Meet the Governors

About our Governors

Mike Swadling – Chair of Governors

I have been a local authority governor at St Giles since 2006. In theory this means I was appointed by Croydon Council, in practice I signed up to be a governor via the School Governor One Stop Shop https://governorsforschools.org.uk/ and my details were sent to a number of schools of which St Giles came back to me first. I didn’t have any knowledge of St Giles before becoming a governor here and had very little knowledge of the whole SEN sector. I have learnt a lot about the needs of SEN pupils in that time.  I have also been a governor on the South Norwood Primary Interim Executive Board, and am currently a Governor at Winterbourne Nursery and Infants School. 

I decided to get involved in school governance having spent a number of years working with schools through community programmes through my employers. I wanted to become a governor to help contribute to my community, also to feel I do something more than shout at the telly when Question Time is on!

My background is in Banking and IT and whilst it should be somewhat different from education, from a governance perspective working with budgets, staffing, and ensuring the right frameworks are in place it is extremely similar. School Governors are drawn from a range of backgrounds, and not being part of the education sector, can be an advantage to look at challenges and opportunities facing the school in fresh way. As a governor I have chaired all the committees of the school, sat on recruitment panels, been Vice Chair and previously spent 2 years as Chair of Governors at St Giles.


Kathleen Shields – Community Governor – Vice Chair of Governors

Lead Governor for Safeguarding.

I became a Governor at St Giles in October 2017. I am a barrister practising in different areas of law.

Before training as a lawyer I qualified as a teacher: I taught English and French in a secondary school in Leeds. I enjoy working with young people and wanted to be involved with education after I left the classroom, so I decided to become a school governor. I believe all children should be well-served by their school and given support to fulfil their potential. Being part of St Giles’ governing body is a way for me to help achieve this goal and to give back to my community.

I enjoy travelling, cooking, going to concerts and hiking. 


Paul Thirkettle – Parent Governor – Vice Chair of Governors

I have been a parent governor at St Giles’ School since 2015 and in 2020 I was voted in as vice chaired the governing body.  I took on this role as I was intrigued to find out how the school runs behind the scenes and help out the school in any way I can.

My professional background is in  Catering and hospitality  where I qualified as a professional Chef in 2007.  I have worked in various types of restaurants from bistro pubs to fine dining and have done quite a few banquets in my time!  My favourite cuisine is Italian.  As well as cooking, I have also worked as a youth worker for Croydon Council.  I found helping the young people in my community very enjoyable and rewarding. 

I am married with 2 children, one of whom is currently in a Primary Class at St Giles’.   I  also enjoy playing and coaching  rugby at the weekends where  I  am currently the 2nd Team Captain and in 2019 I’ve helped set up a thriving  girls rugby teams  at my local Rugby Club. 


KenKen Morcombe MBE – Community Governor

Chair of the Assessments & Standards  Committee.

I am retired, married, with 3 adult children and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren of whom 5 are of school age. I am a science graduate and before retirement had a wide experience of management in a large commercial organization. Since retirement I have been involved in a broad variety of voluntary work and I am a very keen hiker involved in running a walking group.

I have been a governor at St Giles, with one small gap, for about 20 years. I am much involved in the life of the school acting as a volunteer one day a week in addition to attending as a governor.  I am keen to help those with disabilities more broadly than purely academically. This I am able to do as a governor at St Giles where broader issues of wellbeing are so important but also as a trustee and volunteer for a local charity which provides social outlets for adults with disabilities including learning difficulties.


Beverley Hayllar – Community Governor

I have taught for twenty years, initially as a history teacher but then head of sixth form in a SEN School, setting up work experience and travel training programmes for my students. We ran a cafe ‘The Beach Hut’ which generated money for the group and which was used to buy equipment of their choice ( TV, karaoke machine, playstation etc) and for days out.

I am a passionate football fan and my team is Arsenal. I also steward at Twickenham, luckily watching all of the World Cup matches.

I love going to the cinema, to see bands and concerts and to the theatre and am in a book club.


Paul Thirkettle – Parent Governor (Vice Chair)

I have been a parent governor at St Giles’ School since 2015 and in 2020 I was voted in as vice chaired the governing body.  I took on this role as I was intrigued to find out how the school runs behind the scenes and help out the school in any way I can.

My professional background is in  Catering and hospitality  where I qualified as a professional Chef in 2007.  I have worked in various types of restaurants from bistro pubs to fine dining and have done quite a few banquets in my time!  My favourite cuisine is Italian.  As well as cooking, I have also worked as a youth worker for Croydon Council.  I found helping the young people in my community very enjoyable and rewarding. 

I am married with 2 children, one of whom is currently in a Primary Class at St Giles’.   I  also enjoy playing and coaching  rugby at the weekends where  I  am currently the 2nd Team Captain and in 2019 I’ve helped set up a thriving  girls rugby teams  at my local Rugby Club. 


Curlita Campbell – Co-opted Governor

I have worked for over 25 years with children and families in Education, Social Care and Health. 

I previously was a parent governor, vice chair then Chair of Governors for a LA Primary School. I thoroughly enjoyed the different aspects of the role, being strategic and working with the children and parents/carers and stake holders to enable children to reach their full potential. 

My interests are nurturing a wide selection of house and garden plants, reading and knitting.


Susan Appleton – Link Governor for Governor Training

I am retired, after 30 years working in Forensics for the Metropolitan Police Service at many different Stations all over London. A career that was rewarding, exciting and interesting, especially  as advances in forensic science over the years made such a difference to solving crime.

Since retirement, I have volunteered at my local primary school , helping in the Year 1 and Year 2  classes . I also previously served on the Governing body of St. Giles and took a break two years ago due to family commitments. I am now looking forward to re-joining the Governing body in what is clearly going to be a challenging year for everyone. 

I loved school and believe that enjoying school  is the key to learning, whatever your ability. I am still learning myself as I have Italian lessons every week and live in hope of being fluent one day.

I am married and we have four cats to keep us occupied. I enjoy travelling, especially to Italy and I love going to the cinema. At home I enjoy cooking and gardening.


Karen Skeets – Parent Governor

My son is a pupil at St Giles and has severe special needs and I know just how important school and education is to him.  He has grown and developed so much since being at St Giles. 

I have applied for the role of Parent Governor as I am passionate in my desire to help achieve the best possible schooling experience for the children at St Giles. I am an active member of Friends of St Giles, supporting various fundraising events.  Before I had my son, I was a secretary and a PA for approximately 18 years.


Peter Denman – Parent Governor

I volunteered to be a parent Governor since 2018 as I felt I had the hands on experience of the needs and requirements of children with disabilities and of course their parents’ teachers and carers.  My background is Commercial Property Management and Investment primarily gained in sizeable companies in the private sector and also in Local Government. I have extensive experience in project and people management, financial budgeting, forecasts and valuations. I am very keen to make a contribution to the education and wellbeing of children and young adults with disabilities.

I have a degree in Estates Management and have attended a wealth of management and people skills courses. I take a particular interest in local community affairs from transport to preserving the countryside. Leisure wise I am a keen walker and dabble with tennis and golf. I am married with two children.


Callton YoungCallton Young OBE – Associate member

I am a retired Senior Civil Servant with extensive experience of policy development, people and project management, and networking to deliver corporate outcomes. I have a BA honours degree in politics and am passionate about the provision of good quality learning for others to enhance personal fulfilment and maximise life chances.

Since retiring I have endeavoured to give something back to my local community. I chair two local charities, one with a small independent day school, and am an active member of Croydon Council’s Stronger Communities Partnership Board among other things. Making an additional commitment to serve at St Giles was an easy decision for me because I strongly believe that good schools are the heart and soul of good communities. We all want the best for our children – and St Giles turns that aspiration into a reality.

I am married with three children. I enjoy travelling, playing tennis and am passionate about promoting a fairer society with equal opportunities for all.


Full Governing Body Details

NoneN/ANoneN/A

Full Name Category Positions Term of Office (Yrs) Date of appt End of term Committee Bus. Interests Governor at another establishment Relationship to employee Voting Rights of Assoc Members
Karan Skeets Parent 4 18/10/2018 18/10/2021 Achievements & Standards None N/A None N/A
Beverley Hayller Co-opted  4 18/10/2017 17/10/2021 Achievements & Standards None N/A None N/A
Neal Fraser Parent 4 13/07/2020   Resources Occasional plumbing jobs for school N/A None N/A
Caroline Horgan Co-opted Deputy Head Teacher 4 01/10/2014 30/09/2022 Achievement & Standards None N/A None N/A
Kathleen Shields Co-opted  Vice Chair 4 18/10/2017  17/10/2021 Resources  None N/A  None  N/A
Kathy Lewis Headteacher Head Teacher   01/01/2012   All None N/A None N/A
Sharon Newton Staff 4 14/11/2019 04/12/2023 All None N/A None N/A
Ken Morcombe Co-opted Chair of Achievement &
Standards Committee; Equalities Governor
4 01/10/2014 30/09/2022 Achievement & Standards None N/A None N/A
Michael Swadling LA Appointed Chair of Governors 4 05/02/2018   Resources None Winterbourne Nursery and Infants School None N/A
Callton Young Associate member 4 01/10/2014 30/09/2022   None N/A None None
Paul Thirkettle Parent Vice Chair 4 02/12/2019 01/12/2023 Achievement & Standards None N/A None N/A
Curlita Campbell Co-opted 4 05/12/2018 04/12/2023 Resources None N/A None N/A
Sue Appleton Community Governor  -Link Governor for Governor Training 4 02/12/2020 02/12/2024   None N/A None N/A
Peter Denman Parent 4 14/11/2019 13/11/2023 Resources None N/A None N/A

Meeting Minutes

Please click on the links below to download an item of interest:


Governors Attendance

Please click on the links below to download an item of interest:

Governor’s Attendance 2019-20 Final

Governors-attendance-2018-2019

Governor’s Attendance 2017-18

Governors-attendance-2015-16M 2018 12 05 Final – full board

FGB Governor Attendance 2014-2015