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

Chris Searle - Co Chair



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.

Kyle Smith - Co-Chair


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.


Jenny Hearn - Vice Chair

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.


Gillian Santi

I have retired from General Practice and I am currently a member of the Patient Experience Group 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. 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.


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 am thoroughly enjoying being a parent and English link governor at St Mary’s. My children have been flourishing since attending the school and they genuinely love coming to the school each day. 

I am an English advisor for a local authority and an experienced teacher, having taught in all primary age groups. In my spare time, I love spending time exploring new places in nature with my children. 

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. 

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.

Kerry Saunders


St. Mary’s holds a special place in my heart as I completed my final placement here for my BA (hons) in Primary Education at the University of Brighton in 2018. Even though I began my teaching career elsewhere, I knew I would return to this amazing school. Like most teachers, I hold many hats within school. I now teach in Class R, I lead Maths and am part of the PE leadership team and the staff governor. Though these roles may seem loosely linked, they all have the same core theme; promoting a safe and stimulating for our children to thrive in.

Fr. David Hadfield

I am a Foundation Governor having been a member of the clergy team at St Mary’s Church – self-supporting priest - since 2013. Consequently, I have known the school for over 10 years and know many of the staff and families that have had children at the school over that period. The links between Church and School have been strong throughout my time at St Mary’s and remain so. It is important they are maintained as is the provision of a school with Christianity at its heart.

My academic background is in history, and I began working life as an academic historian before changing direction to become a lawyer. I worked in the City for most of my legal career as a specialist insurance lawyer, and since 2013 have done this alongside my ministry at St Mary’s. I still work as a lawyer a couple of days a week but from home, which is close to church and school.

Outside church and the law choral singing is a passion, and I sing in two choirs, but my singing ‘career’ began in church and in school aged 7. I think it fair to say it is one of the gifts my schools gave to me. I am particularly pleased, consequently, at the efforts the school makes to introduce music and singing to the students and impressed with the results achieved by its choir. Music adds so much to life and I am very keen this is maintained and developed by our school to enhance the life of the students.

Nicholas Booker - Parent Governor


As soon as my wife Kate and I looked around St Mary’s we knew it was first choice for us, we have two children in the school. St Mary’s reminds me of my own school back home in Cornwall, sitting next door to our village church with regular church assemblies and adding Christian values to children’s lives (although my school had the grand total of only 60 pupils!).


I am a Chartered Building Surveyor working in both residential and commercial property and so thought the best way for me to help our school community was by becoming a Parent Governor, using my professional skills I have gained in my career. I am also the Treasurer for the School Association (PTA) who do an amazing job at coming up with fun events for our children, whilst I do the boring financial admin!

Governor Details January 2023