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St. Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School
St. Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School
St. Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School
St. Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School
About Us: Governors
St Mary's is a member of the Oxford Diocesan School Trust (ODST) and as such has an appointed Local Governing Board. Responsible for the management of the school, the curriculum and staffing, they work with the Headteacher and senior staff to set the vision and strategy for the school and to oversee the business and progress the school is making.

There is a balance of Governors appointed as Foundation Governors by the Diocese of Oxford; Parent Governors, appointed by the parents of pupils in the school and Coopted Governors, appointed for to their professional skills, community or business links to the school. The incumbent Vicar of St Mary’s is Ex-Officio Governor and a Staff Governor and the Headteacher complete the Local Governing Board (LGB)

The LGB meet regularly throughout the year at full governing body meetings and members regularly visit school for additional monitoring or business meetings and as part of working parties.

Below is the full list of our current governing body with information about their time in office, the type of governor they are and their areas of specialism. Governors can be contacted through the Clerk to the Governors – Mrs Julie Kyle who is available in the school office.

Coming soon:
  • Governing Body membership
  • Governing Body Attendance
  • Register of Business Interests
  • List of Governors in the past 12 months
The Revd Philip Cochrane
Chair of the Governing Body

I became Vicar of St Mary’s Church in May 2016 and want to contribute to the strategic development of the school through its vision, values and ethos. I was previously Chair of Governors of the largest Anglican Primary School in Wales and have been a Governor on and off of a variety of schools for the last 20 years. I have been a senior member of a County Council, focusing particularly on children & families, education and youth services.
I hope that the partnership between the church and school will be fun and life giving for the whole school community and am committed to inclusion and the development of each person holistically.
Apparently I have some crazy dance moves and pump air guitar in assemblies (you have been warned!).
The Revd Philip Cochrane
Mrs Toni Duncan
Co-opted Governor
Performance and Standards - Member

I was co-opted on to the Governing Body in November 2014 and serve on the Performance and Standards Committee. I have been involved in education all my working life since qualifying as a teacher in 1965. My first post was as a volunteer teacher in Mali, French West Africa. With my husband and four children I have lived and taught in several African and Middle Eastern Countries, so I have a real appreciation of diverse cultures. I worked for 11 years for Oxfordshire County Council as an EMAS (Ethnic Minority Achievement Service) helping children in many Banbury schools with their English as their 'home' language was not English. Since retiring I have maintained my interest in education as an invigilator in a local secondary school. As a practising Christian I am pleased to be associated with a school with a Christian ethos but I also have a deep respect and insight of Islam, having lived in Muslim countries. My hobbies include choral singing and calligraphy so I am interested in the musical education at St. Mary's as well as the children's handwriting!
Toni Duncan
Mr Martin Lester
Co-opted Governor
Performance and Standards - Chair

I was co-opted to the governing body in July 2016. Currently, I work as an education consultant, including the role of performance management external adviser for headteachers. Previously I was employed as an Advisory Headteacher within the Oxfordshire School Improvement Team, supporting schools in challenging circumstances. This followed 15 years experience as a headteacher in 3 different schools and education authorities. As a result of these varied experiences I have a thorough knowledge and understanding of primary phase leadership and management, school improvement and self-evaluation. I began my teaching career at Dashwood Road Primary School, a long time ago, and now welcome the opportunity to begin my role as a governor in the longest established primary school in the town.
Martin Lester
Mr Richard Messenger
Parent Governor
Finance and Resources - Member

As a Parent Governor, joining the Governing Committee in January 2016, I am looking forward to giving St. Mary's the benefit of my years of experience in facilities management. I am committed to St. Mary’s and its ongoing success, not least because I have two boys still in school and a daughter due to start in a couple of years.
I feel it's important that Governors act as a critical friend, providing robust challenge, but not at the expense of supporting the work of the Headteacher and staff of the school.
Richard Messenger
Mrs Victoria Woods
Finance and Resources, Performance and Standards - Member

Victoria has been a teacher for more than twenty years, working in both Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire in a wide variety of schools and posts. Having worked for Oxfordshire County Council as a School Improvement Advisory Teacher for five years, Victoria was appointed to her first headship in January 2012 ensuring that the school was judged 'good' by both Ofsted and SIAMS by the end of 2013. In January 2014, Victoria was asked to lead a second school which required improvement. As Executive Headteacher she led the school to a 'good' outcome in May 2015 and in September 2015 became the new substantive Headteacher here at St Mary's.
Victoria believes passionately in the power of education to change lives and build successful citizens. She knows that schools are places where not just children, but the whole family can be supported and helped. She hopes that by empowering all to succeed through setting an inspirational vision for the future, St Mary's will continue its long history at the heart of the Banbury community. As Headteacher and a Governor she sits on both main committees and supports Governors, staff and other stake holders by effectively leading the strategic direction and management of the school. Victoria is a Co-opted Governor at another Oxfordshire Primary school, has a 16 year old daughter in an Oxfordshire secondary school and is married to an Oxfordshire firefighter with over 30 years service to the county. The highlight of the week for her in school is the Headteacher's tea party when she gets to hear from the children just how exciting and successful their learning has been during the preceding week.
Mrs Victoria Woods
Mrs Sarah Di Giorno
Staff Governor

I have worked at St Mary's School since 2014 and have been a member of the SLT since 2016. I have 24 years of experience in a range of settings.

I studied at Bath Spa University where I gained a BSc with QTS in 1994. I returned to studying in 2010 to undertake a Masters in Education with Oxford Brookes whilst working in Rome.

I became a Governor to support the school in its ambition to provide a thought provoking, creative and memory rich experience for our children. I am proud of our school and especially the staff and children I represent as Staff Governor. I am responsible for Governor development.
Sarah Di Giorno
Mrs Maureen Thompson
Foundation Governor
Ms Frances McMillan
Coopted Governor
Clerk to Governors

St. Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School      Southam Road      Banbury      OX16 2EG
Headteacher: Victoria Woods
Tel/Fax: 01295 263026               Email