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Meet the Governors



Our school is run in accordance with policies set by the governing body. There are fourteen Governors. Eight are appointed by is Bishop Patrick McKinney – these are called Foundation governors. Four governors are elected – two by parents, one by teachers and one by support staff. One Governor is appointed by the Local Education Authority. The Headteacher is also a Governor.

School Governor further Information (Date of Appointment/ Date of Leaving)

Chair of Governors


The governing body elects a Chair of Governors every two years. This is currently Mrs. Karan O'Connor she may be contacted at the following address:

40 Village Street, Old Normanton, Derby DE23 8SZ       Tel:01332 767038


The role of the Governing Body is to:

  • Help shape the vision and direction of the school
  • Have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school
  • Support and challenge the senior management team
  • Hold the school to account for the educational standards it achieves and the quality of education it provides
  • Ensure that the school fulfils its statutory duties and the duties determined by the Bishop
  • Monitor, review and develop plans and policies for effective school improvement


How does it work?

To fulfil all of these roles and responsibilities the Governing Body delegates some of the work to groups of Governors. The whole Governing Body meets at half termly intervals (and sometimes more often) to discuss what is happening at school and plan strategically for the future. In order to ensure all the tasks get the time and attention they deserve, the Governing Body has set up a number of committees. These Committees share the work to cover our responsibilities well and help develop a good understanding of the school, support its work and hold it accountable.

At St George’s we have two major committees which meet termly. They are Personnel, Finance & Premises and Pupils, Curriculum & Standards. The committees are also supported by a Health and Safety Governor.

There are also a number of smaller ad-hoc committees and working parties responsible for single issues such as Admissions, Policies, Pupil Discipline, Staff Grievance, Performance Management, Pay Complaints and so on.

In addition to serving on one or more committees, Governors are each linked to a particular subject area within the curriculum and visit school to help ensure this subject is being delivered and developed within the school.


Communication with the Governing Body

As a Governing Body we recognise the need for good lines of communication between the parents, pupils, staff, parish, Governing Body and other people who are interested in our school.

We would also encourage you to regularly visit the Governing Body area of this website to find out about more about how the Governing Body works. Of course you may also write to the Chair of Governors (via the school address) at any time.


The Finance Committee works to:

  • Plan the budget in response to the aims and objectives of the school improvement priorities
  • Plan ahead and look beyond the next school/financial year
  • Monitor and manage the budget effectively and ensure good value for money
  • Manage human and non-human resources efficiently and effectively
  • Assess the school’s work using ‘best value’ principles of compare, challenge, consult and compete
  • Maintain a programme of minor repairs to the school building
  • Work with the local authority and Diocese to secure the long term future of the school buildings and grounds


The Personnel Committee works to promote high quality teaching and learning by:

  • Planning effectively to secure, retain and remunerate high quality staff
  • Ensuring staff are valued and supported so they are able to support the school’s aims and improvement planning and given opportunities to develop professionally
  • Promoting equality of opportunity for all pupils and staff


The Curriculum Committee works to:

  • Promote high quality teaching and learning
  • Understand the level of standards achieved by the school
  • Assist the governing body to ensure effective school improvement planning and curriculum development
  • Promote the best possible pupil progress for ALL pupils


The Health & Safety Governor works to:

  • Provide a stimulating and safe learning environment
  • Promote the security and well being of pupils, staff and visitors
  • Maximise the internal space and enhance the teaching and learning environment
  • Monitor standards of health, hygiene and safety within the school building and carry out risk assessments where necessary

Personal Messages from the the Governors


Mrs Karan O’Connor - Chair of Governors


As a new Chair of Governors I am looking forward to my role, the Governing body over the last year has seen changes in personnel and the role of Governance within an Academy, but what remains the same is the commitment of  the whole Governing body is to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to deliver the best education for every individual child.  At present the third generation of my extended family are pupils at St George's, my own son attended over 10 years ago so I know first-hand that you truly benefit from the care, love and consideration you receive and continue to receive by being a part of a Catholic Community. This is what I would wish for every child at St George's. During my sons time I served as a parent Governor, so I understand the time and commitment needed to full fill my current roll. My professional career has been in Education with a degree in Marketing & Communications, but I believe in life long learning and I shall access all training opportunities and keep abreast of developments in education and Governance. I believe a child’s first experience of school instills a love of learning and establishes the key skills that they will use through their life; primary education is vital.


As an active parishioner, my Voluntary role is that of Parish Assistant for our three resident priests, I have already met many parents through arranging family Baptisms and First Holy Communion.

I am truly committed in ensuring every child reaches their full potential and gains the passion for life-long learning with faith and a love for their fellow man, which is crucial in the 21st century. It is a privilege to be part of that at St George's Catholic Voluntary Academy and serve you all as Chair of Governors.  


Canon Alan Burbidge- Vice-chair of Governors


I am currently the Vice-chair of Governors having served as Chair of  Governors at St George's for 24 years. I have watched the school continually develop during this time and I am proud of its achievements,  I see being part of our  school governing body as an integral part of my ministry  as Parish Priest to the community of  St. George's & Holy Spirit.   My specific role covers the “Spirit Life” and “Ethos” of the school this covers  the most important strands of any catholic school.  The ethos of our school does not relate solely to the arrangement whereby we admit baptised Catholic children and teach them. That ‘ethos’ may be understood to be the outward signs and experiences of the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church in the totality of daily life here at St George's.

I enjoy my role as a  governor because it offers me the opportunity to get to know the school community on both formal and informal levels.

As your parish priest I have a  particular pastoral focus.  The worshipping community of our parish seeks to embrace every child and family,  as together we strive for personal progress towards our shared goal: striving for the best of possible outcomes as we all fulfil our potential.

I  visit the school on a regular basis to meet the staff and visit the children, myself, Fr Peter and Fr Jude regularly celebrate Mass at school during term time, We aim to become familiar faces to your children and  families. Our Catholic schools  were  once  a  ‘gift’ from  the  church to  the faithful , but  now, in  the  twenty-first century, these  same  schools  have become  a  gift  to  the  church.   They offer legitimate  and  creative opportunities  for  the  church to  work  with children,  young  people and  their  families.  Collectively they bring a richness to our parish communities through there very presence.


“Blessing in the Name of the Lord”

Fr Alan.  




Julie Young - Support Staff Governor 


My role at St George’s Catholic Voluntary Academy is Lead Teaching Assistant and involves working closely with non-teaching staff and feeding back to SLT and the Governing Body.


I have been a Teaching Assistant at St George’s for 15 years and a Support Staff Governor for 4 years, I am proud to be a part of the school community and its ethos. I am passionate about my role in school and as a Governor. I enjoy every aspect of the job, working closely with staff and children.


I feel privileged to be a part of the St George’s team!




Ian Uppington – Parent Governor


I am proud to be an elected parent governor at St George’s Catholic Academy. I have worked for Warburtons for the last 18 years in the Driver Operations Department. My role involves dealing with all aspects of legal compliance, people management and planning budgets.


I am married with two children. My wife is a Deputy Headteacher at another Catholic school. My oldest daughter currently attends St George’s and my son will hopefully join the school next September. I am committed to ensuring all children experience the best start in life by being provided with a high quality education within a safe, secure, nurturing and friendly environment. This is my main purpose for volunteering as a school governor.


Natasha Johnson - Staff Governor

I have recently been elected as staff Governor and am delighted to be given this opportunity. As a past pupil of St George's and a practicing catholic, I am very passionate about being part of this school and its community. I have a first hand experience of what St George's stands for and know just how much of an honour it truly is to be a part of such a wonderful school.  


I am fully aware of my responsibilities as a staff Governor and as part of the teaching team. I have been teaching at St Georges for nearly 3 years now and I have enjoyed every moment since the day I first arrived. I find it a privilege to work with such an amazing team and such wonderful children. My aim, as a teacher and Governor, is to ensure that the children "Grow in Faith, Have Faith in Growing".


Julie Broad - Parent Governor

I am really proud to be a parent governor at St Georges as I now have the opportunity work with a great leadership team that are committed and very focused on making our school the best it can be for everyone. I am from Littleover and have lived here all my life. I work at Rolls-Royce as the Company Graduate Development Manager and I have had a 20 year long career in Employee Development, Learning and business. Therefore I am passionate about and believe strongly in enabling everyone to reach their full potential. I am keen to help our school ensure that the environment and opportunities for our children to learn and develop are as inclusive and effective as possible, recognising all our children are unique. I am mum to one child who is now in year 4 and wife to Steve. I have many interests including DIY, photography, walking and shopping!