Governors
St Mary's has a committed and energetic governing body, responsible for the management of the school, the curriculum and staffing. We have two foundation governors nominated by the church, four parent governors elected by parents and one staff governor elected by all members of staff. Our links with the local community are reflected in our three co-opted positions. Our Headteacher is a member of the board and one of our governors is nominated by the Oxfordshire County Council.

The governors meet regularly throughout the year either at full governing body meetings and at committee meetings.

Here is the full list of our current governing body with information about their time in office, the type of governor they are and the committees on which they serve. Governors can be contacted through the school office.

Click to downloadGoverning body membership     Click to downloadGoverning body membership with Attendance
Click to downloadRegister of business interest

Ofsted, Oct 2016...
'Keeping pupils safe has a high priority in school. Being vigilant about pupils’ welfare is a central part of the school’s culture.'

The Revd Philip Cochrane
Chair of the Governing Body

I became Vicar of St Mary’s Church in May 2016 and want to contribute to the strategic development of the school through its vision, values and ethos. I was previously Chair of Governors of the largest Anglican Primary School in Wales and have been a Governor on and off of a variety of schools for the last 20 years. I have been a senior member of a County Council, focusing particularly on children & families, education and youth services.
I hope that the partnership between the church and school will be fun and life giving for the whole school community and am committed to inclusion and the development of each person holistically.
Apparently I have some crazy dance moves and pump air guitar in assemblies (you have been warned!).
The Revd Philip Cochrane
Sarah Wallis
Vice Chair, Parent Governor and Member of the Resources Committee

Parent governors have, I believe, a very important role in every school. We all want an exciting, well balanced and creative curriculum for our children. I have been a parent at St Mary's since 2003 and have seen many changes during that time. One thing has remained constant : the welcome and friendliness of the families from so many parts of the world and the care and commitment of staff for all our children. I have been a teacher myself (with a background in Special Education and the Humanities) and my working life has always been with young people. I became a Parent Governor in September 2014 as I wanted to give something back to the school. I currently serve on the Resources Committee. If you are new to the school please watch out for Governors at events. I look forward to meeting you!
Sarah Wallis
Toni Duncan
Co-opted Governor
Performance and Standards - Member

I was co-opted on to the Governing Body in November 2014 and serve on the Performance and Standards Committee. I have been involved in education all my working life since qualifying as a teacher in 1965. My first post was as a volunteer teacher in Mali, French West Africa. With my husband and four children I have lived and taught in several African and Middle Eastern Countries, so I have a real appreciation of diverse cultures. I worked for 11 years for Oxfordshire County Council as an EMAS (Ethnic Minority Achievement Service) helping children in many Banbury schools with their English as their 'home' language was not English. Since retiring I have maintained my interest in education as an invigilator in a local secondary school. As a practising Christian I am pleased to be associated with a school with a Christian ethos but I also have a deep respect and insight of Islam, having lived in Muslim countries. My hobbies include choral singing and calligraphy so I am interested in the musical education at St. Mary's as well as the children's handwriting!
Toni Duncan
Martin Lester
Co-opted Governor
Performance and Standards - Chair

I was co-opted to the governing body in July 2016. Currently, I work as an education consultant, including the role of performance management external adviser for headteachers. Previously I was employed as an Advisory Headteacher within the Oxfordshire School Improvement Team, supporting schools in challenging circumstances. This followed 15 years experience as a headteacher in 3 different schools and education authorities. As a result of these varied experiences I have a thorough knowledge and understanding of primary phase leadership and management, school improvement and self-evaluation. I began my teaching career at Dashwood Road Primary School, a long time ago, and now welcome the opportunity to begin my role as a governor in the longest established primary school in the town.
Martin Lester
Richard Messenger
Parent Governor
Finance and Resources - Member

As a Parent Governor, joining the Governing Committee in January 2016, I am looking forward to giving St. Mary's the benefit of my years of experience in facilities management. I am committed to St. Mary’s and its ongoing success, not least because I have two boys still in school and a daughter due to start in a couple of years.
I feel it's important that Governors act as a critical friend, providing robust challenge, but not at the expense of supporting the work of the Headteacher and staff of the school.
Richard Messenger
Mrs Victoria Woods
Headteacher
Finance and Resources, Performance and Standards - Member

Victoria has been a teacher for more than twenty years, working in both Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire in a wide variety of schools and posts. Having worked for Oxfordshire County Council as a School Improvement Advisory Teacher for five years, Victoria was appointed to her first headship in January 2012 ensuring that the school was judged 'good' by both Ofsted and SIAMS by the end of 2013. In January 2014, Victoria was asked to lead a second school which required improvement. As Executive Headteacher she led the school to a 'good' outcome in May 2015 and in September 2015 became the new substantive Headteacher here at St Mary's.
Victoria believes passionately in the power of education to change lives and build successful citizens. She knows that schools are places where not just children, but the whole family can be supported and helped. She hopes that by empowering all to succeed through setting an inspirational vision for the future, St Mary's will continue its long history at the heart of the Banbury community. As Headteacher and a Governor she sits on both main committees and supports Governors, staff and other stake holders by effectively leading the strategic direction and management of the school. Victoria is a Co-opted Governor at another Oxfordshire Primary school, has a 16 year old daughter in an Oxfordshire secondary school and is married to an Oxfordshire firefighter with over 30 years service to the county. The highlight of the week for her in school is the Headteacher's tea party when she gets to hear from the children just how exciting and successful their learning has been during the preceding week.
Mrs Victoria Woods
Sarah Di Giorno
Staff Governor

I have worked at St Mary's School as the Year 6 class teacher since 2014. I have 20 years of experience in a range of settings. I am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee. I became a Governor to support the school in its ambition to provide a thought provoking, creative and memory rich experience for our children. I am proud of our school and especially the staff and children I represent as Staff Governor.
Sarah Di Giorno
Clerk to Governors- Sue Smith  
Vacany - Co-opted Governor  
Vacany - Foundation Governor  
Last year's governors
Lynne Parsons
LA Governor 21/10/2011 to 20/10/2015

I have been a governor since 2012 and became chair in October 2012. I am the link governor for year 4 and SEN and safeguarding. Before retiring in March 2011 I was involved in education and have had a variety of experiences including teacher, adviser and working for the Department of Education. I am passionate about education; it is the key to open the variety of choices children will have to make as they become young adults and citizens. All children deserve the very best from their education both at home and from the moment they start formal learning. I have lived in the area since 1983 and both my daughters, also now teachers, were educated locally. Since retiring I have loved to be able to read more, go to the theatre and travel.

Carol Jackson
Parent governor 30/06/2013 to 26/06/2015

Jemma Davies
Parent Governor 13/03/2013 to 28/04/2015
Lynne Parsons
Wendy Hall
Co-opted Governor 01/12/2012 - 31/12/2015

I have been a co-opted governor since December 2012 and am the chair of the Resources Committee. Prior to taking early retirement in 2012 I held a range of senior positions in clinical research within the pharmaceutical industry. I would not have been able to attain these positions without having had the benefit of an excellent state school education. I am passionate that every child should be the beneficiary of such an education and hope that, in my role as a governor, I can do what I can to ensure that the children attending St Mary's are given every opportunity to succeed. I have lived in the area since 2004 and have a son who was educated locally.
Wendy Hall
Susan Holding
Foundation Governor - 01/09/2013 - 30/04/2016

I have been a governor since September 2013. Being a governor is a privilege, and especially at St Mary's. As a foundation governor, I am expected to consider the spiritual perspective of the school, ensuring that Christian values underpin every effort to provide the best education for your children. As a former primary school teacher, I value the happiness, confidence, and development of young people. It is the opportunity to continue to make a contribution that I chose to become a governor. Giving every child the chance to be the best they can be is the commitment I make, as a teacher and as a governor.
Susan Holding
Dr Graham Speake
Co-opted Governor - 11/12 - 07/16

I am a co-opted governor, appointed in November 2012. I currently serve on the Teaching & Learning Committee and also the Pay Committee. I am the link governor for literacy.
  • As a retired academic publisher and published writer my chief concern is to improve standards of literacy throughout the school. Good communication skills are the key to survival in the modern world and children who do not acquire them place themselves at a serious disadvantage.
  • As a classicist and a former director of an international publishing company I am keen to promote the teaching of languages to all young people.
  • As a member of the Orthodox Church I strongly support the emphasis on Christian values throughout the school.
Dr Graham Speake

Attendance figures for governors for 2015-2016
Name Committees attended FGB attended
Dr Graham Speake 5 5
Susan Holding 2 2
Rev Philip Cochrane 2 2
Toni Duncan 3 5
Rev Lynda Spokes 5 3
Louise Williams 3 5
Sarah Wallis 4 6
Claire-Marie den Boer 3 4
Richard Messenger 3 3
Victoria Woods Headteacher 8 6
Lynne Parsons  1  
Wendy Hall 1  
Sean Woodcock    
Martin Lester    


St. Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School      Southam Road      Banbury      OX16 2EG
Tel/Fax: 01295 263026               Email
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