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 Claire Silverlock, 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 and Meeting Attendance – Link to CAST Website 

Our Board of Directors


Plymouth CAST Financial Statements please follow the links below;


Trust Policies and Information


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 Claire Silverlock on the email address above.


Mrs Lisa Martin

Chair of Governors (Foundation Governor)

Responsibility - Admissions & Headteacher Performance Management & Safer Recruitment & SEND
Attendance 2021-22 : 5/5
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 2021-22 : 0/5
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 2021-22 : 4/5
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 2021-22 : 4/5
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 Steve Hole

Foundation Governor

Responsibility - Health and Safety
Attendance 2021-22 : 4/5
Registered Interests: Plymouth Charity Trust – Trustee and Chairman of the Board, Plymouth Hoe Car Parks Ltd – Director/Shareholder/Chairman of the Board

Steve is on the Health and Safety Committee of the CAST Trust Board.

Mrs Andreea Ioja

Co-opted Governor

Responsibility - Curriculum
Attendance 2021-22 : 5/5
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.

Mrs Hannah Shaw

Staff Governor

Responsibility - Staff Governor
Attendance 2021-22 : 3/5
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 Ruth Dreyer

Parent Governor

Responsibility: Curriculum
Attendance 2021-22: 4/5
Registered Interests: Child attends Holy Cross

I am an architect by profession and have worked on education projects focused on the learning environment and the use of the classroom space. I hope to bring my enthusiasm for a strong education to my role as parent governor and look forward to supporting the school’s aims for the curriculum over the coming years. My eldest son attends Holy Cross and his younger brother will hopefully join him at the school shortly.

Robert Brown

Foundation Governor

Responsibility - Foundation Governor
Attendance 2021-22: 1/2
Registered Interests: University of Plymouth

Robert Brown is Professor of Architecture at the University of Plymouth and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has served on the Royal Institute of British Architects Education Committee and continues as a member of its Validation Panel. He has run and written on collaborative projects between primary schools and university students. His son attends Holy Cross, with his daughter to arrive in Foundation next year.

Mrs Finola Gill

Foundation Governor - Headteacher

Responsibility - Foundation Governor - Headteacher
Attendance 2021-22: 5/5
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.

Governor Meeting Dates Academic Year 2021-2022 
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 22nd September 2021 6pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 10th November 2021 6pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 19th January 2022 6pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 9th March 2022 5.30pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 4th May 2022 5.30pm Holy Cross School
Wednesday 29th June 2022 5.30pm Holy Cross School



Dear Parents and Carers,                                                                                                                                               


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            Katy Hammond     

 Foundation Governor            Ian Norsworthy   

Foundation Governor             Steve Hole           

 Foundation Governor            Jo Burrows          

Foundation Governor             Prof. Robert Brown

Parent Governor                    Ruth Dreyer         

 Co-Opted Governor              Andreea Ioja        

 Staff Governor                     Hannah Shaw      

 Headteacher                         Finola Gill           


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