Governor Profiles

Mr Barry Connell - Chair of Governors 


My name is Barry Connell, and I have been a governor at St Catherine’s since 2007. My daughter, Ellen, was a student here until the summer of 2011. I am married to Ann and we live in Bexleyheath.

When I retired from my Civil Service career, I was keen to use the greater freedom retirement allowed and give some of my time to support St Catherine's in the great work it does for all of its students.

I firmly believe that Governors could play a crucial, and active, part in the running of a school through challenge, monitoring and, above all, strong support.

I became Chair of Governors in 2012 and have been delighted to be involved with the Senior Management Team, and all the staff, in developing the school as we respond to the ever-changing needs of our girls and the evolving education agenda.

Mrs K Laponder - Foundation Governor & Vice- Chair of Governors

I am extremely passionate about young people being able to reach their full potential in life. The work I have been involved with, in local government, has allowed me to work on projects that support this passion.

Many of the projects I have worked on have been around supporting young people into apprenticeships and increasing their skill set to enhance their changes of sustaining employment in the future.

Being a governor at St. Catherine’s has allowed me to ensure that every student is given the opportunity to be the best they can be in an environment that is caring and supportive in every aspect of school life.

Mrs Jo Sampson - Parent Governor


I became a Parent Governor after seeing a vacancy in the Contact newsletter in 2014 advertising a vacancy on the Body for a parent who had HR experience.  Having  16 years HR experience working for a global  law firm in the City specialising in employee relations and  Diversity and Inclusion it seemed that I was called to get involved.

I feel a strong connection and have fond memories of St Catherine's  having been a past pupil myself and having a daughter who is currently in Year 10.   Being a single parent who works full time I wanted to feel involved with my child's education and have a better understanding of how an Academy works and being a Parent Governor gives me a voice at the table.

The role has given me the opportunity to see for myself the extra mile the dedicated teachers of St Catherine's go in order to do the best for "their girls".   I sit on two bodies – the Premises Committee and the Pay and Staffing Committee which I really enjoy.

Miss L McDonagh - Staff Governor

Subject Leader of Geography

Miss L Pettett - Staff Governor


Teacher of  RE