/12/20

Mr John Connor 

Vice Chair of Governors    Appointed by Diocese      27/04/19 - 27/04/20

Mrs Ruth Vayro 

Headteacher  Governors      29/03/16 

Mr Francis O'Connor 

Foundation Governor  Appointed by Diocese      31/08/16 - 31/08/19

Ms Claire Wallace 

Foundation Governor  Appointed by Diocese      28/3/17 - 28/03/20

Mrs Helen Murphy

Staff Governor  Elected by Staff     01/7/17 - 01/07/20

Mr Laighton Walters 

Parent Governor  Elected by Parents      23/09/16 - 23/09/20

Ms Tiffany Cooper - Jones 

Parent Governor  Elected by Parents      22/04/17 - 22/04/20

Mrs Angela Ager 

Co opted Governor  Appointed by Governors      13/03/18 - 22/03/22

Mr John Hannaway 

Foundation Governor  Appointed by Diocese      04/09/19 - 03/09/23 

Mrs Judith Thompson

LA Governor Appointed by LA      15/07/19 - 14/07/23


Register of Interests 2019-2020

Governance roles in other educational institution:

  •  Mrs Margaret Cunningham - Governor at St Peter's RC High School Gorton Manchester
  • Mrs Angela Ager - Chair at St Margaret Mary's RC Primary School, Manchester and a foundation director (trustee) of Romera Catholic Academy Trust

Relevant business and pecuniary interests: None 


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