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


Aidan Bruce

Chair of Governors

In 1978 I came to Manchester for a two year teaching assignment at Loreto Sixth Form College. Over 40 years later I am still here ! I joined the Governors at St Francis some 10 years ago . I enjoy my regular visits to st Francis.

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.

Louise Frize

Head Teacher Foundation Governor

I started my teaching career in a two form entry primary school in Cricklewood, NW London in 1985. Two years later, I moved to a very large, challenging school in Harrow where I taught classes from Year 1 – Year 7. After many years and several promotions, I was seconded to be an Advisory Teacher for 18 months. This was an interesting time, as I spent every day in a different school, supporting teachers and pupils between the ages of 3 and 16, as well as training teachers. I was then asked to be the deputy head of a failing school. It was here that I learned the importance of most of the skills I use in St Francis each day. I worked alongside an inspirational headteacher from a nearby, high performing Catholic school and when he returned to his own school 2 years later, I went with him as an assistant headteacher. In 2003, I returned to my home town of Manchester and became deputy head at St Francis. A term later, I took up the post of headteacher. I love being the headteacher of St Francis RC Primary. I am incredibly proud of the achievements of all the pupils, staff and parents and I am so very happy to be part of this amazing school and loving family.

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.

Angela Devine-Akhidime

I am delighted to be part of St. Francis School community as a parent governor. I cannot praise the entire staff enough for the loving and caring environment they have fostered within the school over the years. I feel this is the most important bedrock for effective learning, character building and leadership skills for such young minds on their first venture towards education. My first contact with the school was in 2007. I must say that although things have evolved, the endearing quality of a well-led school has definitely remained the same. This is typically characterised by happy and cheerful children and dedicated staff members who genuinely love what they do daily, educating our children; the future leaders of tomorrow! I am pleased to be connected to such a caring school community where each child is encouraged to reach their full potential. Indeed, with God, everything is within our reach!

Matthew Gee

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.

Chris Sharples

Foundation Governor

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 A Bruce, who can be contacted via the school office.

Mr A Bruce

Chair of Governors

St Francis RC Primary School

Ellenbrook Close



M12 5LZ



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