St Mary's Catholic Primary School

This is our school, let peace dwell here

St Mary's Catholic Primary School Wider Opening Risk Assessment Thinking of Joining Us In 2021

St Mary's Catholic Primary School

This is our school, let peace dwell here


Our Governors

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).


Mr Vincent Buchanan (Foundation Governor)

Term of Office 02/12/15 - 01/12/23


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.


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 Vanessa Montgomery (Parent Governor)

Term of Office 13/05/2021 - 13/05.2025


I have two children at St Mary’s and so have a clear interest in maintaining and improving the already high educational and pastoral standards of the school. I believe that all children should be offered the best possible opportunity to grow in confidence and reach their full potential. Professionally, I am employed at Canterbury City Council where I am involved in overseeing decision making and governance arrangements. As a parent governor I look forward to supporting the school to make a positive difference to the education of all children who attend St Mary’s.


Mrs Victoria O'Halloran (Executive Academy Principal Governor)

Term of Office September 2018





Mrs Michele Blunt (Academy Principal Governor)




 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.