St Mary's Catholic Primary School

This is our school, let peace dwell here

St Mary's Catholic Primary School

This is our school, let peace dwell here


Governors at St Mary's

KCSP Governance Model


Foundation governors are selected by the appointing body to which the school is attached. They are appointed to preserve and develop the religious character of the school and to secure compliance with the trust deed.


Staff governors are elected by the school staff. Both teaching and support staff paid to work at the school are eligible to be staff governors. The Academy Principal is automatically a member of the governing body.


Parent governors are elected by parents of pupils on the school roll at the time of election. They must be parents of pupils on the school roll themselves to stand for election.


St Mary's Governing Body are:


Mrs Chrys Giles (Chair)

Term of Office 27/02/18 - 26/02/22


Having bought up 5 children, I now have the privilege of being Guardian/mum to Poppy but understand the balance of a working family.

I have extensive qualifications in business, nursing and management working at both clinical and senior management levels. I was responsible for the care and development of services across agencies for children’s mental health. In 2004 I took the role as Head of Governance for a general hospital managing the whole quality and patient safety agenda, therefore have a good understanding of holding an organisation to account whilst maintaining quality of skills and care provision (particularly to children).


Mrs Jennifer Webber - Vice Chair (Foundation Governor) Term of Office 03/07/15 - 02/07/19


Presently employed as a teacher of English at Kent College, Canterbury.

Have worked in education for 27 years, teaching in a range of establishments in India and the UK.  In addition, I was employed by Kent County Council as a Peer Mentor Project Co-ordinator in several schools across Kent. I set up and supported numerous projects in secondary schools in Swale, Ashford and Maidstone.  I have an M.A. in English Literature and a PGCE in secondary teaching of English and Drama.


I have a son and a daughter at secondary school.  My position is that of a Foundation governor since June 2007.  My area of focus is Literacy, along with Anne Cameron and am also, chairperson of the Complaints Committee. 


Over the years, I have worked closely with the Literacy Co-ordinator at St Mary’s, sharing ideas and practice concerning all aspects of literary, supporting current systems, whilst also exploring new ventures to encourage reading for pleasure and purpose.


Beyond education, my interests are travel, music, literary pursuits, drama, sports and voluntary work.


Mr Vincent Buchanan (Foundation Governor)

Term of Office 02/12/15 - 01/12/19


I am married to Joy. We have 4 children and our youngest follows in our older children's footsteps and currently attends St Mary's.  I am an active member of the Whitstable Parish and attend Mass at the Church of Our Lady Immaculate.  I am a Contract Manager with many years experience working in local government.

I have a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a NEBOSH Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, both of which are extremely useful in enabling me to make a positive contribution to the effective running of the school's Governing Body.  I am keen to ensure that the strong Catholic ethos continues to influence the life of our school community with Christ at the centre of everything we do.

I want to play my part in positively influencing the life chances of the children that attened St Mary's with the expectation that they go on to be positive, highly efficatious members of society.


Mr Mathew Hicks (Parent Governor)

Term of Office 11/03/17 - 10/03/21


With 2 children at St Mary's, and another joining soon, I have a vested interest in developing our schools culture, standards, results and teachers.  Working in Finance & HR in the Health & Wellbeing sector, focusing on people's ability to 'live life to the full', my approach to being a parent governor will be positive yet challenging.



Mrs Helen Miller (Parent Governor)

Term of Office 11/03/17 - 10/03/21


I have two girls at St Mary's and one who will start in 2018.  I am a nurse at

Whitstable Medical Practice and believe that children's physical health, mental health and school education are inseparable.  I am passionate, friendly, dedicated and I will contribute to this wonderful school by using my nursing experience, Health & Safety and Public Health professional background.



Mr Ashley McMahan (Foundation Governor)

Term of Office 27/03/18 - 26/03/22


As a former pupil of St Mary's, I understand the benefits of receiving a first class education within a spiritual environment that promotes the joys of the Catholic Ethos whilst providing a good education. With my son attending St Mary's, he is now the 3rd generation of my family to thrive at this school. The ministry of serving as a Foundation Governor is something that I am proud to undertake. Having been a practicing Catholic all of my life, I am pleased to be able to support the school and the Church that has provided such a stable and loving foundation to my life.


My professional career has given me a vast exposure to safeguarding, risk management, conflict resolution and working with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, where good communication skills are essential. These skills give me a good grounding to competently work with the Diocese and the school to ensure that St Mary's is a safe, loving and learning rich environment for the all of our children, so that they may all be given the opportunity to reach their full potential and to know God.


Mrs Victoria O'Halloran (Academy Principal Governor)

Term of Office September 2018


I have the enormous privilege of being Academy Principal. I came to St Mary's as Deputy Head teacher in September 2016 after fifteen years in Primary and Early Years education in Thanet. I am married to Steve and have three children with my youngest here at St Mary's.


 Mrs Susanna Avery (Staff Governor)

Term of Office 19/3/19 - 18/3/23



I have been working as a Teaching Assistant at St Mary's for over 10 years now, working mostly in the infants as a class TA but also supporting SEN children in a variety of year groups. Within school my particular interest lies in Reading, Phonics, Speech and Language and Dyslexia. I am a committed Catholic and I regularly attend Our Lady Immaculate where I serve as a Reader. My three children, now in their 20's, were all happy attending St Mary's where they gained solid educational foundations. I am also a keen environmentalist. 




Copies of Governing Body minutes are available from the School Office.


Please see details below for information regarding business interests and attendance at GB meetings.