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St Agatha's Catholic

Primary School

Learning Together in God's Love

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Biographies

Colin Rand – Chair

Colin joined the Board of Governors in February 2015 as one of our Parent Governors. He became Chair in September 2019 and continues to act as Communications Link Governor. A management consultant by profession, Colin works advising multinational companies on a range of business and management issues and has extensive experience working with complex organisations on topics including governance, cost control and operational strategy. 

As a member of the Board of Governors, he is keen to support the school leadership in ensuring the school is managed as well as possible and as a parent of two children at St Agatha’s, Colin is keen to see the school continue to grow and succeed as a school which fosters the all-round learning of all the children in a supportive and caring environment.

Elizabeth Cahill – Headteacher

Elizabeth was appointed as Headteacher of St Agatha’s Catholic Primary School in September 2013. As such, her position on the board of governors is Ex Officio. This means she is a member of the governing body by virtue of holding the Headteacher’s post. She sits on all the committees. 

Having qualified as a teacher in 1992, Elizabeth has taught across Early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in Catholic Primary schools across Merton and Kingston. Previously, she completed a Law Degree and more recently a Master’s Degree in School Leadership. She is mother to two children, one in the primary and the other in the secondary sector.

Louisa Collyer-Hamlin - Vice Chair

Louisa was appointed a Foundation Governor in February 2012 and became Vice Chair in September 2019. She also chairs our Curriculum & Achievement Committee as well as being the Safeguarding Link Governor and Achieving for All Link Governor. She works closely with the school monitoring safeguarding policies and procedures and has carried a series of duty visits on issues related to safeguarding, special needs and behaviour. Louisa has reviewed many of the school’s statutory policies, most of which can be found on the school website.

Louisa is a mother of three children, with two at St Agatha's, Flora and Joseph. She works in External Affairs for an organisation representing care homes across England. Prior to that she worked in public affairs across the private and voluntary sectors, and also brings the experience and skills from being a Trustee and Founding Member of a charity supporting three schools in Nepal.

Deirdre Doherty - Resources & Audit Committee Chair

Deirdre was appointed a Foundation Governor in March 2016 and is the Chair of the Resources & Audit Committee as well as being the Finance Link Governor and ICT and Online Safety Link Governor. She is also the Internal Audit & Scrutiny Officer. She works closely with the school reviewing & monitoring the finances, including budgets, ensuring they support delivery of the school development plan.  Additionally she carries out duty visits on ICT to review relevant policies and the benefit that each aspect of the school's ICT provision has for pupils. She also will ‘champion' the school's use of ICT, ensuring that the governing board recognises its importance. 

St Agatha’s is a registered Charity; Deirdre is a Finance Director with wide ranging experience gained within the complex natural resources industry and the charity sector. Throughout her career she has lead and developed Finance, HR, Legal, Procurement and IT teams.  Currently she is a Chief Financial Officer at a social integration charity which works with young people aged 16-18.  Deirdre is keen that the school continues to thrive and remains financially sustainable and believes that with her financial management background she can add value to the school over the next few years.

Rebecca Murphy - Resources & Audit Committee Member

Rebecca joined the Board of Governors in June 2015 as one of our Parent Governors. She is a member of the Resources and Audit Committee as well as the Maths Mastery Link Governor. She is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience working predominantly in a consulting environment, and currently works in Learning and Development for a professional services firm, supporting the business in identifying learning needs and developing appropriate solutions. 

Rebecca has a daughter at St Agatha’s and a son who has been through the school and is now at secondary school.

Simon Leo - Resources & Audit Committee Member (co-opted)

I was born and bred in Kingston and I am also a St Agatha’s School Alumnus. I have twins at the school. Professionally I qualified as a Solicitor in 2001 and have a Firm in Surbiton specialising in aspects of Property Law. I have strong ties to the local community as a proud member of Kingston Rotary Club where I hold the position of Chairman of the Dragonboat Challenge that takes place in Canbury Gardens each July. I would like to give back what I can to St Agathas for the next generation.

 

Nikki Wells - C&A Committee Member

Nikki was appointed as our Community Governor in October 2015 and sits on our Curriculum & Achievement Committee. She is also the English & Phonics Link Governor as well as the PPG Link Governor. Nikki has spent the last 8 years in Client Relationship Management at RBS, working with a wide range of the banks clients, from Business Start-Ups to Large Corporates. 

In her current role, Nikki relationship manages a small portfolio of Large Corporate clients in the Financial Institutions Sector. Passionate about encouraging her colleagues to aim higher, she also acts as Global Vice-Chair of RBS Focused Women’s Network, a voluntary network whose aim is to attract, retain and develop female talent within the bank. Outside of work Nikki is a keen to ensure young females have role models to aspire to, and as a result takes part in the Springboard Mentor programme, mentoring university undergraduates.

Rita White - C&A Committee Member

Rita joined St Agatha’s school as a Foundation Governor in February 2017 and is part of the Curriculum and Achievement Committee with responsibility as a Link Governor for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Rita is a primary school teacher and her career in teacher education includes working as an Early Years Phase Leader, Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Deputy Head teacher and Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Training. She has particular interests in Early Years Education, Forest Schools and Inclusion and Diversity and has been a parishioner at St Agatha’s since moving to Kingston.

Luke van de Wiel - C&A Committee Member

Luke joined the board of governors in September 2017 and sits on the Curriculum and Achievement committee. He is the Link Governor for Science. Luke van de Wiel has been a teacher at St Agatha’s school since 2012, teaching in year 2, year 1 and year 3.

He is the subject leader for both History and Geography. Luke graduated with a degree in Geography with Environmental Management from Exeter University and a PGCE in Primary Teaching from St Mary’s University College in Twickenham. Luke has been involved in the Scouting movement for many years and is currently the assistant Cub Scout leader at St Mary’s Barnes Scout group.

Carolina Otero-Lopes - CFC Committee Chair

Carolina was elected Parent Governor in April 2019, and now chairs the Children, Families and Community Committee. She is also Link Governor for Survey and Communications. As an insights professional she has worked for over 15 years for international companies driving brand strategy, conducting research, analysing data, monitoring trends, measuring performance and developing communications. She has also participated in her company's graduate program assessing and mentoring university candidates in their application process. 

 

Carolina has a daughter and a son at St Agatha’s and is keen to help the school work closely with parents to support children's development and prepare them for the future.

Alison McConvey - CFC Committee Member

Alison was elected as one of our two Staff Governors in April 2016, sits on our Children, Families and Community Committee and acts as Link Governor for Wellbeing. Alison has been a member of staff at St Agatha’s School since 2000, primarily in the role of teaching assistant, particularly in KS2. She is mother to five children (four of whom attended St Agatha’s), and a grandmother. Alison believes in strong links between home, school and parish and she takes a full role in parish life having been a catechist at St Agatha’s Church since 1998, helping children to prepare for their First Holy Communion.

Agnieszka Falinska-Huggett - CFC Committee Member

Agnieszka joined St Agatha’s school as a Foundation Governor in October 2016 and sits on our Children, Families and Community Committee as well as acting as Link Governor for Wellbeing and Safeguarding. She works closely with the school and has undertaken duty visits related to healthy schools, healthy eating and physical education. She believes encouraging children to eat a nutritious, balanced diet is crucial to help their learning as well as help them make healthier choices as they become adult and that being active boosts cognitive performance and helps children to focus making learning easier.   

Agnieszka has 2 girls at St Agatha’s and works as a full time NHS Consultant specialising in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolic disorders and looks after patients both in hospital and out-patient clinics.  She also has a research background and holds a PhD in Neuroscience.  

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