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.