St Stephen's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

St Stephen's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

Learning, living and loving one another in God's name

Gargrave Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1PJ

01756 709451

Meet the Academy Councilors

"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 Janet Sheehan (Chair) (Foundation)
  • Mgr. Andrew Summersgill (Foundation)
  • Miss Pauline Copeland (Vice Chair) (Foundation)
  • Mr Bernard Conlon (Foundation)
  • Mrs Katherine Gilligan (Foundation)
  • Dr Katherine Perry (Foundation)
  • Vacancy (Parent)
  • Mrs Kelly Goddard (Parent)
  • Mr Luke Gilhooly (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.

Janet Sheehan: Chair of Academy Council

I was a teacher for 34 years and a headteacher in a Catholic Primary School in the Diocese of Westminster for 13 years.  I retired in 2012 and moved to Skipton with my husband and our working cocker spaniel.  

I was proud to become one of the first 50 National Leaders of Education in the country. In this role I and my school successfully supported schools who were in difficulties, this included schools in special measures.

As a Catholic educator I was, and still am, totally committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for children. I am enjoying the challenge of supporting St Stephen's on the road to recovery and look forward to the day, which I believe will come before too long, when Ofsted give us a clean bill of health. 

Pauline A. Copeland:  Vice Chair

I have been a Governor since 2012, and became Vice Chair in September 2013, prior to the school becoming an Academy. I am the named member for SEN and Safeguarding. Prior to retirement I taught English in secondary schools in Liverpool for 37 years. I was SENCO for 28 years at Notre Dame Catholic College, Liverpool and worked actively on the college's safeguarding team for 10 years becoming the Child Protection Officer in 2009. 

I am passionate about Catholic Education and am totally committed to ensuring that every child in St. Stephen’s receives the highest possible standard of education and is given every opportunity to achieve their full potential. 

Monsignor A. Summersgill: Foundation governor

Mgr Summersgill has been the parish priest for St. Stephen's and St Margaret's Threshfield since January 2011. 

Dr Katherine Perry: Foundation governor

I grew up not far from Turf Moor and had the privilege of an excellent Catholic education at my local primary and Secondary School. I went on to study at The University of Manchester and have been working as a doctor for the last 14 years. I have always wanted to work closely with the local community and help people at different stages of their lives, a sense of’ service’ I’m sure instilled in me from school!

I have worked in Skipton for several years and have a good understanding of the needs of the local community. I have particular interests in child health, mental health and safeguarding, all of which are very relevant to my role as a governor.

I am now a mum of four and an active member of the Parish. On moving to Skipton I wanted my children to experience the same values and desire to try their best in all aspects of life, which I had. Two of my children currently attend the school and my eldest child was given fantastic opportunities at St Stephen's making some great memories, and successfully moving on to Skipton Girls High School.

I wanted to be a Foundation Governor as I feel passionately that every child within our school community should be given the opportunity to flourish and that this can be achieved through collaboration and a successful Catholic ethos. I am happy to challenge leadership to achieve this and have been very impressed by the new Senior Leadership Team at St Stephens.

Mrs Katherine Gilligan : Foundation governor 

I am a Teaching Assistant at a Catholic primary school in the Bradford District. I have worked there for six years and it is 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.

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 Mr Gilhooly and all the Governors.

Mrs Kelly Goddard: Parent governor

I have been a parent of St Stephen's now for 7 years and have 2 children, one in year 6 and one in year 1.

I have been an active member of school's PTA (FOSS) now for 7 years and currently preside as vice chair.

I was really keen to be part of the governors as I enjoy having active roles in my children's education. Overall memories of school and doing these roles allows me to be a part of that experience as well as aiding the school to keep developing and showing the world what a wonderful school, staff and children we have. 

Before having the children I gained over 12 years experience in childcare and have previously worked in our school as an After School Club co-ordinator and Teaching Assistant.

I am currently working as a Marketing Executive at Skipton Building Society and I really enjoy crafting and keeping fit.


Vacancy: Parent Governor

Mr Luke Gilhooly: Staff governor


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