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.
Father Martin Hardy: Parish Priest of St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church
Term of Office Ends: 15/10/2024
Fr Martin began his years of priestly ministry 26 years ago in Norwich at St John’s Cathedral, where he was also chaplain to Notre Dame High School and to the nearby hospice. Moving across the City to St George’s Parish, where he had been baptised 30 years before, he also gained chaplaincy experience in HMP Norwich and in the nearby psychiatric hospital. Parish life has seen him move from there to Peterborough then for a 18 months working in parishes in Bolivia and Peru. He has more recently arrived in Grays via Newmarket, Leicester, Melton Mowbray and finally New Hall School Chelmsford where he is still part-time chaplain. He has always worked closely with local schools often as a governor and for seven years served as Episcopal Vicar for Catholic Education in Nottingham Diocese.
He began as Parish Priest at St Thomas of Canterbury, Grays in September 2020 and looks forward to working closely with St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School in the coming years.
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
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.
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