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Full Governing Body

Tony Bishop, Executive Principal

Tony has worked in schools for over 25 years. He started his career as a teacher of Science and worked in middle and senior management in a range of schools before becoming Headteacher of a Catholic secondary school in South Yorkshire. His aim is to ensure that all students have access to an outstanding curriculum in the tradition of the Catholic Church and in an environment that fully supports their emotional and social needs.

Christopher Donnellan QC, Chair of Governors

Christopher is a Barrister who practices mainly in Criminal Law. He became a Governor of St Thomas More over 20 years ago, and has continued as a Governor and Director as the Bedford Catholic Schools came together as the Federation of Bedford Catholic Schools and converted to St Francis of Assisi Academies Trust in 2013.  “I am a Governor because I believe that a good education is essential for every child. Through the best education that we can provide in our schools we give to each and every child the opportunity to achieve of their best and to have aspiration for their future."

Mary Morris, Vice-Chair of Governors

Mary is a retired Senior Education Officer who has always had an interest in education and her children's schooling.  As a Governor she feels more able to contribute to the education experience of all the students attending Catholic Schools within Bedford. Mary enjoys being able to contribute to the strategic direction and on-going progress of all the Bedford Catholic Schools making a difference by improving the life chances of all our students. 

Mary O'Sullivan, Foundation Director

Mary is a retired Head Teacher with 38 years teaching experience. As a lifelong educator she feels as a governor she is able to make a positive contribution to shape the life chances of children and young people. Mary has a particular interest in safeguarding and inclusion.

Ilona Bond, Foundation Director

Up until her retirement in 2015 Ilona was Deputy Head at St Thomas More School having been a teacher for 39 years. She has always been passionate about education and the importance of empowering young people to be aspirational in life and aim for ‘the higher gifts’. Ilona believes that education should offer a breath and variety of learning experiences but must also develop high standards and values.


Cathy Piotrowski MLPI MBA Foundation Director St John Rigby ASIG Chair & Performance Committee Chair

Cathy is Co-Director of a consultancy supporting ICT in schools. Cathy values having the opportunity to support, challenge and influence the leadership of our schools so that our focus remains firmly on sustaining an excellent educational experience for all our students in the Trust. Cathy enjoys seeing the positive outcomes and successes in the schools that are the result of effective governor deliberations and decision making. She looks forward to continuing to support and challenge the schools as a 'critical friend'.


Kath McFarlane, Foundation Director

We are delighted to have recently welcomed Kath to the BCS governor team 

Fr Malcolm Bull, Foundation Governor, Catholic Life and Performance Committee

Fr. Malcolm Bull is currently the only Priest Director on the Academy Trust Board. Fr. Malcolm Bull is an ex-Anglican married priest and was re-ordained to the Catholic Priesthood in 2002. He is the Parish Priest at Our Lady Help of Christians in Olney, Priest Administrator at St Bede's, Newport Pagnall and Catholic Chaplain to Bedford General Hospital. 

Michele McGettigan, Head Teacher of St John Rigby Primary School

Michele joined St John Rigby Primary in 2013 as a year 5 teacher. She joined the Leadership Team as Assistant Head in 2017. Michele took over as Interim Head Teacher in June 2018 and appointed Headteacher in May 2019. 

Lisa Sumpter, Head of St Joseph's & St Gregory's Primary School

Lisa has been Headteacher at St Joseph’s since January 2011 having moved from St Gregory’s where she was Assistant Headteacher for several years. ‘Our aim is to give every child coming through our doors at St Joseph’s an education they enjoy, which prepares them for academic success and happy, fulfilling lives, now and in the future’. 

Martin Bonner, Head of St Thomas More Teaching School

Martin joined the Bedford Catholic Schools in January 2019 as Head Teacher of St Thomas More Secondary and 6th Form. Martin was previously Head Teacher of the Houghton Regis Academy in Dunstable

Andrew Waterhouse, Trust Secretary

Andrew comes from a background in professional education and operations management. He provides support for the governing body in achieving its strategic aims and acts as company secretary and clerk to the governors.


Ira Ottley, Foundation Director

Ira volunteers his time because he passionately believes every child who wants the best for themselves in the future, should be able to attend any of our catholic schools in Bedford, irrespective of background, ethnicity or faith.  “We want our students to take their place in our society as future leaders and responsible representatives of our inclusive community.

Debra Burton, Governor

Debra has been a governor for the Catholic Schools for a number of years and has an interest in achievement for all pupils.






Christopher Donnellan, Chair of Directors & Strategy Committee Chair


Mary Morris, Vice Chair of Directors, St Joseph's & St Gregory's ASIG Chair


Anthony Bishop, Executive Principal


Cathy Piotrowski MLPI MBA, St John Rigby ASIG Chair & Performance Committee Chair

CBICT Data Consultancy and Governor at Kymbrook and Thurleigh Federation

Mary O’Sullivan, St Thomas More ASIG Chair & Catholic Life Chair


Ira Ottley, Foundation Director


Father Malcolm Bull, Foundation Director


Kath McFarlane, Foundation Director


Debra Burton, Parent Member


Ilona Bond, Foundation Director

Non Executive Director of BEST Academies Trust.

Martin Bonner, Head Teacher, St Thomas More Catholic Teaching School


Lisa Sumpter, Head Teacher, St Joseph’s & St Gregory’s Primary School


Michele McGettigan, Head Teacher, St John Rigby Catholic Primary School


Meeting attendance records for 2016-17 are attached below. 

The Bedford Catholic Schools are situated within the Diocese of Northampton. Our Directors (Governors) are appointed on behalf of the Bishop by the Duns Scotus Trust. The members of the Duns Scotus Trust are:

  • Timothy Redding
  • Maxine Clewlow
  • Collette Curtis
  • John Hugh Davies
  • Monsignor Kevin McGinnell
  • John Rogers
  • Peter Teague

For further information, please visit the NORES website