Meet The Governors

Geraldine O’Brien – Chair

I am very pleased to bring many years of accumulated skills and knowledge of school leadership and school improvement in South Buckinghamshire to a governor role at St. Judes.  My diverse career in primary education spans headship, school to school system leadership and local authority school improvement adviser.  Having gradually stepped back from full time work, I now enjoy a more limited role as an independent consultant predominantly focused on senior leadership performance appraisal and coaching/mentoring of senior leaders.

The move from South Bucks was precipitated by the desire to live closer to our three adult children and their growing families all of whom live in south London.    Our eldest grandchild is currently in Year 1 at St. Judes where he is absolutely thriving both in his personal and academic development.  Hopefully, the family association with the school will be extended next year when his younger brother reaches school age.  It is very exciting for me to be joining such a committed team of nurturing professionals dedicated to ensuring that children achieve to the best of their abilities within a safe and happy environment.

Declan Dunford-Crozier – Headteacher

I joined St Jude’s as Headteacher in October 2021. It is an honour and a privilege to be part of, and lead our St Jude’s family. Outstanding governance is pivotal to the  success of our school.

At St Jude’s we are proud of our committed team of governors, who continue to work closely with teachers and senior leaders.

Governors visit St Jude’s regularly, they are involved in learning walks, meetings with subject leaders and school council pupils, so that they remain well informed about school priorities.

Claire Douch

I joined the St Jude’s family in September 2013 as a class teacher and feel proud to have been involved in the journey the school has taken during these years. As Deputy Headteacher at the school since Easter 2020, my priority is to ensure we provide excellent teaching and learning for all our children and they are ‘happy, inspired and loved’.

Our strong and skilled Governing Body have supported the school by ensuring they have a clear understanding of school life, working with our staff and children to ensure our very high standards are maintained on a daily basis.

My role as PTA link ensures that our amazing parents have a line of communication with the Leadership Team, and also that we collaborate effectively on clearly defined priorities set by our strategic school development plan. As Maths Lead, it is also always fantastic to communicate the school’s vision for mathematics with the governing team and share our successes year on year.

Tamsin Isaac – Chair of the Pupil and Curriculum Committee

I have been a parent at St Jude’s for some years and have one child still attending. I live locally and work as a writer and editor in the charity sector. I am link governor for English and Greater Depth and chair of the Pupil, Achievement and Curriculum (PAC) committee, which focuses on the learning and attainment of the children.

I am passionate about the importance of a broad, stimulating education that gives children a love of learning. St Jude’s is an excellent school and as a governor I am determined to support the school to provide the best learning environment for our children.

Hellen Hay – Vice Chair

From an undergraduate laboratory assistant during my Ph.D. to my current position as a Lead Practitioner I have always had a passion for education and have been teaching secondary school chemistry for over 10 years. When my daughter was accepted into St Jude’s Primary School, I was delighted that she had become a part of a supportive community that would encourage her determination and instil values for life.

I wanted to support the school, offering my skills and experiences in secondary education and data management to drive strategic leadership, and was awarded a place as a Foundation Governor.

Science is the most powerful tool humans have of understanding the world. Therefore, when I was asked to be the link governor for the broad and balanced curriculum I realised the importance St. Jude’s places on the science that underpins our everyday life.
It is a pleasure working with the St. Jude’s team to make sure our happy and confident pupils reach their full potential.

Helen Brown – Chair of the Resources Committee

I currently have two very happy boys at St Jude’s and was elected as a parent governor in 2018. The role of parent governor is vitally important as I can bring a parental viewpoint to the strategic management of the school.  As I work in finance, this is a useful skill to bring to the table in the Resources Committee especially during these tough financial times when the education sector is seeing a squeeze on school budgets.

The progress and wellbeing of all our St Jude’s children is always my top priority and I love seeing this during regular visits to school both in the role of governor and of course, as a parent.  I truly believe we have a wonderful school, with inspiring teachers and happy children and I look forward to playing a role in the school’s continued outstanding future.

Maggie Owolade –Associate Governor

I have been a governor at St Jude’s since 2014 – first, as a parent governor, and now, as an Associate Governor.  As a parent of children with SEN, I currently sit on various Lambeth strategic SEN and SEMH working groups, helping to define and implement effective, accessible and meaningful policies and services in the borough.

I am currently on sabbatical from my teaching assistant post of 5 years, launching a Lambeth-based charity, which promotes awareness of hidden disabilities like Autism and ADHD.

I am a long-standing supporter of our wonderful school, watching it grow and blossom over the years.  I am so proud of its nurturing, skilled and dedicated staff team.  What a wonderful foundation we gift our children as they make their way in the world.  I feel blessed to be part of the St Jude’s family.

Kathrine Price  (LA Governor)

I am looking forward to being a Governor of St Jude’s School.  I have lived in Herne Hill for over 20 years and enjoy being involved with community activities and groups.  I bring to the school many years of experience in education.  

I am a Primary trained teacher, and spent 9 years in a Church of England Primary School in Westminster with a similar ethos to St Jude’s.  I have gained additional qualifications in SEN leadership, dyslexia, autism and child mental health.  

My particular interests are in autism, emotional health and parental involvement.  I am currently the SENCO in a local mainstream Secondary Academy and am also one of the safeguarding team.  I hope that my experiences in education will be a useful reference point when being involved in the development and governance of St Jude’s.  

As a new Governor I also look forward to learning new skills and from being involved with a school from a different angle.  Although the current pandemic has prevented any face to face visits I can already tell that St Jude’s is a thriving and nurturing place.

Sarah Fielding (Foundation governor)

I have lived in Brixton for 25 years and grew up in Brixton. I have taught in primary schools in Southwark and Lambeth for many years and am currently teaching part time at St Saviour’s on Herne Hill Road. Working part time is enabling me to get involved in a wider range of projects.

As a long-standing member of St Matthew’s, I am keen to be involved in and support our church school; I look forward to being able to use my teaching experience in my role as a governor.

Reverend Steven Sichel

I have been parish priest of St Matthew’s and  St Jude’s  Brixton, in which the school is situated, since 2001. I have lived and worked in Lambeth since 1995 and been a governor at the school since 2002. St Jude’s is a really great little school and it has been a privilege to see its achievements and success.  St Matthew’s welcomes children and families of all kinds and a good many children come to St Jude’s through attendance at the church. I take assemblies at St Jude’s regularly.
I am married to Sue, a Fine Artist and School Counsellor, and have three grown up children and two Corgi’s (Peggy and Dolly -often to be seen in Brockwell Park).
Among my interests are theology, philosophy, politics, spirituality and watching TV drama’s.