At St. Peter’s, we have a highly effective and committed group of Governors who strive for excellence at our school.  Governors meetings are held every few weeks to help determine the strategic direction of the school.  Our ‘Instrument of Governance’ explains the purpose of our Governing Body and also the positions that exist within the Governing Body.  This can be found at the bottom of this page.

Let’s meet our Governors!

Mr. Michael O’Riley – Chair of Governors

Chair of Governors, Parent Governor and member of the Resources Committee. 

Date of Appointment: 1st November 2010

Current Term Of Office ends: 31st October 2018

I was elected as a Parent Governor 5 years ago when both my daughters were still pupils at St Peters. Whilst they have moved on to high school, I have remained as a Governor as I feel its important to give something back to the school that has contributed so much to their education and development.
While I am originally from South Africa, I have lived in Leamington Spa since 1998 and my wife Marie and I are parishioners at St. Peter’s Church.  I love sport and cycling especially, but sadly don’t find enough time to indulge in these passions.  In my ‘other’ life, I work for a healthcare company that builds and equips hospitals around the world.  I am fortunate enough to travel to many exotic locations.
I am always happy to meet or talk to any parent who has a compliment or concern about our school and can be reached via the school office. If I am out of the country please feel free to contact the Headteacher or another Governor.

Mrs. Janet Arkle – Vice-Chair of Governors

Vice-Chair of Governors, Foundation Governor and member of the Resources Committee.

Date of Appointment: 24th February 2012

Current Term Of Office ends: 29th February 2020

Photo Gov Jan Arkle

Jan is a retired IT Project Management Consultant and is one of our Foundation Governors.  Her children (Rebecca and William) attended St Peter’s from 1994 to 2002.  Jan applied to be a Foundation Governor because she is passionate about education and thinks that St Peter’s school always has been, and always will be, very special. Jan is a member of our Resource Committee and is also involved in the Performance Management of the Headteacher.  This year, she will be paying particular interest to the professional development of staff and how this impacts on our children’s learning outcomes.  She will also oversee the properties accommodation arrangements on behalf of the Governing Body.

Mr. Garrett O’Connor – Chair of Resource Committee

Resource Committee and Foundation Governor.

Date of Appointment: 2nd September 2010

Current Term Of Office ends: 14th September 2018

Photo Gov Garrett OConnor

Garrett is a Foundation Governor and the Chair of the Resources Committee. He works for Ernst & Young, is married to Claire and all of their three children have gone to St Peter’s – both of their boys are still at the school. Garrett enjoys being a governor as it gives him a chance to use the skills he’s learned through his professional life as well as being an excellent opportunity to give something back, particularly for a cause as important as children’s education.  This year, Garrett will be involved in the Performance Management of the Headteacher as well as properties, accommodation and resources.  He is also part of our Pay Committee.

Mrs. Claire Passantino – Foundation Governor

Chair of the Resource Committee and Foundation Governor.

Date of Appointment: 18th November 2009

Current Term Of Office ends: 17th November 2017

Photo Gov Claire Passantino

Claire is a solicitor at Blythe Liggins, wife to Franco and mother to three amazing children called Max (11), Oli (7) and Chloe (4). Claire was invited to be a Foundation Governor 6 years ago when Max started at the school and has previously chaired both the Governing Body and Resources Committee. Claire currently sits on the Resources Committee and has done for the last 6 years She is also responsible for monitoring Early Years and the Foundation Stage, as well as monitoring Leadership and Management.  Claire enjoys tackling the difficult challenges that arise and seeing the positive changes that occur in the school. She also enjoys seeing and being a part of every child achieving and bringing her legal experience and skills to the Governing Body. Claire finds being a governor is a challenging and stimulating role but, ultimately, very rewarding.

Mrs. Mary Grayling – Foundation Governor

Leads on Mission and Strategy, member of Performance and Standards committee and Foundation Governor.

Date of Appointment: 29th January 2015

Current Term Of Office ends: 30th January 2019


Mary is a foundation governor and a parishioner of St Peter Apostle. Two of her children, now grown up, attended the school for a time and her grandson was here for his primary school education. Mary is a retired primary school teacher and some of you will know her from Children’s Liturgy.  She is also a catechist for preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation.  Mary enjoys being a governor because she has got something valuable to offer – her experiences as a parent, grandparent, 25+ years as a teacher in the classroom and as a manager.  Mary is on the Performance and Standards committee as well as the Mission and Strategy committee.  Mary is receiving Safeguarding training to ensure that our recruitment processes keep our school community safe, happy and well.

Mrs. Claire Divers– Co-opted Governor

Member of the Performance and Standards Committee.

Date of Appointment: 9th May 2017

Current Term Of Office ends: 8th May 2021


Claire Divers was approached in March 2016 to become a co-opted governor. Claire is mum to eight year old Samuel and four year old Emily, both of whom are pupils at St Peter’s. A primary school teacher herself (currently working at The Kingsley Preparatory School in Leamington and previously at Heritage Park Primary School in Peterborough), Claire is keen to utilise her skills as a teacher for the benefit of all of the pupils at St Peter’s. Claire currently sits on the performance and standards committee has also taken on the role, alongside Mary Grayling, of safeguarding lead and will be undertaking training to ensure that our school community members are safe, happy and well.  In addition to her role as a governor, Claire also works as a representative for Usbourne Books (which she declares as a pecuniary interest).

Mr. Andrew Connell – Parent Governor

Member of the Resource Committee.

Date of Appointment: 2nd March 2016

Current Term Of Office ends: 1st March 2020


Andy was elected Parent Governor in February 2016.  He has lived in Leamington for over twenty years and is a parishioner of St Peters Church. Andy has worked for Nissan for many years and has extensive marketing and communications experience. He became a Parent Governor because he is keen to contribute to the future of the school and also to ensure that a parent’s perspective is involved in the decision making of governing body.  Outside of work Andy spends his spare time watching his children playing sport and also works with other parents and coaches to develop the Parish’s increasingly successful youth football team.

Mrs Sandra Giacalone – Staff Governor

Member of the Performance and Standards Committee.

Date of Appointment: 5th September 2012

Current Term Of Office ends: 4th September 2020

Mrs Giacalone is our Staff Governor.  She has no financial or personal interests which conflict her role as Governor.  We look forward to hearing more about her soon!

Mrs Jo Smith – Foundation Governor

Member of the Performance and Standards Committee.

Date of Appointment: 17th December 2012

Current Term Of Office ends: 7th March 2021

Jo is a Foundation Governor.  She has no financial or personal interests which conflict her role as Governor.  We look forward to hearing more about her soon!


Mrs Katy Traynar- Associate Member

Assists with Mission and Strategy.

Date of Appointment: September 2017

Term Of Office: September 2018


Miss Tess McNamara – Headteacher

Date of Appointment: 1st September 2014

Current Term Of Office ends: 31st August 2018photo-governors-tess

Miss McNamara has been the Headteacher at St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School for just over three years now.  It is the best job she could ever imagine because working with the children is a real privilege, but it is also really good fun!  St. Peter’s is such a close community and she feels really fortunate to be part of it.  Miss Mc’s role on the Governing Body spans across all aspects; she reports to every committee and attends every meeting.  The Governors challenge her with tricky questions and requests, but she really enjoys that because it makes sure that we are all doing our very best for our children.  When she isn’t being a headteacher or a governor, Miss McNamara makes novelty cakes and in her free time, loves nothing more than hunting for the Gruffalo in the woods with her niece Poppy, who shares her love of singing in the car!  Miss McNamara is on the Teacher Forum at Warwick Castle (which she declares as a pecuniary interest).  Should you wish to contact Miss McNamara, please send an email to or phone school to make an appointment.

Our Instrument of Government

St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School is founded by and is part of the Catholic Church.  The school is to be conducted as a catholic School in accordance with Latin Rite Canon Law and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and in accordance with the Trust Deed of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and in particular:

  1. Religious education is to be in accordance with the teachings, doctrines, discipline, general and particular norms of the Catholic Church.
  2. Religious worship is to be in accordance with the rites, practices, discipline and liturgical norms of the Catholic Church.
  3. At all times the school is to serve as a witness to the Catholic Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The school operates under the provisions of the Trust Deed of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Our Governors are a dedicated group of volunteers who ensure the smooth and effective leadership of our school.  In September, we changed our constitution so that our Governing Body shall consist of the following:

a. Eight Foundation Governors;

(Mrs. Jan Arkle, Mrs. Mary Grayling, Mr. Garrett O’Connor, Mrs. Jo Smith, Mrs. Claire Passantino and three vacancies).

Foundation Governors are appointed by the Archbishop of Birmingham (or any other person exercising Ordinary jurisdiction on his behalf) through the Director of Educations of the Diocesan Education Service.

b. Two Parent Governors;

(Michael O’Riley and Andy Connell)

Parent Governors are nominated and elected by the parent body of the school.

c. One Local Authority Governor;


A Local Authority Governor is appointed by our Local Authority.

d. One Staff Governor;

(Sandra Giacalone)

The staff of the school nominate and elect a member of staff to represent the staff on the Governing Body

e. One Headteacher;

(Miss Tess McNamara)

f. One Co-opted Governor

(Claire Divers)

A governor who is appointed by the Governing Body on account of their specific skills complementing a need that has been identified on the Governing Body.

In total, we have 14 Governor positions who each serve a 4 year term of office on our Governing Body.

Governor Attendance (2016-17)

This information is updated annually.  Please find the information for last year:

Full Governing Body Meeting (All governors to attend)
14/09/16 30/11/16 04/04/17 12/07/17
Janet Arkle Present Present Present  Present
Andy Connell Present​ Present  Present
John Cross Present Resigned
Claire Divers Present Present Present Apologies Accepted
Sandra Giacalone Present Present Present  Present
Mary Grayling Apologies Accepted Apologies Accepted Present  Present
Tess McNamara Present Present Present  Present
Christine Mott Apologies Accepted Resigned
Garrett O’Connor Present Apologies Accepted Apologies Accepted  Present
Michael O’Riley Present Present Present  Present
Claire Passantino Present Present Present  Present
Jo Smith Present Apologies Accepted Present  Present


Resource Committee Meetings

Remit: To act on behalf of the Governing Body in matters relating to:

  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Premises
  • Health and Safety Issues
  • To liaise and consult with other committees where necessary
  • To contribute to the School Improvement Plan
  • To consider Safeguarding and equalities implications when undertaking all committee functions.
19/10/16 15/02/17 24/05/17
Janet Arkle Apologies Accepted Present  Present
Andy Connell Present Present  Present
Tess McNamara Present Present  Present
Garrett O’Connor Apologies Accepted Present Apologies Accepted
Michael O’Riley Present Present Present
Claire Passantino Present Present  Present


Performance and Standards Committee

Remit:  To act on behalf of the Governing Body in matters relating to:

  • School development/improvement plan
  • Curriculum, teaching and learning
  • Special Educational needs
  • School Matters
  • Admissions
23/11/16 15/03/17 28/06/17
Claire Divers Present Present  Present
Sandra Giacalone Present Present  Present
Tess McNamara Present Present  Present
Jo Smith Present Present  Present
Mary Grayling Assigned to this committee in the Summer term. Present