St Dominic Catholic Primary

If we live by truth and in love, we shall grow in Christ

School Governors

What do Governors do?

School Governors are drawn from all walks of life and as you

Governor Newsletters:

Summer 2023

Spring 2023

 will see below there are various types of Governors. Governors give their service voluntarily and no formal qualifications are necessary, although there are eligibility criteria. Governors are ordinary people, aged over 18, with a special commitment to the education and well being of children. Terms of office will be a minimum of one to a maximum of four years. 

St Dominic School Governors

Governors (ID 2058)


Governors (ID 2064)


Foundation Governors

Anne Bentley    Admissions Committee      Curriculum & Standards Committee  

  • Vice Chair
  • Safeguarding Governor
  • Appointed 15.05.2017
  • Term of Office Expires 31.08.2024
  • Appointed as Foundation Governor by Diocese of Westminster
  • No pecuniary interests

I have lived in Harpenden with my family for 27 years.  I have three grown-up children who all attended St Dominic’s.  I am a research scientist by training and currently teach at Roundwood Park School. In my role as Governor, I hope to use my skills and experience to support the Headteacher and the staff to help the school maintain its outstanding education for our children and to continue to provide a positive grounding in the Catholic faith in the environment that makes St Dominic such a special school. 

Canon Anthony Dwyer

  • Appointed 11.11.2016
  • Term of office expires 31.08.2024
  • Appointed as Foundation Governor by the Diocese of Westminster
  • Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Harpenden since September 2016 
  • No pecuniary interests

Julian Armitage       Finance & Premises Committee  

  • Foundation Governor
  • Term of office from 1.05.2022 to 31.08.2025
  • First appointed on 1.05.2022

Nuala Pawley    Admissions Committee      Curriculum & Standards Committee 

  • Foundation Governor
  • Term of office from 11.09.2022 to 31.08.2026
  • First appointed on 27.09.2018
  • No pecuniary interests 

I lived in St. Albans for 25 years and served as Headteacher at St. Philip Howard Catholic Primary School in Hatfield for 12 year before retiring in 2007.  I have three grandchildren who all attended St. Dominic from Nursery. Isaac is now at St. Georges,  Dominic is in year 5 and Alessia year 2.  I have taught across the Primary age range in a variety of schools in Warwickshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.   I am passionate about promoting and maintaining the highest standards of educational opportunity for every child. Our pupils benefit from the presence of Christ's love which permeates every aspect of St. Dominic School.  I value the opportunity as a Governor, to support and challenge the school in order to maintain excellence in all areas of school life and particularly the catholicity.

Caroline Gladkow    Curriculum & Standards Committee   (Chair)

  • Term of office from 01.01.2023 to 31.08.2026
  • First appointed on 24.02.2021
  • No pecuniary interests  

I moved to Harpenden in 2015 and became a member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish and have assisted with the Children’s Liturgy team during this time. I have two children who currently attend St Dominic. I previously worked for a global PR agency in London before retraining as a Primary School teacher. I have taught in state and private schools in London and Hertfordshire across the EYFS, Key Stage 1 & 2. I also hold a Montessori teaching diploma and more recently qualified as a Forest School leader. I currently work within Barnet Virtual School supporting the education of looked after children and young people.  I am passionate about education, with a keen interest in the holistic development of children. I look forward to using my skills and experience to support the governors in continuing to help the school continue to develop, grow and achieve the very best for all of our children.

Michael Gallagher      Finance & Premises Committee (Chair)  

  • Chair of Governors
  • Term of office from 1.03.023 to 31.08.2026
  • First appointed on 3.11.2020
  • No pecuniary interests

I moved to Redbourn in 2017 to be nearer my daughter and family after my son died suddenly. I have two grandchildren, both of whom attended St Dominic School and have now moved on to Katherine Warrington Senior School. I am a qualified architect retiring from a large international package a few years ago as one of the Senior Partners. I enjoy taking an active part in Our Lady Of Lourdes parish as both a Reader and Eucharistic Minister. I am keen to assist the Head in the improvement of the school environment.

Headteacher Governor

Miss Clare O'Sullivan 

  • Appointed 01.09.2017

Parent Governors

Niamh Macaskill     Finance & Premises Committee    

  • Associate Governor 2019 - 2020
  • Chair of Governors 2020 - 2021
  • Elected as Parent Governor on 28.11.22
  • Term of office expires 27.11.2026
  • No pecuniary interests 

I have lived in Harpenden since 2006 and have been an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish since then, helping with the Children’s Liturgy on a regular basis.  Pete and I have three children, two of whom currently attend St Dominic and one in senior school.  My experience is in Human Resources with 25 years’ experience across different businesses.   I have a keen interest and focus on internal communications, engagement. talent management, leadership development, culture & inclusion as well as learning & development as part of my current job, all relevant in both school and business environments. I look forward to using my skills supporting the governors in providing the children at St Dominic with an outstanding education.  


 Staff Governor

Miss Emma Ball

  • Appointed 23.09.2023
  • Term of office expires 22.09.2027
  • Pecuniary Interests - Teacher at the school


  • Local Authority Clerk

Associate Governors 

Elizabeth (Betty) Hines      Admissions Committee (Chair) 

  • Term of office from 24.02.2021 to 23.02.2025
  • First appointed on 14.02.2021
  • No pecuniary interests  

I am an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and my children, now parents themselves, have very happy memories of their time at St Dominic school in the 1980s. Now retired, I spent over forty years in secondary education as a teacher of Modern Languages, as well as roles in pastoral care and career guidance.   Since becoming a grandmother of five, with the four youngest all attending primary schools in St Albans, I am very interested in these early years and primary education.  I want use my working experience and skills, albeit from a different educational prospective, to support this ongoing dynamic and thriving community imbued with a Christian Catholic ethos.


Ruth Webb                          Finance & Premises

  • Term of office from 1st March 2023 - 28th February 2027
  • First Appointed on 1st March 2023
  • Pecuniary Interests - Parent

I have lived in Harpenden nearly all my life and attended St Dominic as a child. I attend Our Lady of Lourdes and have previously been involved with the children’s liturgy and ran the church toddler group. In my younger years, I attended St Thomas More. All of my four children attended St Dominic and my youngest is now in Y6. I am a qualified chartered accountant and work as Finance Director across a number of businesses in the media sector. I have had a long association with the school and want to use my skills to help the governors ensure the school continues to thrive.


Sylvia Gomes

  • Term of Office -19.09.23 - 18.09.27
  • First Appointed on 18.09.23
  • Pecuniary Interests - None


St Dominic School Governing Body

The Governing Body of St Dominic works with the Headteacher, Leadership Team and teachers to maintain the high standards of achievement at the school whilst also ensuring the welfare of all pupils. The Governing Body’s role is to act as a "critical friend”.

Most governors have children who attended or are currently attending the school, are involved in the parish, or have some knowledge and experience of working in a school environment.

As St Dominic is a Voluntary Aided school, the Governing Body is responsible to the Local Authority, Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster and the school community. There are additional responsibilities for the Governing Body of a Voluntary Aided school in comparison to that of a community school which are outlined below.

Roles of the Governing Body

  • Agrees a strategic plan for the school for the future
  • Approves the School Development Plan produced by the school’s Leadership Team - this sets out how standards in education can be maintained or improved
  • Agrees how to spend the school budget
  • Oversees the general management of the school
  • Oversees school policies, for example child protection, safeguarding, equalities policies

As the Governing Body of a Voluntary Aided school

  • As employers of the staff, are involved in the interview and appointment of new staff
  • Oversees maintenance of the buildings and premises, and ensures Health and Safety procedures are followed
  • Agrees the Religious Education policy and ensures the religious character of the school is preserved
  • Determines the school’s admission policy and manages the admission process in conjunction with the local authority

Committees and meetings

To effectively carry out the above roles the full Governing Body meets 5 or 6 times a year. In addition, governors are appointed to committees which have been delegated certain responsibilities, and who meet twice a term, then report back to the full Governing Body. The committee responsibilities are outlined briefly below.

  • Curriculum and Standards Committee
    Agrees priorities for improvement and monitors progress of the pupils. Approves policies such as curriculum, special educational needs, equality.
  • Finance & Premises Committee
    Agrees and monitors financial matters across the school, and oversees staffing. Agrees and monitors repair and maintenance of the premises, and oversees health and safety
  • Admissions Committee
    Agrees the admission policy each year, monitors admissions and represents the school at appeals.

Governor Attendance 2021-22 


Types of Governor

The majority of governors at a Catholic Voluntary Aided school are Foundation Governors who have been appointed by the Diocese and must be a Catholic. In addition there are 2 Parent Governors (appointed by the parents of the school), a Staff Governor (appointed by the staff), an LEA governor (appointed by the local authority), and the Headteacher. Each governor is usually appointed for an initial term of 4 years.

Governors are also assigned a Link Governor role in a particular area of the curriculum or school life. The role is to gain a more detailed knowledge of that area and work in partnership with the Headteacher and Subject Leader to maintain or improve standards in accordance with the School Development Plan. This involves attending appropriate lessons and activities from time to time. Governors usually choose subjects in which they have a particular interest or expertise. Any comments and observations are reported back to the full Governing Body.

Contacting the Governing Body

Parents are welcome to contact the Chair of Governors by letter c/o the school office.

However, governors cannot get involved in individual pupil matters or problems in the day-to-day running of the school. The class teacher should be contacted in the first instance. Governors will only become involved if necessary as a last resort through the school’s complaints procedure.

Please do not contact an individual governor at their personal home or email address.