Governing Board

The Role of the Local Governing Board

From 1st April 2014 all the Catholic Schools in the Plymouth Diocese became part of the Catholic Multi Academy Trust, known as ‘Plymouth CAST’.

Who are Governors?
School Governors are people from the school’s local community who wish to make a positive contribution to children’s education. They MUST be over eighteen years at the date of their appointment, but there is NO upper age limit. Each term of office lasts for four years.

Governors are the largest volunteer force in the country!
They have a very important part to play in raising school standards through three key roles which are –

1. Setting Strategic Direction 
This is for the short, medium and long term. It involves setting aims and objectives and setting policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives. There needs to be clarity of vision, ethos and direction.

2. Ensuring Accountability 
Contributing to the school self-evaluation, understanding strengths and weaknesses, reporting to stakeholders i.e. young people, parents and staff

3. Monitoring and Evaluating School Performanc
Measuring and challenging progress and reviewing School Improvement Plans by holding the Headteacher and Leadership Team to account for improving the quality of teaching, achievement and behaviour and safety.


What do Governors do?
Our Local Governing Board normally meet in full once a term. 

Our Local Governing Board

  • works as a team and is accountable for the performance of the school to

    parents, carers and the wider community.

  • ensures that all safeguarding requirements are met.
  • plans the school’s future direction and makes decisions on the school's budget

    and staffing requirements.

  • decides how best the school can develop and supports the pupils’ behaviour and

    spiritual, moral and social development.

  • makes sure that the school provides for all its pupils including those with

    special needs.

The Headteacher is responsible for the overall management of the school and for day-to-day management. Each of the governors has a responsibility for a specific aspect of school life and regularly meets with staff and visits classrooms, the staffroom and the dining hall. Governors are at the heart of how a school operates and it is vital that we get things right.

Who are our Governors?
Our Local Governing Board is made up of 6 Foundation Governors who are appointed by the Diocese; 1 parent governor who was elected by the parents of children at the school; 1 Headteacher, 1 staff representative and 1 community governor.


The Clerk to the Governing Body may be contacted through the Clerk to Governors, Mrs Sharon Leach, via the school address or email


Plymouth CAST Information

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School is part of the Plymouth CAST Multi Academy Trust. 


CAST Board Structure – Link to CAST Website


CAST Board Meeting Attendance – Link to CAST Website

Current Scheme of Delegation (December 2019)

Plymouth CAST Financial Statements please follow the link below;


CAST Policies – Link to CAST Website


How to become a Governor

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please contact the school office in the first instance. 


If you would like to contact the Governing Body please do this via the Clerk to Governors Mrs S Leach on the email address above.


To find out more about Plymouth CAST governance, click on the following link:

Mrs Lisa Martin

Chair of Governors (Foundation Governor)

Responsibility - Admissions & Headteacher Performance Management & Safer Recruitment & SEND
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: Director of Platinum Student Services Ltd since August 2016 and children at the school.

I am delighted to have been elected as the new Chair of Governors. I have two children who attend Holy Cross as well as another young one to keep me busy.

Having lived overseas for a number of years, I have a law and finance background. I am open minded and progressive, but I do enjoy and appreciate the many school traditions.

I am a staunch supporter of Holy Cross and will enjoy being able to help shape the way forward for the school.

Fr Jacek Kostuch

Vice Chair (Foundation Governor)

Responsibility - Health and Safety & RE and Catholic Life
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: None.

Born in Birmingham to Polish parents who were here as part of post World War II immigration - stay granted as a consequence of the Polish people's contribution to Allied war effort. Brought up speaking Polish, in Polish traditions and in the Catholic Faith.

After completing University education in Engineering worked in Research and Technological Development for an International Company.

Responded finally to God's call - after c. 30 years - and trained for the Priesthood for Diocese of Plymouth. Ordained July 3rd 2015.

Mrs Katy Hammond

Foundation Governor

Responsibility - SEND & Statutory Grants (Pupil Premium & Sports Premium)
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: Child at the school.

I'm from Plymouth. I have a background in languages and education and a lot of experience in English as an Additional Language (EAL).

My eldest daughter attends Holy Cross and hopefully, her younger sister will join her in a couple of years. I'm very happy to be a governor and look forward to working with the school.

Mrs Jo Burrows

Foundation Governor

Responsibility - Statutory Grants (Pupil Premium & Sports Premium)
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: Child at the school.

I've been a Holy Cross parent for over eight years and currently have a daughter in Year 2. Over that time I've have seen the school change and grow.

My background is in finance and change delivery with a focus on analysis and continuous improvement.

I'm a busy mum juggling work and family life and I want to make a difference to my daughters education not just now but also in the years to come.

Mr Ian Norsworthy

Foundation Goveronor

Responsibility - Curriculum & Health and Safety
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: Child at the school.

Having been a governor for a school in the past, I come with a wealth of experience. However, I just love being involved and to be part of a wonderful setting. I am also lucky to be able to see the school through a parent's eyes.
In my day job I work for the NHS.

Mr Marguerite Sperring

Foundation Governor

Responsibility - RE and Catholic Life & Safegarding and Child Protection
Attendance 2019-20 : 2/3
Registered Interests: Treasurer of own housing estate since October 2018 and also a Governor at The Cathedral School.

Safeguarding Governor

I bring my skills as a trained and qualified HR specialist to support the School and Governing Board. I also bring my deep faith and desire for a safe environment for staff and pupils to support the School and Governing Board. I hope my skills can be best utilised (RE, Safeguarding and HR). I also visit the schools at various times (e.g. parent evenings) to be a face the pupils and parents recognise as that of a governor and hopefully one that is approachable.

I am proud to be involved with the Governing Board because I believe in the school and what we want to achieve. The passion for doing the best for the pupils and staff is evident in what is said and done and I want to be associated with people that have that passion.

Mrs Andreea Ioja

Co-opted Governor

Responsibility - Curriculum
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: Child at the school.

I am a proud parent to a son currently in foundation at Holy Cross Primary. I have witness him thrive throughout his first year of education and this is due to high standards of teaching and a caring, nurturing environment.

I am a teacher myself and this, I believe, is going to contribute tremendously in my role. As a goveronor, I am responsible for ensuring that the children are provided a broad and balanced curriculum. I am dedicated to ensuring that the best interests of our children are at the heart of every decision that has to be made and providing support and guidance to help the school maintain its high standards.

I passionately support and believe in the aims and vision of Holy Cross Catholic Primary School.

Mr Ryan Cook

Parent Governor

Responsibility - Admissions & Safer Recruitment
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: Owner of Diamond Logistics Ltd since January 2014 and also has a child at the school.

My name is Ryan Cook and I am proud to have been selected to represent you as your new Parent Governor.

Many of you already know me and my wife, Tracy. We have been part of the Holy Cross family for many years now. We have one daughter in year 5 at Holy Cross, and another that left Holy Cross for DHSG. Both girls have had the most wonderful time at Holy Cross and have been well educated and spiritually and morally guided by the wonderful staff at the school.

Please feel free to approach me with any questions you may have or any help/advice you require. I am happy to take any questions or feedback to the Governing body. I am really looking forward to being your representative at Holy Cross.

Mrs Hannah Shaw

Staff Governor

Responsibility - Staff Governor
Attendance 2019-20 : 3/3
Registered Interests: Husband works at the school.

Foundation Lead Teacher, Key Stage One Lead and part of the Senior Leadership Team.

I have been teaching since September 2014 and joined Holy Cross School as a newly qualified teacher. My first class will be going into Year 6 this September, which I cannot believe!

I fell in love with Holy Cross from the first time I walked around. It is like one big family where the children are at the centre of all that we do.

I am the Foundation Lead Teacher and part of the Senior Leadership Team. I have recently also become the Key Stage One Lead which is an exciting new adventure for me.

I hope you and your children will be very happy at Holy Cross School.

Mrs Finola Gill

Staff Governor - Headteacher

Responsibility - Staff Governor
Attendance 2020-21
Registered Interests: None

Having qualified in Dublin, Ireland as a primary school teacher, I took the exciting decision to teach abroad and spent three wonderful years studying and teaching in France and Switzerland. I then moved to London where I started my primary teaching career in a Catholic School in Hillingdon. In 2001 I moved to Plymouth with my young family and have taught in three other Catholic schools before arriving at Holy Cross. During my time in Plymouth, I supported other schools and colleagues first as a Lead Literacy Teacher with the Local Authority and then as a Senior Lead in Education with the Plymouth Teaching School Alliance. After a short period as Acting Headteacher of Keyham Barton Primary School, I became the Headteacher of St Margaret Clitherow in Brixham and successfully led the school out of Special Measures. I am passionate about learning and honoured and excited to be the Headteacher of this wonderful school.

Governors Register of Interest and Meeting Attendance  2019-20



Meeting dates:










Full Name

Governor Type

Appointing Body

Date of Current Appointment

End of Current Term

Meeting Attendance 2019-20

Meeting Attendance 2018-19

Business Interests

Other Governorships

Lisa Martin


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


(Inc Mary of the Cross Federation)

4 of 4 meetings

Director of Platinum Student Services Ltd since August 2016


Jacek Kostuch


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


1 of 2 meetings



Jo Burrows


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


2 of 2 meetings

Child at the school


Ryan Cook


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


2 of 2 meetings

Owner of Diamond Logistics Ltd

Child at the school since January 2014


Paul Cotter


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


(Inc Mary of the Cross Federation)

4 of 4 meetings

Wife works at school


Katy Hammond-Watson



Diocese of Plymouth




3 of 6 meetings


2 of 2 meetings

Child at the school


Andreea Ioja


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


2 of 2 meetings

Child at the school


Ian Norsworthy


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


2 of 2 meetings

Child at the school


Hannah Shaw


Diocese of Plymouth



3 of 6 meetings


2 of 2 meetings



Marguerite Sperring


Diocese of Plymouth



2 of 6 meetings


(Inc Mary of the Cross Federation)

4 of 4 meetings

Treasurer of own housing estate since October 2018

Governor at Cathedral School

Governor Meeting Dates Academic Year 2019-2020 
The Governing Body will aspire to place Christ at the centre of all we do, reflect the mission statements of both schools and ensure that they are at the heart of the communities they serve. The Governing Body will aim to provide inclusive, safe and dynamic learning environments which nurture the whole child. Through the delivery of high quality curriculum provision with Literacy and Numeracy at the core, our aim will be for all our pupils to reach their highest potential. The Governing Body will challenge and support the Leadership Team and all staff to maintain high standards of teaching and learning at all times.
Date Time Venue
Wednesday 9th October 2019 6pm Holy Cross School
Monday 9th December 2019 6pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 5th February 2020 6pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 18th March 2020 6pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 13th May 2020 6pm Holy Cross School
Monday 13th July 2020 6pm Holy Cross School



Dear Parents and Carers,                                                                                        Summer 2019                                                       


Our Local Governing Board


 There has been a huge period of change and adjustment for the Governing Board since the start of the academic year.  Some governors whom we have worked with for years have moved on to pastures new, and we thank them for their service to the school.  As a result of the de-federation of our school with the Cathedral School of St Mary, the federated Governing Body divided to serve each school individually.  We now have a large, strong body of Governors, with a huge host of different skills and abilities. We are looking forward to both fresh perspectives and new ideas to support our school and our hardworking staff.


 Who are the Governors?


 Chair                                    Lisa Martin          

 Vice Chair                            Father Jacek Kostuch

 Foundation Governor            Marguerite Sperring

 Foundation Governor            Katy Hammond     

 Foundation Governor            Ian Norsworthy   

 Foundation Governor            Jo Burrows          

 Co-Opted Governor              Andreea Ioja        

  Parent Governor                  Ryan Cook            

 Staff Governor                     Hannah Shaw      

 Headteacher                         Paul Cotter         


What do the Governors do?


 Each Governor has a specific interest in one or two areas of the school, ranging from Health and Safety to Safeguarding, from SEN to the school as a Catholic Community.  As well as supporting these (and other) targeted areas, all Governors visit the school throughout the year, and the Governing Body meets twice each term.  Notes from each visit, along with observations and any positive comments are fed back to the Senior Leadership Team.

 We attend regular training and briefings from both Plymouth CAST and the Local Authority where appropriate, to ensure that we are all up to speed on the best practice in primary school governance.  We ensure that the Headteacher is held to account regarding the academic performance of the school and that the school follows its strategic plan.

 We do not get involved in the day to day running of the school, unless there has been a parental complaint or concern which has not been resolved by meeting with the class teacher initially, and subsequently with the head of Key Stage or Headteacher.

 As the school is part of a Multi Academy Trust, called CAST, there are areas now that they are responsible for and not the Local Governing Board. These include finance as well as ultimate accountability.


This year in review


 As well as receiving an excellent quality education, our pupils are exposed to activities and experiences which both enhance their learning and provide a broad and balanced curriculum.  It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and excitement that greets school trips and outings; the opportunities and perspective that the children gain from these wider experiences cannot be easily replicated in the classroom.  I acknowledge and appreciate the effort from the staff that goes into organising these trips, and thank them for enriching the pupils’ educational experience.  As I write, Year 6 are enjoying a wonderful residential trip following the completion of their SATs, and they are having a wonderful time despite the arrival of the “British Summer."

 As a school we have many wonderful achievements and activities to be celebrated this year.  The fabulous Christmas performances were something to remember, whilst our Lenten mass and reflection afternoon were more sombre but no less thought provoking and engaging for the pupils and parents alike. The school choir has performed at the Barbican at Christmas, in Drake Circus and in coffee shops; both the quality of the singing and the enthusiasm was a joy to see.  On a personal level, watching the “Singing for Mental Health” performance by the pupils was wonderful; seeing the whole school joined together and singing loud, and proud was a very special moment for me.  The School Council continues to meet regularly, and makes us proud when seeing how sensibly and with such maturity they consider each other’s points of view and work together to come up with the best decision for their peers.

 Holy Cross continues to be a very popular school.  Despite falling pupil numbers across Plymouth, this year we have seen record numbers of applicants join our Foundation class.  Each intake comprises 45 children; and as they move upwards through the school, the class sizes remain at 30 and are organised and carefully monitored by the Senior Leadership Team.  The full expansion of the school will be completed by September 2020.

 I have no doubt you will be aware of the funding crisis which is hitting almost all primary schools in Plymouth. As a Governing Board we are working with the Headteacher to ensure that all funds are spent in the most effective way. 

 As parents, we appreciate any help you can offer the school. Volunteering for the fantastic events run by our dedicated PTFA is a wonderful way to help us raise money for extra technology, equipment and subsidise activities which would otherwise not happen.  We appreciate all the contributions made by the PTFA this academic year to our pupils.


 I am looking forward to another wonderful academic year, and wish you a sunny summer.


 Kind regards,

 Lisa Martin

Chair of Governors