Chair of Governors
My name is Tony Gorton and I was privileged to join the Governing Board of Our Lady school in November 2019. In my role as Chair of the Governing Board I am blessed to work with an incredibly dedicated group of governors who, along with senior leaders, help to shape the strategic vision for the school. In addition to Chairing Full Governing Body meetings, I am a member of the Operations Committee and have responsibility for overseeing the Headteacher's Appraisal. In terms of the curriculum, I act as subject link for Maths, History, Geography and Special Educational Needs.
Prior to becoming a governor at Our Lady I was the school’s RE Adviser for a period of time, including for its extremely successful RE Inspection in May 2019. Through this role, I quickly came to appreciate what a wonderful school community Our Lady is, one based on Gospel values in which every individual is valued for their unique talents and the contribution that they make to the ‘whole’. Hence, my decision to become a member of Our Lady’s ‘family’ in the role of a governor was a particularly easy one.
Before joining the Diocese of Westminster Education Service as an RE Adviser I had been in the teaching profession for 31 years in various roles, including leadership at a number of levels. Having spent the first 11 years of my career teaching in Birmingham, I moved to Hertfordshire in 1999 with two ‘toddlers’, the youngest of whom is currently completing her NQT year; time flies!
Mrs Ciara Nicholson
I was appointed head teacher at Our Lady School in September 2016.
In my role as Headteacher I work closely with the governing body on the strategic development of Our Lady School in order to ensure its continued success. The governors offer both challenge and support to me in my role as Headteacher. I report to governors via sub committees and at the full governing body meetings,18 times per year, on all matters in relation to school improvement, operational matters involving school maintenance and staffing issues, and school finance.
Fr Tom O'Brien
Foundation Governor from 2015
I have been a governor at the school since 2015 and am the Parish Priest at Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrews church. I have been involved in the recruitment of our new Head Teacher Mrs Nicholson and I work closely with the Senior Leadership Team providing support and a listening ear at all times. I am involved in leading masses, liturgys and enjoy attending assemblies as often as I can.
Fr Norbert Fernandes
I am very happy to serve Our Lady's Catholic Primary School in Hitchin as a Foundation Governor. I have been Parish Priest of the three Catholic Parishes in Welwyn Garden City since October 2008 and am in my third term as Dean of Stevenage. I am Foundation Governor of the two primary schools in WGC: Our Lady (where I am Vice-Chair) and Holy Family (where I am Chair). In my previous parish, I was a Foundation Governor of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Fulham for 10 years. My Mum was a Primary School teacher for 26 years in North London and so I grew up in a teaching family, offering help and support. Here in Our Lady's, Hitchin I have responsibility as Safeguarding Governor. As Dean, I want the parishes and schools of the Deanery to feel closely connected and to be a beacon of all that is best about Catholic Education. I am available for all that Our Lady's needs.
Staff Governor from 2013
I joined the school as a member of staff in 2007 and have been the School Business Manager since September 2014 and the Staff Governor since September 2013. As the School Business Manager I deal with all school finance, including income and expenditure, reporting to the Operations Committee. I also deal with all admissions, including reception and in year applications, reporting to the Admissions Committee. I am a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Elected Parent Governor - from September 2017
I was elected as a Parent Governor from September 2017. I am Chair of the Operations committee, and Chair of the Publicity and promotions subcommittee. I also sit on the Admissions committee and am the governor linked to the subjects of English and Phonics. My experience outside school includes a Law degree and Solicitors qualification, practicing as an International Tax accountant for 17 years, and for the last 8 years as Head of Global Mobility within the Professional Services industry. This helps me scrutinise budgets, HR and health & safety within the Operations committee.
I am one of the Foundation Governors and am currently the deputy chair of the Governing Body. I’ve been a governor since October 2018. I currently chair the School Curriculum Committee and am a member of the Communications and Publicity Group. Like all the other governors, I’m involved in focussing on specific subject or curriculum areas, in liaison with the subject leads and I have termly meetings with them. My areas of interest currently, are science, physical activity and British values.
Over my working life I was involved in working with children and young people via the Schools Library Service, Public Libraries and, latterly, cultural provision across Hertfordshire. My son attended Our Lady, leaving in 2000, so it has fascinating to be involved with the school from a non-parental viewpoint and to have the chance to support the school’s continuing development.
My name is Anne Stevens and I joined the Governing Board in January 2020. I am a member of the Curriculum Committee and have responsibility for overseeing Spanish and Music provision. I have been a parent at the school since 2013 and currently have one child attending.
I work in Design and Research for digital products and am also a keen STEM Ambassador. I volunteer my time across primary and secondary schools in London, Hertfordshire and Cambridge to inspire the next generation of tech professionals.
I joined Our Lady School as Assistant Head Teacher in September 2018. In my role I lead across the whole school and have a part time teaching commitment. I currently sit on the school curriculum committee and support the curriculum development within the school. It is important that as a leader I have an overview of the running of the whole school. By attending all governor meetings I am able to gain the knowledge needed to continue to drive the school forward and build upon our successes.
I have been an Assistant Headteacher at Our Lady School since September 2018. In my role as Assistant Headteacher I help lead initiatives across the whole school whilst retaining a part-time teaching commitment. I currently sit on the Operations Committee and attend all Full Governing Body meetings. I work closely with the governors to ensure short term gains and long term targets are achieved. I really enjoy working within such a dedicated team.