St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (L) – Local Governing Body


Sarah-Jane Smith – Foundation Governor

Chair of the Governing Body and Link Governor for Safeguarding

Sarah-Jane has been a Governor at St Joseph’s since February 2015. She manages a small business in the area and brings knowledge from her working background to the role. She has lived in the community all her life and is Secretary of Loftus Cricket and Athletic Club.

Sarah-Jane says, “I attended the school along with other members of the family and my niece is a current pupil.  I became a Governor as I wanted to give something back to the school where I was a pupil.  In fact, I was taught by the current Headteacher.  The school went from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Outstanding’ in the OfSTED inspection in 2017 and I would like to see the school maintain this outstanding rating.”



In her spare time, Sarah-Jane enjoys reading, walks in the country and fine dining.


Alison Toward, BA (Hons), PGCE, NPQH, CTC – Ex Officio Headteacher


Alison has been the Headteacher of St Joseph’s since 2008, having been a Staff Governor at her previous school she already had experience of the work of a governing body.


Alison says, “I attended Sacred Heart Secondary School in Redcar, which is now part of the Trust, as a pupil before choosing teaching as a career.  I worked at St Joseph’s for eight years in the 90s and relished the opportunity of returning as Headteacher.  St Joseph’s is a real family school and it is wonderful leading a school with such committed and supportive Governors.  The challenge given to me in my role as Governor ensures that our children get the very best.”


Alison enjoys spending time with her family, reading, going to the cinema and travelling.


Jeremy Drewitt, Master Mariner (Foreign-Going) – Foundation Governor

Link Governor for Personal Development (including Wellbeing)


Jeremy is new to the Governing Body of St Joseph’s and brings experience of management and the ‘Right to Read’ scheme to the group.  He is also Chair of the Mission to Seafarers (South Tees) and Port Welfare Committee (Merchant Navy Welfare Board.)


Jeremy says, “I live in the community which is served by the school and have a nephew who attended.  I was happy to take up the role of Governor when approached as I wish to assist the local community.”


In his spare time, he enjoys model ship building and gardening.



Caroline Garvey – Foundation Governor

Link Governor for Catholic Standards


Caroline has been a member of the Governing Body for five years.  She brings her knowledge, skills and experience as a primary school Headteacher to the role.  In her retirement she enjoys watercolour painting, golf, gardening and reading.  You will also find her on the terraces at the Riverside, as she is a Middlesbrough FC season ticket holder.


Caroline says, “Although not from the area, I was asked to become a Foundation Governor to support the school after a difficult OfSTED inspection.  I felt that I could contribute to the school and help it make the progress needed because of the knowledge and skills I already had.  My vision for the future is to support the school, its staff and pupils, giving them the opportunity to progress and develop to their full potential.”



Elizabeth Henry BA (Hons) PGCE, NPQH Foundation Governor

Link Governor for Quality of Education


Elizabeth has been a member of the Governing Body for just over three years. She is a retired Headteacher with many years’ experience in teaching and leadership, offering a plethora of knowledge and an understanding of the role as Governor. Before becoming a Governor, Elizabeth had previous close links with St Joseph’s Primary as part of a smaller CMAT and Teaching Schools Alliance working closely with the school staff and leaders.


Elizabeth said, “I am a firm believer that all children should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.  Following the most recent ‘Outstanding’ OfSTED judgement, I wish to support the school as it continues to develop within the NPCAT, at the same time maintaining its identity as a caring, supportive community school.”


In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and keeping fit with Yoga, Tai Chi, walking and travelling.



Jane Verrill – Foundation Governor BA (Hons)

Link Governor for SEN and Pupil Premium


Jane has been a Governor at St Joseph’s for over seven years and has a son that attends the school currently.  Jane also attended the school herself as a child and continues to have a fondness and personal interest in the wellbeing and continuing development of St Joseph’s.

Jane works as a Speech and Language Therapist in the local area and has strong links in the community. Her link role in SEN and Pupil Premium is a perfect choice given her qualifications in Language and Linguistics Studies with Psychology, together with the experience and knowledge from her career.


In her spare time, Jane enjoys camping and walking adventures with her family.


Shelly O’Hara – Staff Governor

Link Governor for Behaviour and Attitudes



Laura Barber – Parent Governor

Link Governor for Quality of Education