Governor Details

Mr Peter Meteau, Chair of Governors

I have lived in Swanage all my life and had a long association with the school. I was a pupil in the early sixties when Sister Mary Francis was very much in charge. My two daughters have also been pupils thirty years later in the nineties.

I am a retired Dorset Police Officer, having held varying different posts across the County. I am a Duke of Edinburgh Award leader and assessor. I am committed to ensuring all the children that attend St Mary’s get the best possible start in life in every aspect of education. I have been a governor for five years. At this time I am chair of governors and I am privileged to be working with a fantastic team of teachers, school staff, governors and of course the children.

The last OfSTED inspection deemed the school ‘Outstanding’ but I take nothing for granted and I will do everything I can to maintain the standards in the school. We owe it to our children.


Maeve Baker

I had worked in education for forty-one years before I retired in 2010.

During my time I have worked in Secondary, Middle and Primary phases. I started my career in Secondary as a specialist English teacher in London and Surrey. It was while I was on maternity leave with my three boys that I developed an interest in the theory and practise of Language and Reading development. My interest led me to studying with the Open University for four years developing practise to test and match theory. Working on Action Research projects brought me into contact with Middle and First school children. My particular interest was with Special Needs and my first post after returning to teaching after my maternity break was in Dorset with groups that had complex learning problems which I found challenging and of course satisfying.

Mathematical education became the focus of my next area of study once I had a post with a class of my own. With a group of enthusiastic colleagues from local schools in Purbeck working through The Mathematical Association I took part in years of testing and trialling approaches to developing mathematical concepts and assessment. It was at this stage of my career that I decided to remain in Primary Education. The freedom to create the curriculum in an integrated form with the children’s interest leading the focus really accorded with my understanding of engaged learning. And so I took a post as class teacher for ten years, deputy head for five and head teacher for fifteen years.

Despite my many years in education when I retired in 2010 my enthusiasm for children and their learning has never faded. Every child is unique and never ceases to amaze me particularly following their progress. I feel privileged to spend time as a reading volunteer and governor at St Mary’s. RC Primary Swanage. It is a school which combines the nurturing environment and academic challenge to allow both children and staff to reach their optimum potential.

Michael Baker

We moved to Dorset in 1977 and sent our three boys to St. Mary’s RC First School (The Convent). In the days before governors I was a manager at the school for some years. I taught at Swanage Middle School for 25 years and during that time was seconded to be in charge of the Purbeck Teachers Centre for three years.  In the year 2000 my wife, Maeve, became head of St. Mary’s and I became a governor in 2006. On retiring from the Middle School in 2002 I began to work as a volunteer at St. Mary’s teaching one afternoon a week in year 4. I still do reading with year 6 and in 2015 brought out an updated version of a small history of the school which the year 4 pupils and I had originally published when the last nun, Sister Alphonsus, retired in 2004 (copies still available at a bargain £5!).

Gill Calvin-Thomas

I am delighted to have been asked to be an Associate Governor at St Marys. I have been a volunteer reader for two years now and enjoy the experience. The atmosphere in the school is so happy and the children are great to work with and eager to learn.

I have grandchildren who are growing up and no longer need me to read with them or help them with homework, so volunteering in St Mary’s has also fulfilled a need in me.

My early career was in social work. I have a social work qualification as well as an MA in Education. As a social worker, I practised with different groups of people including people with disabilities and hearing loss. I had an interest in education and eventually became a Training Officer, teaching and assessing post qualifying social workers and social work students, as well as delivering training courses. I worked for the Open University for a couple of years and then gained a post in Bournemouth University. As a Senior Lecturer in practice learning, I was involved in teaching and assessing social work students. I also taught students from other Health disciplines in the School of Health and Social Care.

My interests have always been in how we as individuals learn best and how we then assess progress helpfully and fairly. I understand educational theory and over the years have undertaken research into learning. So, I hope I will be of use to the school, lending a fresh pair of eyes and ears to learning and assessment.

Kate Cotton

In the 1960s I was the head of the infant school at Lots Road Primary school in London teaching the reception class. I had a period at home looking after my three children and running a catering company and was a magistrate at Richmond Court in Surrey with special interest in the youth work. I then joined Marie Curie in 1982 where I am still working. I became the Director of the hospices and went part time when my husband became ill. I introduced child bereavement services to the charity.  I have had a home in Dorset since the mid 80s.

My interests include film, where I am the President of the Purbeck Film Festival, theatre and music, and I spend a great deal of time with my 6 grandchildren. I am an active member of St Nicholas Church in Studland.

I have become a governor as I have always had an interest in education and am Interested to see the way it is delivered and the priorities that are driving the work in the school today.

Sarah DeLeon

I joined St. Mary’s Governing Body in 2012 as a Parent Governor before changing to become a Foundation Governor in 2014. I have two daughters: one still at St. Mary’s and one who has left and is now at secondary school. It was due to my interest in their education that I wanted to take an active role working alongside the staff and the other governors to ensure that each child in our school is given every opportunity to succeed while developing their full potential in an enriching and supportive environment.

I was born and raised in Swanage, before moving to London where I gained a Humanities degree, majoring in English. I have taught English both abroad and at language schools in this country. This academic and professional background has been valuable in helping me to fulfil my role as Subject Governor for English and Humanities. I am currently an HLTA at St. Mary’s.

I am delighted to be able to serve on St. Mary’s Governing Body and help support our school in every way that I can.

Maria Gadston

My three children all went to St Mary’s School and I started teaching here shortly afterwards in 1996. I became Deputy Head in 2010 when Mrs Lake was appointed Head Teacher and joined the Governing body as the staff governor. Currently I am acting head teacher and teach in year 2 part-time.

Derek Hancock

I was born and have lived in Swanage all my life. On leaving school I attended Bournemouth College studying business management before working in the Accounts Office of a large engineering firm in Bournemouth. I followed by working for a local Estate Agent for 15 years. In 2000 I purchased Nixons Hardware in Swanage.

I was honoured to joined the governing body as a Parent Governor in 2013 and now serve as an Associate Member Governor, hoping my experience in business and finance can give something back to the School that has looked after my son so well.

Rebecca Meteau

I came to teaching rather later in life having completed a PGCE specialising in RE, with The Primary Catholic Partnership SCITT in 2001. I joined St Mary’s eight years ago, having taught in other local primary and first schools. I am currently acting deputy head and SENDCo, teach year 6 and co ordinate RE and English.

Sandy Porter

I graduated from Bournemouth Art College where I also served as the Student Governor. I then went on to complete a post graduated degree at the Royal College of Art in London. My family and I moved from London to Swanage in 1979. My career has included undertaking assignments for international and national organisations like the Sunday Times. These involved travelling and working in many different countries. 

I am currently a board director of an IT security company that works is in the area of delivering high assurance identities to provide secure online services for the UK government and commerce. An important area of the work is the age verification of individuals and protection of their data. A major component of this work is aimed at the protection of children in the digital world. My expertise in these areas means that I am asked to speak on these topics at conferences, be a member of Uk Government advisory working groups and an EU R&D assessor.

I have joined St.Mary’s Governing Body as a Foundation Governor because the school has always had a wonderful reputation in the local community for providing an excellent all round education for young children. I hope that I can make a small contribution to maintaining and extending this by working with the other governors and staff.

Janice Williams

I have been the Clerk to the Governing body since 2006 so have seen many changes in the school since that time including a move to a two tier system of education and relocation of the school to a new premises. My three sons all attended St Mary’s but have now moved on to university and secondary school. As well as Clerking for St Mary’s I am also Clerk to the Governors for Swanage Primary School – I have been a Clerk at local schools since 2002 so have lots of experience to bring to the Governing Body. In September 2016 I became the school’s Finance Officer which allows me to ensure governors are well appraised of all financial matters. 

page last updated: 17 April 2018