1. Introduction and Overview

Key roles and responsibilities

All governors of Catholic maintained schools have legal rights and responsibilities which ensure that they safeguard and promote their school’s denominational character. These rights and responsibilities have been recognised by Government as central to the continuing success of Catholic education. The following are key aspects of the governing body’s legal duties in voluntary aided schools relating to their religious character.

  • Appointment of Teachers
  • Admissions
  • The Curriculum

What do governors do?

The governing body of a Catholic school occupies and conducts the school on behalf of their trustees and under the supervision of the diocesan bishop as the occupier of the premises, proprietor of the undertaking, and employer of the staff. It occupies the school subject to the parameters laid down by their trustees, and  ultimately any decisions relating to the land and buildings rest with the trustees, except in so far as these have been delegated to the governing body by the trustees.

The governors of a Catholic school work as a team, in close co-operation with the headteacher and all staff. All governors and staff contribute to the Catholic character of the school and the Catholic nature of the education provided, as set out in its mission statement.

Successive Governments have recognised the responsibilities of the trustees and the rights of the Catholic community as a whole to ensure that the long term future of Catholic education is secure. The law enshrines a number of guarantees from the State to ensure the Catholic character and ethos of the schools is maintained; particularly in the areas of admissions, staffing and governance.

The diocese (or religious order) has the legal right to appoint (and remove) an overall majority of governors, who are known as foundation governors. In addition to all the other legal responsibilities of the governing body, the law recognises that foundation governors are appointed specifically to ensure:

That the Catholic character of the school is preserved;

That the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed; and

That the religious education curriculum is in accordance with the bishop’s policy for his diocese, based on the Bishops’ Conference Curriculum Directory.

Foundation governors are, therefore, appointed by the bishop, or religious order, to represent their interests and those of the Catholic community as a whole. Foundation governors play a leading role in the Catholic community: they collaborate with the bishop in his ministry in education. It is, therefore, important for them to:

Know and implement the bishop’s policies on education, including religious education;

Represent those policies to the governing body;

Understand and promote the distinctive nature of Catholic education;

Act for the good of Catholic education as a whole within the diocese, considering not only the interests of the individual school or college, but the interests of other schools and colleges;

Respond to the needs of the Catholic community as a whole, as represented by the bishop;

Secure the long-term future of Catholic education;

Always act in accordance with the mind of the bishop.

The Sub Committees

There are full Governing Body meetings each term. Much of the work however is carried out in sub committees. More details about the Sub-Committees can be found in section 3 below. 

2. Current Governing Body Information

 Governor Appointment Information    

Register of Interest


Governor Full Name Date of Appointment Term of Office (years) Appointing / Elective Body Relevant Business / Pecuniary Interests  Other Educational Establishments Governed Material Relationships (with staff or governors) 
Elizabeth Aspin (Chair)    4 Foundation Governor at St Damian’s RC Science College in Ashton-under-lyne Related to Emily Aspin
Emily Aspin   Foundation –  Related to Elizabeth Aspin 
Kevin Toms   Foundation Governor at St James RC Primary School in Hattersley 
Francesca Roberts   Foundation –  – 
Judith Kelly (Vice Chair)   LA –  – 
Denise Brahms   Foundation –  – 
Stephanie Sloan   Parent  –  –  – 
Helen Hayes   Headteacher  –  – 
Rev Fr Simon Firth   4   Governor at St Damian’s RC Science College and St Christopher’s RC Primary School, both in Ashton-under-Lyne
Margaret Ludlam   4  
Janet Bostock   4 Deputy Headteacher – Staff
Emma Winterbottom 01/05/2018 4 Parent

3. Governing Board Sub-Committees Information

  • Coming soon

4. Governing Board Attendance Record

 Governor Full Name     Meetings (Y if attended)



  Full Meeting Finance Finance  Full Meeting  Finance  Full Meeting Full Meeting
  12/05/15  17/06/15 01/10/15  06/10/15  13/01/16  08/02/2016  22/03/2018
Elizabeth Aspin Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y Y
Emily Aspin   Y
Kevin Toms     Y
Francesca Roberts       Y
Judith Kelly Y
Denise Brahms           Y
Helen Hayes Y
Rev Fr Simon Firth         Y
Margaret Ludlam          
Janet Bostock       Y

Meet The Governors

Elizabeth Aspin (Chair of Governors)

I have been a governor at Our Lady of Mount for 15 years, first as parent then as a foundation governor. My daughter, Emily, attended Our Lady’s so I know what an amazing school it is. I have worked for the local authority for the past 27 years and work with vulnerable people in the community. It is a pleasure to be able to serve Catholic education at Our Lady’s. Both children and staff are very welcoming.

Emily Aspin

I have been a foundation Governor since 2017 and regularly attend mass in the parish. I have previously attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel school as a pupil and I am passionate about helping the governing body support and encourage the school to achieve its full potential. I work at a custodian bank in Manchester and run the local youth group held at St Ann’s parish hall. I am proud to represent the school and part of its community.

Kevin Toms

I have been a foundation Governor since January 2009 following my retirement from my headteacher post at St. Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Hyde. I was born and brought up in Hyde, attending St. Paul’s and later St. Peter and St. Paul’s, Dukinfield.I have always wanted to support my local Catholic primary schools so was happy to become a governor both here and at St. James, Hattersley. I also work closely with the Shrewsbury Diocese on inspections and appointments of headteachers and deputies.

Francesca Roberts

I currently have three children attending Our Lady of Mount Carmel. They are all very happy and feel supported and encouraged to develop their own individual gifts and talents. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a caring and welcoming school that strives to put Christ at the centre of everything it does. As a Governor, I welcome the opportunity to be part of the school community and to do my best to contribute to its continued development and success.

Judith Kelly

I have been part of Our Lady’s school community for 15 years, starting as a parent of two going through the school, a member of the PTA for 9 years (recently resigned) and as a governor. I am the LA Governor, vice chair and chair of finance. I have always found Our Lady’s to be an excellent Catholic school, with a warm welcome to everyone and a high standard of education and behaviour. I am proud to be part of the school family.

Denise Maxwell-Brahms

I have lived in Ashton for 14 years. I am married to John and we have two children. We are practising Catholics who have a long association with Our Lady’s. My son Jude attended Our Lady’s before transferring to St. Damian’s Science College and my daughter Scarlett is in Year 4. I am fully committed to the future development of the school and the development of all children regardless of background or ability. I am currently Senior Deputy at a large Catholic secondary school in Leigh, Wigan. I don’t really have any time for hobbies but I do like going to the cinema, reading, camping in Scotland and long country walks.

Fr Simon Firth

Fr. Simon, our Chaplain, is Parish Priest of the newly amalgamated Parish of Holy Cross and St Helen – this new Parish covers the whole of Ashton. He is also Chaplain and governor at St Damian’s and St Christopher’s schools.
“I’d like all the families of our community to know that I’m THEIR Chaplain and available to support them at any time – Parish office number 0161 330 1194, ”

Emma Winterbottom

I am a very reliable, honest, hardworking mum and I love being helpful to people and working as part of a team. As a governor I am passionate about assisting the school with the best possible experience for our children, to give them the best possible start and foundation for a happy and healthy life ahead. I have two children at Our Lady’s school, Robert in year 5 and Amy in year 3. I love how the school is like one big happy family. My children love coming to school and have both thrived and grown whilst they have been there.