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St Mary's PS Dechomet, Castlewellan

Governor Section

Meet the Governors…

Education Authority Representatives: Mr Martin Kearney, Mrs Geraldine Starrs (Vice Chairperson)

DENI Representative: Mr Eamonn Kennedy (Chairperson)

Parent’s Representative: Ms Sandra Zust

Teacher Representative: Mrs Fiona O'Callaghan (Secretary)

Principal: Mrs Oonagh McNally

Trustee Governors: Mrs Bronagh O'Shea, Mrs Ciara Burns, Mr Martin O'Donnell, Mrs Fiona Cotter

 The Board of Governors is reconstituted once every four years (reconstitution due in 2022). The governors work in partnership with staff to effect the overall management of the school. The Board of Governors produce an Annual Governors’ Report for parents summarising all aspects of school life.

Duties of school governors include….

  • Maintaining and developing the catholic ethos of the school
  • To ensure that the statutory curriculum is delivered effectively and efficiently
  • To review and benchmark outcomes, identifying any areas where improvement could be made
  • Participation in school development planning
  • Review and ratification of school policies
  • Staff recruitment and staffing matters
  • Determination of admission and enrolment criteria
  • Ensuring the school remains within budget
  • Ensuring school premises are well maintained
  • Fostering links with the local community

The following sub committees are also in place

  • Recuitment and Selection (5 members)
  • Finance ( 3 members)
  • Complaints (2 members)
  • Appeals (3 members)
  • SEN (2 members)

The positions are voluntary and unpaid. The Board of Governors is required to meet three times per year but in practice meet more often. Governors also participate in the regional governor training programme.

We would encourage you to read the Annual Governors’ Report which we would hope you would find interesting and informative. The report evidences our accountability as governors to you, the parents. The report also highlights the contribution made to the school by staff, parents, governors and the wider community.

We feel privileged as a group of governors to be part of St Mary’s Primary School, Dechomet where every child is valued and matters, where children are nurtured in a caring school environment and community and where children are prepared for the challenges of education, work and life.



School Development Plan:

The Board of Governors has overall responsibility for the strategic direction and the effective management of the school. In conjunction with the principal the governors formulate a School Development Plan. School development planning is a process used to direct and shape continuous improvement in the delivery of the curriculum and pupils academic standards in a planned manner. Put simply the process of school development planning establishes where we are now, where should we go, what are our priorities , how we plan to get there and how will we know we have arrived!

Areas for continuous  review and development include

  • Child centred provision...

Pastoral care

Child protection

Special educational needs intervention and support

Inclusion and diversity

Pupil involvement

Healthy school

  • High quality teaching and learning.....

Curriculum provision

Literacy and numeracy

Learning and teaching strategies

Assessment and use of data

Self evaluation

  • Effective leadership.....

Effective school development planning

Continuous professional development

Curriculum leadership

Monitoring evaluation and review

Financial management


  • School connections to the local community......

Links with educational agencies

Projects coordinated with local community

Assessments of the schools performance in areas such as numeracy, literacy, SEN and ICT are carried out annually. Results are benchmarked against local and regional standards. Areas for improvement for all pupils and for special groups within the school are identified and specific action plans drawn up to effect change and improvement . Tools used to measure and identify improvement are clearly defined within the action plan.

School development plans outline action plans across the curriculum over a three year period. The plan is a fluid document which is reviewed regularly  throughout the school year and amended as required. Action plans  drawn up within the School development plan takes into account the views of the school community.... teaching and ancillary staff, governors, pupils and  parents.

A detailed copy of the current school development plan is available on request.


Complaints procedure:


 We welcome any feedback and suggestions you may have to help improve the delivery of the curriculum, extracurricular activities and overall experience for your child and his/ her peers.

Should you have any concerns about your child we would encourage you to raise your concerns with your child's class teacher in the first instance.  Due to the close working relationships between staff and parents most concerns can be addressed and resolved at an early stage by the class teacher.

Should you feel this is not appropriate or if you feel your concern has not been addressed or if you prefer then you may raise any concerns directly with the principal.

Should you feel your concerns have not been addressed by the class teacher and/ or principal and should you wish to make a formal complaint then you should outline the nature of your complaint and initial steps taken towards resolution in writing to the Chair of the board of governors, Mr Eamonn Kennedy. Your complaint will be fully investigated by the chairperson and the outcomes shared with you in person and in writing within one month.

If you remain dissatisfied with this process than you may choose to ask the SELB or CCMS to intervene… see Complaints Policy.

The Board of Governors monitors the complaints procedure to ensure that all complaints are managed appropriately.