Meet the Governors

Dr Diana Doherty – Chair of Governors

I joined the governing body in 1986 initially as a parent governor and then as a foundation governor. In 2009 I became the Chair. I am a longstanding member of St Mary and St Anselm’s Parish and my children attended the school, so I find it very enjoyable fulfilling my role as a governor. I was senior partner of my GP practice at Waterfoot until November 2018, also managing several practices across East Lancs CCG and I now work as a GP locum. My personal passions are music and travel. I am a member of Todmorden orchestra and I am the organist at St Mary’s Church. I enjoy travelling, particularly to France and various parts of Asia. I find supporting the school to be very rewarding and a great joy and I am proud to be part of the school’s achievements. I hope that my knowledge and life experiences contribute to maintaining the high standards which the school has achieved.


Frances McIlwaine – Vice Chair of Governors

I was born and educated in Scotland. After completing a degree in Arabic with French and Spanish, at Edinburgh University, I moved to London to work in the City in the financial sector. I used my languages when travelling to meet clients, and I managed my own department and a team of professional staff.

I have 3 children, whilst they were young I volunteered in the children’s playgroup and then at their primary school, and even did a stint as a TA. This encouraged me to make a complete career change and I completed an initial teacher training qualification to teach languages to adults, and then went on to do a PGCE. I taught languages part-time for 10 years at Oldham Lifelong Learning. In 2009, I took on a full-time position with Lifelong Learning to manage and develop their virtual learning platform. Since then, my job has expanded into wider aspects of data, documentation, quality of teaching and teacher training. Most recently I have been given responsibility, as part of a small team of 3, to develop our digital marketing. In my role as Governor I use my extensive experience from commercial and education sectors to ensure the highest possible standards for all pupils at St Mary’s.


Mr Chris O’Hare – Parent Governor

I am a proud father of two boys at St. Mary’s and was appointed as a Parent Governor in spring 2017.

I am on the Resources Committee, where my experience of working for a UK high street bank for over 20 years are best used. The investigative skills I developed whilst working in the Fraud, and Technical Support teams enable me to question effectively; a key skill for a Governor.

I stand behind our values & ethos, and am passionate about the positive direction the school is moving to. I feel privileged to be a part of making that a reality.


I also volunteer for a national youth homeless charity a few days each month, where I co-present a life skills course to prepare clients for independent living.



Councillor Kieran Heakin – Chair of the Standards and Effectiveness Committee

I have been a member of St Mary’s and St Anselm’s parish since I moved to Whitworth in 1979. I have always been involved in education on a wide scale and enjoy the opportunity to support St Mary’s RC Primary School as a governor.

I have a wide range of experiences, skills and knowledge that I bring to the role of governor. I have good communication skills and am highly motivated and principled. I am a good listener with good interpersonal skills but most of all good judgement and common sense. I have good organisational skills and am used to working under pressure. I am a team player and understand that contributions from all team members should be valued.

As a manager, I understand the need to be able to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life and varieties of backgrounds. I enjoy meeting new people and am down to earth friendly and have a good sense of humour. As a manager, I am a leader and motivator of people and am used to getting the job done.

I am widely experienced in the field of education. I have been a teacher for 43 years and a headteacher for 30 years before my retirement in 2015. I have also been an OFSTED Inspector, School Improvement Partner, Local Leader of Education and Diocesan Leader of Education in Salford Diocese.

On a wider scale, I am Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services on Rochdale Council and Councillor for the Healey Ward in Rochdale. I am Chairman of a local charity, Health Aid UK and enjoy playing too much squash at Rochdale Cricket Club.

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