St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School
St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School


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.

Governing Body Members

NameType of Governor
Fr P JohnsonChair of Governors, Foundation Governor (Parish Priest)
Mrs M GrewVice Chair of Governors, Foundation Governor
Mrs A GilbrideFoundation Governor
Mrs M GriffinFoundation Governor
Mr M KeatingFoundation Governor
Mrs O PickeringFoundation Governor
Mrs J Young Foundation Governor
Mrs S CunnaneParent Governor
Mr M NewmanParent Governor
Mr T HuxtableLocal Authority Representative
Mrs S FayazStaff Governor
Mr J ClintonHeadteacher
Ms J RaffertyClerk (SIPS)

Governor Profiles

Mrs S Cunnane

Mrs S Cunnane

Parent Governor

I have been a Parent Governor at St Ambrose Barlow School for four years now, having also previously been on the FOSABS committee. I enjoy the challenge of being a Governor and decided to stand again as I delight in being a part of the development of young people in the local community. I am very proud to be working alongside the other Governors in supporting the staff of St Ambrose Barlow School, forging links between home, school and the Parish for the benefit of our children.

My professional background is within Education and I currently work at a neighbouring primary school in Solihull where I have been teaching (across both key stages) for over 20 years.

As the mother of three children; two of whom are currently in Years 5 and 6 at the school, I feel that primary education is of the greatest importance in building the foundations of a happy, confident and well-rounded child.

I am looking forward to working closely with the staff to get the best possible outcomes for the pupils, ensuring that they learn, grow, enjoy and achieve at St Ambrose Barlow and will continue doing so for many years to come.

Mrs S Fayaz

Mrs S Fayaz

Staff Governor

Hello name is Sarah, I am staff governor. I am a Teaching assistant and currently work in Year 1.

I have had the privilege to work at St Ambrose Barlow for 24 years. My children attended the school so I have experience as a parent and a member of staff. I am passionate about the education of our children and upholding the Catholic faith and the Ethos of our school.

Mrs A Gilbride

Foundation Governor

I have worked as a School Business Manager in Catholic education for over twenty years.  From this role, I understand the difficulties of school budgets, staffing and resource management.

I believe all schools should have high expectations of their staff and pupils and strive to find and develop their pupils’ talents, enabling them to develop into confident, resilient and successful adults. 

As a Foundation governor, I endeavour to provide both challenge and support to the headteacher and staff as they work to achieve the best outcomes for all our pupils.

Mrs M Grew

Mrs M Grew

Vice Chair of Governors

My name is Margaret Grew and I have had the privilege of being a governor here at St Ambrose Barlow for the last four years. I have lived in Hall Green for many years and have been a part of St Ambrose Barlow parish. My children attended the school and I now have a grandchild currently at the school.

My professional background is one of teaching within Catholic primary education in a number of schools across the city. The years of working with our wonderful young people and their parents were a joy.

I am looking forward to working in partnership with the whole school community to make sure that all our children receive the best possible Catholic educational experience.

Cllr Tim Huxtable

Local Authority Representative

I have lived in Hall Green for almost forty years and have been a City Councillor for twenty one years, the last five of which have been in Hall Green South Ward. One of the highlights of being a Councillor was (cherry blossom) tree planting at Newey Goodman Park with pupils of St Ambrose Barlow on a vey wet morning in November 2019 which was organised by Birmingham Trees for Life.

I attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School before going to Camp Hill Boys Grammar School and I am a regular worshipper at St Ambrose Barlow Church. In the past I have been a Governor at three local schools (Hall Green Infants, Chilcote Primary and Cotteridge Primary) as well as being on the Interim Executive Board at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Kings Norton. I have two daughters both of whom currently attend St Peter’s Catholic Secondary in Solihull.

Before going into politics, I worked for HSBC at numerous branches across Birmingham & Solihull but I am currently employed as a Senior Caseworker for Saqib Bhatti MBE MP (Meriden). I also sit on the Transport Delivery Committee of the West Midlands Combined Authority where I am the Lead Member for Rail and Metro, and work closely with the Elected Mayor, Andy Street on transport issues.

Fr P Johnson

Fr P Johnson

Chair of Governors

Hello and welcome. I’m Fr Paul. I have been Parish Priest of St Ambrose Barlow, Hall Green since August 2016 and served the school as both its pastor and a Foundation Governor ever since. After I was ordained in July 2011 I was sent to Christ the King, Coventry for a couple of years as an assistant priest. Then I was asked to be the Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Warndon, which I served for five years before coming to Birmingham. Here is where I tend the vineyard of the Lord.

Throughout this time I have gained quite a lot of governor experience across five schools, including four primaries and one secondary, and served in various roles including Chair of Governors and doubling our intake from a one form entry primary to a two form. Phew, that was a lot of building, finance and strategic leadership and seemed far from what I thought priesthood would be: I loved it. Not least because it meant we could offer more provision of fantastic Catholic education.

My main interest and passion in school is through parental involvement in the school. This is manifest best when there is a close three way relationship between home, parish and school. Finally, pray for me. I will be praying for you and for all in our community. Ask God to make me an effective priest and I will ask him to make you a saint! We’re all called to be saints.

Mr M Newman

Mr M Newman

Parent Governor

I grew up in the Staffordshire Moorlands near the small market town of Cheadle. After completing my Geography degree and teacher training at Lancaster University I moved to Birmingham in 2003 and started working at Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School. In 2013 my wife and I were married at St Ambrose Barlow Church by Cannon John Gunn and we moved to Hall Green, where my wife grew up and was a pupil at St Ambrose Barlow. Our twin boys came along in 2014 and are now settled and enjoying every bit of school life at St Ambrose Barlow.

As parent governor I am looking forward to being part of our school’s growth and development under new leadership. I believe there is a strong foundation on which we can achieve great things for our young community.

Mrs O Pickering

Mrs O Pickering

Foundation Governor

My name is Oonagh Pickering and I have recently been appointed as a Foundation Governor. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to work within the team of governors alongside Fr Paul and the parish community; and the parents and carers of the children, to support Mr Clinton and all of the staff of St Ambrose Barlow School.

I am married to Dave and we have three boys, the eldest left St Ambrose Barlow last year to start secondary school and we have one in Year 1 and one in Year 6. I am an ex-pupil, have remained within the parish, and I feel very much a part of the community of our school, invested in its success and development.

I work as a Research Nurse in Women’s Health, and I am looking forward to the challenge of working within Catholic primary education. I welcome the opportunity to play an active part in ensuring the children of our school live confident, healthy, fulfilling and safe lives.

Mrs J Young

Mrs J Young

Foundation Governor

I have lived in Birmingham all my life, apart from four years in Leeds where I trained to be a primary school teacher. My family and I moved to Hall Green seven years ago where I joined the parish of St Ambrose Barlow and my children joined the school.

I have worked in primary schools for the last 19 years, and been at my current school in central Birmingham for 16 years. I have taught all years from 1 to 6 and provided supply in EYFS.

As a foundation governor I am looking forward to working with the staff, families and other governors to help provide the best education possible for the children of St Ambrose Barlow.