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Our Lady Queen of Martyrs RC Primary School

Living, Loving, Learning - Christ at the Centre



Meet The Governors

Meet the Governors

Stephen Tighe (Foundation Governor)
Chair of Governors (Email

I joined the governing body in April 2014 as a Foundation Governor and was elected Chair of Governors in September 2016. I am also currently co-chair of the Joint Steering Group which monitors the shared leadership arrangement between OLQM and St Aelred’s.

I am married with five children all of whom have been educated at OLQM – the two youngest are still there.

I am a parishioner of English Martyrs parish, and I work as an actuary at Aviva.


Giles Nightingale (Foundation Governor)

I am the Deputy Chair of Governors and support the Chair on particular projects, such as developing a vision for future of the school, academisation and discussions about a future Catholic multi-academy trust in York, and I lead meetings of the Governing Body in his absence. I am also a member of the Finance, Staffing and Premises committee. I have been a school governor for 5 years, and am also a governor at All Saints, York’s Catholic secondary school.


I have four children, all of whom have attended the school or its predecessors, and the youngest still does. My wife is a Latin and music teacher and I also taught for a time at Ampleforth College, the Catholic monastic school in the North York Moors. I am a catechist, reader and member of the parish pastoral council at Our Lady’s Church, Acomb.


I work as manager in local government and I have professional qualifications and wide experience in public sector management, including managing change and organisational improvement, strategic and business planning, HR, finance and health and safety. In my leisure hours I play the bagpipes in the City of York Pipe Band, drive steam engines on the Bala Lake Railway in Wales, and play board games with my family.


Sue Hodgson (Foundation Governor)

I have spent my working life in public service as a Nurse and Midwife and in my retirement felt I still wanted to contribute. I became a Volunteer Reader firstly at Our Lady’s School and latterly at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and have loved listening to the children read and being able to give them praise and encouragement. I have been a Governor at the school for two years and currently Chair the Standards and School Effectiveness Committee as well as continuing as a Volunteer reader. As a result of my voluntary work and having four grandchildren who have been or still are pupils at the school I feel I know the school well. I also have some understanding of the Education system, as two of my daughters are primary school teachers.


My knowledge and experience of Child Protection and Safeguarding gained in my career as a Midwife has enabled me to also take on the role of Link Governor for Safeguarding.


I am an actively involved in parish life at Our Lady’s Church and I am firmly committed to promoting and supporting Catholic Education. Children deserve the best start in life and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School provides a loving faith community, which nurtures and encourages the children to be the best they can be.


Lee Walsh (Foundation Governor)

Lee is the chair of the Finance, Staffing and Premises Sub-Committee.


Jon Hawkins (Co-opted Governor)

I’m a proud dad to two daughters: one currently at the school and another who’s still a bit young. I live in Acomb, am a regular at English Martyrs church and, although not born and bred here, really proud (and lucky) to call York my home.


I became a Governor in March 2016 and have recently set up a communications group to look at all aspects of how the school talks and listens to parents, the wider community, and the children. I hope I’ll be able to apply some of what I know from my day job, where I work in internal communications.

When I’m not at work (or being a governor) I like all things outdoors-y. A walk in the hills, messing about in the sea, a drink by the river….


Mrs Lauren Williams (Staff Governor)





Mrs Kate Lamb (Co-opted Governor)

I have been teaching since 1996 in Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage (previously at Our Lady’s and now at OLQM.) I currently teach the nursery class for 2 ½ days a week and feel passionately about the importance of early years education.


I joined the governing body in 2010. In that time I have had a variety of responsibilities and am currently a member of the Finance, Staffing and Premises committee. I am an active member of my local church, where I am the assistant treasurer and a member of the finance committee.


In my spare time I like to keep fit and healthy, and have recently qualified as a fitness instructor.


Sarah Catton (Parent Governor)

I have been a Governor since December 2015. I am a Parent Governor, along with Catherine, which means we are representative parents on the governing body rather than representatives of all parents.


I have two boys, one of whom will be in Year 1 from Autumn 2016 and one in Year 4. I am keen to help make our school as great as possible for all our children (despite severe financial restrictions on all state schools) and to promote OLQM in York. I am a parishioner at English Martyrs Church.


I serve on the Finance, Staffing & Premises Committee, the Communications Committee and the Shared Leadership Committee (that is with governing body representatives from our school and St Aelred’s). From Autumn 2016, I will be also serve as the Maths Link Governor. I have until now, actively supported our school PTFA activities (having most recently focused on pulling in raffle prizes from very generous parent-run and other local businesses) and from next year, I will continue to provide a link between the Governors and the PTFA Committee. If you want to talk, I am often around at drop off and pick up times as well as some parent meetings and school assemblies.


Before having the boys, I worked for management consultancies and other service businesses as a desk researcher and corporate librarian, finding and packaging business information as well as training people internally so they were better equipped to do their own research. Since having the boys, I have alternated between being a stay at home Mum, doing freelance business research and more recently, working in the wonderful York Explore libraries. I bring to the governing body, curiosity, time and a desire to make the best of our dedicated teaching, support and leadership team as well the enthusiasm of our terrific children at OLQM.


When I’m not exploring Yorkshire with my husband, Dave and boys or hanging out with our friends, I tend to have my nose in a newspaper or a novel and all too often, my phone.


Catherine Fairclough (Parent Governor)

Hello, I am one of two Parent Governors appointed in December 2015, so I am new to the role and it has been a steep learning curve. I wanted to become a governor because I have four children currently at OLQM from Year 6 down to Reception and I feel strongly about supporting them and our school.


All our children were born in Glasgow and the two eldest started school in Scotland, where I was a member of the Parent Council. It has been very interesting to see how the two areas of the country approach education. I am a modern languages teacher by trade but these days I am a full-time mum and carer for our disabled son. My husband is a teacher too so I have a good understanding of school-life and the pressures teachers and staff face.


In my free-time I am captain of my netball team, a Level 2 Cricket Coach at Acomb Cricket Club, and a catechist at Our Lady’s Church.


I have quickly become involved in many aspects of the Governing Body’s work. I am the English Link governor, I have visited a Student Council meeting and I have worked on the Chair of Governor’s Review process. I am loving being involved and feel privileged to be a governor. I really hope to help bring our school community closer together.


Margaret Sharp (Foundation Governor)

I have a teaching background having taught in primary schools in Germany, Berkshire and Yorkshire. My work locally with the Learning Support Service included Special Education Needs Coordinator, behaviour support and hospital home / school liaison.


I have also been employed in social work administration supporting families caring for children with disabilities. I hope to bring my experience to my role as Special Educational Needs and Disability(SEND) Link Governor.


I am keen to support staff as they seek to develop inclusivity. I continue to have a great interest in education and volunteer in school with reading in Year 3. For many years I have been an active member of the parish community.


Mrs Elizabeth Palmer (Local Authority Governor)

I am delighted to be serving as an LA appointed Governor at the school -which my own son attended several years ago. I see this as an opportunity to give back to a school that gave my child a happy, secure and excellent start in life.


I joined the governors at the end of 2016: I have worked as an Human Resources professional in the public sector for over 20 years, and currently work within HR at the University of York. I am a member of the Finance Staffing and Premises committee and look forward to using my skills and experience to contribute to the life of the school community.


Mr Stephen Burke (Foundation Governor)


Fr John Bane (Foundation Governor)


Mrs Michele Wall (Associate Governor)


Emma Barrs (Headteacher)