One of the main aims of the governing body is to make the governors better known to parents and others who have a stake in the life and well being of the school.  The below ‘pen pictures’ have been written by the governors themselves, click each photo to get to know the governors a little more. Click here for a more details on the school’s Governors, including the terms of appointment and any possible vacancies.   

Meet The Governors

I am a retired Deputy Head of St. Simon Stock School and have lived in Maidstone for 43 years. I have spent 34 years working in Catholic education. I have two married daughters both of whom went to St Francis School and St. Simon Stock School. I also have four grandchildren two of whom attend junior school with a third to follow in September. I became a foundation governor at the school in February 2017 and am currently chair of the Curriculum sub-committee.

Declan Connolly – Foundation Governor

Curriculum and Faith Dimension Committee member


I have been a Governor at St Francis’, where my siblings and I attended school in the 1980s and 1990s, since 2018.  Two of daughters are currently in Y2 and Y5. I have worked in education for Kent County Council for over a decade and I’m currently working for Kent’s Governance and Clerking Services team having moved across from School Improvement recently.  I hope that my experience and knowledge of working in education in Kent can contribute to help our school become an even more positive and wonderful place for the children to learn, grow and be safe and happy.

Tom Winek Foundation Governor

Finance Committee Member

I became a Foundation Governor at St Francis in 2019. Following a 15 year teaching career, I worked for 25 years for a PR/marketing consultancy before retiring to write novels. Not wanting to lose contact with education, I became a governor at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys in 1994 and was chairman for nine years until moving to Maidstone in 2012. I joined the Academy Council of Saint Augustine Academy and have been its chairman since 2016. I also served three years as a local governor at Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Maidstone. I am a member of the Maidstone Circle of the Catenian Association and am currently president of Province 7. My interests in education are the curriculum, the philosophical foundations of what we teach, and the links between learning and the Faith.

Michael Reidy – Training Governor and member of Curriculum Committee

I became a Parent Governor in 2017, and I have a daughter in Year 5.  My desire to become part of the Governing Body comes from my strong belief in the importance of education for our children, and the desire to help support the school leadership to make our school the best it can be.   I have lots of varied experience of working outside of education; for the past nineteen years I have worked at the London Fire Brigade in IT and Information Management; and it is my hope that this enhances the work of the Governing Body by bringing a fresh perspective and an alternate point of view.   It has been a great privilege getting to know the school and the staff better, and seeing, first-hand how the school is run.  Also a real learning journey discovering the breadth of challenges that need to be addressed in order to not just maintain our school, but to improve it and make it the sort of place where of children can be safe, have fun and most importantly learn and develop as young scholars and people.   I’m interested in all aspects of the school, but as a dyslexic I also have a particular interest in how the school addresses the needs of those with all kinds of special educational needs.

Christopher O’Connor – Parent Governor

Curriculum Committee member, School Website Governor


Simon Cripps – Chair of Finance, Safeguarding Governor and Premises Committee member

Elisabeth Blanden – Headteacher
Finance, Curriculum and Faith committee member
As Headteacher, Elisabeth is automatically a member of the Governing Body. She is supported by another Staff Governor.

Karen Page – Year 2 teacher
Staff Governor – Curriculum Committee member

Jo Butler – Assistant Headteacher – Pupil Progress
Associate Governor
The Assistant Headteachers are currently sitting on the FGB. As an Associate Governor they cannot vote.

Lauren Herron – Assistant Headteacher – Curriculum
Associate Governor
The Assistant Headteachers are currently sitting on the FGB. As an Associate Governor they cannot vote.

Fr Liam Gallagher – Curriculum/Pastoral Committee

Dr Francis Brako – Parent – Curriculum/Pastoral Committee

Andrew Grant – Foundation – Finance/Premises