St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School

Our Governors


Mr Bernard O'Driscoll, our Chair of Governors.

Hello and welcome to our school website.

Our School is Voluntary-Aided and serves the parish of Saint Ambrose Barlow. Its Governing Body consists of both appointed and elected governors.

The aim of the Governor team at our school is to work with the staff to make St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School an exciting, safe and happy environment in which the children can make the most of their God given talents.

The main role of a Governing Body is that of a 'critical friend', there to give direction, support and challenge to the school leadership.

We do this in the following ways:

  • Monitoring the performance and progress of our children;
  • Monitoring and evaluating of the Catholic life of the school;
  • Working with the staff to help them teach and care for our children;
  • Deciding on how the resources of the school are best used. We have prime responsibility for the finance of the school;
  • Providing a strategic review of the school - planning ahead so that the performance of our children and our school continues to improve.

Meetings of the full Governing Body are usually held once a term throughout the school year. Topics covered in meetings may include: planning the school's long term vision through the School Development Plan, the school budget, target setting and monitoring.

Much of the work however, is devolved to a series of committees to ensure the workload is dealt with effectively. Sub-committees focus on finance, staffing, health and safety and the curriculum.

To monitor the curriculum each governor has a link responsibility for one area of it and meets with the relevant member of staff (eg. RE, Numeracy, Literacy, SEN, ICT).

Governors generally hold their office for a period of four years at a time.

Correspondence for the Governors may be addressed to the Clerk to the Governing Body at the school.

Mr Bernard O'Driscoll
Chair of Governors

Members of our Governing Body

Name Title/Role
Mr B O'Driscoll Chair of Governors, Foundation Governor
Mrs M Grew Foundation Governor
Mrs M Griffin Foundation Governor
Mr J Hall Foundation Governor
Mr A Harries Foundation Governor
Fr Paul Johnson Foundation Governor
Dr M McMahon Foundation Governor
Mrs S Cunnane Parent Governor
(vacancy) Parent Governor
Mrs K Jenkins Local Authority Representative
Mrs S Fayaz Staff Governor
Mrs M Winters Headteacher
Miss P James Clerk to the Governors (c/o St Ambrose Barlow School)

Also see:

Profiles of our Governing Body

Mr B O'Driscoll

Mr O'Driscoll

Our five children all studied at St Ambrose Barlow in the past and we have been in the parish since we married in 1988. I have been a Governor at the school since 1 September 2010 and Chair since 16 June 2016.

This is a wonderful school, with a highly committed staff, and I am proud to be the Chair of the Governing Body and care deeply about sustaining our success and maintaining our ethos and values. I and our team of voluntary Governors, play an active role in monitoring and supporting the school on behalf of the Archdiocese.

My professional experience is across a range of business settings, mostly in Human Resources and general management and I have worked in a senior HR role for Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity since 2009.

Mrs S Cunnane

Mrs Cunnane

My family and myself are members of St Ambrose Barlow Parish and have been for many years. I have been a Parent Governor at the school for almost two years now and was previously on the FOSABS committee. I am enjoying the challenge of being a Governor and am very proud to support the staff in helping the children to achieve their full potential.

I work at a neighbouring primary school in Solihull and have been there for over 18 years, teaching across both key stages.

My three children currently attend St Ambrose Barlow School and are thoroughly enjoying their experiences there

Mr A Harries

Mr Harries

I am a member of St Ambrose Barlow Parish. I have been a governor for 18 years and before that I was treasurer of FOSABS for three years. I have worked on several committees during my time as governor and I am presently on the Finance Committee. My three children (Zosia, Marysia and Stefan) were at the school from around 1991 to 2001. All three have now graduated from University. I have been Finance Director of ThyssenKrupp Services Limited for the last 18 years.

Mrs K Jenkins

Mrs Jenkins

Although I live in Hall Green and have done so for the past thirty years. I am a Local Authority Governor and a Councillor for Moseley Ward.

I have been a Governor at St Ambrose for the last four years. The Very Rev Canon John Gunn married me in St Ambrose Church in 1998. I have four children, two German Shepherds and seven grandchildren. I have worked for Unite the Union since 2001, am involved in writing policies, communications and campaigns for the community, youth work and the not for profit sector.

Fr Paul Johnson

Fr Paul Johnson

Since arriving as Parish Priest of St Ambrose Barlow, Hall Green, in August 2016 I have been chaplain to the school. In October 2016 I joined the governing body and sit on various sub committees, including Admissions, Staffing and, of course, the Full Governing Body. I have responsibility for the Catholic Ethos of the school and act as the Religious Education Link Governor.

My background, before my formation to the priesthood, was in Local Government as a Housing Manager and, lately in the voluntary sector doing community development. In 2002 I began formation first in Valladolid in Spain and then at Oscott seminary in Birmingham. After being ordained to the priesthood in July 2009 I served two years as an assistant priest in Christ the King Coventry where I sat on the board of Governors at the primary school. Upon moving to St Joseph's, Warndon as Parish Priest in 2011 I was appointed to the governing body of Blessed Edward Oldcorne secondary school and also served as Chair of Governors at St Joseph's primary school.

Currently, in addition to my roles as Parish Priest and governor, I also teach at St Mary's, Oscott College and I am Director of Human Formation at the seminary. Most recently I trained as a Counsellor and I am currently undertaking studies for a Masters in Psychotherapy.