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Governing Body



The Head teacher of the school, in consultation with the Governors, is responsible for the internal organisation and management of the school. The Governing Body meets on a regular basis and has a range of responsibilities for the school. One Governor is appointed by the Local Education Authority (LEA) and Foundation Governors are appointed by the Diocese. Parent and Staff Governors are elected.

From September 2015, schools have a duty to publish information about their School Governors and their Register of Interests. Please click here to access information about our Governing Body arrangements.





Mr. Neil Yates

Neil, A Foundation Governor, is employed in safeguarding children as County Welfare Officer for Lancashire FA. He is also a parent of a child within our school and four former pupils. He has a degree in Education and Society. Neil's vision is a school where children are safe, happy, eager to come to school, and develop a lifelong love of learning in all its forms. An outstanding school where they achieve at everything but can also excel at something.

Term Of Office 4 years from 2014


Fr. Martin Dowd (Vice Chair and Parish Priest)

Term of Office 4 years from 2014

Mr. Paul Birch – Chair of Resources Committee and Foundation Governor

Paul is retired and held the position of Director of Pharmacy Services at East Lancashire NHS Trust for 30 years. He is an experienced Governor and has extensive management and finance experience. He is an ex-pupil of St. Charles, an ex-parent and was formally Vice Chair of the PTFA. He is a member of the Church Choir, a Church Reader and a member of the Parish Committee. He is the Governor for Year 2 Class. Paul believes that the children should be the best they can be.

Term of office 4 years from 2014

Mr. Neil Goodall – Associate Governor

Neil, now retired, was a Quantity Surveyor and Facilities Manager for Lancashire County Council. He is a long standing Governor and his wide experience of building issues has been useful in his role as Chair of the former Building and Sites Committee and now member of the Resources Committee. His four children were all pupils at St. Charles School and he was Chair of the PTFA. He is a parishioner at St. Charles Church and is involved with the wider community as a Magistrate on the East Lancashire Bench. He is the Governor for Year 1 Class.

Term of Office 4 years from 2014


Mrs. Mary Pollard – Foundation Governor

Mary is employed by Marks and Spencer with main responsibilities for administration and finance. She is an established Governor who serves on the Resources committee. Her two sons are both ex-pupils of St Charles and she is a former parent helper within the school. As a parishioner at St. Charles Church, Mary has been a Catechist for many years supporting the children on our Parish Sacramental Programme. She also serves the local community by being a member of Rishton and Great Harwood Soroptimists. She is the Governor for Year Three Class.

 Term of office 4 years from 2014


Mrs. Margaret Worden - Foundation Governor

Margaret is a retired local government officer. Her son, daughter, and grandson are all past pupils of our school and she now has a granddaughter in Year Two and a grandson in Year 1 class. Margaret has been a catechist for many years, supporting successive classes of children through the Sacramental Programme in the Parish and is also a Reader, and Eucharistic Minister. Margaret has strong connections with the wider community in Rishton as a member of Rishton and Great Harwood Soroptimists, as a Director and Company Secretary of The Prospects Foundation, and as a founder member of the Rishton Prospects Panel. She is also the Class Governor for Year Four.

Term of office 4 years from 2014


Mr. David Rogers - Foundation Governor

David is a Solicitor specialising in the field of Civil Litigation and works in-house for Tetrosyl Limited. David is also a qualified teacher who taught Economics and History at St Mary’s Sixth Form College in Blackburn before deciding to re-train as a Solicitor. He obtained his degree in Politics, Economics and Philosophy at York University and then undertook a PGCE at Hull University before later going on to obtain his legal qualifications from Huddersfield University and the College of Law in Chester. David is a Parishioner of St Charles parish and a former pupil of St Charles - a favourite of the legendary Miss Sinfield!  He is married to Ruth and they have two children who are both pupils at St Charles.

Term of office 4 years from 2013

Mr. Gerard Swinson – Chair of Achievement Committee and Foundation Governor

Gerard is a Parishioner of St. Charles Parish, and works as an IT Manager for an engineering company in the Aerospace industry. He became a Governor when his, now adult, children were pupils of St. Charles.  Gerard has served as a member and chair of a number of committees.  During the 10 year period that Gerard had children attending the School, he was a member and, for much of the time, Chair of the School PTFA. Gerard strongly believes that our children deserve the happiest childhood and the best education that we can give them.

Term of Office 4 years from 2014

Mrs. Linda Harling - LEA Governor

Linda is the Electoral Services Manager for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Her son and daughter are both past pupils.  Linda  completed nearly six years as a Parent Governor before recently being appointed as LEA Governor. Linda is Vice Chair of the Resources Committee as she has over twenty years experience of budget management and staff recruitment.  She is the Class Governor for Reception class.

Term of office 4 years from 2014




Ms. Eleanor Daniels – Parent Governor

Eleanor is a parent of a daughter in Year Three and has a son as a former pupil.  She has a BSc in Organisation and Management Studies, a PGCE and is in the final year of her MA in Education. She works as an Education Manager in the largest Juvenile Prison in Western Europe, and takes the lead on Maths and English for a cluster of four juvenile prisons.  She is currently working on a project with the London School of Business and Finance to teach Maths and English to disadvantaged/disengaged young people in the community through their local Premiership football club. Eleanor wants to provide the best educational experience possible for the pupils of St Charles. She is Class Governor for Year 6.

Term of Office 4 years from 2013


Mrs. Kate Astley – Parent Governor

Kate has four children, three of whom are currently pupils at St. Charles and her fourth child is a former pupil. She is the Curriculum Manager for Functional Skills English and Maths, Additional Learning Support and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) at Burnley College. Kate has a degree in Psychology and became an English Lecturer after studying a PCGE in Post-Compulsory Education. She continues to teach English to students aged 14 upwards, to adults hoping to gain employment or progress on to university and to apprentices in the workplace. Kate has recently qualified as a Specialist Teacher and Assessor of Specific Learning Difficulties through Manchester Metropolitan University, which allows her to work with students to help them improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

Term of office 4 years from 2015

Mrs. Pauline Hodgson - Staff Governor

Pauline is employed as a Teaching assistant and a senior midday lunchtime supervisor at St Charles Primary School with fifteen years experience.  She holds a degree in Education and Society. Her five sons are all past pupils at St Charles and enjoy coming back to support the school at sports day and other events. Pauline is now in her sixth year as Staff Governor and strongly believes that if the children are to be their best, then we have a duty as parents and educators to give our best. 

Term of office 4 years from 2013

Mrs. Vivien Baker – Headteacher

Vivien obtained a degree in Music from Leeds University before moving to London where she completed her PGCE and a performance diploma in piano from London College of Music.  After teaching in London for three years, Vivien moved back to Lancashire and worked at Peel Park Primary School in Accrington. Her wish to work in a Catholic school was granted when she was appointed to teach at St Mary’s RCP School, Langho during which time she taught her three sons.  As Deputy Head teacher at Holy Souls, Vivien was privileged to teach her youngest child, Madeleine who asked to move school to be in her Mum’s class like her brothers! Vivien’s dream is that every child will love their school days and will achieve their ambitions – whatever they are. Vivien believes that every child deserves the best education possible and is committed to pursuing this as Head teacher of St Charles.

Governors' minutes are available for anyone wishing to view them. A copy will be made at a small charge for anyone requesting them.