Our Lady Of Furness Catholic Federation

Our Lady Of Furness Catholic Federation

Lovingly we Learn in Harmony

  1. Federation
  2. Governors
  3. Governor Profiles

Governor Profiles


Mary Page.

Category of governor: Foundation Governor/ Chair of Governors. 

Term of office: 24 February 2023 - 23 February 2027. 

Work: Retired.

Governance experience:

I was a governor of my children’s primary school in Bolton during the 1990s.

Associated to the governing body when I was a deputy head teacher in Preston.

Governor of St Bernard’s Catholic High School where I was headteacher.

Worked for the Cumbria Learning Improvement Service where I advised and supported governing bodies across the West of the county.

 Hobbies and interests:

Walking, reading, knitting, singing and more recently, cycling, learning to paint and looking after my two grandchildren.

Links to the school/area:

I live in Baycliff and attend St Mary’s Church in Ulverston. I was head teacher at St Bernard’s Catholic High School and have taught in Catholic schools for 20+ years.

 Why did you become a governor? To support Catholic education in the area.  

Neil McLaughlin Cook.

Category of governor: Foundation Governor. Vice Chair of Governors. 

Term of office: 9th September 2022 to 8th September 2026.

Work: Retired (University Registrar).

Governance experience: I served two terms as Foundation Governor at St Anthony of Padua Catholic Primary School, Liverpool, and one term as an elected Staff Governor at Liverpool Hope University, the only ecumenical Christian University in Europe.  I am currently a Trustee of Furness u3a.

Hobbies and interests: Walking [I regularly lead walks for several walking groups]; photography; theatre; gardening; cryptic crosswords and Sudokus.

Links to the school/area: I have lived in Ulverston, close to St Mary’s school, since 2018; two of my nieces attended Our Lady’s school in Dalton; I am a Reader and a Special Minister at St Mary’s church.  I am also Secretary of Furness u3a, a volunteer steward at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston, and a volunteer guide at Dalton Castle.

Why did you become a governor?         To help support and guide our schools through these challenging times.

 Laura Byrne

 Category of Governor: Headteacher, St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, Ulverston. 

 Term of office: 1 January 2021 - until employment with the school ends. 

 Work: St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.

 Governance experience: 2 years as Staff Governor and 1 year on sub- committee (Staffing and Curriculum). 

 Hobbies and interests: Spending quality family time, camping, live music, theatre, dance, swimming (including wild swimming) and education. 

 Links to the school/area: I have 2 children that attend St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. I have taught at the school since September 2018.

 Why did you become a Governor? I became a Governor when I took on the role as Deputy Head. I wanted to gain further insight into the governance of the school and Federation. 

Bernadette Charnley

Category of governor: Ex officio (Headteacher, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Dalton).

Term of office: 1 September 2022 - until employment with the school ends.

Work: I have been a teacher for twenty years, eighteen of which were spent at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Ulverston.  I became Acting Headteacher of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School in September 2022.

Governance experience: This is my first experience of being on a governing body, although I have worked closely with governors throughout my time as a teacher.

Hobbies and interests: I play the piano and sing and love attending live music events.  I enjoy reading and pretending to be a chef!  Few things make me happier than spending time at home or on days out with my husband and two children.

Links to the school/area:  I moved to Ulverston in 2004, taking up my teaching post at St. Mary’s.  My eldest child left St. Mary’s in 2020 after seven successful years, and my younger child is currently in Year 2.

Why did you become a governor?  

I have a passion for education and care deeply about our federation schools and Catholic education in general.  Being a governor will give me the opportunity to be part of a positive driving force that will ensure the best outcomes for all of our children.

Rachel Jewell

Role: Clerk to the Governors.

Work: I have worked as Clerk for the Federation since 2016. I also work as Clerk for other Catholic primary and secondary schools in the Furness and Millom areas. 

My role is to provide procedural, legislative, administrative and organisational support to the Governing Body to ensure that they are meeting their statutory duties and working in accordance with legal frameworks.

My previous work experience includes sales and sales management with local and regional newspapers including Cumbria Newspapers and the Manchester Evening News. 

 Hobbies and interests:

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, cinema and music. 

 Links to the school/area:

I have lived in Ulverston most of my life. 

Paul Lewis.

Role: Business Manager.

Work:  I began working for the Furness and Millom Catholic Primary Schools Cluster in January 2019. Prior to that I spent well over 20 years working in the public sector, most recently for Cumbria County Council, Children’s Services.

The key element of my role is to ensure good financial management across the cluster, establishing efficient and effective systems and procedures to ensure best value is obtained while maintaining a high quality learning environment in each school. As part of the schools’ leadership team I have lead responsibility for strategic planning, decision making and policy setting in financial and related matters.

Hobbies and interests: I am an avid fan of most sports and music. I enjoy travelling, learning about different cultures and trying different cuisines, particularly anything spicy!

Links to the school/area: I have lived with my family on Walney for 15 years (my wife originates from the area).