Local Governing Body

The aim of the Local Governing Body of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School (which is part the Emmaus MAC) is to work together with the Principal, the Vice Principal and all the staff on operational matters in the school in order to support the children at the school to achieve their full potential in a happy, caring, Christ-centred environment maintaining at all times the Catholic ethos.

The key elements in achieving this aim are to:

  • Preserve and develop the ethos and character of a Catholic School and the academy through high expectations of everyone in the school community including fundamental British values of democracy (rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs).
  • Ensure strong links within the Parish are maintained to ensure children and their families are given the opportunity to deepen their faith building on the knowledge and values taught at the school.
  • Monitor the performance and progress of all the children at the school.
  • Work with all the staff to help them to teach and care for all our children in the most effective manner.
  • Ensure that the resources of the school are best utilised, in consultation with the Principal.
  • Plan with the Principal to guarantee that the overall performance of staff, children, and hence the school, continues to improve in all aspects.

To enable the Local Governing Representatives to achieve these objectives, the Local Governing Body is made up of key groups within the school- parents, staff, the Church and the community. The Foundation Local Governing Body Representatives are appointed by the Diocese, whilst the parent and staff representatives are elected. All representatives serve for a term of four years.

The Local Governing Body meets each term; at which time they focus on specific activities such as: finance and budgeting implications, curriculum, staffing, admissions, premises and health and safety. Individual members of the Local Governing Body bring valuable experience and skills which are utilised to ensure the community of Our Lady Of Fatima School continues to be happy, caring and successful whilst benefiting from the wider community of the Emmaus Academy and the Church.

The Local Governing Body, whilst responsible for operational matters takes overall direction from the Emmaus Academy Company Board of Directors and as such, communication and links are put into place to ensure that there is cohesion and clarity among and between all of the schools within the Catholic Academy. We also welcome views from our parents and supporters. If you would like to get in touch with me at any time, please contact the senior office manager at the school.

Mr Matthew Higgins

Local Governing Body

Name Type of Member Appointed Term in Office (until)
Mr M Higgins Foundation Governor, Chair 28-Jan-21 27-Jan-25
Mr A Morris Foundation Governor, Vice Chair
Mr D Simmons Principal 01-Jan-21 31-Dec-25
Dr A Morris Foundation Governor 08-Jul-22 07-Jul-26
Father Long Foundation Governor 28-Jan-21 27-Jan-25
Mr M Leese Staff Governor 29-Oct-21 28-Oct-25
Mrs Melanie Jat Parent Governor 31-Mar-21 30-Mar-25
Mrs Joanne Chapman Parent Governor 31-Mar-21 30-Mar-25

Declaration of Business Interest and Attendance

Full Name of Governing Body Member Status Date of Appointment/Re-Appointment Term of Office Date stepped down Appointment Attendance 2021-22 Attendance 2022-23 Pecuniary Interest Details
Matthew Higgins Foundation 28/01/2021 4 years DES & Board of Directors 6 of 6 2 of 2 Y Sister-in-law is Parent Governor
David Simmons Foundation 01/01/2021 Ex-Officio n/a 6 of 6 2 of 2
Father Long Foundation 28/01/2021 4 years DES & Board of Directors 5 of 6 2 of 2
Melanie Jat Parent 31/03/2021 4 years Elected by Parents 5 of 6 1 of 1
Joanne Chapman Parent 31/03/2021 4 years Elected by Parents 5 of 6 0 of 1
Michael Leese Staff October 2021 4 years Elected by Staff 4 of 6 1 of 1
Andrew Morris Foundation 08/07/2022 4 years DES & Board of Directors 2 of 2
Vacancy Foundation
Lorraine Cemm Foundation October 2018 * 4 years 15/10/2021 DES & Board of Directors 5 of 6
Marea Hooper Foundation October 2018 * 4 years 15/10/2021 DES & Board of Directors 6 of 6
Irene Byrne Foundation October 2018 * 4 years 15/10/2021 DES & Board of Directors 5 of 6

* Served since October 2014

Governors Member Profiles

Matthew Higgins (Chair, Safeguarding Governor)

I have two daughters at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School and I am passionate about providing them with the support required alongside the fantastic education they receive. I am fortunate to have a longstanding relationship with the school through close relatives who have previously attended the school and whose children continue to do so. I have been employed for 25 years by Scottish Widows and work with Heads of Business to ensure that appropriate advice, discussions and behaviours are consistently used with customers. I am highly motivated and dynamic and my employment role requires me to have strong engagement in all business matters. I am also an active member of the school’s PTA and relish the opportunity to offer my skills and experience to further support and challenge the school.

Dr Andrew Morris (Vice-Chair)


I am an Associate Professor in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham. I attended Catholic schools in Australia and have a longstanding passion for education. I have worked in mathematics research and teaching at universities in the UK and the USA since 2010. My research concerns the mathematical analysis of wave propagation in rough geometric environments. I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017. I am also the Link Governor for English and Physical Education at Our Lady of Fatima.

David Simmons

I am the Principal at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School. I have a variety of roles as  Principal: I am the Lead Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding, with additional responsibility across the school for Online Safety, Assessment and English. Prior to this I worked as a Deputy and Acting Headteacher at St Francis Xavier Primary School and as a teacher at St Philip's Primary School.

Father Long

I was born and grew up in a village in the South of Vietnam. After finishing my studies at SaiGon University I became a qualified teacher in 2001. In 2002 I was accepted for the priestly formation for the Diocese of Vinh Long and I spent 3 years in the Seminary. In 2005 I was accepted by Archbishop Vincent Nichols to come to the UK in order to complete my seminary formation. I came to England in January 2006 and I finished my training, as a deacon in summer 2013, then the Archbishop sent me to St Joseph's in Malvern and ordained me on 19th March 2014. I took up my first post as an Assistant Priest until 2015. In August 2015, I had served over 3 years as an assistant priest in Ss Mary and Modwen, Burton on Trent where I sat on the board of Governors at the Primary school.  In August 2019, I was appointed the parish priest to Our Lady of Fatima. Currently, in addition to my role as a parish priest and I also serve as foundation governor of the parish school, Our Lady of Fatima. 

Michael Leese

Having previously attended Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School as a pupil, I am now very proud to be the school's Vice Principal. Within this role, I have a variety of different responsibilities: I am the school’s SENCo and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, with additional responsibility across the school for the Creative Curriculum and Behaviour. 


Melanie Jat

Joanne Chapman

Vera Chen

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