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Meet the Governors

The Governors have overall responsibility for the school and are representative of the community in which it is based. They have a responsibility to uphold the Catholic ethos of the school, with additional responsibilities for the curriculum, for premises and finance. Our Foundation Governors are appointed by the La Sainte Union Sisters; the Local Education Authority nominate a representative, and the remaining Governors are elected by the teaching staff and parents. The Head of School is also a Governor. They are an active and dedicated group whose wisdom, guidance and hard work are given voluntarily throughout the year for the benefit of our children.



Foundation Governors

Mrs R Thomas (Chair)

  • Inclusion Governor

Mrs J Iwobi (Vice Chair)

  • Appointed
  • Link Governor for RE and Health &Safety

Mrs P Johnson

  • Safeguarding Governor

Mrs O Akeume

  • Foundation Governor



Parent Governors



Staff Governor:

Mrs Sandra Power - Head Teacher

Mrs Nuwa Omo - RE Lead




  • Mrs H Westrop (Assistant Head Teacher)


Associate Governor


Clerk to Governors:

  • Mr Stephen Islip


To find out more about the Governors, please read their biographies:

Mrs Rachel Thomas - Chair 

I feel privileged to have been nominated as a parent governor in March 2018. I am married with 2 children. My daughter attends the school and my husband I have been really pleased with her progress since joining the school year 2. I hope my son will also join the school in 2020. I am a practising Catholic as are both my children and feel the Holy Cross School plays a fundamental role in my children’s faith. Many of my family members are teachers and work in the Education system.  I have worked for many years as a beauty and holistic therapist and achieved an Award in Education and Training where I taught beauty and holistic therapy to students 16 years old plus in an award winning training academy in Essex. After having my son, I changed my career and am now a Manager at M&P Estates Sales and Lettings based in South Ockendon, where I lead a busy team of nine members of staff selling, letting & managing properties. I have an extensive knowledge of the area and am a member of the local BRN Group (Business Referral Network).  When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and am a volunteer for a charity called ‘ The Nystagmus Network’ - people who are partially sighted where I offer support and advice to families whose children are affected with the condition and help the charity with fundraising.



Mrs Penny Johnson- Safeguarding Governor

My name is Penny Johnson and I am delighted to have been appointed to the Governing body at Holy Cross this December 2016. As an ex-pupil I have come a long way since then, and hope that my experiences will help support the school and the governing body. I am really pleased that the school is doing so well, and hope to be a part of its success in the future, as it has been part of mine.

 I am the Head teacher of Grays Convent, which is one of the five La Sainte Union Schools in England, and therefore a sister school to Holy Cross.  I live close to my school in Grays, and although I have lived and worked away from the area for most of my working life in East London, I know this area very well.  I have four children and I hope that my experiences in education as well as a parent will be of value to the school, and help me to support Holy Cross in continuing to deliver an excellent standard of education.

 I have an MBA (International) with a focus on leadership, as well as many other leadership qualifications. I am an English teacher of many years, and still teach to this day. I am an active parishioner of St Thomas of Canterbury where I am an extraordinary minister and also deliver children’s liturgy.

Just like Holy Cross’s mission statement, I hope to ‘give my best in all things’.


Jennifer Iwobi - Vice Chair

I am married with two children, my youngest is currently the head girl in Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, and my son has just gone into Year 9 at Campion. My relationship with the school has been a lengthy one as several of my nephews and nieces have passed through this school.


I have a degree in psychology and have worked in the Civil Service since 1998 when I came back to England.  I worked for Department of Work and Pensions for 16 years in various supervisory roles, managing staff and performance. I also worked as a Disability Employment Adviser in which I attained my British Sign Language Level 3 and Advice and Guidance Level 3. I  worked for HMRC as a Policy Adviser in Transport Taxes and currently work as a Senior Engagement officer at the Department for Education.


I am very passionate about Catholic education, being raised a Catholic myself and experiencing first hand the moral and spiritual values that are manifest in Catholic schools. I feel privileged for the opportunity to contribute towards the continued development and progress of Holy Cross Primary School. In my spare time I enjoy baking, reading, watching movies and listening to Music. I have a very active parish life ; I am currently the Steward of the Gospel , A confirmation Catechist and a choir member at Holy Cross Parish church.



Olivia Akueme – Co-Chair of Governors


I am Olivia Akueme. I am a practicing Catholic and an advocate of the faith. I serve as Eucharistic minister and a Reader at the local parish of Holy Cross. I joined the Governing Body around April 2018 and became a co-Chair in September 2018. It is always a privilege to be called to serve.

My husband and I have always believed in a Catholic education for our children. One of our children finished from the Holy Cross Catholic Primary School last year and we currently have three that attend the school.

Professionally, I studied law at the University. With my background in Law, I merged that with being a Chartered Secretary and Administrator. This enabled me to work in various legal departments and corporate governance roles for a number of years. I later left that field and set up my business in the financial services industry.

I enjoy travelling, meeting people, fashion, sports and of course family life. I believe God has called each of us to become the best possible version of ourselves. Therefore I continue to seek personal development for myself and encourage that in everyone around me.

Mrs Nuwa Omo – Staff Governor (RE Lead)


I started my career in education about 17 years ago as a Learning Support Assistant in an inner-London primary school. I then taught Maths in secondary schools, a PRU and Barking and Dagenham college between 2006 and 2013. In that time, I spent a number of years supply teaching in various schools in and around the Thurrock area. I became Senco in a Thurrock primary school in September 2013 after I completed a Master’s Degree in Psychology.

I live in the local area, I am a practicing Catholic, a member of Holy Cross Church choir and I am also a mother of two. My daughter attended Holy Cross Primary School and is now in year 11 at the Brentwood Ursuline preparing for her GCSEs. My son is now in Year 7 at the Campion School for Boys. Catholic education is very important to my family.

My passion is providing support to children with SEND and their families as well as developing school - parent relationship as I have been a parent here since 2008 and have good relationships with many parents of the school. As a parent, I have a vested interest in this school and in my community and would like this school to be the best it can be, the best in South Ockendon and possibly the best in Thurrock. I am also currently the RE lead for the school

My hobbies are travelling and socializing with friends and family. I have recently developed an interest in sewing, to learn a new skill and to support my daughter’s passion for it.