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.  These ‘pen pictures’ have been written by the governors themselves and should help everyone get to know the governors a little more.

Meet The Governors

Ian Fraser – Chair of Governors
Finance and Premises Committee Member; and Foundation Governor
I retired from full time employment in 1997 after working at various locations of a large paper company, ending my career as an HR manager. I continued working for a further 15 years as a Trustee of the company pension scheme helping to manage a fund of £185 million of pension benefits of 1500 members.
For 17 years I was a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at Maidstone Prison a role that required monitoring all of the conditions under which 600 prisoners were held in custody.
For the last ten years I have been Parish Treasurer for St Peters and Good Shepherd churches in the Bearsted Parish.
I hope to be able to offer varied experiences as a Governor.

Tom Winek Foundation Governor
Finance 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. 

Declan Connolly – Foundation Governor
Curriculum and Faith Dimension Committee member

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. 

Christopher O’Connor – Parent Governor
Curriculum Committee member, School Website Governor
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.

Michael Reidy – Training Governor and member of Curriculum Committee 

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.

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

Chido Chilaka – Parent Governor and Curriculum Committee Member

I am a legal practitioner and father of three children, two of whom attended St Francis primary school. Hopefully the youngest will also attend when she is old enough to do so.

Just like every other parent at St Francis Primary School, I want the very best educational experience for my children. As parents we need to support the school but when necessary we should also put the school under scrutiny.

I wanted to become a parent governor to gain an inside look at how things work and a chance to make a difference to the school. I believe that clear direction and leadership are key to an effective school governing body and therefore a successful school.