St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School 

Local Governing Body


Gary Wilson – Foundation Governor

Chair of the Governing Body

Link Governor for Safeguarding

Gary joined the governing body of the school in 1993 and became the Chair of Governors three years later.  He was a Police Officer for many years where he gained management experience in several areas including Child Protection.  Gary has a Diploma in Management Studies from Teesside Business School and spends his spare time playing golf.

Gary says; “I was born in Thornaby, have lived here all my life and know the area and it’s people well. I am passionate about providing the best we can for all our children, not just those that are talented or have specific needs.  Both my children attended the school in the 1990s, following in the footsteps of their mother who had been a pupil in the 1960s.

I became a governor because I wanted to help, having previously been on the PTA.  During my time as Chair of Governors, St Patrick’s has gained three ‘Outstanding’ inspection gradings from OfSTED – a remarkable achievement for a school in such a deprived social and economic area.  Being a governor is not easy; there are meetings to go to, regulations to adhere to and ultimately you can be held accountable for the school’s performance, but I am glad to have been able to make my small contribution to the school’s success.

Gary also spent some time working as a Learning Mentor within the school and found it both challenging and rewarding. I got to know how and why our children achieve such high standards, not only academically but also in behaviour and relationships.  Key to everything is having the right staff in place to ensure our high standards never drop and at St Patrick’s we have been blessed by having talented and dedicated people in all roles.

I believe I can contribute to the school’s vision by supporting and challenging the senior leaders to constantly seek ways of improving the life chances for our children.  It is not just about data – it is about helping our children to achieve the best that they can so that they leave as well rounded citizens who can make a positive contribution to the world outside.

I like to get into school as often as possible – it really is a wonderful place and is a constant reminder to me of why I actually became a governor.” 


Mark Ryan – Ex Officio Executive Headteacher

Mark is the Executive Headteacher of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary and Christ the King Catholic Primary.  He has worked as a teacher and senior leader in schools in the Thornaby area for twenty five years. Mark is a Diocesan Inspector for Religious Education for Middlesbrough Diocese and he is Catholic Standards Officer for Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust, working across all of the schools within the trust. Mark is the leader of the school’s School Direct Initial Teacher Training Programme, working in partnership with Leeds Trinity University.  He has always had a passion for sport and is currently a very happy Liverpool supporter.

Mark says; “I am very proud to be the Executive Headteacher for St Patrick’s Catholic Primary, where my four children were educated and are now pursuing their own careers as a result of the fantastic start and well-rounded education they received here.

I will strive to ensure that the children in our care receive an education that will prepare them to have successful futures in an ever changing world.  My experience has developed throughout my career and I have also been a governor for much of that time at St Patrick’s College.

This is a wonderful community and I will work hard to make sure that the children become positive role models in the communities they serve.”


James Conwell – Headteacher

James is the Head of School at St.Patrick’s Catholic Primary and has been a member of staff there for over twenty years. He knows the local and parish community well and is proud of the school’s achievements over a sustained period of time. He has high expectations of all pupils both academically and in terms of behaviour and personal and spiritual growth. He has a passion for children to have the best possible Catholic Education.

James says: “I am very proud of the children at St.Patrick’s. Wonderful things happen at St.Patrick’s because of the children and their families , dedication and of such a great teaching staff  and service of our governors.”


Anthony Conlin – Board Appointed Governor

Link Governor for Quality of Education

Anthony became a parent governor at St Patrick’s in 2015 but has worked in the Education Sector for fifteen years and has experience of every phase from Early Years to postgraduate /doctorate.  A graduate in Business Information Systems, Anthony has worked in both the public and private sector and is currently the managing director of his own business. In his spare time he enjoys watching all sports and is a Middlesbrough season ticket holder.

Anthony says: “I am proud to be associated with such a tremendous school as St Patrick’s, and am happy to share my expertise to support and monitor the school.  I serve as a member of the governing body of three local schools and am also a director of a multi academy trust. 

As a parent of two children, I am aware of the need for positive learning experiences.  I have vast experience and knowledge of school improvement, OfSTED and data analysis which I am happy to share to ensure St Patrick’s continues to deliver a fantastic education for pupils.”


Joe Cuthbert – Foundation Governor

Link Governor for Behaviour and Attitudes (including Attendance)

Joe has been a governor at St Patrick’s for over twenty years, most of which he has served as Vice Chair.  He is a member of Thornaby Cricket Club.

Joe says: “I am originally from Middlesbrough but for the last forty years have been a resident of Thornaby.  I have two children and four grandchildren, all of whom attended St Patrick’s.  As a governor I have taken the lead on Health and Safety.

Coming from Middlesbrough, I have always supported Middlesbrough Football Club but my main interest is cricket, where I can nearly always be seen in the main club whenever Thornaby are playing.  I am really eager to see sports being played well at St Patrick’s!”


Mark Devine – Foundation Governor

Link Governor for Pupil Premium

Mark joined the governing body in 2017.  Originally from Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland, he came to the area twenty-four years ago to attend the University of Teesside.  Mark has worked in the Energy industry for most of his career and brings experience of working in large multi-national organisations to the governance role.  In his spare time he enjoys travelling, cycling, walking and spending time with his family.

Mark says: “I felt honoured and privileged to be asked by Father Keogh to become a governor at St Patrick’s.  I am a father of three and my two youngest children attend the school.  I therefore have a personal investment in the overall well-being of pupils and staff alike.

I initially worked for Enron here on Teesside, and then enjoyed nine years in London where I worked for Total and Statoil in energy trading, moving back to Teesside in 2016 to take up a post as Senior Commercial Manager for Sembcorp Utilities at Wilton International.  I hope to bring this working experience to help support the exceptional work already carried out by the current staff and governors of St Patrick’s.

Despite being a lifelong Spurs fan, I am also a season ticket holder at Middlesbrough FC.”


Emma Ewbank – Parent Governor

Link Governor for Catholic Standards

Emma was recommended as a parent governor by the Head of School and joined the governing body in 2018.  A former Senior Accountant in Local Government, she can support the governing body in understanding financial matters at both a local and corporate level.  She is also a foster carer and has knowledge of safeguarding, SEND, Children in Care and Child Protection issues.  She enjoys reading, walking, comedy and all things animal related.

Emma says: “As a family we have been very well supported by the school and I wanted to give something back.  My daughter, who has additional needs, attends the school and we have found St Patrick’s to be a special place, safe and nurturing for children. 

I believe all children deserve to be educated in an environment which encourages them to achieve their potential and ensures they have the best opportunities to grow into responsible and caring individuals.  This is something St Patrick’s strives to achieve for every child and I hope to support them, through strong governance.  The children of the school live predominantly in deprived areas and their journey through school is a joy to witness.  Knowing I can support them provides a great sense of personal satisfaction.”


Kate Horsman – Staff Governor

Link Governor for Personal Development

Kate joined the governing body in September 2021, after requesting an interest in the role in the Summer term 2021. She has worked at St Patrick’s  since January 2015. She has enjoyed working with a variety of children in school ranging from Nursery up to Key Stage 2. Prior to her time at St Patrick’s she worked for several years within the trust and enjoys being part of the Catholic community in Thornaby.  Kate has grown up in Thornaby and is committed and proud to be part of the school parish.
Kate says ” It is lovely to be part of a loving family, which is St Patrick’s, so much so, that my son is in this school and my daughter will be joining very soon”. 

Sarah Fellowes – Foundation Governor

Link Governor for SEND

Sarah is a newly appointed governor, joining the board of governors in July 2021. She is originally from Thornaby and was baptized into CTK church, having been a long-standing member of the Parish Community for all her life. She has three young children, two of which attend the school, her youngest who is due to attend nursey in September 2022.
In a professional capacity, she is a qualified Occupational Therapist with substantial experience working within Mental Health Services for both adults and children. For the last ten years she has been working in a Community CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service) Team, providing co-ordinated, targeted and specialist services to young people up to the age of 18 years. In light of this she was allocated the link governor role for SEND. In her spare time she enjoys family walks and crafting and holiday’s.
Sarah says: ‘I am fully aware and supportive of the Catholic identity of the school, living the catholic faith, and reflecting the values and teachings of the catholic church, with my own family. I hold upmost importance to the school’s commitment to both academic excellence and spiritual formation. Working within challenging areas, and particularly CAMHS, where safeguarding issues have been and continue to be present, I have been able to communicate sensitive information and adapt the style and level of such. I have demonstrated the ability to work independently with highly complex, sensitive or contentious issues, within strict time frames, having a good understanding of the process’ involved and undertaken appropriate actions where concerns have been present. This knowledge and experience will be exceptionally valuable within this role which I am passionate about pursuing. I believe I hold the skills to allow me to make a positive and valuable contribution as a governor, striving to support the school in its delivery of quality education, teaching and learning, and catholic


Glenn Morgan – Foundation Governor

Link Governor for PE and Sports Premium

Glenn has been a governor at St Patrick’s for over 2 years and this is where his family have been educated for four generations.  He runs an International Online Marketing Company with his business partner who is based in America.  He has a lot of sporting interests including football, cricket and horse racing.

Glenn says: “I followed my mother and elder brother in attending St Patrick’s, both my daughters were educated here and now my grandson has started his schooling.  I had been serving as a governor at St Patrick’s College when I was invited to become a governor at the primary school, a request I was more than happy to accept.  I am enjoying supporting the staff and children as much as possible.

I commute to London each week for 2 / 3 days for my business but running the company gives me a lot of street and financial experience that I bring to the governing body.  Being a governor is a very challenging role, but it goes both ways.  I also get a lot of self-satisfaction from being in a position to make a difference for our children and staff, one that I hope to continue for many years.”