Governor Details

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.

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.

Emma Fitzgerald

I spent my childhood in Swanage until leaving for university where I graduated in Development Studies (issues impacting developing countries).  I spent a further 15 years working in London before returning to Swanage after the birth of my second child.  My children both attend St Mary’s and I was delighted to be appointed an associate governor in December 2018, as it provides an opportunity to contribute to this wonderful school.

For the last 18 years I’ve worked for,  a provider of high bandwidth global solutions. Starting as an IP engineer, I  progressed to managing DNS/IP teams across Europe and India.  In recent years I’ve left the IT coal-face behind by moving into business transformation project management and have delivered various off-shoring, new product and continuous improvement projects.

After working in the Tech Sector for over 20 years I frequently find I am the only woman in the room. I’m therefore keen to see girls get excited about STEM subjects as they’re a pathway to so many interesting career opportunities and it’s the only way to address the gender imbalance & pay gap that exists in so many industries.

Alan Frame

I have been teaching in Dorset since moving to the area in 1996. I was headteacher of Downlands School in Blandford for 14 years. I have also supported other schools during my time at the school and as part of the school improvement team within Dorset Council. I have a shared role of Headteacher and also work as a Education and Standards Manager for Plymouth CAST. Within education I have specific interests in mathematics, technology and music. Outside of education I enjoy family life and boating.

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 in 2009, having taught in other local primary and first schools. I am currently deputy head, teach year 6 and coordinate RE and English.

Tom Norman

My wife and I returned to Swanage recently having lived and worked in London. After leaving school I studied at the University of Surrey where I gained a degree in Business Studies & Geography. Following my degree I travelled extensively, before joining the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 1998. I spent most of my police career as a Detective Constable working in serious and organised crime, including the Flying Squad. 

We moved back to Swanage the day after my second child was born. I may return to policing, but I am currently a Manager at The Salt Pig in Wareham. My daughter is at St Mary’s and my son will follow her in the next academic year. A significant number of my close relatives have been involved in teaching and my sister is currently a Deputy Head at a school in Bristol. I believe that joining the governing body as a Parent Governor will enable me to continue to make a contribution towards public life and allow me to offer my support to the dedicated staff at St Mary’s who invest so much in the education of our children. 

I will embrace the challenge and do my best to make a valuable contribution to the school.

Jacky Porter

I trained as a SRN at Poole Hospital and after graduating worked for a period at the Middlesex Hospital in London. I was a joint partner in a photography business for over 25 years and am working as a researcher in an IT company. I have for many years painted portraits in oil. One of my paintings was short listed for the John Walker award at the National Gallery and two other paintings are exhibited in the Johnny Walker museum. I am married with 3 adult children and 5 grand children. I have lived in the Swanage area for 40 years.


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.  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.  In January 2019 I became a School Hub Business Manager which means that I am also the Business Manager for 3 other CAST schools.

John Wood

After gaining a degree in Mathematics in 1969 I trained as a secondary school teacher in Sheffield and then taught at secondary level for ten of the following 13 years; I was at Cambridge University for the years 1972-75 reading Theology and training for priesthood in the Church of England, for which I was ordained in 1981 in St Edmundsbury Cathedral. I have been a school governor in primary or secondary education for most of the time since I returned to teaching in 1975, in Suffolk, Kent, and then in Swanage where I was Team Rector until 2016, involved with all the local schools and as a foundation governor of St Mark’s. Since retirement I have continued to volunteer at St Mary’s, helping with reading practice, year 6 trips and school productions. Appointed to the Governors at the end of 2020, I am pleased to have the responsibility of SEND lead supporting the vital work of our SEND Co-ordinator Mrs Gray and all school staff in enabling children with special educational needs or disabilities to enrich their lives and achieve their full potential.


page last updated: 21 June 2022