The governing body is the College’s accountable body. It is responsible for the conduct of he College, for promoting high standards and for the fostering and preservation of its Catholic ethos. The governing body aims to ensure that children attend an effective school which provides them with a good education and supports their well being.

Mr Michael Russell – Chair of the Governing Body and Sponsor Governor
Mr Gregory Keegan – Vice Chair and Sponsor Governor
Rev Christopher Fitzpatrick – Sponsor Governor
Dr Robert Wilcher – Sponsor Governor
Mr Gerrard Hetherton– Sponsor Governor
Mr Kevin McEvoy – Executive Principal and Sponsor Governor

Mrs Rachel Patton – Co-opted Governor
Mr Shaun Wilson – Co-opted Governor

Mrs Jeanette Shipley – Parent Governor
Mrs Carol Harris – Parent Governor

Mr Brendan McGurran – Acting Principal

Attending in Advisory Capacity:
Mrs Rachel Prince

Mr Michael Russell

I am a practising Catholic and have been a Governor of Bishop Challoner Catholic College since 1998.  I am a Chartered Accountant with skills in strategic management, business and finance.

I have been Chair of Governors since the Academy was formed in 2011.  I fully support the school community in its endeavours to provide the best possible outcomes for all of our students to enable them to achieve their dreams and goals.

Mr Greg Keegan

I am the Vice Chair of Governors and am very proud to be a part of the College. I have been on the Board of Governors for six years.  My background is in business and marketing.  I believe that Catholic Education should be a positive experience for the whole school community.  I support the school in offering the very best education possible by giving the students qualifications that will allow them to meet all their expectations and open the door for opportunities for their futures.

Father Fitzpatrick

I first became involved with the Academy as a Sponsor Governor when it opened in January 2011 and was pleased to return to this role on becoming Parish Priest in St Anne’s Parish.  My vision for the College is to ensure that the Catholic faith continues to enrich the lives of our young people, ensuring they achieve their full potential both academically, morally and spiritually.

Mrs Carol Harris

Hello, my name is Carol Harris and I have a child in Year 9 at John Henry Newman Catholic College.  I am a Parent Governor and also a member of the Parent Partnership Group.  I am a carer for my mother, a lunch time supervisor and Associate Governor at St Wilfrid’s Primary School.

My main quality is my heart.  I really enjoy my role because I feel as a Governor today, together with the outstanding staff and leadership team within the school, we can ensure children have the opportunities to allow them to achieve their maximum potential.

Mr Gerrard Hetherton

I am a Senior Vice-Principal at Bishop Challoner Catholic College who sponsor John Henry Newman Catholic College.  I have worked closely with senior colleagues at John Henry Newman since February 2010 and in June 2017 I was invited to become a Sponsor Governor. I have a whole hearted commitment to ensure that John Henry Newman and Bishop Challoner work closely together and share our expertise to enhance the quality of catholic education in both schools.

Mrs Jeanette Shipley

I am a local resident and have been involved with the College for 15 years with both of my children having attended.  Having started out as a Parent Governors, I agreed to continue in a role once this term was up in order to support the School with their vision of every child maximising their potential throughout their experience.

Dr Robert Wilcher

I am a practising Catholic and take an active part in the life of my parish.  I taught English in a Catholic College of Education for four years and in a university for thirty-five years before retiring in 2007.  For many years I was a governor of Newman College (now University) and am currently a governor of Bishop Challoner Catholic College.  Therefore I bring to my role as a Foundation Governor both a commitment to fostering Catholic life in the College and a wide experience in education.

Mr Shaun Wilson

I have been associated with the College since its inception, originally as part of the management support put in by the sponsors and then as a governor since retiring. My vision is to see the extraordinary improvements that have already taken place become embedded and that the College becomes a beacon of excellence, providing superb life chances to the young people of north Solihull.

Miss Rachel Patton

I started working with the school in 2017 as part of a mentoring programme with National Grid, my employer, and as part of that relationship I have recently become a Governor for the College and also sit on the Finance Committee.

My background is in Finance and I am currently Head of Finance for a business within the National Grid Group where I have worked for 20 years.  I hope I can leverage my experience in business, strategy and finance to help the school.


The Governing Body:
Sets the strategic direction of the college by:

  • Setting the values, aims and objectives for the college, in keeping with its Catholic ethos
  • Agreeing the policy framework for achieving those aims and objectives
    Setting statutory targets
  • Agreeing the school improvement strategy which includes approving the budget
  • Agreeing the staffing structure


Challenges and supports the college by monitoring, reviewing and evaluating:

  • The implementation and effectiveness of the policy framework
  • Progress made towards targets
  • The implementation and effectiveness of the school improvement strategy
  • The budget and staffing structure


Ensures accountability by:

  • Responding to the School Improvement Partner and Ofsted reports when necessary
  • Holding the Head Teacher to account for the performance of the college
  • Ensuring parents and pupils are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate
  • Making available information to the community


For the Governing body to carry out its role effectively, governors must be:

  • Prepared and equipped to take their responsibilities seriously;
  • Acknowledged as the accountable body by the lead professionals and Trustees
  • Supported by appropriate authorities in that task


In law the governing body is a corporate body, which means that no governor can act independently without proper authority from the full governing body. All governors carry equal responsibility for decisions made, and although appointed through different routes, the overriding concern of all governors has to be the welfare of the school as a whole.

In line with the John Henry Newman Catholic College Conflicts of Interest Policy a register is kept of any business interests of the Governing Body.

Meeting attendance summary 2019 – 2020

Business and Pecuniary Interests Declaration 2021

Governing List of Meetings 2021

Governors Information as at September 2020