St James' C of E Primary School, Blackburn

Meet the Governors


Doug Stitcher (DS) (Headteacher)

(Term begins 01/01/2021)

(Term end N/A)

Foundation Governor

John Duckworth (JD)  (Chair) (Term began 21/09/2017)

(Term end 21/09/2021)

I was headteacher of St Silas C. E. Primary School for twenty eight years; after I retired I decided that I should like to try to give something back to our education system as a school governor. I have been Chair at St James’ for the last two years and Chair at St Stephen’s Primary School since 2011. It is a role which I have thoroughly enjoyed, enabling me to continue being involved with both children and teaching staff. I have always enjoyed both watching and playing a variety of different sports although my days on the football and cricket pitches are long gone; now I am restricted to a few frames on the snooker table. My wife and I love travelling and I’m very much an amateur bird watcher. Our son works as a solicitor in Leicester but our daughter has followed the family tradition by teaching in a Blackburn school.


Foundation Governor

Carol Coombes (CC)

(Term began 03/09/2015)

(Term end  03/09/2023)

My name is Carol Coombes and I am a Foundation governor at the school. I was elected two years ago. I have worked in Local Government for many years in the Education department so have a wide experience in education. I enjoy being a governor at the school especially when I meet the children and staff at events held at the school.  

Foundation Governor

Janet Chester (JC)

(Term began 22/09/2016)

(Term end 31/08/2024)

My name is Janet Chester. I am a Foundation Governor and member of St James Church. I am the Safeguarding, RE and Link Governor. I visit the school on a regular basis and I am always impressed with the attitude and behaviour of the children that I meet. I love welcoming the children into the church for the special services that we have. It is a pleasure to be a Governor of such a happy and caring school.

Parent Governor

Shabbir Adam (SA) 

(Term began 19/10/2017)

(Term end  19/10/2021)

I joined St James' Primary School in 2017 as a Parent Governor.  As a keen parent with 2 children at the school I wanted to share my knowledge and experience of being in the education field of over 18 years.  Education is at the heart of my family and I am passionate to make that a priority for all.
The staff at the school work extremely hard and to support them and work alongside them is truly a fulfilling role to say the least.  I joined the school to make a difference to all pupils, parents and staff.

Co-opted Governor

Tracie Harrison (TH)

(Term began 28/02/2017)

(Term end 28/02/2021)

My name is Tracie Harrison, and I am a coopted governor at St James. Previously I worked as the EYFS leader at Brookhouse, but I am currently on secondment as the Senco at Cedars Primary school. I am married with 2 teenage children, love the theatre and musicals in particular. 
I love analysing data so my role as a governor allows me to indulge this, as well as helping make decisions so that every child reaches their maximum potential.

Foundation Governor

Alison Spencer (AS)

(Term began 29/10/2018)

(Term end 29/10/2022)

With being an Assistant Head Teacher at a primary school in Accrington and serving on its governing body for over 14 years, I feel my knowledge and experience helps me to play a positive role on the governing body of St James’ School. I and my two daughters attend St James’ Church and have done for the past 12 years; I truly value the Christian ethos the school promotes.  I’m passionate about education, ensuring every child is happy and achieves their ultimate best in everything they do.

Foundation Governor

Mike Duckworth (MD) 

(Term began 30/09/2016)

(Term end  04/07/2023)

I have been a Governor at St. James School since September 2012 as well as governing at St. Mary's RC School in Langho. I have many years’ experience both as a teacher and a headteacher. These have given me a deep understanding of education and the needs of children. I am fully committed to supporting the children, staff and parents to achieve the highest standards possible. I am married with three children and five grandchildren and believe that family is at the heart of every school. I am proud to be a governor and enjoy working in school alongside the children, whenever possible.


Staff Governor

Jamie Cameron (JCa)

(Term began 23/04/2019)

(Term end  23/04/2023)

My name is Jamie Cameron and I began my first permanent teaching post at St James’ in 2005. I have taught in all Key Stages and year groups and have recently joined the school management team. This has given me good knowledge of the families and children in our community, which help me to understand their needs and support them in the best way. I am passionate about ensuring that every child feels happy, included, valued and has the best opportunity to achieve their best. This is my first Governor role and I am committed to helping school with the path ahead.

Foundation Governor

Sadiq Patel (SP)

(Term began 17/03/2017)

(Term end 26/11/2023)

I joined St. James Primary School in February 2017 as a Foundation Governor from the Diocese of St. James Church. I am also a member of the BwD Interfaith Forum. In our Forum we try to help, support and make many positive contributions to our communities and are fully committed to bringing communities together regardless of faith, creed, colour or culture. I am keen to share my experience and knowledge of interfaith work with all pupils, staff and parents of St. James’s School. Community cohesion and community integration is very close to my heart and my life. I love the school’s ethos of “COURAGE, LOVE AND RESPECT” as that is truly fundamental and very strong foundation for pupil’s learning and education. I am also very keen in supporting the school fund raise/charity work to help and support disadvantaged communities and schools nationally and internationally.

Parent Governor

Uzma Laher (UL)

(Term began 30/09/2019)

(Term end 30/09/2023)

​I am a proud mother of two children and I am thrilled to be a parent governor at St. James’ CE Primary School. I am a part-time teacher in a local primary school with lots of experience in Key Stages One and Two as well as working in the Early Years Foundation Stage. I am committed and passionate about making a difference to all children’s lives. My love for teaching has taught me that it is exceptionally important to inspire children through the curriculum and to instill a love of learning. I am excited about supporting the school, staff and governing body whilst maintaining a close relationship with the community.


Reverend Sarah Gill (SG)

(Term began 18/11/2019)

(Term end N/A)


Reverend Sarah Gill (SG)

(Term began 18/11/2019)

(Term end 18/11/2023)


Peter Jump - Foundation Governor

(Term began 28/2/2013: End of office 28/2/2017)

Tariq Ali - Parent Governor

(Term began 05/01/2015: Resignation 23/03/2017)

Aisha Quershi - Parent Governor

(Term began 05/01/2015 End of office 07/2018 )

Ruth Reeve - Foundation Governor

(Term began 22/09/2017 - End of office 07/05/2019)

Fatima Karolia - Parent Governor

(Term began 29/10/2018 - Resignation 23/07/19)

Clare Taylor - Staff Governor

(End of office 23/04/2019)

Foundation Governors appointed by Diocese.

Parent Governors elected by parents.

Authority Governor appointed by Task Group (Local Authority).

Staff Governor appointed by school.

Co-opted Governor appointed by Governing Body.


All terms of office are for four years, except for the Headteacher and the vicar which are for the period of the office.

There are no relationships (including spouses, partners and relatives) between current members of the Governing Body and St. James' staff.​

There are two members of the Governing Body who are governors at other schools:

- The Foundation governor is a governor at St Mary's RC School, Langho

- The Chair is a governor at St. Stephen's CofE, Blackburn

For further information on how to become a School Governor, click on the link:

how to become a Governor

Nominated Specialist Governors

Area Governor
Special Education Needs/ Looked After Children/ Pupil Premium/ Disadvantaged Pupils Carol Coombes
Link Governor Janet Chester
Safeguarding Janet Chester
Religious Education/ Worship/ Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) Janet Chester
Compliance Mike Duckworth
English Alison Spencer
Maths Mike Duckworth
Non-core Subjects John Duckworth/ Alison Spencer
Early Years/ PSHE Vacancy
KS1/ Phonics Tracie Harrison
KS2/ Assessment Shabbir Adam
Community Links/ Prevent/ Equal Opportunities Sadiq Patel
Assessment and Outcomes John Duckworth
Health and Safety Jamie Cameron

Business and Pecuniary Interests:

None – date for review 02/09/19

St James' C of E Primary School Earl Street, Blackburn BB1 8EG
Headteacher Mr D Stitcher
SENDCo Mr J Cameron
- email address on telephone request
Enquiries should be addressed to Mr R. Dewhurst.
Telephone 01254 698335
Office Hours Monday to Friday 7:45am to 4:00pm