Clare Nolan Barnes – Chair of the Governing Body ( 

I joined the Governing Body in 2016 as a foundation Governor on the Buildings and Health and Safety Committee. I am a Chartered Surveyor and spent all my working life working with Construction Professionals and my skill set fit in well with the needs of that Committee at that time. I have been working for almost 40 years the last 20 in a senior leadership role, so when asked to become Chair of Governors in 2018, whilst I knew I had a lot to learn I hoped and prayed that I could use my talents to the best of my ability to Chair the Governing Body. I now work part time so I can commit the time required to Mrs Holt, her Management Team and Governing body the time required to carry out my role as Chair of Governors, I still have a lot to learn and especially in these difficult times I put my trust in Jesus to guide me.

I am a widow but live with my 5 children, 3 of my children attended the Cathedral Catholic Primary School so I have personal knowledge of our school and I have been involved with the Cathedral Parish for over 25 years since moving to Lancaster from the Rossendale Valley.  You will usually find me helping out in the sacristy at 10.30 Mass on a Sunday. 

When I am not working I enjoy walking, living in Lancaster we are so fortunate to have some beautiful coast lines and rural areas to walk. I especially love the beach and hope many of our families can spend time during the holidays taking in the sea air even if we still have to social distance. I also enjoy spending holidays with my children in France. In my youth I played football and was an avid fell runner but age and dodgy knees have put a stop to that. I hope and pray that I make the right strategic decisions for our School and always welcome feedback and guidance  so that I do all that I can  as a school and community we are the best that we can be.


Jim Mann  - Vice Chair of the Governing Body and English Subject Governor Link

My name is Jane-Marie Mann but most people know me as Jim! I'm married with three children: Laura, Alex and Joel, who all attended and loved this wonderful school. I love spending time with my family, camping and walking in the Lake district. I joined the governing body as a Foundation governor in 2010 so this is my third term of governance.  

I live in Lancaster, and St Peter’s Cathedral is my parish. I attend mass in the Cathedral every Sunday with my children, who serve on the altar and sing with the choir or with the Cathedral choristers. I am an active member of the parish; I’m part of the team of catechists and I help children to prepare for the sacraments of First Reconciliation (confession) and First Holy Communion. I’m also in the children’s liturgy team and on the rota for tea and coffee, which we serve after mass every Sunday morning in the Social Centre.  My catholic faith is very important to me, and as a teacher I am also passionate about education. I feel that being a school governor was a particular job I was called to do, and I am so happy to be able help Cathedral school in any way that I can in this role.

I’m a part-time teacher of Spanish just up the road at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and I have also recently worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Learning Support department at LRGS. I love teaching and am proud to work in the field of education. As a governor at Cathedral, I have always been interested in ensuring that the children are provided with an excellent curriculum and I was a member of the Curriculum committee for a number of years. I love to see children learn and make strong academic progress as well as growing socially and emotionally during their primary school years and for this reason I have also been a key member of the SEC committee since it was set up in 2014. Some of my other key areas of interest include religious education, reading and writing, SEN, health and well-being, and school attendance.

Over the past 12 years since my daughter started in Reception class, I’ve been involved in many different aspects of school life, from Baptism assemblies and May processions to Reading programmes and International Food fairs! I care very much about Cathedral Catholic Primary school and I’m keen to support our dedicated school leaders and teachers to provide the best possible education and experiences for our children and families.


Joan Fox - Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee

As a lifelong parishioner of St Peter’s Cathedral, and an ex-pupil of our primary school, my connections with both go back a long way!  I worked for Lancashire County Council for 31 years, 27 of them as Business Manager of a large local secondary school.  I took early retirement in 2012 and now spend several days each week volunteering in the parish office.

 My involvement with the governing body of our school initially began some 10 years or so ago in a  seconded capacity but, for the past 6 years, I have been a Foundation Governor.  I am currently Chair of the Resources Committee, which includes responsibility for Finance, Staffing and Premises.  This is an area that fits well with my experience of working in school finance and I am happy to be able to help support our school by my involvement.


Phil Mitchell – LEA governor

I joined the governing board at Cathedral Catholic primary school in April 2017 as a Lancashire Education Authority Governor (LEA) after being invited to by the headteacher. I currently work at a major bank in Lancaster and have done so for the last 12 years.

Having lived in Lancaster for over 20 years now, moving from London, I attended St Dominic’s RC Primary school and St Aloysius RC secondary school in Hackney this was run by De La Salle Brothers. Moving to Lancaster I studied at University College of St Martins gaining my degree in Christian Theology/Ethics and Economics.

Happily married to Christine for 17 years and have 2 wonderful children who also attend the school. I have been involved with the school for the last 4 years organising events and fundraising as Chair for the PTA.

I have become an armchair supporter of all sports and follow QPR, I spend most of my spare time supporting my girl’s social life, I enjoy walking and relaxing with an occasional beer over a game of chess.

I hope that my skills, knowledge and experience acquired in my work and support of the school prove to be an asset to the Governing Board, and that this will be a two-way process, with my learning a lot from joining all of the vastly experienced members of the Governing Board. I acknowledge that I have a lot to learn about being an effective School Governor, but I am keen to do so, and will do all I can to ensure that The Cathedral Catholic Primary School continues to thrive in the interests of all involved with the school and all stakeholders.

Sean McMahon – Chair of SEC committee

I joined the Governing Body as a Foundation Governor in September 2015. I was approached because for nearly 22 years I have worked in Catholic education; as a teacher of RE and pastoral leader in three different Catholic secondary schools and, for 3 years, as Youth Officer for Lancaster Catholic Diocese. It was felt that my experience in education would be extremely useful as a school governor.

I have been married for 15 years and live in Lancaster with my wife and daughter, Clodagh. Clodagh left the Cathedral Primary school in July of 2019 and loved her seven years at the school. She is now at Our Lady’s Catholic College. I moved back to Lancaster in 2004 when I got my job as the Youth Officer for the Diocese of Lancaster. I returned to education in 2007, when I was offered a post at Cardinal Allen Catholic High School in Fleetwood. I enjoy living back in the city where I attended University, but I am Northern Irish born and bred which is reflected in my broad Irish accent. 

I enjoy walking in the Lakes as well as football being a life-long fan of Manchester United. Aside from walking, and football, my interests include Skiing, cycling and listening as well as attending live gigs in the Northwest. I also enjoy walking with the family and “Beano” the family Chocolate Labrador. 

I hope that my skills, knowledge and experience acquired in teaching prove to be an asset to the Governing Body.  I am honoured to be a part of the Cathedral Governing Body and chair the Standards and Effectiveness Committee. I will endeavour to ensure that the Cathedral Catholic Primary continues to thrive in the interests of all involved with the school.


Fr. Chappell - Foundation Governor



Fr. Steven Pearson - Foundation Governor

Hello I’m Fr Steve. I came to the Cathedral as Dean in 2014. I have been connected to school life nearly all of my priestly life  (I was ordained in 1990). Contact with the enterprise of education is something I deeply enjoy…contact with the pupils, the staff and everyone within a school community. I was chair of Governors here at Cathedral Primary school from 2014 until 2019. Now I continue as a foundation governor. I have been delighted to see our school continue its firm Catholic identity while building up the teaching and support staff in serving the needs of our children. I think we have an excellent Catholic Primary school.


Christine Copsey - Foundation Governor (Responsibility for Child Protection and Online Safeguarding)

I joined the Governing Body as a Foundation Governor in Sept 2014, and have worked as a Teaching Assistant for Lancashire County Council for 27 years. I have experience in primary and secondary phrases and have been a Catechist at Cathedral Church helping children explore and learn more about their faith.

I live with my husband Will, and German Shepherd Dog Tianna. I am proud that 4 generations of my family have attended The Cathedral Catholic Primary school, my father when it was a secondary school! My hobbies are gardening, playing with my grandchildren and walking my dog.

I hope that my skills, knowledge and experience will continue to move the school forward.


Shiralee Grierson – Staff Governor

My name is Shiralee Grierson and I am the Deputy Headteacher at The Cathedral Catholic Primary School. I am also a member of the governing body and sit on all the committees. I wanted to be a Governor because I wanted to become involved in every aspect of life at our wonderful school. I work with the other governors to ensure that we make the best possible decisions for our children whether that be financial, pastoral or educational.

I have been a teacher for 30 years and love every aspect of my job. Being a governor has broadened that experience for me and given me an insight into how a committed group of people with all their skills and experiences can make significant changes for the good of the school community. It is a very rewarding role.

As well as working in school and as a governor I have a husband and two children of my own who are both now at secondary school. We love going out to the cinema and theatre, especially to see musicals, but we most treasure going on holiday together. When I get any time to myself I love to walk our dog Hetty, read or watch a good box set.

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