Gargrave Road, Skipton, BD23 1PJ
01756 709451

"Governors are jointly responsible for the conduct of the school, ensuring that the best possible Catholic education is provided for the pupils attending the school. This means ensuring the school is run according to its Articles of Association and the Diocesan Trust Deed, that its religious character is preserved and developed, and that pupils obtain high standards of academic achievement.”

Diocese of Leeds Office for Education and Schools

When St. Stephen’s Catholic Primary School became an Academy on 1st August 2015 it was governed by the Strategic Intervention Board (SIB). The remit of the SIB was to set the aims and objectives for the school. During 2016/17 the governing body transitioned to an Academy Council. The ten members of the Academy Council are:

  • Mrs Anne Clews ( Chair) (Foundation)
  • Mrs Katherine Gilligan (Vice-Chair/Foundation)
  • Fr Christopher Angel (Foundation)
  • Mr Bernard Conlon (Foundation)
  • Mrs Monika Otulakowski  (Foundation)
  • Mrs Carmel Sherrington (Foundation)
  • Mr Christopher Gath (Parent)
  • Vacancy (Parent)
  • Mrs Alixena Lubomski (Headteacher)
  • Miss Grace Middleton (Staff)

Foundation members are appointed by the Diocese of Leeds following recommendation from the parish priest. Staff members are appointed through a process of election by the staff of the academy and parent members are appointed by election by the parents of the students at the academy. The Foundation Priest maintains their post for a fixed term and the Headteacher maintains their post for as long as they are in role.

If you need to contact a member of the Academy Council this can be done via the school office or email. Our address is

The remit of the Academy Council is to set the aims and objectives for the school. They also have a responsibility to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the school and to hold the head teacher and staff to account by checking that the plans that have been put in place are being carried out and asking questions.

Mrs Anne Clews: Chair of the Academy Council 

I live in Crosshills and am married to Richard and Mum to Kaitlin (15) and Jamie (9). I am a Catholic and attend St. Stephen’s Church and am one of the Confirmation Catechists for the Parish. 
I was a parent Governor of Cononley Primary school for 4 years from 2012 - 2016, during which time I assisted with appointing a new head and chaired the Teaching and Learning Committee. I was the Governor for RE, English and Science and enjoyed my visits to the school and meetings with the teachers and pupils. I have a particular interest in RE as my degree subject was Theology. As one of the parent Governors for St. Stephen’s I bring this experience with me. 
I currently work for myself as a small business owner, making stickers and other stationery items. I am a funeral director by trade and have worked in the industry for 10 years, my other roles include Lay Chaplaincy and several Pastoral and Behavioural roles in both Primary and High Schools. In my spare time I love to look after my cats and dogs, I like to crochet, read and swim and spend time with my family and close friends, although most of my time is spent being a taxi service to my children! 

Mrs Katherine Gilligan :   Vice-Chair/ Foundation governor 

I was a Teaching Assistant at a Catholic primary school in the Bradford District. I worked there for six years and it was an honour to contribute to the achievements of the children. I attended a nearby Catholic primary then the Catholic secondary school and enjoyed the ethos and possibilities it gave me. This enabled me to attend Leeds Art College and following this I completed a bachelor’s degree in Metalwork and Jewellery at Sheffield Hallam University. 
I moved to Skipton with my family 3 years ago. My eldest child attends St. Stephen’s Catholic Primary School and my youngest will soon be starting his journey at the school. As a family, we enjoy being part of the parish and are looking forward to attending the Children Liturgies again (when restrictions are lifted). 
I am a great believer in children reaching their full potential with all children having the right to a great education that allows them to succeed and to be proud of those achievements. In my role as a Foundation Governor I will be able to support the school to ensure that all children are achieving and challenged in an enjoyable and safe environment.

Fr Christopher Angel: Foundation governor

Fr Angel has been the parish priest for St. Stephen's and St Margaret's Threshfield since Sept 2022.


Mr Bernard Conlon: Foundation governor

I live in Ilkley and am married to Moira and have two children - Aidan and Rachael. This is my second time as a Governor. First time was Sacred Heart for almost 9 years where my two children attended - and from there they went onto St Mary’s in Menston  I’m delighted to be involved with St Stephen’s.

I’m a Chartered Accountant and work for a Cardiff- based company - I have previously worked internationally and all across the UK.

I passionately believe that every child should have the opportunity of a good education and that this should not have to involve any costs to the family. I very much look forward to working with Mrs Lubomski  and all the Governors.

Mr Christopher Gath: Parent Govenor

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I'm Chris and I'm married to Joanne.  We live in Cononley with our 3 lovely daughters, Ava 12, Edith 8 and Ivy 6.  

As a family we've a long assocition with both, St Stephen's school and the church.  With all 3 of our children attending the school since nursery.

At work I look after information techology for the UK division of First American Financial Corporation.

Outside of work, we're keen on outdoor activities and spend time biking and climbing as a family.

This means I'm passionate about seeing children enjoy a varied school life where they love learning, are taught how to manage in an increasingly complex world as well as being super engaged with nature and the outdoors to help with mental and physical wellbeing.

I'm really pleased to have been accepted into this role and look forward to being part of the school's continued success.