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St Robert Southwell

Catholic Primary School

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The Governing Body

Welcome to our Governors’ section. 

Governors are responsible for working with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team to set priorities for the school.

As a Catholic school, most of our Governors are Foundation Governors appointed by the Bishop of our Diocese.

We also have representatives from parents, staff and the local authority.


St Robert Southwell Catholic Primary School Governing Body 2020-21

Meet our Governing Body

Irene Innes

I have been a Foundation Governor since 2009 and was elected Chair of Governors for St Robert's in 2016. I am a member of St John's parish where I am a reader, Readers' Coordinator and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. My husband is David and together we attend Mass.

I was educated in Catholic Schools and have experienced the importance of educating children, not just academically, but spiritually. My favourite subject at school was Maths! Most of my working life has been at RSA Insurance Company. I left RSA in March 2020.



Charlotte Booth

My name is Charlotte Booth and I was first appointed as a Foundation Governor in the Spring of 2013. I am now in my second term as a governor at St Robert’s. I work for Arundel & Brighton Diocesan Pilgrimage, in the Pilgrimage Office, and I am a long-standing member of St John’s Parish in Horsham. I am also a St Robert’s parent with two children currently attending the school and one past pupil.


Richard Boyle

I have worked in education at all levels, in particular Special Education for over 40 years. I am currently working as a Consultant to special schools in a variety of settings around the country. I am married with two grown sons and I live locally.


Teresa Bhatti

My name is Theresa Bhatti and I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in November 2019. I am married and have a son and daughter who both attended St John’s and St Wilfrid’s Catholic Schools. I have studied Biochemistry in Edinburgh and currently work in the Pharmaceutical Industry.

I have been a member of St John the Evangelist Church since 1994 and over the years I have supported the First Holy Communion preparation and currently help with the baptism preparation group. I have also established a coffee morning on the First Friday of the Month in St John’s Church hall which has been a great success.







Are you interested in becoming a Foundation Governor?


Foundation Governors do not need to be education experts. The most effective governors listen, think and ask questions. There is no magic formula about what makes a perfect Foundation Governor, they come from all walks of life and all ages.


What is a Foundation Governor?


Foundation Governors are appointed in the name of the Bishop and form the majority of the governing body of a Catholic school. They have a legal duty to preserve and develop the Catholic character of the school and to ensure that the school is conducted in accordance with its trust deed.  Governing boards have three core functions:


  • ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.


The ministry of Foundation Governor is an important one, because the Catholic character of our schools depends on committed Catholics being willing to undertake this service. The Bishop is therefore very appreciative of all those who offer to assist him in this vital task.


Responsibilities and Time Commitments


The average Foundation Governor role will take up about 10-12 hours per month. However, this can vary depending on the school calendar or by events, such as an Ofsted inspection.

This commitment includes the minimum requirement of attending three full governor meetings per year and serving on at least one committee.

The committees will focus on areas such as finance, curriculum, pupil progress and site management.

You will also be encouraged to attend training sessions.