Our Governors

All schools in England have a Governing Body which is responsible for overseeing many of the strategic decisions of the school. A key role is to act as a ‘critical friend’: to support, to challenge, to ask questions, ultimately to represent the school community.

The Governing Body works in close partnership with the headteacher, staff and the local authority. Whilst the headteacher is, of course, responsible for the day to day running of the school, the governors are involved with such things as staffing, curriculum, school buildings and finance. It ensures the school functions well and maintains the proper range of academic and social objectives.

The governing body now consists of:

  • The headteacher
  • An elected staff governor
  • One appointed local authority governor
  •  Two elected Parent governors
  • Seven Foundation governors

The governing body have access to a secure area where they can access policies, videos, minutes of meetings etc. It is accessed by following this link:



Matthew Gee

Chair of Governors

My name is Matthew Gee and I have been a Foundation Governor at the school since 2012. I am a practising Catholic and I am passionate about the school, it’s Catholic ethos and it’s staff and pupils. I myself have been a history teacher since 2008, and have been teaching music to learners of all ages since long before then. I understand the power of education and the horizons it can open up for any individual. I believe that St Francis is a special place that puts love and care of its members at the heart of everything it does, and I am looking forward to helping St Francis’ educate your children in the special way that it does.

Julie Illidge

Vice Chair Foundation Governor

I am the Head of Primary Links and teach at St Peter’s High School. I feel proud to be part of the St Francis family and all it represents. The staff and governors are committed to ensure that every pupil strives to be the best they can be – I love being part of such a warm and friendly school, a place for children to learn, feel safe and be loved.

Lawrence Barboza

Parent Governor

I am always keen to know about the education that children receive at school. The School Governor role provides me an opportunity to work closely in this direction. Basically, I am an Engineer by profession and have more than 20 years of experience at different levels in Engineering and Manufacturing Sector. Involved in local community and charity work, this gave me an opportunity to interact with people from different background and ethnic groups.

Michael Cowell

Local Authority Governor

Hi, I’m Mike Cowell and just like you I too was a pupil here at St. Francis. Obviously it was a long, long time ago, in fact before the first man landed on the moon !!! Not only did I attend this school, both of my children also enjoyed their primary school ‘journey’ here and both have gone on to attend university. I have played the side drum in Pipe Bands for many years and my greatest triumph came in 2009 when the drum corps won first place at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow. I happily volunteered to become your local Authority Governor because not only does my 35 years’ experience in the Insurance Industry mean that I have good analytical skills but also because I love this school and have much to thank it for. It was here that I first discovered the wonderful world of History especially the Greeks and Romans, a passion that continues to this day as I recently made a visit to Pompeii. I have had reason to visit the school often over the years and it is always a warm, welcoming happy place. I have seen this wonderful school of ‘ours’ continue to provide the very best environment for you to thrive, learn to the best of your ability but just as importantly enjoy your education. When you leave St. Francis behind you, memories may fade, but you will surely grow in stature on strong foundations laid.

Francesca Cowell

Associate Governor

I am proud to be a member of the Office team here at St Francis. The Business Manager role is challenging and we are fortunate to have an excellent team supporting the work going on in the classrooms. I worked previously for 20 years as a Microbiologist making and testing vaccines. My husband and both our children were fortunate enough to attend St Francis.

Stephen Gregson

Parent Governor

I will always be grateful to the teaching and administrative staff at St Francis RC Primary School for helping my son to grow in so many ways in such a short time after arriving in the UK. In just over a year, he went from knowing no English to being able to express himself with confidence in his new language. Above all, my son has been blessed with curiosity, values and kindness, which I will always associate with this school. For this reason, I am honoured to serve as a governor: not only to give something back to St Francis for all it has done for our family, but also to help in shaping the future of this wonderful school. My skills have been developed in the public and voluntary sectors, particularly in areas involving health and social inclusion. This has included considerable experience working with committees and working groups in central and local government, charities and the community. I have also previously chaired a national mental health charity and helpline, offering support and signposting to vulnerable people of all ages, and their families, carers and friends. As such, I fully understand the importance of robust safeguarding policies, which are critical in providing a safe educational environment. Currently, I run my own company, providing educational support orientation to adult learners, especially those studying in the UK from overseas, as well as provide free services to community organizations involved in the arts and sports.

Michelle MacNamee

Staff Governor

Fr Kevin Murphy

Ex Officio

I am so glad to serve as a governor at St Francis School. For many years I was a teacher and my last job was at Loreto College, Manchester. I was ordained as a priest in 2015 at Salford Cathedral. I loved my years as a teacher and now I love being a priest and being still involved with Catholic education.

Ifeoma Ogbologu

Foundation Governor

I am thankful and motivated by the contributions of St Francis RC Primary School in shaping and providing a sound foundation for mine/other children. I am humbled by the opportunity of adding value and promoting the profile of the school, in my current role as member of the School’s Governing Body. With a background in the Social Sciences and involved with civil society organisations dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of the vulnerable especially women and young children, I joined the Housing Sector shortly after completing my MA degree at the University of Manchester. In a long standing role as a Housing Practitioner, I have collaborated with various Local Authorities and Partners in fostering community development within Greater Manchester and beyond. Particularly and as part of my Organisation’s mission of ‘homelessness’ reduction, I am currently tasked with implementing strategies that ensure that our struggling customers access timely and appropriate support to retain their tenancies. I look to drawing inspirations and more from background trainings and official exposures, in delivering my role as a Foundation Governor of the School.

Himo Sonny-Joe

Parent Governor

My name is Himo ( pronounced " He-mo") I am a mum of 3 and work professionally as a HR Officer in the legal industry, I have volunteered working with children as a Sunday School teacher since I was 17 and continue to do to date. I am a passionate advocate for children's overall wellbeing and a firm believer that in every child is a diamond waiting to shine with the support of family and the school system. When not working on my job, i can be found hosting events as a Master of Ceremony or speaking at seminars on building and maintaining healthy family relationships. I look forward to working with the other governors at St Francis to help support the staff and pupils in making St Francis one of the best primary schools in the Manchester area.

The standard term of office for a governor is four years. The chair and vice-chair are elected annually at the first meeting of the academic year.

The chair of governors is Mr Matthew Gee, who can be contacted via the school office.

Mr Matthew Gee

Chair of Governors

St Francis RC Primary School

Ellenbrook Close



M12 5LZ



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