Welcome to the Governors' section!
Foundation Governors: (appointed by the Diocese)
Ms H Taylor: Chair of Local Governing Body
Term of Office Ends: 27/11/2024
Helena is your Chair of Governors - taking up this role in 2020, she was originally elected as a Parent Governor before becoming a Foundation Governor. Helena is a qualified Social Worker and has been working for a London Borough for the last 20 years working with adults with physical disabilities, mild to moderate mental health issues, also addressing housing matters, financial issues, family disputes and Safeguarding concerns. Helena manages a small group of staff- striving for excellence!
Helena also provides a senior Humanitarian aid role in the borough that she works in- to people displaced from their homes by unexpected events such as floods or fire.
Helena is a mother of two former students of St Thomas' and considers her work and parenting role a huge asset to her position as Chair of Governor - she is delighted to serve you in this role.
Mrs M Ikwudirim: Vice Chair of Local Governing Body
Term of Office Ends: 22/10/2023
Mrs Ikwudirim has recently joined the Governing Body as a Foundation Governor. She welcomes the opportunity to work with the Head, Teachers, Parents and other Governors with the ultimate aim of achieving the best possible schooling experiences for our children and for the continued success at St Thomas’.
She is a mother of 3 young boys – 2 of whom attend St. Thomas’. She considers this a great opportunity to help make a real and positive difference to the life chances of children in our local community. She believes the role will provide her with a better appreciation and insight into the work of our teachers and school leaders, and the challenges Schools face. She is a Solicitor and hopes that her legal training and work experiences will be useful in her role. She chairs the Standards Committee.
Mrs Dominique James:
Term of Office Ends: 31/12/2024
I am a mother of three young children, two are currently in St Thomas of Canterbury School. As a Housing professional I am currently employed as a Regional Manager for a large established Housing Association. I hold the portfolios for Anti Social Behaviour, Development and Case Management.
I am passionate about personal development and run a successful property business and have recently in 2021 taken on a role as a director for a young persons’ residential Care home. I am also the safeguarding lead at the Heart of Oak Judo club.
As the newest member of the Governors team I look forward to working alongside the dedicated staff members.
Term of Office Ends: 03/11/2024
Tom is a Chartered Certified Accountant and works as Group Manager of Administration (overseeing Finance, HR and IT) at a UK subsidiary of a Japanese manufacturing company.
Tom is an active member within the Church, Chairman of a local Cricket Club and a Director of a Thurrock-based Community Interest Company. He served on the Board of Governors at South Essex College between 2013 and 2017 and was a co-opted member of their Audit & Risk Committee until 2021
Term of Office Ends: 12/06/2027
I am a Civil/Traffic Engineer by profession and have worked for inner London local authorities over 30 years in a Client Manager capacity. I was semi-retired in 2020 by the financial impacts of covid but have recently returned to work as a Sponsor for a inner London local authority.
I am married and have 3 children aged between 25 and 33. My daughter attended Grays Convent for years 4 years. My main hobbies are (spiritual) reading, allotment gardening (29yrs) and walking. I have lived in the Grays parish for nearly 30 years but have only recently become active in the church community. I serve at midweek Masses and I am a Eucharistic Minister.
I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the School Governors Committee, in order to archive the best results for the children and for the continued success of St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School.
Staff Governor:(elected by staff)
Mrs N Smith
Term of Office Ends: 29/09/2022
Mrs Smith has been very happy teaching at St Thomas' for the last twenty-four years and has been in her current role for ten years.
Her three children have all attended St Thomas' and began their love of learning here; they hold lasting, happy memories of their primary school.
The strong link between home, school and parish is central to our ethos as a Catholic school, children are given the opportunity to practise and strengthen their faith every day. This link is extremely important to her on a personal level as an active member of the parish. She has led Children's Liturgy, been a catechist for First Holy Communion and is a Eucharistic Minister.
She is very proud to serve as Teacher Governor and to be given the opportunity to be involved in shaping the future at St Thomas'. She is a member of the Standards committee, bringing to the role, an insight not only as a member of staff, but also a parent.
Mrs Josephine Akinde
Parent Governor: (elected by parents).
Term of Office Ends: 10/02/2026
My husband James and I have 2 beautiful children and our daughter currently attends the school.
It brings me joy to spend time with my family; from taking them to their different clubs in the week to sitting down and having dinner in the evenings.
I work in finance as the Lead fee Manager at an Art and Design University in London.
I passionately believe that we all have a duty to ensure that all young people get the best possible life chances through high quality education.
Rev Matus joined the Governing Body last year as an Associate Governor and decided to become a Foundation Governor. He is a deacon of the local parish and last year he started a lunchtime club at the school for children who wanted to learn more about altar serving.
He was born in Slovakia but came to the UK on a scholarship to A-Levels. In 2014 he moved permanently to the UK for his theology studies and became a seminarian for the diocese of Brentwood in 2017 after realising that it is the people of this diocese he is called to server.
Therefore, he is delighted to be a Foundation Governor here at St Thomas’ and he hopes to serve the school and community as well as he can.
Mrs E Poulteney
Term of Office Ends: ex officio
Mrs Poulteney joined the school in September 2022 as Headteacher.
Clerk to Governors: Mrs M Sellens