Our Governors

The Governing Body of Sacred Heart and St Mary’s RC Primary Schools Battersea
Our School Governors
The Governors Statement

The government has high expectations of Governing Bodies. They are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For schools such as ours this is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of Governing Bodies is:  ‘To conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’.

Core Strategic Functions of Governing Bodies:
  1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  2. Holding the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff.
  3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

The Governors bring a wide variety of experience and expertise to the school, and this helps ensure that the school is moving forward and standards are constantly raised in a way that is in line with the overarching ethos and vision of the school, along with the statutory directives from the Department of Education and The Archdiocese of Southwark.

This impact statement summarizes our role in the development of our school and its pupils over the past year, and provides an opportunity to be transparent about what we do.

Please view our Governors Impact Statement and Report 2022

Please view our Co-Chair Report 2021


The Governing Body was re-constituted in July 2015.

The Governing Body consists of:
  • The Executive Headteacher
  • Two Parent Governors
  • One Staff Governor
  • One Local Authority Governor
  • Eleven Foundation Governors appointed by the Archdiocese of Southwark
  • Four Co-opted Governors (currently includes the 2 Associate Head Teachers from each school, 1 member of staff and 1 Governor)

The standard term of office for a Governor is four years. Parent and Staff Governors serve a two year term. The Chair and Vice-Chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year.

Additional Committees
  • Resources committee
  • Curriculum and Standards committee
  • Admissions and Discipline committee
Governor Visits

Governors visit each school as part of their monitoring of the SIP (School Improvement Plan) and of specific issues such as attendance and behaviour.

Governors participate in monitoring visits and produce a visit report. Governors with specific responsibilities also spend time visiting each school each term to look at learning/teaching and to meet with children and staff. In this way, Governors’ understanding of the school is greatly strengthened.

Feedback on all visits is given to the Full Governing Body meetings and this allows all Governors to be kept informed about progress, and also to be aware of any concerns that need to be addressed.

Governor Training

All members of the Governing Body receive training through Wandsworth Council Governors Service and attend events run by external bodies such as the Archdiocese. This allows us to keep up-to-date with our responsibilities with regards to the latest requirements and expectations, as well as local and national Best Practice.


Governors review all relevant policies throughout the academic year to ensure that all guidance is current and up to date.

Financial Management

Governors with significant expertise in financial management meet regularly with the Headteacher and School Business Manager. The chair and members of the resources committee drives the financial management of the school and ensures that the school is fully compliant with financial expectations.

The impact of the Governors’ role in the school ensures that the budget is managed effectively and improvements are effective and continuous and contribute strongly to positive pupil outcomes.

Examples of the Impact of Governor Expertise on School Improvement include:
  • Notable improvements to the learning environments, buildings and the school grounds.
  • Highly effective staff recruitment and deployment as well as outstanding professional development.
  • Development of curriculum including new Relationships and Sex Education policy.
How you can Contact the Governing Body?

We always welcome suggestions, feedback and ideas from parents and other stakeholders. Below, you can see the full list of Governors, their attendance at meetings, and more information about what Governors’ do. You may contact the Governors via the school office.

Governors Details – Committees and Register of Interests
Meet our Governors
Andrew Cooper

I have lived in Battersea since 1987 and our three children all went to Sacred Heart school.
I have recently retired from the UK Civil Service and now work occasionally on a consultancy basis on HR issues, I am CIPD qualified and used to work in the Department of Health and its Agencies. I also Chair the Artists in Public Service and am keen to spend more time painting.
I have been Co-Chair of Governors with Rex Wickham since the establishment of the Federation in 2015.
I am chair of the Pay Committee and a member of the Resources Committee and am the Federation’s link governor for the School Council, HR and British Values.

Rex Wickham

I’m a Battersea resident for over 20 years and my three children attended Sacred Heart School. I work in Tech, with a keen interest in getting people connected and overcoming fear of technology. I joined the Governors as a Parent Governor and have be Co-Chair of the Federation since September 2017. I’m the Link Governor for Numeracy, Computing and the School Council.

John O’Brien

I have lived in Battersea since 2016 and been a governor since 2019.
I am a qualified solicitor and work for one of the UK’s largest financial technology companies.
I chair the Resources Committee and am the Federation’s link governor for safeguarding (including Looked After Children) and GDPR.

Peter Lam

I have served as a school governor since 2012. My son completed his primary education at Sacred Heart School in 2019 and is now attending secondary school. I live in Battersea and work as an architect in London.

Annabel Clarkson

I have been a Foundation Governor of the Federation of Sacred Heart and St Mary’s Primary Schools for 12 years, and I chair the Admissions and Discipline Committee. I am a parishioner of the Sacred Heart Church and very active in parish life. Following my career in academic administration, I have become fully immersed into the local community in Battersea, finding fulfilment in a number of volunteering roles with various charities. I am also a Trustee Governor of the Bosco Centre and College in Rotherhithe. I am a Salesian Co-operator, speak Italian, and support Manchester United.

Matthew Somorjay

I have been a resident of Battersea since 1993 and have two children, our youngest currently attends Sacred Heart school following in his brother’s footsteps who is now in secondary education. I have served as a foundation governor since November 2020 and chair the Curriculum and Standards Committee. I am a Sacred Heart Church parishioner. For over 25 years I have worked in the photographic industry.

Precious Nwufo

I am a Foundation Governor and member of the Curriculum & Standards Committee, the Admissions & Discipline Committee, and the Link Governor for SEN & Disadvantaged Groups. I joined The Federation of Sacred Heart and St Mary’s Primary School as a Governor in 2020. I attended Sacred Heart Primary School as a child, along with my 4 siblings, and have been a Sacred Heart Church parishioner all of my life. I have a background in Child Behaviour Therapy, specifically working in schools within the field of Special Educational Needs and Mental Health. It has always been a goal to give back to the school I grew up in and the church that developed my faith in. I hope to use my experience and knowledge to contribute positively to both schools, and to ensure the effective practice of wellbeing and equality within the schools. I have enjoyed my time as a Governor thus far and always look forward to seeing all the hard working staff and wonderful students.

Dominic Lawrance

Originally from Bristol I have lived in Battersea since 2007 and both my boys currently attend Sacred Heart. A Geoscientist by background I work for one of the country’s largest integrated energy companies. I joined the Governors as an Associate Governor in 2022 and am a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee.

Deacon Michael Kennedy

The Reverend Deacon Michael Kennedy is a Permanent Deacon of the Archdiocese of Southwark. His family moved to Battersea in 1971. He was educated at Sacred Heart Primary School Battersea (on the old Trott Street site) and went to the Salesian College in Battersea for his Secondary Education. He is the Diocesan Chancery Administrator of the Archdiocese of Southwark. For over 15 years he was the Master of Ceremonies to Bishop Howard Tripp. He has been Diocesan Chancery Administrator since 1994. He serves as an Advocate on the Interdiocesan Marriage Tribunal. He was ordained on 10th June 2006 by Archbishop Kevin McDonald. He is involved in many aspects of Parish life and is committed to the promotion of good Catholic Education and to developing and sustaining the Home School Parish link. He has been a member of the Governing Body since 2014 and is currently the Chair of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. In 2021, Archbishop John Wilson appointed him as Vice-Chancellor in the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Gillian O’Riordan

I am a teacher at St Marys school for 4 years now and originally from county Cork in Ireland, but have been living in London for 6 years. Prior to teaching at St Marys I worked in a similar school in South East London and taught for a year in Ireland. I am passionate about teaching and learning. ​I believe that pastoral care of the children in our school is vital to their success and put building relationships with the children I teach to the fore.

Natasha Kulinski

My name is Natasha, I am a Parent Governor. I have two children currently at St Mary’s and have been a part of the school community for over 10 years. I work in marketing part-time which has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my children while they are young and allowed me to use my time to give parents of both schools a voice on the governing body.

Sue Burke

I have been Clerk to the Governing Board since November 2020. I support the Board and prepare the agenda’s and write the minutes of the committee meetings and Full Governing Board meetings. I was School Business Manager at a Wandsworth special school for 17 years and acted as their independent clerk for many years as part of my role. I retired from full time work in December 2019. I am married with two grown up sons.