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St Joseph's

Catholic Primary School

Inspired by Christ, Working Together, Achieving Our Best

Governor Pen Portraits

Ciara Manning - Chair of Governors (Foundation Governor)


Miss Saul - (Headteacher) 

Miss Saul’s commitment to teach started in Wales, where she grew up one of seven children, helping weekly at a group run for disabled teenagers and also with the disabled children to whom her family  gave ‘respite care’.  Through this experience, she saw that each and every child has potential and was determined to try and achieve this with the children in her care.  

Qualifying as a teacher in Liverpool 1997, she initially taught in Cheshire before responding to an national newspaper advertisement to teach in Thurrock which simply read: ‘No Headteacher.  Ugly building.  Longest school nationally in Special Measures. But you’ll love it!’  After two terms, the school came out of measures and Miss Saul stayed at the school, now as Acting Deputy Headteacher, until the following Ofsted inspection which recognised the continuing improvements.  

As a practising and committed Catholic, Miss Saul’s next move was to a Thurrock Catholic school where she complemented her experience in teaching every year group from Nursery to Year 6.  

In September 2009, Miss Saul moved to St Joseph’s to take up the post of Deputy Headteacher.  During this period, she was Acting Headteacher for eleven months and is proud of the school’s progress during this time which was recognised by HMI.  Returning to her role as Deputy Headteacher in April 2014, she continued to strive for school improvement at every level in order for St Joseph’s to achieve its potential and achieve a ‘Good’ grading from Ofsted in 2016.

Now in her post as Headteacher from April 2019, she hopes to continue the school’s development journey both spiritually and academically.


Sr. Paula Cleary - (Foundation Governor)

Sr. Paula Cleary has been a governor at St. Joseph’s since 2011 and previously had nine year’s experience of governorship at another primary school in the Southwark Diocese. She has just recently retired from her nursing position which involved the management of neurological disability and terminal illness. She has quite a broad educational background and as a Sister of Mercy has been involved in many voluntary activities in addition to paid employment. An area of particular commitment for her is social justice and care of the disadvantaged. Over more than 20 years she has provided voluntary advocacy and support to asylum-seekers and vulnerable individuals in their struggles to deal with Government agencies. She brings to the role of governor a deep concern for the welfare happiness and success of each child and the conviction that a broad well-balanced education is the key to future well-being.


Chris Shaw - (Foundation Governor)

Chris has been a governor at St Joseph’s since March 2014. He retired 4 years ago having worked 13 years as a senior accountant at Queen Mary, University of London.  Prior to Queen Mary, Chris worked for 30 years for BT mainly as an accountant in various offices in London. Chris’ children attended St Joseph’s from 1979 to 1997 and his grandchild has attended since 2009. Chris feels honoured to be a governor and has a passion to do his best in supporting the school and the children who attend.


James Wells - (Foundation Governor)

My family and I moved to Stanford Le Hope in November of 2017. We attended mass at our Lady and St Joseph immediately and enrolled one of our children at St Joseph’s school. For the first time, we had a Catholic school and church within walking distance. But it was not this that struck me. It was the warmth of this Parish and I immediately noticed how ‘Down to earth’ people were and still are.

I have been approached on several occasions to help with certain aspects of the Parish and have been proud that this is the case as, I have never had this experience in any other parish. This was after I was seriously ill from February 2018 and underwent Radiotherapy, an operation and Chemotherapy. The support from people was unforgettable. I even had a visit from Father Paul Dynan at home which is quite rare these days and he was sadly unwell himself and is now, always in my prayers.

My family have been supported by the school when we were in great need of emotional support.

I then read the history of this school and parish, starting with the beautiful story of a priest walking all the way from Grays with his altar servers and saying mass in a barn on Christmas Eve and sleeping there also. That barn was the start of this parish and school. I was also amazed to read that this area was one of the poorest in England and children were walking around bare footed. This school has amazing history and firm Catholic foundations which helped all local children regardless of their denomination.

Now I have a chance to be part of it. I know it will not be easy as, I work full time as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and have a family of my own but, I hope to be a good representative of the parent body and start giving back!


Daniel Smith - (Staff Governor)

Daniel is a former pupil of St Joseph's and has had a long association with the school both in a voluntary capacity and since 2013 as a teaching assistant and more recently becoming a class teacher. He has a lot of experience working with SEND children and running intervention groups and is committed to ensuring the children feel safe and happy during their time here at St Joseph's. 


Freya McFadden - (Parent Governor)

The role of Parent Governor is integral in ensuring the communication between the School Board, the parents and wider school community.  The role seeks to make a positive impact upon the academic and psychosocial experiences of our children.  The Parent Governor is a representative and an advocate of the parents and careers of our children, and seeks to enhance the quality of educational experiences they receive.

I seek to make a contribution to the school community and be the parental voice driving forward innovations and improvements.

I feel passionate that the Catholic ethos is maintained throughout our children’s educational journey and seek to promote that amongst the school community.

My child has been a pupil at St. Joseph’s for over two years and has thrived academically, socially and spiritually at the school.  As all parents have, I have provided educational support to my child during the pandemic and this has equipped me with a greater understanding of the challenges our teachers face and of the enormous commitment they make towards our children. 

I have over 18 years of experience as a Paediatric Nurse and as a Senior University Lecturer.  The skills I have gained during these roles have enabled me to have a thorough understanding of the holistic needs of children.  I have an in-depth understanding of the current challenges parents and children are facing, both physically and psychologically.  As Parent Governor I would ensure that the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our children and their families is at the forefront of our decisions.  I have vast experience of working with children and young people in difficult and challenging circumstances and would seek to provide to voice for those members of our community who experience similar events.  As a Senior Leader in my profession I have developed many organisational and problem solving skills, and am familiar with working in partnership with various teams in challenging situations.  I am able to share information and gather the opinions of others in a concise, diplomatic and impartial manner.  I am open and honest and will always maintain the best interests of our children and their families.  I believe I am an advocate for every child and family and endeavour to ensure that the voice of the child and family is always heard. 

As we continue through the pandemic and towards a sense of re-establishing previous ways of life, I believe it is imperative the school and parents continue to work in partnership to ensure the needs of our children are fully met.  As Parent Governor I would ensure that the School Board is held accountable and be the collective voice for our parents, working towards a shared goal and vision.


Vacancy 1 (Foundation Governor)


Vacancy 2 (Foundation Governor)