The Governing body acts as a voluntary management committee for the school working closely with Head teacher and staff.

As governors, we are pleased and privileged to be able to contribute to the success of Saint Mary’s. Our role involves working together with Mr Groarke, the head teacher and the senior management team in the strategic management of the school to ensure that it provides the best possible education for all our children and a safe and caring environment for everyone in our community. We are entrusted by the Bishop and will always act in recognition of the love of Christ for all members of the school community and one another. We draw on the core values of the Gospel summarised:

  • Faith in God and in Jesus Christ
  • Love of our neighbours
  • Faithfulness and integrity
  • Dignity and compassion
  • Humility and gentleness
  • Truth and justice
  • Forgiveness and mercy
  • Purity and holiness

We are actively involved in the school in a variety of ways and always enjoy our visits to share in the children’s many achievements. The role of school governor is very rewarding, as it allows us to make a positive difference to the school by helping to raise standards and serve the wider local community.

What do Governors do?

School governors play an important part in raising school standards and our main priority is to act in the best interests of all the children at Saint Mary’s. We are legally responsible for the school, and have final say in policy and budget. The governors work closely with Mr Groarke who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school, providing both support and challenge to ensure our school provides the best quality education possible.

Governors play an active role in reviewing school achievement and attainment information on a regular basis. This allows us, together with the head teacher, to be actively involved in making decisions regarding the progress towards and setting of challenging targets for better performance. The school governors also approve and monitor the impact of school policies and work together with the head teacher and staff to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of the school improvement plan. The governors also approve the school budget and staffing structure in consultation with the head. As governors, we respond to recommendations from the Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocese, local education authority and Ofsted, to ensure that every child in our school is able to achieve to the best of their ability. The governing body also holds the head teacher to account for the performance of the school and ensures that parents are involved, consulted and informed as required.

At Saint Mary’s, the board of governors meet once a term. The governing body is also sub-divided into two sub-committees’ – the Teaching and Learning Committee and the Resource Management Committee. These committees meet an additional three times a year and report back to the main governing body. Each governor attends at least one of these committees. In addition there is a Development Strategy Group (Ofsted Working Group).


Position Name Term of Office Ends Business and Financial Interests
Foundation - Chair Mrs Rachel Cassidy 31/08/2020 (Elected annually) Director at Core Cost Management Group Ltd (Declared 05/10/17)
Foundation - Vice Chair Mrs Samantha Buller 31/10/2020 (Elected Annually) Student training in Year 4 class (Declared 05/10/17)
Foundation Fr Gregory Tobin 31/12/2020 Governor at St Philip Howard, All Saints, and St Margaret’s (Declared 05/10/17)
Foundation Mr Damian Bell 30/04/2020 None declared
Foundation Mrs Tina Coomber 2017 None declared
Foundation Mrs Sheila Day 31/12/2019 None declared
Foundation Vacancy
Co-opted (No voting rights) Mrs Alison Hollingworth 05/07/2020 TA within school (Declared 05/10/17)
Parent Mr Darryl Artingstall 11/01/2022
Parent Mrs Victoria Brown 27/11/2020 None declared
Staff Mrs Anne Usher 2016 Employee of St Mary’s (Declared 05/10/17)
Local Authority Mrs Heidi Page 27/03/2021 Parent to children within school, Governor at St Luke’s (Declared 05/10/17)
Head Teacher Mr Simon Groarke N/A None declared
Clerk to the Governors Mrs Samantha Tootell-Ellis N/A None Declared


Governor Profiles


Rachel Cassidy (Foundation Governor & Chair)

Re-appointed by the Diocese 01/09/2017, Term Ends 31/08/2020

Elected Chair at AGM 05/10/2017 (Minute No 3a)

Previously Chair for 2016/2017 Elected 04/10/2016 (Minute No 2a)

Committees – Teaching & Learning, Resources, Strategic (Chair), Head Teacher Performance Management/Staff Pay & Performance (Clerk), OFSTED

Link Governor – Safeguarding

Attendance – 2016/2017, 6/7 meetings (85.7%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)

I live in Ashton under Lyne with my Husband, two children and a Springer Spaniel called Minnie. I have been a governor at Saint Mary’s since 2008, both my girls came here and so did the rest of my family, including my mum, who attended the original school on Saint Mary’s Road back in 1953.

When I left Saint Mary’s, I attended St Philip Howard Secondary School and then Xaverian Sixth Form College. I went on to study Social Sciences at Preston Polytechnic but due to my Dad becoming ill, I decided to put my degree on hold to help to look after him.

Since then, I worked for the Automobile Association, and I am presently a Director of a Telecom Analytics and Management Company. I am also in my second year studying a degree in Forensic Psychology with The Open University.

Over the years I have felt constantly attached to the school, attending masses and events, helping with reading and school trips whilst my girls were there and serving on the PFA and so when I was asked to be a governor I jumped at the chance.

I loved Saint Mary’s when I was a pupil, I loved it when my two daughters attended and I love it now, as Chair of Governor’s, ensuring that other children are able to get the very best possible start to their education and that the caring and nurturing environment is continued and developed for current and future children to enjoy learning in.

Samantha Buller (Foundation Governor & Vice Chair)

Appointed by the Diocese 01/11/2016, Term Ends 31/10/2020

Elected Vice Chair at AGM 05/10/2017 (Minute No 3b).

Committees – Teaching & Learning (Chair), Resources, Strategic (Clerk), Head Teacher Performance Management/Staff Pay & Performance, OFSTED

Link Governor – Anti-bullying, Key Stage 1

Attendance – 2016/2017, 7/7 meetings (100%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)

I am married mum of four, the youngest of which, attend St Mary’s School. I too, am an ex pupil of the school, and so it has been lovely to return as a parent. I have some fond memories of my time here, which has led me to wanting to give back as much to the school as I can.

During the last few years, I have very reluctantly, retired from a successful nursing career as an Operating Theatre Sister. The position enabled me to gain many skills and experience in various different areas. Working as a member of a multidisciplinary team, decision making, human resource management and good communication, both written and verbal; qualities necessary within a school setting.

During this time, when my eldest daughter started preschool, I was also appointed chairperson on the preschool management committee, a voluntary role I remained in for five years. The role primarily involved, management of the running of a charity funded Preschool. This consisted of Human resource management, interviewing and appointing new staff, financial issues (supported by an excellent treasurer), implementing policies old and new, and a lot of volunteering in the preschool on my days off. It also required regular contact with Early Years coordinators and OFSTED in order to comply with the educational guidelines. With this experience behind me, when the opportunity arose to join the board of Governors at St Mary’s, I felt it was the right time to transfer my experience, and give something back to the school I loved.

I am in school on a daily basis, preparing the tuck shop for the children, and helping out where I can with trips out, reading etc. During this time, I see a lot of very happy children, eager to learn, embracing the Catholic ethos of the school, and caring for each other. This enables me to have a peek, through a small window at the day to day workings of the school as a parent, as well as a Governor. I believe this enables me to contribute effectively as a member of the Board of Governors, and hopefully play my part in continuing the good work of the teaching staff (past and present) and the Governors before me.

Damian Bell (Foundation Governor)

Appointed by the Diocese – 01/05/2016, Term Ends 30/04/2020

Previously elected Vice Chair at AGM 04/10/2016 (Minute No 2b) – V.C. term ended 08/2017

Committees – Resources (Chair), Head Teacher Performance Management/Staff Pay & Performance (Chair)

Link Governor – None

Attendance – 2016/2017, 6/7 meetings (85.7%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)

I live in Glossop with my wife and two daughters, the eldest of whom is currently in Year 2 class.

I work in a business improvement role for a large company and have broad experience in strategic planning, commercial/business development, staff and contract management. I work extensively with local government clients throughout the UK.

When not working I spend my time with my family finding interesting days out, walking in the hills or watching football or cricket.

As a parent with a child at St Mary’s I take a strong interest in the way in which a school is run and in the formal and informal education delivered. I believe that the good governance is vital in making the school the best it can be and I am happy to offer my skills to help support the staff, pupils and the Church as they work with the Governors to achieve this aim.

Sheila Day (Foundation Governor)

Appointed by the Diocese – 01/01/2016, Term Ends 31/12/2019

Committees – Teaching & Learning (Clerk), OFSTED (Clerk)

Link Governor – SEND, Website

Attendance – 2016/2017, 6/7 meetings (85.7%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)

I was born and brought up in North Wales so I was fortunate to have the two beaches in Llandudno for my play areas as a child! In 1981, I moved to live and study in Liverpool where I completed my teaching degree at Christ’s and Notre Dame College which was a wonderful time of my life. My first teaching post was at St. Charles’ School in Hadfield where I taught pupils from Y2 to Y6 up to the end of December 2017.  I was also the SENCO at the school so I worked with staff and outside agencies to support pupils with special educational needs. In 2003, to widen my experience, I left to work in a large school in Hattersley and at a special school in Tameside. I was very fortunate to learn so much from those children and staff. A year later, I returned to St. Charles’ School for some new challenges.

I have one son who attended St. Charles’ Catholic Primary School and then moved onto St. Philip Howard in Glossop. From there, he chose to go to Xaverian Sixth Form College in Manchester and then on to the University of Leeds. He is now enjoying the challenge of being a teacher in a secondary school in Leeds.

For fun, I enjoy theatre, live music and comedy gigs, playing badminton and squash. I like to walk the beautiful hills which we are surrounded by but especially in Lyme Park as I am a “Pride and Prejudice” fan! I have been a lifelong fan of Manchester United but my husband supports Arsenal! But being Welsh, rugby is in my heart!

I am looking forward to visiting the school and meeting the pupils and staff so I can learn more about life at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School!

Father Gregory Tobin (Foundation Governor)

Re-appointed by the Diocese 01/01/2017. Term Ends 31/12/2020.

Committee – None

Link Governor – None

Attendance 2016/2017 – 1/7 (14.2%),          2017/2018, 1/2 meetings (50%)



Christina Coomber (Foundation Governor)

Appointed by the Diocese –                             Term Ends

Committees – Teaching & Learning, Resources

Link Governor – Health & Safety

Attendance – 2016/2017, 5/7 meetings (71.4%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)


VACANCY (Foundation Governor)


Anne Usher (Staff Governor)

Date Elected –                             Term Ends

Committees – Resources (Clerk)

Link Governor – Complaints Coordinator

Attendance – 2016/2017, 6/7 meetings (85.7%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)


Heidi Page (LA Governor)

Appointed by LA – 28/03/2017, Term Ends 27/03/2021

Formal appointment by the Board of Governors 28/03/2017 (Minute No 2)

Committees – Teaching & Learning, OFSTED (Chair)

Link Governor – Pupil / Sports Premium

Attendance – 2016/2017, 6/6 meetings (100%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)

Having two children at Saint Mary’s, when asked to become the Local Authority school governor, I jumped at the chance. Having a background working in education and several years’ experience of being a school governor at another local Glossop primary school I felt I would be able to contribute to the work of the governing body to ensure that the school aims for a high standard of achievement for all the children in the school. Along with my fellow governors I aim to provide the school with strategic leadership, ensuring the school has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction.

I have particular responsibility on the governing body as the Pupil Premium link governor overseeing the work the school does for students who are entitled to the Pupil Premium funding. I am also a member of the Development Strategy Group and Resource Management Committee.

I work at The University of Manchester as a Student Recruitment and Widening Participation Officer – with responsibility to ensure that the University provides clear and consistent information on the acceptability and equivalency of UK and EU qualifications, as well as offering prospective students and their key influencers with information, advice and guidance on applying to University.


Alison Hollingworth (Associate Member)

Voted by the Governors 05/07/2016, Term Ends 04/07/2020

Committees – Teaching & Learning

Link Governor – RE

Attendance – 2016/2017, 6/7 meetings (85.7%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)



Victoria Brown (Parent Governor)

Elected by Parent Ballot 28/11/2016,  Term Ends 27/11/2020

Committees – Teaching & Learning

Link Governor – Early Years

Attendance – 2016/2017, 5/6 meetings (83.3%),          2017/2018, 2/2 meetings (100%)

I am a mother to three young children, My eldest is currently in year 3 and my middle child is in St Mary’s Reception class.

I moved to Glossop around 17 years ago to pursue a career in law with a firm in Manchester. I have changed employers and cities a few times since then, but lived in Glossop throughout. I was made redundant last year, and set up an online business so that I could work from home and spend more time with my family. It started as an enterprise challenge but has grown beyond my expectations.

I have been impressed by my experiences of St Mary’s over the past few years. I particularly admire the commitment and care shown to us by the staff and the friendly atmosphere within the school. I hope that by being a Parent Governor I can become more involved and contribute to St Mary’s by supporting  the school through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

I have experience in legal services, team management, business administration, project management and technology development. I also have skills in problem solving and drafting.

Darryl Artingstall (Parent Governor)

Elected by Parent Ballot 12/01/2018,  Term Ends 11/01/2022

Committees – 

Link Governor – 

Attendance –        2017/2018

I currently work for Citizens Advice whose philosophy is to ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally no matter their background.  I head up a legal department that ensures the public have support and advice to fight any injustice they have suffered.

I understand the commitment and support the school provides the community.  I would like to help the other Governors and Head Teacher in making the school a better place than it already is.

I would like to bring a father’s perspective to the board and work with the existing team to ensuring the school has the support.


Resigned Governors


Dan Hanks (Parent Governor)

Elected by Parent Ballot 28/11/2016. Resigned 13/09/2017

Declarations of Interest – None Declared

Attendance – 2016/2017, 5/6 meetings (83.3%)