Mrs Alison Wagstaff

Chair of Governors

Alison Wagstaff

Key Roles:

I live in Bodmin and am a parishioner at St Mary’s Church. I am a very new governor having been appointed for the first time in July 2021, so my first experiences of governing body meetings were via Zoom. It is a challenging role, but it is fantastic to be able to experience at first hand the strong sense of community at St Mary’s School, and the way the children are taught and encouraged by example to live out the Gospel values of love of God and neighbour in their own lives. As a Foundation governor I hope to have many opportunities to share in the Catholic ethos of the school.

I am very interested in education having had four children of my own, and now also grandchildren living reasonably close by. After bringing up my family I worked for ten years for the Foundation Board of a large educational charity which ran a number of independent, grammar and comprehensive secondary schools. I also acted as clerk to the Governing Body of a local authority primary school, which gave me a good insight into how much is now expected of school staff and also of the children.

My own educational background is in languages, and I have a degree in German language and literature as well as an abiding interest in classical languages, especially Latin. I also took up quilting a couple of years ago, and my ambition now to make something which is both useful and beautiful.

Mrs Alison McDonald

Head Teacher

Alison McDonald

Key Roles: Headteacher, SEND, Teaching and Learning

I have been working in education for over 21 years. Prior to my career in education I worked in my family's business, running a successful public house and restaurant in Lostwithiel. Although I am originally from the Midlands my family moved to the west country during the seventies, my father securing a job with Telcalemit in Plymouth designing the first petrol injection engines in the UK. My parents decided to change career paths and decided to become hoteliers. They successful ran two hotels in Looe and Fowey before their move to Lostwithiel.

I am a former pupil of Notre dame Catholic School for girls. I moved from Notre Dame to Falmouth School of Art and then took some time working for my family. I felt that I had more to offer and I applied to the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth to study a degree in Education. I achieved my degree and took up my first teaching post at Carclaze Infant School in St Austell. It was here that I first took my steps into leadership and management as an assistant head. I then moved to St Mabyn CE Primary School as Head of Teaching and Learning and subsequent Head of School in the Saints Way MAT. Whilst working for the MAT I also supported on School Improvement and SEND across the five schools.

I came to St Mary’s as an acting head teacher covering a maternity leave before being appointed as the permanent head teacher last summer.

St Mary’s is a special school full of amazing children who always try their best in everything that they do. I am very proud to be ‘St Mary’s’ head teacher and I will do everything in my power to ensure our children make the best possible start at St Mary’s as well as ensuring that they become confident individuals who can contribute to our society in the future.

Mrs Tammy Brain

Parent Governor

Tammy Brain

Parent Governor

Key Roles: SEND/Inclusion Governor

I am a parent to two young boys who attend our school. Our family of four live in Bodmin, having moved here a few years ago into the house that we want to bring our children up in. We have a lovely dog called Bowie, who you’ll probably see us walking along the trail with, and we are blessed to have a large family network.

I originally lived in Shropshire so, if you hear me speak, you might notice a bit of a Midlands’ twang (especially when I get animated about something). However, we do have Cornish connections with my Nan and I moved down to teach in Cornwall when I qualified back in 2003.

I work full time at a secondary school teaching English Language and Literature at both GCSE and A-Level. This is a job that I absolutely love and feel so grateful that I get to work with teenagers and help them achieve their potential. I am also a qualified SENDCo although, with two young children, I am focusing on just teaching at the moment.

Due to my teaching commitment, I don’t have the chance to do the drop-offs and the pick-ups. This has made me feel quite disconnected to the school. Because of this, I decided to put my name forward as a governor as I am keen to support our school and community as best as I can, whilst also getting to know the school that my boys spend so much time in. It has been lovely so far. I have been welcomed by the team who are keen to collaborate to achieve the best for our children, both educationally and spiritually.

With my teaching experience, and range of roles that I have done in the past, I am looking forward to helping our school to continue to reflect and move forward. Having had the chance to visit the school for the day and meet lots of the children, I am so pleased that we chose St. Mary’s for our boys. We have a kind and caring school that I am proud to belong to and I look forward to continuing to support our school.

Vacancy for a Parent Governor
For the year 2024- on wards
How to become a governor
If you would like to know more about how to become a governor, please contact Mrs Alison McDonald via the clerk to governors, Nick Rich: nickrichclerking@virginmedia.com 
Governor Information 2023-2024
Mrs Susan Skinner

Foundation Governor

Hello everyone.

I am delighted to be a Foundation Governor at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School as I have a strong connection with the school and parish going back to 1996 when I first moved to Cornwall. Both my children attended St Mary’s and my family have very fond memories of their time there. Having taught locally in Bodmin for ten years I also feel a close connection to the community.

I attended Notre Dame High School in London and my first teaching job was in a Catholic school where I attained my Catholic teaching certificate.

I qualified as a teacher in 1987 and have been in education for thirty five years, working in schools in London, Cornwall and Buckinghamshire. I have taught across Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 but my real passion lies in the education of the youngest Early Years children.

For the last six years, before I retired, I worked as an Executive Headteacher across three outstanding schools and a children’s centre. I have a broad experience of being a governor, having served on several governing bodies throughout my career.

For many years I worked as an Early Years School Improvement Advisor and for Ofsted as an Early Years Inspector.

As a governor at St. Mary’s I will strive to support and challenge the work of the Headteacher and staff, to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our children and their families.

Fr Paul Keys

Foundation Governor

I had the good fortune of being appointed Parish Priest in the Autumn of 2023 with churches in Bodmin, Padstow, Tintagel and Wadebridge after having served for the past 10 years in Dorset. For me it has been a welcome return to Cornwall where I lived before I was a Priest. In those days I worked for the Careers Service/Connexions in Schools, Colleges and the community across the county.

One of the many positives of my current ‘posting’ is that I am able to become involved in our marvellous school. I have been impressed by the dedication of staff and whenever I chat to our children, I learn so much.

As a Foundation Governor, and Parish Priest, I want to play my part in providing an inclusive approach to faith, where everyone feels welcome and involved. This goes hand in hand with quality education and experiences to enable every person to flourish and fulfill their potential.