The role of school governors is to set strategic direction, to hold school leaders to account for improving performance, and to make sure money is well spent. 

The Government recognises the dedication of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who serve as school governors who are passionate about supporting and improving their schools.

Governing bodies are the key strategic decision makers in every school and a key part of the overall system of school accountability. They have a vital role to play in driving up school and pupil performance and ensuring every child receives the best possible education.

The education system is changing rapidly. Every school needs a high performing governing body that:

  • understands its responsibilities and focuses on its core strategic functions
  • is made up of people with relevant skills and experience
  • operates efficiently and effectively through appropriate structures and procedures 


At St James' we recognise that our governors work really hard to help us make our school the best it can be and we are very grateful for their time and commitment.



Mr Apruzzese - Site Manager/Associate Member

Mr Barker - Community Governor

Mrs Bashir - Parent Governor

Mrs Brearley - Community Governor

My name is Barbara Brearley and I am a community link governor.  I have taught in Tameside for thirty six years; the last five years of my career were spent teaching at St James', consequently I have strong links with the school.
I am passionate about the role that education plays in developing the whole child to be caring, happy and successful; making positive contributions to society.


Since retiring I work part-time in a charity shop, enjoy craft activities and take part in country walks with a local club.

Mr Fairfoull - Local Authority Governor and Vice Chair

My name is Bill Fairfoull and I am now in my 5th year as a Local Authority Governor at St James’ School. I am also a local councillor representing St Michaels Ward, an area of Ashton–under-Lyne which includes our school. We live in a very diverse area and St James' plays a big part in bringing the community together at the same time retaining its Christian ethos. Last year I was proud to be elected as Vice Chair of the Governing Body and I also sit on the Finance Committee.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, sport and walking

Revd Farnworth - Foundation Governor

Revd Roger Farnworth: I am the ex-officio foundation governor for St. James School. I am the Church of England minister at St. James' Church. I have been on the governing body since 2003. I chair the Finance, Premises, Personal and Safety Committee for the governing body. I am regularly in school taking assemblies on Monday mornings.

Mrs Lowe - Staff Governor

Mrs Marsh - Headteacher

My name is Verna Marsh and I am the head teacher of St James’ Church of England Primary School.  I have held this position since January 1999 and have loved being part of the St James’ community.

I am passionate about education, and feel that my experience of being a mother and being a teacher help me to fulfil my role as governor and head teacher.  I believe that the school has many strengths which we can build on together to provide firm foundations for the future of the children in our care.   

Mrs Orwat - Parent Governor

My name is Helen Orwat and I have been a parent governor at St. James' Church of England Primary School for nearly 3 years.  I have two children at the school and feel that the development of my children is greatly influenced by school life.  The experiences and learning environment will form a vital part of their skills needed for later in life.
Apart from bringing up the children, I work in a scientific field related to law, where I make decisions based on information given in writing or verbally, authorise work, give advice and attend strategy meetings.  I am also an active member of a residents association and get involved with projects to improve the area I live in.

Mrs Oswald - Parent Governor

Miss Parnell - Deputy Head Teacher/Associate Member

My name is Catherine Parnell and I have worked at St James' since 1999 as a class teacher, mainly with Year 6, and since 2012 as the Deputy Head.  I have been a staff governor for two terms of office too.  During my time at St James' I have seen many changes and many improvements which I am proud to have been a part of.  I am dedicated to being a member of the St James' team to provide the very best education and opportunities for all our children to thrive, achieve and grow for a successful future.   

Mr Qureshi - Associate Member

Ms Schora - Parent Governor

Hiya! my name is Stephanie Schora and I am one of your St James' school parent governors. My son currently attends St James' school and I am also a qualified level 2 Teaching Assistant, so I understand first hand what it is like to be a parent and what other parents may want to know regarding their child's learning and education.  If you see me please say hi as I always like to talk!

Mr Shaw - Foundation Governor

Mrs Stott - Staff Governor

My name is Claire Stott and I have been a teacher governor at St James for almost 2 years. I am the current year 6 teacher and member of the Middle Leadership Team at St James'.  My other leadership responsibilities at school include Physical Education and Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education. I work with the staff, parents, children and governors at school to ensure that all our children receive the best education possible. With the nature of my curriculum responsibility areas (PE and PSHCE) I am keen to promote an active and healthy lifestyle with the children not only during curriculum time, but also in the extra-curricular aspects of school such as before and after sports/ health clubs and competitions both within school and against other schools.

Mrs Walton - Local Authority Governor and Chair

Hello! My name is Shelagh Walton and I have been a local authority governor at St James for 7 years. I’m the current Chair of Governors and I’m working very hard with the school to ensure that all our children receive the best education possible. I visit the school regularly working with the senior leadership and staff and am also currently working with the school council to encourage their active participation in school life and the wider community. With them we have recently run a school competition to write a new school prayer and written a letter to a pupil at our link school in Uganda through Action Aid.


Please feel free to contact me or any of the school governors at school if you wish to have a conversation about school!

Local Authority (LA) governors – appointed by the Council;

Parent governors – parents with children at the school, elected by other parents;

Staff governors – teaching and support staff at the school;

Community governors - people with links to the local community;

Associate members – people from the local community chosen by the other governors.

We currently have one parent governor vacancy.  If you are interested in finding out more please speak to any of our current parent governors who will be happy to explain what the role entails.

Useful links for governors

Governor's Handbook - updated!

Department for Education

fftlive Governor Dashboard 2012

fftlive Governor Dashboard 2013 

National Governors' Association

Governor Line

Tameside Governors

For up to date training modules from the comfort of your own home please remember to access the GEL as much as you can (our 12 month subscription will fly by!)

GEL - Governor e-Learning