Governors

Mrs Jane Attwell

Chair of Governors

Jane joined the governing body in 2007 and was appointed Chair of Governors in March 2015. Jane is also Chair of the Personnel Sub-Committee as well as being the Child Protection and SEN Governor. As Chair, she is responsible for leading the development of the Governors’ strategic vision for the School, ensuring proper mechanisms are in place for the governors to exercise constructive oversight of academic standards and pastoral matters in addition to making sure the governors fulfil their duty to ensure that the School is fully compliant with the Independent Schools Standards Regulations.

Jane has strong links with St Michael’s; she joined the School in 1964, aged 4, and left aged 11 having been Head Girl. Her sister also attended the school. As well as being Chair of Governors, Jane is an active Vice-President of the St Michael’s School Association.

Jane taught at Westcliff High School for Boys where she was SENCo and Head of Year 7 and Transition. She also taught English, RE and French in Year 7. Jane is married, has always lived in Leigh and has two grown-up children, two grandchildren and two cocker spaniels. Having left Westcliff High School for Boys, Jane now volunteers at Citizens Advice Bureau and Leigh Library.


Father David Wylie

Vice-Chair

Father David has been Vice-Chair of the governing body since November 2018.
He returned to Essex after leaving Southend as a teenager to go to the London School of Economics. For most of the intervening years, he has been a full-time Chaplain with the Royal Navy, mostly serving with the Royal Marines. His time with them included several tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and, most recently, in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis.

Father David finished full-time chaplaincy in November 2018, although he continues as a reservist; his unit being HMS President in London. His return to parish life has been a very full one and he is enjoying it; his first parishes were in inner-city London in the 1990s where he acted as School Chaplain and governor for the parish, primary and secondary schools.

Father David was delighted to return to parish ministry in such a traditional parish such as St Margaret of Antioch, Leigh on Sea, where there is a daily ministry of services, activities and outreach. St Michael’s is one of four schools in the parish but one with which St Margaret’s has a deep, historical bond and affection. As well as parish life and occasional reservist duties within the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, Father David acts as the National Chaplain for the Royal Marines Association and as County Chaplain to the Royal British Legion.


Mr Julian Barrett

Julian was co-opted onto the governing body in March 2013 and is serving as Chair of the Buildings Sub-Committee. He has provided advice on construction and related issues and has been involved with the major refurbishment projects that have been undertaken at the school to date.

Born and brought up locally, Julian was educated at local schools before going on to Westcliff High School for Boys. His working life was as a Quantity Surveyor and this culminated with him achieving Equity Partner in a Chartered Surveying Practice in 1992 until his retirement from the commercial work in 2015.

Julian is married and has two daughters, As well as his contributions to the school governors, Julian is a volunteer at The Jazz Centre UK and enjoys all forms of live and recorded music. He has a keen interest in most sports, with golf being a particular passion.


Mrs Sue Bird

Sue was born and raised in Leigh on Sea. She attended St Michael’s School from the age of 3 and went on to Westcliff High School for Girls.

Sue trained to be a dentist at The Royal Dental Hospital, Leicester Square, London and eventually returned to Leigh, married and brought up her family.

Sue is currently a senior partner in a general dental practice in Southend. Outside of work, she is involved with youth work in a local church. She spends time in various fitness improving activities and enjoys travelling. She also loves being in her garden!


Miss Eloise Gibbons

Eloise has over 25 years of business knowledge and experience working in the technology sector and as Managing Director for her family retail and distribution business. As a former pupil and now as a parent at the school she provides practical advice and assistance, especially in marketing, finance, technology and operations.


Mr Nigel Holdcroft

Nigel joined the governing body in 2019. He is a long-term resident of Leigh and is married with two adult daughters.

Nigel is a solicitor and partner in the Southend firm of Tolhurst Fisher although, after 35 years with the firm, he now works on a part-time basis with responsibility for various management roles including training. Nigel was a Southend Borough Councillor for 14 years and Leader of the Council for 7 years. He has also served on the governing bodies of various schools.

Nigel’s interests includes walking, photography and the theatre. He is also a supporter and regular visitor to Gloucester Rugby Club.


Mrs Suzanna Minnis

Suzanna joined the governing body in 2020 and serves on the Personnel and Education Committee. She is Head of Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions and Designated Safeguarding Lead at New Hall School, Chelmsford where she has worked for the past 12 years.

Suzanna is a teacher of Art and Photography at GCSE and A’ Level and specialises in digital manipulation and film, fine art and photography. Suzanna has served as a public examination board examiner for Pearson, Edexcel for the past five years.

Suzanna is married to David and has two children. Prior to her career in teaching, Suzanna worked in the film and television industry as a VFX artist.


Dr Victoria Shaw

Victoria joined the governing body in 2019 and serves on the Health & Safety Committee.

Victoria has strong links with the School; she joined as a pupil in Year 2 when her family relocated to Chalkwell, and left having been Head Girl and winning an academic scholarship to her independent secondary school. She is married to Alex, a local GP, and their two sons now attend St Michael’s School.

Victoria currently works as a Consultant Histopathologist at Basildon Hospital, having completed her medical training in London and the East of England. She undertook her medical degree at UCL and subsequent PhD at the University of Oxford.


Mr Mark Stennett

Mark joined the governing body in 1997 and served as an elected Parent Governor until 2003. He returned to the governing body in 2008 and throughout both periods of office has served on the Finance Committee. He is also a member of the Bursary Committee and joined the Education and Personnel Committee in mid-2020.

Mark has lived in Leigh most of his adult life and was a pupil at West Leigh and Westcliff High School for Boys. A graduate of Cardiff University and a Chartered Accountant by profession, Mark recently retired from a career in the financial services industry in the City, where he was latterly Managing Director and UK Head of Internal Audit at UBS AG. He has put his financial and business skills to very good use at St Michael’s in helping guide the School’s finances through several major building developments, the need to comply with public benefit requirements, and the challenges posed by economic austerity and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides his commitments at St Michael’s, Mark has worked with various other charities, providing support on governance and strategic planning to charities and social enterprises that are tackling disadvantage in the UK. In June 2020, he was appointed a Board Trustee of One Trust – a charity providing services, opportunities, therapies and respite to people in Wandsworth and South West London with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their family carers.

Mark is married to Gill and has two daughters, both of whom are former pupils of St Michael’s. As a keen photographer, he is Treasurer of Leigh Camera Club and also enjoys watching football and playing the bass guitar in a covers band.


Mrs Fay Evans


Mrs D Harris

Mr S Templer-Mills

Correspondence for the Governors should be sent c/o Chair of Governors, St Michael’s School, 198 Hadleigh Road, Leigh on Sea, Essex SS9 2LP or emailed to chairofgovs@stmichaelsschool.com