East Grinstead, West Sussex

St. Mary's Governing Body

The Governing Body of St. Mary's can be made up of up to 14 Governors.


The Full Governing Body meets twice a term and has delegated powers to a Resources committee made up of six governors and a pay committee, of three governors which meet as required. The resources committee makes recommendations to the Full Governing Body on Finance, Staffing and Premises matters.


The Governors can be contacted via the school office or by email:

Meet the Governors


Sylvia Hawken Co-Chair

I have a wide experience of working within schools, having been a Deputy Head Teacher in a large secondary school in Oxford and a Primary Head Teacher, also in Oxford. I continue to work in education and now teach Religious Studies and Philosophy at Sackville School. I feel passionate that every child should achieve their potential and it is the responsibility of a school to support the child and their parents to make that happen.

As a grandparent of young children I also understand how important the early years are in the formation of a child’s character and their love of learning, school should be a happy and safe place for them to thrive and develop and explore the world in which they live.

I feel that it is a privilege to volunteer as a Governor of St. Mary’s School. I want to work within the community to share my expertise and the skills I have learnt as an educator, leader and manager. I have had direct experience of OFSTED Inspections and have had extensive training on safeguarding and curriculum in both Primary and Secondary education.

The vision at St. Mary’s is to inspire curious, resilient learners who are aspirational and flourish in the world God has given us. For me this is everything that I believe we should aim towards for our children in school. As a Christian I am a foundation Governor sponsored by the Diocese. I worship regularly at St. Swithun’s Church. I live in East Grinstead and am therefore a member of the local community able to understand and appreciate local concerns and issues.

As a Governor I will strive to do my best to work with and support the staff, the parents and the children. I am a good listener and am willing to give my time to ensure St. Mary’s is the best Primary School in the town. I look forward to meeting and working alongside you.


Sarah Francillia Co-Chair

I became an elected parent governor in 2015, Vice Chair in 2019 and Co Chair in 2020.  My two sons have both attended St Mary's and are now in secondary school and I have 1 daughter in Year 4 still.  My career has been within IT and Financial Budget Management until 2015.  I am now passionately committed to working within education being a School Business Manager in a Primary School in East Sussex and the Hub Manager for East Grinstead Group of Schools.  St Mary's has an established and effective team in their Head Teacher and her staff and all that support the school community. I am proud to co-chair alongside Sylvia Hawken and with the support of our fellow governors to help take St Mary's forward strategically to be the best it can be and provide the school environment our local children deserve, giving them the best opportunities regardless of their background and upbringing. 


Gillian Santi Vice-Chair

I have retired from General Practice and I am now a trustee at East Surrey Carers Support Association and the Patient Research Ambassador at QVH. My daughter Francesca attended Ashurst Wood Primary School and Sackville Community College and she taught English in a secondary school for 3 years. My granddaughter and grandson born in 2012 and 2016 bring us endless joy and attend West Hoathly CofE Primary School. I have a real commitment to the children and schools in the East Grinstead area. I enjoy walking with friends, gardening and visits to the theatre, art galleries and concerts. A visit to the Grand Canyon in 2018 fulfilled a childhood dream.

I am the Local Authority governor, with many years’ experience on 3 other governing bodies, and Co-Chair of the West Sussex Governors’ Association. I am committed to the provision of the best learning experience for all the children in our community. I believe that effective school governance provides the strategic direction, support and challenge essential for school improvement, and that members of the governing body can bring the diverse range of experience and representation of the wider community required to ensure that all the children can flourish, even in the most challenging times.


Paula Clark

I joined St Mary's in 2013 after a career change from research science.  From my years in the laboratory, I bring with me a love of science which I use to excite the children about their own learning.  It is important to me that all children realise that they can learn and achieve, and I want them to enjoy this process.  As the Maths leader, I want every child to leave St Mary's with the feeling that they are a Mathematician.  No matter what level they are working at, they understand the number system deeply and have strategies to support them when learning new things.  The Christian ethos of St Mary's is a large part of our nurturing approach to teaching and learning and I am very proud of this.  I have recently become a Governor as I want to support the school to continue to provide the wonderful experience it already does, but also to help the school continue on it's journey forward.


Gill Matson

I am a Foundation Governor and the Link Governor for special needs.  I am a member of St Swithun's Church, East Grinstead, where I sing in the choir.  I am a practising Educational Psychologist and have worked for Local Authorities and on the staff of special needs schools. I currently work independently.  My main hobby is music - choral singing and violin - and am very interested in music in school.


Elizabeth Armour

I have been living in East Grinstead for the past 9 years and my son started St Mary’s last year. He loves coming to school which shows what a positive experience he is having there. I am an experienced primary school teacher with experience of teaching all primary year groups. I have a particular interest in English and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) and have been part of the Senior Leadership Team of my school for a number of years overseeing these areas, as well as general school improvement priorities and strategic planning.  Being part of the governing body at St Mary’s allows me to give back to the community, which I hope to do through sharing my passion for education and working as part of a team to make a positive difference in children’s learning experiences at school, which I hope they can take with them throughout life. 


Jenny Hearn

I am a foundation governor, as a regular worshipper at St Swithun's Church. I am a Londoner and have lived in East Grinstead for 15 years. I am now retired. I worked as a nurse and as a nursing lecturer in City University, London. I still work, teaching communication skills to medical students, part time. Thus, I have experience in nursing, education and management. I am a mother of two and grandmother of two primary school age children.

Father Adam Wogan

I am the Vicar of the Parish of St Mary the Virgin, East Grinstead and an Ex-officio Governor of St Mary's School. 

My wife and I moved to East Grinstead in July 2018 to take up my current incumbency, having served my title as Assistant Curate in the beautiful seaside town of Scarborough, in my native North Yorkshire. 

I am a member of the Future Planning Committee, Admissions Committee and one of the Christian Ethos Link Governors. As part of my ministry in the parish and school, I make frequent visits to classes and lead weekly collective worship services and talks in church. 

I feel particularly called to deepen the relationship between the church and the school and to offer friendship, help and advice to people of all faiths and none. 

I very much look forward to meeting you.


Christina Wogan

I moved to East Grinstead in 2018 when my husband started his post as Vicar of St Mary’s Church. I became a Foundation Governor at the start of 2020 as I worship very regularly at St Mary’s and my professional experience is in the education sector.

I studied Latin and History at the University of Leeds, followed by a Masters in Ancient History and Greek at the University of Oxford. I completed my teacher training at the University of Cambridge in 2014 and have been teaching since then. I spent four years teaching at an independent school in Hull and now I am Assistant Head of Sixth Form at an independent school in Surrey. I studied for a Masters of Education at Cambridge, part-time in 2016. 

My teaching experience has been in the independent sector but I attended state schools for the entirety of my schooling. I was the first member of my family to attend university and therefore know, first-hand, how empowering a good education can be. I wanted to be a governor at St Mary’s to support the school in its journey to provide an outstanding and inspiring education for all of its students.


Duncan Mackay

I have been a parent at St Marys since 2010 - It is a great school...the teachers and support staff have all been excellent during my time here, and both my son and daughter (who is currently in Year 5) have thoroughly enjoyed all that the school has offered them.  


I wish to see the school maintain its great trajectory and I hope I can contribute to this.


Kyle Smith

I was thrilled to have been asked to join the governing body at St. Mary’s earlier in 2021 as a Foundation Governor.

My son recently started at St. Mary’s and already absolutely loves the school. To see him return home so happy every day strengthens my belief that St. Mary’s is all it sets out to be in its principles and values. In my role as a Governor, I hope to contribute to the school’s efforts to inspire curious, resilient learners who are both aspirational and able to flourish in the world God has given us.

Originally from South Africa, Christianity has been a very important part of my life and continues to be so at St. Mary’s Church where my family regularly worship. Helping others is something I am therefore very passionate about and I am more than happy to get involved with any community projects, events or fundraising where possible. 


Coming from a marketing and entrepreneurial background within publishing, I believe I understand and communicate well with others. These skills should allow me to listen effectively to the school community, offer sound counsel within the governing body and continue to build upon the outstanding education that St. Mary’s offers its pupils.

Chris Searle



I felt privileged to be asked to join the school governing body in Jan 2021


I currently have 2 children attending the school & each day they return home happy and content from their day. I firmly believe the reason for this is due to the schools core principles. Having a background in construction I hope that I can help to provide the children with a clean & safe school environment, that will help keep the children and staff happy during their time at the school.

Governor Details January 2022