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 L Brooks - Foundation Governor

I was invited by the Trustees to join the Governing Body of St. Catherine's in September 2017 and was delighted to do so. I was a teacher in Inner London from 1978 until 2014. Most of my 36 years in teaching was spent  in another of the La Sainte Union Order schools and I ended my career there as a Deputy Head Teacher in 2014. I look forward to working with my fellow governors at St Catherine's to support the Headteacher and her staff in making the St Catherine's experience for our students one of enjoyment and fulfilment.

I believe very strongly in the importance of education as a vehicle for social mobility in the UK today. My experience has taught me that there are two aspects to this; whilst ensuring our students have access to the best education we can provide must be our primary goal, I believe we also need to ensure that they understand how making the most of all of the opportunities open to them will play a vital role in their future. Alongside our ambition for their own individual success, however, I also feel it vital that we should imbue our students with a strong sense of collective responsibility; an understanding that 'saving the world' begins, every day, with how we affect the lives of those around us.

Mr Thomas Kennedy - Foundation Governor

I have been a governor at St Catherine’s since 2017. I am Civil Servant working for the Ministry of Justice and have two daughters studying at St Catherine’s.  As a governor, I bring my professional and life skills to the Governing Body to make a positive difference and ensure the future success and development of the school for the pupils. 

My spare time is largely taken up by family life but when possible, I enjoy watching cricket, reading and swimming.

Mr Steve Fox - Foundation Governor

I am an Operations Director for a Registered Social Landlord in Gravesend. This work involves dealing with tenancy management issues, managing major and day-to-day reactive maintenance works and new developments. I am also a Trustee for Choices Domestic abuse charity, who provide a range of support services to for both adults and young people.

My first daughter joined St Catherine’s in September 2016 and my second in September 2018 and I was really keen to get involved and try to add elements of my experience to the governing body. In particular, I am keen to add value to the premises committee, where my experience of major repairs/improvements as well as health and safety will be of use.

When I initially visited various schools prior to my daughter starting, I was really impressed with the high levels of teaching expertise, support and the opportunities that all students at St Catherine’s have and the fact that St Catherine’s look at more than just the educational wellbeing of the students – they are keen for each student to reach their potential both spiritually, educationally and emotionally. I look forward to working with the other governors to ensure continual improvement in all aspects of the school.

Mr Ian Laponder - Foundation Governor

I am married with two grown up daughters and live in Swanley, I have been a governor at St Catherine's since December 2018 and my youngest daughter was a student at the school till the summer of 2012.

I currently work in the Financial Services sector as a Senior Purchasing Manager and am a Chartered Procurement & Supply Professional. The technical skills I bring to the school as a governor are around cost management, finance, contract law and business strategy, but more importantly I am passionate about young people and education. I am proud that I am able to give back a little something to the community by supporting the school and all of its community in my role as a critical friend and supporter.

I also support other local schools in my spare time as an Enterprise Advisor assisting the schools and their students in their careers planning and preparation as well as giving talks and presentations on Procurement as a profession.

Mrs Susan Oram - Foundation Governor

I became a Governor at St Catherine’s in September 2019. I have more than 25 years of experience working in the Education Sector, 18 years of which has been as part of a Senior Leadership Team in a primary school.

I am passionate about improving the life chances and aspirations of all children as they leave education and continue their journeys elsewhere. I feel that this requires the support of a strong and equally enthusiastic team.

As a former pupil of St Catherine’s, it is an honour and privilege for me to be appointed as a Governor to this school. 

Mrs Sarah Brame - Parent Governor

I have three daughters, two of whom are still students at St Catherine’s.  I volunteered for this role as a governor as I felt that the skills I have developed in being a School Bursar, accountant, youth group leader and as a parent could help to contribute towards the schools continued development.

I am committed to providing both support and challenge to the school to help to ensure all students are encouraged to fulfil their full potential and are able to learn in a safe and supportive environment.