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Kent Catholic Schools' Partnership is a charitable trust and a company limited by guarantee. The Trust was established in August 2012 by the Archbishop of Southwark.


The Trust Board of Directors ('Trustees') are responsible for overseeing the management and administration of the Trust and they fulfil this role by delegating functions to committees. 


The Trust understands the importance of the role of governance committees and the Trust has set out guidance and support in its Governance Handbook and Scheme of Delegation.


Stella Maris has 2 governing committees - The St. Richard's & Stella Maris Executive Committee and The Stella Maris Academy Committee. Both are made up of volunteers who work together to support our schools across all aspects of daily school life, including strategic, financial and the curriculum.


All of our committee members work in different ways and have their individualised roles however, their main aim as a whole is to help us to provide the best possible education for our pupils by:  


  • Setting the school's vision and strategic aims, agreeing plans and policies and making creative use of resources.

  • Monitoring and evaluating performance, supporting and challenging the Executive Principal & Academy Principal in the management of the school.

  • Ensuring that the school is accountable to the children and parents it serves, to its local community, to those who fund and maintain it, as well as the staff it employs.


The Governance Committee is a ‘critical friend’ of the school. It provides Strategic Leadership in school improvement. It does this by being appropriately involved in the school improvement cycle as follows:


  1. Developing and sharing the values and vision
  2. Setting out the aims and objectives of the school
  3. Setting out the policies and procedures by which the aims and objectives will be achieved.
  4. Establishing the criteria by which the aims and achievements will be seen to be achieved.
  5. Taking the views of stakeholders into account
  6. Evaluating evidence on how well the school is doing.
  7. Finding out how well the school is doing in comparison with similar schools.
  8. Agreeing targets for improvement
  9. Planning to achieve improvement.
  10. Ensuring that deployment of staffing and resources match the school’s priorities.

Key Issues


The governance committee will consider and keep under review: the progress and attainment of all groups of pupils, evidence of narrowing gaps between under achieving groups and other pupils, improvements in the quality of teaching, the school’s improvement since the last inspection, and the school’s self-evaluation of how well it is doing currently. Governance committee members are not expected to be involved in the day-to-day running of the school.


 Who can be a governance committee member?


  • Almost everyone over 18 can become a member. Governance committee members are volunteers from all walks of life – everyone has experience and skills to offer.
  • An effective governance committee has people from different backgrounds and with a mix of skills. No formal qualifications are needed to be a member.
  • Governance committee members are not education experts – they are there to offer a fresh perspective.


What makes a good governance committee member?


  • The ability to work in a team.
  • An interest in education and a commitment to the school
  • Patience, energy and enthusiasm
  • A willingness to listen, learn and to spend time in school
  • A willingness to undertake training.



As Stella Maris is a member of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership, a Multi-Academy Trust, its governance arrangements are regulated by the KCSP Governance Handbook (which includes the Scheme of Delegation and Terms of Reference).  Click the link below to read a copy of this document:







As a member of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership Multi-Academy Trust, Stella Maris has a Local Governing Body which operates under the terms of the KCSP Scheme of Delegation.


St Richard’s and Stella Maris Executive Committee

Meet the Governors …



Jason O'Callaghan

 Chair of The Executive Committee & Foundation Governor

I am Chair for the Executive Governance Committee  and an ex-pupil of Stella Maris. My main goal is to make sure that every penny spent offers the greatest impact for the children of our school.

I am a financial analyst by day. I have two daughters who currently attend the School, with a third joining in the future. Stella Maris has always been close to my heart and I'm very proud to play a part in its community.



Rev. Dr. Barry Barton

 Chair of The Academy Committee &

Foundation Governor

My name is Rev Dr Barry Barton, Academy Chair of Governors and a foundation governor and member of St Richard’s Academy since 2013 and, as a consequence, a member of the newly constituted St Richard’s Academy and Stella Maris Academy, Executive Governing Body.


I have a legal duty to preserve and develop the Catholic character of our school. I am the lead governor for catholicity / religious education at St Richards. My aim is to ensure that every child is supported and challenged to be their very best: academically, personally and spiritually.


I am married to Sue with two grow up daughters and 2 grandsons and retired from a full time career in the NHS and higher education. I was ordained Deacon in Diocese of Leeds 2003 and moved to Dover in 2012. I am Deacon at the parishes of The Good Shepherd (St Paul’s, Dover and St Finbarrs, Aylesham) and Our Lady of Dover, Buckland.                                                                                                                          


Pending Photograph


Tom Connolly

 Foundation Governor


I am Head of Mathematics at a large secondary school and have many years of experience teaching across the secondary age and ability range.  I bring those skills and experiences with me to the Executive Governing Body of St Richard’s and Stella Maris, be that regarding curriculum, assessment or even just the point of view of the parent. St Richard’s is a place close to my heart as my three children have all attended there and I was a pupil there myself.


I look forward to working with all the staff and other members of the governance teams to support both schools as they continue to grow and develop. 


Susan Foster

 Co-Opted Governor

I work as Clerk to Governors in three local schools and my previous professional experience has been based in education, in both teaching (Modern Foreign Languages) and Sixth Form pastoral support roles, also in Admin. I am also currently employed with a charity which offers creative opportunities for those living with dementia.

 I am the Chair of the Stella Maris Academy Committee.

I bring administrative and organisational skills to the Governing Body, together with a passion for the Academies to excel in everything they does.


Lisa Huotari

Executive Principal


Stella Maris Academy Committee Members

Meet the Governors …


Susan Foster

 Co-Opted Governor

Chair of the Academy Committee

I work as Clerk to Governors in three local schools and my previous professional experience has been based in education, in both teaching (Modern Foreign Languages) and Sixth Form pastoral support roles, also in Admin. I am also currently employed with a charity which offers creative opportunities for those living with dementia.

I am Chair of the Stella Maris Academy Committee 

I bring administrative and organisational skills to the Governing Body, together with a passion for the Academy to excel in everything it does.



Nicola Fletcher
Vice Chair Academy Committee/Parent Committee Member



I am a Parent Committee Member on the Academy Committee living in the local area with two children at the School. My areas of particular interest are Religious Education and Key Stage 1 Phonics. I wanted to get involved as I really appreciate the wonderful education and school life my boys have at Stella Maris. 

Outside of school, I am an Electoral Services Manager at a Local Authority and a marathon runner

Matthew Hahn

Foundation Committee Member

I have two children currently attending Stella Maris and I am a Parishioner at Our Lady Help of Christians Church. 

In my professional life I am a playwright, theatre director and theatre for development facilitator, specialising in creating theatre for social change, for examining behaviour and for improving communication skills. I have worked as a Senior Lecturer at St Mary's University London, specialising in theatre for development. I have also worked as a trained facilitator with Theatre for a Change, a UK charity which utilises interactive theatre to train teachers and facilitators on the topics of sexual equality and reproductive health in the United Kingdom and Malawi. 



Margaret Irving

Foundation Committee Member

I retired from the Civil Service eleven years ago. I have three children and six grandchildren. Since retirement I have been the Treasurer of the St Joseph's Social Club, helping with events and ensuring that maintenance of the hall is up to date. I am also the Secretary of the local Day of Prayer Committee and Secretary to the Finance Council of Our Lady's and St Joseph's Church. I am a Foundation Governor on the Academy Committee.


Matthew Potts
Staff Committee Member


I graduated from Canterbury Christchurch University in 2012 with a degree in Primary Education. I have worked in a range of different schools settings in this time and have been a member of the Stella Maris team since 2019.

I am the leader of learning for science and computing in school as well as teaching year 4.

Anna Richardson

Parent Committee Member

I am a parent member of the Academy Committee with a daughter in Year 4 and a son in Reception. I joined the committee because I want to support Stella Maris in being the best school it can be and helping every pupil achieve their potential. It is a joy to be part of such a caring and inclusive community and I hope to make a positive contribution to the success of the school.


In my professional life, I am a writer of educational books and materials. I have also taught in colleges and universities both in the UK and abroad and worked as an examiner for the British Council.


Theepan Selvaratnam

I am a co-opted member of the academy committee for Stella Maris, with two children attending the school [wef Sept]. I am passionate about the values and ethos of the school and the success and rounded growth of all of its pupils.  By day I am a civil servant at the Foreign Office and bring strategy development and implementation experience to my governor role.


Andrew Langley

Academy Principal 



Elections for Lead Governance Roles has now taken place for September 2022 as follows:-


* Safeguarding  - Susan Foster

* Pupil Premium and Special Educational Needs SEND - Theepan Selvaratnam

* Catholic Character & Ethos - Anna Richardson & Susan Foster

* Health and Safety - Nicola Fletcher

* Curriculum - Matthew Hahn and Margaret Irving 

* Curriculum Sports Funding - Theepan Selvaratnam

* Website - Matthew Potts 



The Academy Committee were linked to classes as follows:-


Year R - Anna Richardson

Year 1 - Susan Foster

Year 2 - Susan Foster

Year 3 - Matthew Hahn

Year 4 - Nicola Fletcher

Year 5 - Theepan Selvaratnam

Year 6 - Margaret Irving