Welcome from the Chair of Governors

Welcome to the Governors’ section of the site where you can find out more about the Governors and the work that we do.

Our team of dedicated Governors draw on their various backgrounds and experience to provide strategic support to the Head Teacher and the school. We are committed to making sure that the school’s performance is evaluated and continuously improves, to provide strategic direction for the school, to ensure legal obligations are met and that the school keeps abreast of whatever challenges are thrown its way. Most of all, we are here because we care for our school and its community and want it to succeed.

Our aim is to ensure Sacred Heart Primary School provides its pupils the best educational start in life in a happy, safe and caring environment, helping them to become confident individuals who are given every opportunity to reach their potential.

I hope you will find the website useful. We welcome feedback and ideas on how we can improve.


Who we are


Chris Sheils - Chair of Governors

I am a secondary school teacher based in a Catholic school in St Albans, specialising in History and Politics. I previously worked in the London Borough of Brent. My current role is as Deputy Head of Sixth Form, where I focus on a wide range of areas such as student attainment, pastoral development, and safeguarding. Prior to training as a teacher I worked in politics, where I was part of the clerking team for the education select committee in the Northern Ireland Assembly. I am a former pupil at Sacred Heart, and have been a governor since 2020. I was appointed Chair of Governors in September 2023.


Tony McMahon - Vice Chair of Governors and Safeguarding Governor 

I am the deputy head of a Primary school in King’s Cross and have been there since I was newly qualified thirteen years ago. I am from Islington but moved to Whetstone with my wife and son in 2019 and my child now attends Sacred Heart.  I have taught in a wide range of year groups in my time. 


Geraldine Smallbone - Foundation Governor

Having been a foundation governor since 2011 I have served on committees covering all aspects over the years and experienced the highs and lows of several inspections. I joined the governing body when my children were attending Sacred Heart and they are now in sixth form and at university.  Prior to having my children I worked in the financial services sector and was able to bring my varied experience of managing a small London branch of a US investment firm to school governance.  I now work in a secondary school and support sixth form students in their journey through to higher education.


Alice Campbell - Foundation Governor

I work as Health and Safety consultant for Judicium Education. My role includes looking after Primary and Secondary schools where I complete H&S Audits, Fire Risk Assessments and deliver H&S training. This includes working closely with Headteachers, School Business Managers, Governors and Premises team. I am comfortable speaking and presenting different views in sometimes difficult situations. I care deeply about education, which is why I have chosen this career path. I am proud of being a part in helping Sacred Heart School maintain its existing high standards.  I committed the time and energy in building relationships with the parents and represent their opinions. I consider myself to be a people person, very approachable whilst being sensitive with information. I have been a governor at the school since 2021 and  became a foundation governor in October 2022. I believe I am a good governor bringing my passion, experience and knowledge to the school community.


Duncan Hamilton - Foundation Governor

I am now in my ninth year as a RE teacher at a local Catholic Secondary school, having attended it as a pupil. I currently have responsibility for overseeing the KS3 curriculum as second in department. I also have a daughter at Sacred Heart, and feel privileged to have this opportunity to support the development of the school as it continues to provide excellent opportunities for all of its students to learn, in an environment that has a strong Catholic ethos at its core.


Lawrence McDonald - Parent Governor

I am currently a Creative Director in the video game industry, with over 30 years experience in technology, digital art creation, animation, programming, infrastructure and hardware. I maintain focus and interest, have training and mentoring experience and strong creative and technology skills. With two sons at Sacred Heart, I have a vested interest in the current and future wellbeing of the school at all levels, and consider the primary school years the most important in a child’s learning development. Being able to assist in developing a caring and supportive environment for each and every child to achieve their full potential should be the mission of any governor.


Maria Casling Brown - Foundation Governor

I attended what was then called The Convent of the Sacred Heart School many years ago when I was a young girl.  From 2001 - 2016 I worked as an administrator in the office at Sacred Heart and my son also attended the school.  So I have experienced Sacred Heart as a student, a parent and staff!

I have worked as the head teacher's PA at a local, Barnet secondary school since 2016.  

My Catholic faith is hugely important to me:  I made my first holy communion,  was confirmed and married at Our Lady of Lourdes parish, N11.

I hope to be able to contribute to the governing body board with my previous experience and faith guiding me. 


Nia Panayiotopoulos- Local Authority Governor 

I have been a Local Authority Governor at Sacred Heart since September 2020 and love being a part of a diverse group of supportive and proactive Governors.

I have worked in the Voluntary Sector and in schools in the London Borough of Barnet for over 20 years. I have supported small charities with developing policies and procedures. I was previously a Parent Governor at Brookhill Nursery School. I am a local resident and have three children all of whom attend Barnet schools.

I am passionate about inclusion for all children and the need for strong pastoral care, especially after the pandemic. I am familiar with SEN support/services in Barnet and statutory responsibilities. This has led me to be the SEN Governor. I sit on the curriculum and welfare sub-committee and help with admissions.



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