Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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...ready to learn, thrive and flourish together...

At Archbishop Courtenay Primary School we have a committed and dedicated Governing Body. All governors work to ensure the effective management of the school, alongside the Headteacher and her Deputy, and contribute a range of skills from a variety of backgrounds. The Governor's role is strategic, not operational, and includes ensuring vision is being turned into reality, ethos is being embedded and progress is being made against the School's action plan. The relationship between the Governors and the Head Teacher and staff is one of support and challenge.


For the latest membership and attendance information for our Local Governing Body, please see below.



Attendance Letter from School Governors

Governors are often in school, formally and informally, keeping in touch with school life. They meet regularly throughout the year, either as a 'whole body' or in sub committees. Our Governors also undertake regular planned monitoring visits to the school, monitoring a specific area of the School's action plan.


We recognise that Governance works best when we listen to your views, discuss the results, act and then report on the actions we have taken. We value your views and would welcome any comments you may have. Please email our Chair of Governors at Alternatively, you can complete the Parent View Questionnaire

Parent View is an online questionnaire that allows parents and carers to give their views about their child’s school at any time. It is also the main way for parents to give their views about their child’s school to inspectors at the time of a school inspection.



Ryan O'Connell - Chair of Governors

I have been a parent governor at the school for 5 years, and bring 19 years’ experience in local government working for Maidstone Borough Council. I am passionate about delivering the best for Maidstone and its communities, and Archbishop Courtenay has an important role to play for Tovil and the surrounding area. 
My son and daughter go to Archbishop Courtenay and I fully understand the importance of parents having confidence in the school, something that I hope I can help with through giving my all on their behalf.  Whilst we have made good progress over the last three years, I am confident that through governors supporting our excellent new leadership team and staff, we will see the school improve further.
I know that with parents, staff, governors and children pulling together, we can make Archbishop Courtenay a school that the community can be proud of.

Sue Heather - Headteacher

My name is Sue Heather and I am honoured to be Archbishop Courtenay Church of England Primary School’s headteacher. The school is very special to me, and I believe strongly in ensuring our children, their families and staff feel safe, loved and nurtured with kindness and compassion.  As a haven of hope and aspiration I want our children to have many exciting opportunities not only to develop their love of learning, wisdom and dignity within the Christian Community, but to promote social mobility. My aim is to work with the governing body to create a proud community ready to learn, thrive and flourish together. 



Paul Ryan 

My teaching career started back in 1993 when I worked in Chatham. I moved to All Saints’ Primary School Maidstone which later became part of Archbishop Courtenay School. Since 2005 I have been Headteacher of a primary school. I live locally and attend All Saints’ Church. I have 2 sons and I served as a governor whilst they attended their primary school; a position which I found most rewarding. I have been a member of this Governing Body for the last 8 years and I will be continuing to support the Headteacher and her team so that every child, regardless of their starting point can make great progress and achieve their very best.





Sue Richardson

I taught at various Junior Schools around the country, so I hope this experience will be of benefit as I become a Governor. I soon specialised in teaching and assessing those with special needs. When I became a part time teacher, I had time to help the local school pupils with their reading, and often became a Governor as well. I have four children, one of whom is a teacher of a Reception Class, and ten grandchildren, so have been kept up to date with the changes in school life. I am a member of the local Church family, so come to the services at Archbishop Courtenay School, as well as St Philips and All Saints. I also help with the After School Club, Godly Play.



Grace Donnay - Staff Governor

As the staff governor, I have been fortunate enough to have been the SENDCO at ABC for almost a year now and can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy coming to work every day and sharing it with these wonderful children and staff.

I came to teaching later on in my life having had a career in leisure management, when my husband interviewed me for a job. We live just outside Maidstone, having moved from London and have two adult children.  Our daughter is a performer and our son is following in the family tradition of becoming a teacher.

My teaching career began at Aylesford Primary school in 2015 in LKS2 and after 3 years of being in the classroom I then became the SENCO. Whilst there I was also part of the Governing Body.

Being a governor for me is all about ensuring that our children are given the best opportunities, the highest quality of teaching and supporting all stakeholders involved, from parents through to the Headteacher. It’s about ensuring that the vision of ABC is turned into the reality.


Denise Joy

I have recently been appointed as Governor of the school and I look forward to being part of the school family.

I have lived in Maidstone all my life attending local schools in the area. 

I am married with two children and four grandchildren.

Community engagement has always been paramount in my life as as a  local Borough Councillor for 27 years, allowing me to develop connections in the area for many years. I am a Christian and enjoy my involvement in the Parish as Church Warden of All Saints, St Philip’s and St Stephens Tovil. 

Connections with the church and school at special services and visits have  been so rewarding and I am excited to see this flourish.  It is a privilege to be asked to contribute to the school team and I look forward to working with everyone.


Cristie Keeler

I have recently been appointed as a governor at Archbishop Courtenay. My own teaching career started in 2014 in a secondary school in South London. I am currently the Head of English at my school and have interests in teaching and learning, curriculum development, leadership development and special education needs. 

I moved to Maidstone from London in 2018 and I briefly worked as a foster carer and volunteered as an independent visitor with Barnardos. Throughout my whole working life, I have dedicated my time to supporting children in my local community from work in a children's hospice to supporting children with special education needs. Moving to a new community meant I wanted to support children within my own area. Upon visiting Archbishop Courtenay, I knew the school's vision, attitude, and drive so closely aligned with my own. 

I look forward to working with the Archbishop Courtenay family and supporting their vision. 


Innocent Neshiri - Appointed Governor (Trustees).  Appointed 14/10/2022

I am privileged to be associated with Archbishop Courtenay as appointed governor. My passion for supporting learning and development extends from my background in healthcare where I have over 10 years’ experience leading and managing the education and training of allied health professionals, building links and developing relationships with schools across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Most recently, my work is centred on delivering regional level transformation strategy for clinical learning environments to achieve workforce growth, recruitment and retention. Maidstone has been my home since emigrating from Zimbabwe in 2000. As a Black African economic migrant with lived experience of discrimination in both childhood and adult life, I am passionate about social justice and proactive with anti-racism, diversity, equality and inclusion.

I am keen to work with the ABC family supporting the school to be a haven of hope and aspiration for all children who pass through it.


Patrick Reid - Co-Opted Governor (Trustees).  Appointed 10/05/2023

After moving to Maidstone in 2022, I aim to give back to the local community by bringing my experience and principals of education and governance developed within my pharmacy career to the school education system. I'm passionate about giving back to the local community and helping pave opportunities through education and training improvements; brought about by collaboration between governors, teachers, parents and children. To ensure each child experiences learning and development driven by passionate school teachers, and owns their educational journey within the school.

I have 2 children currently in primary school which helps provide perspective to the governance process as I can relate to a parent's experience of their child's education, and so continually learn from this to positively challenge and improve our schools educational practices through governance. Now that we are an Ofsted rated 'good' school, the next step is to consolidate this ensuring ABC is ready to operate at the standards of an 'outstanding' rated school. 



Chair of Governors: Ryan O'Connell

Vice Chair of Governors: TBC


Learning and Development Committee

All Governors



Useful Information

As a Multi Academy Trust, the Aquila Board of Directors hold ultimate responsibility for the governance in each Academy. However, to build and support local provision and ensure that each school stays true to their founding purpose, the Board delegates responsibilities to each Academy. This is outlined in a document called a Scheme of Delegation which can be accessed using the link above. A personalised version of this document can be accessed at the top of this page.