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

Declaration of Business Interest and Attendance

Governors Member Profiles

Matthew Higgins (Chair, Safeguarding Governor)


Link Governor area: Safeguarding, Science, SEND


I have been a member of Our Lady of Fatima Local Governing Body since September 2019 when I was initially appointed as a Parent Governor. I have 2 children one who went through the Our Lady of Fatima Catholic school and is now at Hagley and my youngest who is currently in year 5.

We attend Our Lady of Fatima church and both of my daughters have read in mass regularly.

In my professional life I am in Finance, mortgages in particular, where I speak with clients to enable to gain the home of their dreams.

I thoroughly enjoy everything I do with Our Lady of Fatima and was fortunate enough to take the position of Chair in 2023 following our previous Chair standing down and I hope I can support the school and provide the help and clarity as much as she and our governing body have to date.

In my spare time I enjoy running, Golf and love my football, as well as all of the many activities that we do as family.

Dr Andrew Morris (Vice-Chair)

Role on LGB: Vice Chair 
Link Governor area: English, PE

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

Role on LGB: Principal


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

Role on LGB: Foundation Governor

Link Governor area: RE


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

Role on LGB: Staff Governor


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 Mathematics, SEND and Behaviour. 


Vera Chen

I joined the Governing Body at Our Lady of Fatima Primary School in November 2022 when I was appointed as a Foundation Governor. I helped with the formation of children receiving their First Holy Communion at the parish of Our Lady of Fatima. I was actively serving as a catechist in Singapore and helped in starting catechism for children with special needs which I am keen to do so here in Birmingham.


Professionally, I have been an educator in primary schools for 5 years. I have taught in Singapore and Birmingham. My subjects of specialism are Religious Education and Science. I was previously in research at a university.


In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering, finding ways of growing food sustainably and creating faith related videos for children.

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