Church Cowley St James Church of England Primary School

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CCSJ is governed under the conditions set out in the Oxfordshire County Council Instrument of Governance.  We have ensured that we have a broad range of skills and expertise on the Board of Governors to best achieve the school's aims and goals, along with the statutory responsibility of running a school.

Local governors work with staff and parents to provide the best framework for educating our pupils. They are involved in all aspects of school life and meet regularly with the school’s leadership teams.

Governors fulfil their responsibilities by:

  • Holding the school’s leaders to account for the educational and financial performance of the school. Governors create robust accountability for the schools leadership team through rigorous analysis of performance data and financial information.
  • Setting the school’s vision and the strategy for achieving this vision. The school’s vision centres on pupil progress and achievement. Working with senior leaders, the governors agree key priorities and key performance indicators against which progress towards achieving the vision can be measured.
  • Ensure the school’s financial success and probity. The governing board must ensure that the budget that the school receives is managed effectively, and with regard to value for money.

The Local Authority and the dioceses of Oxford appoint governors except for parent governors, who parents and carers elect, and staff governors, who are elected by all school staff.

The Governing Body provides oversight, critical evaluation and strategic direction for the Head Teacher and the school's senior leadership team. It is also the body that makes senior staff appointments and to whom the Head Teacher reports. It is not, however, an executive body involved in the day-to-day running of the school. The Governing Body is happy to be contacted by parents or carers to discuss relevant matters, particularly in regard to the strategic direction of the school.

Please contact us via the school office.

If you have a serious concern about the school or your child that you feel has not to be resolved by discussion with the relevant staff member or subsequently by a discussion with the Headteacher, it would be appropriate to contact the Chair of Governors.

The Chair of Governors can be contacted at

Meetings 2023/24 Meetings 2022/23Meetings 2021/22 

Declaration of Interest Information

Governing Body Constitution

Resources Committee Terms of Reference

Performance and Assessment Committee Terms of Reference

Current Governors

James Rogers (Local Authority Governor, Safeguarding Governor and Chair)

I joined the  Board of Governors in March 2017 as the local authority governor. I am a member of the Resources Committee as well as link governor for Safeguarding. My wife and I have lived in East Oxford for over 25 years and we have two grown up children.  My professional life was spent mostly as a lawyer. I retired from Oxford University Press in August 2019 in order to retrain as a school counsellor.


Rev. Geoff Bayliss (Foundation Governor, Vice Chair)

Currently the Rector of Cowley Parish (St James and St Francis churches). Born in North London in 1960. Geoff Moved out of London, having completed an Ecology Degree. I have worked in outdoor education (teaching and managing youth activity sites) then education (20 years as a science teacher and faculty manager in Norfolk and Essex schools). The last 5 of those years was spent as both a science teacher and Revd. “As a follower of Jesus, I want people to find ‘life in all its fullness’. I believe our School has an important role to play in helping that happen. I am always happy to talk and chat to people about school or anything else.” Until Nov 2015 Geoff was serving communities in Essex.


Steve Dew (Head Teacher)

I have lived in Oxford since 2007, starting my teaching career later in life after 10 years of living and working in London. I started teaching in a secondary school in inner-city Nottingham and transitioned to Primary school after moving to Oxford. I completed my NQT year (first year of teaching) in a school not too far away from Church Cowley in Blackbird Leys in 2004, and I’ve taught in and around this area ever since.  I’m passionate about offering opportunities for all children beyond maths and literacy that help children get to grips with the ‘big issues’ in the world, developing a school that offers awe and excitement for all children. My wife is the Assistant Head for inclusion at the school. I have four children, two at university and two children at primary school, that keep me on my toes outside of school.


Peter-Sam Hill (Co-opted Governor)


Laura Hutton (Co-opted Governor)

I am originally from the North. I moved to Oxford 14 years ago after meeting my husband. I have two daughters and a son who attend CCSJ. I have a deep interest in many aspects of education, my degree was in Early Childhood Studies, and I am the Early Years Governor. As a governor, I am particularly interested in every child in CCSJ having all of their needs met, being happy and reaching their full potential.


Eleanor Thompson (Foundation Governor)

I grew up in Oxford and now live in New Marston with my husband and our son. My background is in marketing, communications and events; I currently work for an operations consultancy and previously worked for an independent school and a charity. I am deeply interested in supporting CCSJ to provide equal and rich opportunities for all pupils so that they can set themselves up for success beyond CCSJ, and my role as a Foundation Governor gives me a particular focus on the school's spiritual life.  


Samantha Adams (Parent Governor)

I am from London and moved to Oxford 18 years ago. Having met my husband in Oxford, both our son and daughter attend CCSJ. I have a Human Resources and Retail Management background and am an associate member of CIPD. I have worked for various departments within the University of Oxford and currently work for one of the Oxford Colleges. As a governor, I am interested in the strategy of the school and how this will enhance and influence the children’s education, well-being and how the school sets a path for the children’s future aspirations.  


Daphne Dias (Parent Governor)


Martin Pounce (Clerk)

I have spent my whole working life in education, first as a teacher and then in various roles in local authorities. I first became a governor in 1982, and I have served as a governor in ten different schools over the past forty years. I have worked as a clerk in Oxfordshire schools since 2016.