Governing Body

A school’s governing body is a group of public-spirited volunteers whose main responsibility is to determine the aims and conduct of their school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement. Individual governors bring their own experience and expertise to the group, and the best governing bodies use and benefit from the skills of all their governors.

The governing body holds the school to account for the quality, standard and effectiveness of the teaching and learning. Through the governing body, the school is accountable to the local education authority, the parents of the students and to the wider community. In practice, the governing body works with the Headteacher to determine how the school should develop to ensure continued improvement, and with the Head and staff agrees plans, policies, targets and procedures that work towards that development.

The governing body is also responsible for ensuring that the school fulfils its legal obligations, for the provision of the curriculum, managing the school budget, staffing, the social care and development of the students, and other statutory requirements such as developing school policies, setting targets, managing performance and so on. The governing body is also responsible for evaluating the progress of the school, making sure that effective monitoring is taking place and making strategic decisions on the basis of this evaluation. Governors are most useful to the school by being supportive yet challenging, neither blindly accepting nor entirely critical of the way the school functions. If the governing body gets the balance right it can both support the school and promote its improvement effectively. We welcome the involvement of parents, both as Parent Governors and through feedback. For more information, contact the Chair of Governors, via the School Office.

Meet the Governors

Andy Abbott

Andy is the Staff Governor, and is part of St John Payne's cleaning team where he is also an active trade unionist. Away from the school Andy led the recent successful campaign against proposals to downgrade Broomfield A&E. Andy has a degree in history from the University of Essex.

Anne Rushton – Vice Chair

Anne’s professional life is in classical music, where she is Executive Director of a contemporary music charity and is Consultant for the Hallé Orchestra’s record label, skills which are utilised in the SJP Marketing Working Group which she Chairs. A Foundation Governor, Anne practises at the Assumption of Our Lady in Maldon and has a daughter and three nephews who have studied at SJP.

Maria Payne

Maria is the Local Authority governor, and brings over 10 years’ local government experience to the governing body. Her experience working in public health and particularly within mental health means she has a keen interest in the health and wellbeing of the students and staff at SJP. Maria intends to apply this through the remit of the new Welfare Committee, which she will chair, and the Curriculum & Personnel Committee. She is a practising Catholic at Our Lady Immaculate in Chelmsford, and has several family members and friends who have attended SJP previously.

Elaine Heyworth

Elaine returns to the SJP Governing Board, as a co-opted member. Elaine’s speciality is risk management, with particular emphasis on property risk management - fire safety, health and safety, business continuity management. Elaine has two daughters who have both studied at SJP in the past. Elaine is a parishioner of St Augustine’s Parish, North Springfield, Chelmsford.

Mary Ball

Mary is a Chartered Engineer working part-time as a highway engineer and as an exam invigilator at SJP. This experience is advantageous to her participation in the Health & Safety committee, which she chairs and the Finance and Premises committee. Mary joined the Governing Board as a Parent Governor in December 2015 and transferred to being a Foundation Governor in May 2018. She is a parishioner of St Augustine of Canterbury, in Chelmsford and has a son at SJP.

Richard Barber - Chair

Richard has created a large I.T. and data business that operates in over 150 countries, he is currently Chairman of several businesses and occasionally lectures on entrepreneurship to university students. Richard’s is formerly chair of the Finance committee and more recently chaired the Curriculum and Personnel committee. Richard converted to Catholicism in 2010 and is married with three children who still seem to occupy his spare time.

Anice Kavathaker

Anice is a parent governor who has two children attending SJP. In her professional role, she is a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and also an external examiner for Bradford University. Currently, she is  undertaking a professional doctorate in education in an area of team based learning. In her previous role, she has worked for one of the local NHS organisation as a children’s nurse and is currently an education champion for Basildon hospital. One of her key interests is to ensure that the students from secondary school do have a smooth transition to University and are aware of all the potential options for their future.

Jan Myers

Jan is a retired primary school headteacher and chair of governors at a primary school in Wickford. She has served as a headteacher of two schools and has had experience of governorship as a parent, a staff member and as a headteacher.
She is a Foundation governor at SJP and practices her faith at St John and St Erconwald in Ingatestone. She reads at mass and is currently the chair of the Pastoral Parish Council.

Anne Gardner

Anne is a retired primary school deputy head with 27 years experience including OLI school and Holy Family school Witham. Anne lectured in Early Years Education at Chelmsford College for several years and has experience of education at most key stages, and also has staff governorship at both catholic primary schools.
Anne is a member of OLI and Holy Name parishes, reading at mass regularly at the latter, and sees smooth transition from primary to secondary education as key to a child's personal and spiritual development.

Tom Reilly

Tom is a Foundation Governor and a practising catholic at Our Lady Immaculate Church. He is also a Foundation Governor at Our lady Immaculate School. Tom has a long association with Saint John Payne through his children who all attended the school. He is also a part time member of staff undertaking cover supervisor duties and invigilation at examinations. He worked for NatWest in the City for 35 years before taking early retirement after which he undertook various roles locally in the voluntary sector. He also works as Head of Centre for Chelmsford Marriage Care in a volunteer capacity.

Ryan Naidoo

Ryan is a Co-Opted Governor and brings two years legal experience to the governing body. Ryan works as a Paralegal for city law firm Devonshires, within the Property Securitisation team. He is also a former pupil of the school and went onto study at the University of Brighton after completing 7 years at SJP. Ryan hopes to combine his legal knowledge and experiences as a former pupil to ensure that all students and staff enjoy and benefit from their time spent at SJP.

Very Reverend Father Stephen Morrison O.Praem.

Fr Stephen is a priest of the Norbertine Order (or Premonstratensians), currently curate of Our Lady Immaculate and Holy Name parishes, Chelmsford. He is also chaplain to OLI Primary Academy, and works in his parishes on various catechetical programmes and pastoral initiatives. He studied French at Oxford before joining the Order and beginning his priestly studies, and is still very much interested in language learning, being fluent in French, Spanish and Italian. A foundation governor, Fr Stephen is also a keen organist, Cantor for his community at St Philip's Priory, and is also Sub Prior and Novice Master/Vocations Director. He has recently helped St John Payne with A-level French oral exams, and preparing candidates for university interviews, and takes a keen interest in the formation of the next generation of Catholics.





Foundation Governors
(ten required)
Appointment Expiry of appointment
Mike Frost 01/12/15 (R)
Anne Rushton 23/03/16 01/06/20
Fr Stephen Morrison 01/09/2017 31/08/21
Sr Sheila Sumner 01/09/2017 31/08/21
Sharon Musssett 20/02/2018 21/02/22
Claire Wright 20/02/2018 20/02/22
Tom Riley 20/02/2018 21/02/22
VACANCY Recruitment in process


Local Authority Governor
(one required)
Appointment Expiry of appointment
1. Maria Payne 08/11/2017 7 November 2021


Co-opted Governors
(three required)
Appointment Expiry of appointment
1. Richard Barber 12/04/2015 20 April 2023
2. Stephen Steadman 04/03/2016 1 July 2020
3. Adrian Dally 07/11/2017 (R)
8 November 2021


Parent Governors
(two required)
Appointment Expiry of appointment
1. Mary Ball 30/11/2015 1 July 2020
2. Mark MacDonald 01/02/2018 31 January 2022


Staff Governors
(two required)
Appointment Expiry of appointment
1. Tom Coen (Head Teacher)   ex officio
2. Andy Abbott 05/02/2018 4th February 2022


Clerk to the Governing Body
To be appointed   n/a



Name of Governor or Associate Member who has served in the last 12 months but has now stepped down Category of governor and date of leaving Appointing Body
e.g. Governing Body, Local Authority
Membership of Committee Positions of Responsibility Relevant business interests that could present a conflict of interest, including whether a governor at another school Personal relationship (if any) with member of school staff
e.g. spouse, partner, relative
Sue Howell February 2017          
Sam Riddler 01/04/2017 Local Authority        
Fr. Hugh Allan June 2017 Diocese     Chair at Our Lady Immaculate None
Elaine Heyworth 21/06/2017 Diocese Finance Committee Vice Chair None None
Alistair Whipps 17/08/2017 Local Authority     None None






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