St Mary's VA C of E Primary School
St. Mary's School was founded in 1837 by the then Vicar of Thornbury. At that time it had about 40 pupils but now offers a Christian education to approx. 160 children. St. Mary’s is a place where girls and boys discover an early love of learning, based on Christian values. They offer a warm, welcoming and secure environment, in a school that believes in a strong sense of family community, in close partnership with the Church
Its present VA status stands for "Voluntary Aided" which means that the school is not entirely financed by the local authority, the Governors being responsible for some of the upkeep of the buildings. They are liable for 10% of the cost of major works funded by the government buildings grant known as the Formula Capital Grant which is currently administered by the Diocese of Gloucester on behalf of the Governors. The Governors fund their contribution through the St Mary's School Trust Fund to which parents and the Parish make contributions. St Mary's is one of relatively few schools in the Gloucester Diocese to have VA status, most others being VC (Voluntary Controlled) schools entirely under the control of the Local Authority.
The school is managed by the Governors, and being a VA school the Church provides eight Foundation Governors who are in the majority on the governing body. The Foundation Governors are appointed by the Gloucester Diocese on the recommendation of the PCC.
In addition to their general management activities shared with other members of the governing body, the Foundation Governors have a particular responsibility to promote and oversee the Christian ethos and distinctiveness of the school.
The Christian ethos is at the heart of a Church School and the School and Parish have a number of well developed interactions to provide mutual support. Some examples of these are:
* Weekly School Assembly taken by the Vicar or Church representitive
* Open the Book team from the parish takes school assemblies weekly
* School makes regular inputs to Ch@t, Church Diary and News Sheet.
* Parishioner provides a link with the Thornbury Gazette
* Parishioners come into school to help listen to the children read