We want to introduce ourselves and tell you some more about the role of the Governing Body at St Francis of Assisi.
Our main role is to support Mrs Hope and the staff in the running of the school – we ensure that the school has a strong and clear vision and ethos, that standards are high, that all children at St Francis have access to the best possible education and that the resources of the school – the budgets, staff and building – are well and appropriately used. We have a particular interest in the safety and wellbeing of children and staff. Foundation Governors, appointed by the Diocese of East Anglia, have a special responsibility to maintain the Catholic ethos of the school.
We meet as a Full Governing Body four times per year and all Governors belong to one of our two sub committees – Resources, or TLS – Teaching, Learning & Standards – each of which meets termly. Some Governors have additional responsibilities shown below. We will let you know what we have been doing as a Governing Body through the ‘Weekly What’s On’ and we will publish an Annual Governance Statement on the School website. You can request minutes of the Full Governing Body meetings at the office.
Governors will be in school on a regular basis visiting classes, attending events such as assemblies and masses and helping with projects. Some governors are current parents and are in the playground on a regular basis – please do come and talk to us if you have any queries or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Ball – Chair (Foundation Governor) RE
I have been a Foundation Governor for over 10 years. I have four daughters who all attended our school. I am currently Chair of the Governing Body and am on the Resources committee. I also have specific links to RE in school and to Year One.
I work part-time teaching singing, piano and recorder. I am also a Lay Clerk at St John’s Cathedral as well as leading the music group and assisting with the Choristers.Previously I worked in admin – initially as a Financial Advisor and then as PA to a training consultant. In my spare time I enjoy singing in a number of choirs, learning new instruments, knitting and sewing..
William Croston – Vice Chair, Chair of Resources Committee (Parent Governor)
I am a Parent Governor and joined the governing body in December 2014. I have one child currently at the School and two who are now at Notre Dame. I work at Norwich School where I have been for almost 25 years, where alongside teaching Modern Languages, I am Head of Examinations and Higher Education Advice. I also mentor trainee teachers from UEA and help interview prospective doctors at University College London. One of the most enjoyable parts of the year is organising the Norfolk Summer School which is attended by Year 12 students from around Norfolk offering a tailored programme of academic and practical seminars and lectures to encourage Norfolk children to aim high in Year 13 and beyond. I applied to become a Governor because I believe in the ethos which has been created by all at St Francis and want to understand more about how the school is run. I enjoy travel, reading, gardening and sport.
Betsy Fowler (Foundation Governor) Safeguarding & Pupil Premium
I have worked in the catholic sector at Notre Dame High school as drama teacher turned senior leader, across Norfolk as a senior adviser and now back in school. I am just about to take on the role as Acting Principal of the Open Academy, a school with a Christian ethos, welcoming all faiths and those with none.
I am dynamic and creative in all aspects of life and am a practising catholic who loves life, family and just being. I am married, with one daughter and three dogs!
Father Padraig Hawkins (Foundation Governor) RE
I am a Catholic Priest ordained for the Diocese of East Anglia and for this reason have been appointed as a Foundation Governor at St Francis’ School by the Diocese. Having served in a parish in Ipswich and then at the Cathedral in Norwich, I am now based in the local Parish of Poringland; I have also been the Diocesan Bishop’s Private Secretary for the last three years, a role which now occupies most of my time. Before heading off to seminary and eventually becoming a priest I had a “normal” job working as an engineer and spending each day tinkering with parts for either aeroplanes or helicopters. My hobbies still included anything that involves getting my hands dirty, and also, if the weather is good, going for a nice ride on my motorbike.
Julia Marcantonio (Foundation Governor) Admissions
I am a retired research scientist and have been a Foundation governor for more than 10 years. I was Chair of Governors at St John’s for three years and have chaired several committees. This year I am on the Curriculum & Standards/ Every Child Matters Committee, and am linked to Year 1 and the Knowledge and Understanding of the World Curriculum Development Team. My children and grandchildren have all attended our schools, and I still have one grandchild at Notre Dame. I really enjoy being in school with the children and have helped to guide them through several sewing projects.
Dan McKeown (Parent Governor) Admissions
I am Dan Mckeown parent to three children who attend St Francis, in Reception, Year 3 and Year 5. I grew up in Shropshire and and have fond memories of my own time at school; St Peter and Paul’s Primary school in Newport and then Blessed Robert Johnson Catholic College in Wellington. My term as a parent governor started in November 2018. Because my work is centered around school hours it is not easy to be part of the school community on a day to day basis. I feel that as a parent governor I can be still be involved and contribute to the school community, in a useful and positive way.
I moved to Norfolk 20 years ago and have been a teacher in Norfolk for 18 years; from a large Primary of 700 pupils in Norwich to a small village school of 200 pupils. I have taught from Early Years to Year 6 and I am currently the Headteacher of Coltishall Primary School. I believe that pupils should gain the skills, knowledge and experiences that enable them to be lifelong learners and moral citizens, and that this is achieved through an enriching curriculum as part of a values based community and high quality teaching and learning. I hope my enthusiasm and experience of education and knowledge of school finance, teaching and learning and school leadership can contribute to the work of the governing board.
As well as a busy job and family, I coach a boys football team, Heigham Park Rangers Under 10s. The ethos of the team is inclusive, as long as we have the capacity we accept players of any ability. Because I believe participating in sport at a young age is not about the outcome at the end of the game or only the development of skills, but the development of the player’s social and mental capabilities, and encouraging their teamwork, resilience and love of team sports.
Lauretta Nwaka – Chair of Teaching Learning and Standards Committee (Foundation Governor) SEN
A Biomedical scientist by profession at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital. I have been a parent governor for the last three years. I have two children at Note Dame who finished from St Francis of Assisi. I chair the teaching, learning and standards committee – a meeting point where governors and school leaders work together to ensure the school maintains its high standards. I am the link governor for special education needs and disability (SEND). In the Catholic community, I am part of the team preparing the next group of children for confirmation at the St John’s Cathedral Norwich. I am committed to maintaining the Catholic ethos of the school and its long term effect and impact in the life of children on their life’s journey. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, baking, sewing, entertaining, swimming and travelling.
Andrew Parle (Parent Governor) Sports Premium and Parent Voice
I’m a newly appointed Parent Governor at St Francis of Assisi as of May 2018. We as a family moved from Liverpool 4 years ago to Norwich and were delighted our son could attend St Francis’s. He is now in year 2 and growing, developing and enjoy his time here.
I’m excited and passionate about my role as a governor and keen to play an active part of the continued success at St Francis’s. Whilst there is a lot to learn and a lot of listening needed, I already feel part of the community here at St Francis governing team.
I enjoy the warm and caring approach the school has towards the children and feel the catholic ethos has a vital contribution too in the positive educational journey all the children are on.
I have worked in retail for 20 years in a variety of roles including currently a head office project manager. The skills I have learnt in my work life, I hope to bring to the benefit of the wider school and community.
In my spare time I’m a Scout leader locally, keen gardener, I enjoy canoeing and dabble with DIY.
Danny Sharpe (Foundation Governor)
I am a Teacher of Mathematics at Notre Dame High School, and have enjoyed that role for the last 11years, in which time I have taken on responsibility for KS5 (16 – 19) Mathematics, run several successful Ski trips for NDHS, been involved with preparing students for Russel Group University applications, helped on Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions and I am currently a member of the Chaplaincy Team within NDHS.
I am also involved with the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclass programme which organises and delivers a series of mathematical talks and workshops for interested year 6 and year 9 students each May and June.
I am a parishioner at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, where both of my daughters enjoy attending the children’s liturgy, and have been a member of the Parish Council for the last four years.
After my eldest daughter completed an enjoyable and successful Reception year in at St Francis, I decided that I wanted to be more involved in the life and work of the school. Having the privilege of being appointed as a Foundation Governor in November 2018, has enabled me to do this.
Carolina Vettese – (Foundation Governor)
I have recently joined St Francis of Assisi as a Foundation Governor. I have over 25 years of educational experience across a wide range of ages and stages. My early career was within the further education sector where I delivered and organised a range of courses. I then developed my career into specialising in Modern Foreign Languages. I have led departments and taught in a range of schools across Norfolk. I am currently Head of MFL at Lynn Grove Academy.
I am really interested in the learning journey that children make over their time within schools and onto further and higher education.
I am married with 2 children. One who is currently at a school within the Saint John the Baptist MAT and the other who is studying for a PHD in Chemistry at Manchester University.
Sandra Watt (Staff Governor)
I have only just become a governor at the school and am the staff representative on the Governing Board. I am a Year 6 teacher at St Francis of Assisi with many years experience of teaching this age group and as a result tend to represent the school where matters relating to Year 6 are concerned. At the moment I am joint lead teacher for Maths in the school, with Anne Jeffrey, but have in the past had responsibility for Science, PE and PHSE. I do a running club once a week at Eaton Park with children from Years 3 to 6. I have recently gone down to 4 days a week in order to have a better work life balance. I have 3 children, who all went to St Thomas More and then Notre Dame and who are now at various stages in determining their life ambitions. In my spare time I enjoy being active (running, cycling, skiing and walking), gardening, reading and the cinema.
I am a Foundation Governor as of December 2018 and have one daughter who attends (and loves!) St Francis. I grew up in Scotland and moved to Norwich 18 years ago as part of my journey to become a Child and Educational Psychologist.
I completed my initial PhD looking at behaviour change and my second doctorate in supporting children and young people who have been bereaved. I have worked within the Psychology Services in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and now work independently with the Child and Educational Psychology Practice across East Anglia supporting school staff, young people and their families. Previously I have worked within academic research and also taught in two Norfolk Secondary schools.
I believe that emotional well-being is central to our development (as children and adults!) and also underpins the whole ethos of St Francis.
I am very much looking forward to supporting the school through the Governor role.
If you want to get in touch with the Governing Body please hand a letter into the school office or email the clerk at email@example.com