'I can do all things with the help of God who strengthens me.' Philippians (4:13)

Governors Profiles

David Knight MBE - Chair of Governors
Foundation Governor

  I qualified as a teacher (of English and Physical Education), working in a Secondary school in Liverpool. During this period, I developed a passion for the " education of the whole person", striving to ensure that each student fulfilled their potential.

Transferring my career to Local Government, I worked in the Sport and Leisure sector for some 21 years, finishing as Director of Leisure and Culture with Portsmouth City Council. During this service in the public sector I gained a number of skills which, I believe, enables me to contribute to the varied duties of a Governor : financial and commercial, marketing and communications, human resources and project management skills.

My youngest daughter attended St Edmund's and was exceedingly happy and successful here.

I was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Honours list in 2016.

Appointed: 18/07/2022

Term of Office Expiry: 17/07/2026

 Sophie Venables - Vice-Chair of Governors
Parent Governor

I have worked in education for 20 years at middle and senior secondary school leadership and I now have a role as a Teaching School Director.

I have four children, the youngest two of whom are at St Edmund's. I have always been interested in supporting my children's schools and have been an active member of St Swithun's PTA for 10 years - I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves and join in!

I particularly enjoy working as a Parent Governor at St Edmund's as it allows me to use my experience as a parent as well as my professional expertise in a different way.

I hope to support St Edmund's at this exciting time in the school's development and also wish to enhance my own understanding of Catholic secondary education to better support the school in the future.

Appointed: 07/02/2024

Term of Office Expiry: 06/02/2028

Simon Graham - Headteacher
Staff/Headteacher Governor

Appointed: 01/09/2011

Omotola Adeojo
Parent Governor

Born in  Nigeria, I am happily married with 3 wonderful boys. A qualified Nurse with over 30 Years in active service.

Served in a number different nations before settling finally in England in 2002.

I am currently working for Hampshire County Council as a Practice development Nurse, a member of Joint Corporate Governance of HCC and a Safety Representative with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

I am a Christian, ordained minister, worshipping and serving in a prayer unit and teaching children in a class of the Redeemed Christian Church of God at the Discipleship Centre here in Portsmouth.

I am a trained Christian mentor, passionate in promoting and supporting children’s wellbeing to attain their maximum potential, academically, spiritually, socially and emotionally.

I also support and engage in a campaign for a national charity known as “Blood Pressure UK” especially in their annual promotion known as “Know Your Numbers”, helping the community to stay healthy and increase awareness around hazards and prevention of high blood pressure. Working collaboratively with GP practices during the events to effect a positive change in the lifestyle of the people of Portsmouth.

  Appointed: 18/09/2020

Term of Office Expiry: 17/09/2024

Susy Carvalho
Foundation Governor

I was appointed as Foundation Governor by the Bishop in July 2022, with the primary objective of ensuring that all pupils receive the best possible education, in addition to preserving the Catholic vision and ethos of the school.

My eldest two children currently attends St Edmund’s, whilst my younger child attends St Swithun’s Primary school: both schools providing excellent academic, and spiritual care.

I have a degree in Economics and a Management Diploma in Business Administration. I’ve worked in various management, accounting, finance, and investments-related roles over the past 20 years for Multi-National Corporations.  This means I have a sound understanding of business management, financial oversight, and driving strategic objectives to implementation.

I am very much looking forward to this new role and working alongside the experienced governing board of St Edmund’s, which will undoubtedly serve as a wonderful learning experience.

Appointed: 23/07/2022

Term of Office Expiry: 22/07/2026

Helena Clarke
Associate Member

I have taught in the 11-18 sector since 2002 across a number of schools and sixth form colleges and currently hold the role of Director of Support for Learning at Woking Sixth Form College.

From my current position in 16-19 education, I am well placed to bring a college perspective into my role as Associate Governor at St Edmund’s along with an insight into the expectations on our students once they leave our school.

I have 2 children who both attended St Edmund’s and have been very well served by the fantastic academic education and supportive pastoral care provided by our excellent school.

I am passionate about the importance of Catholic education and believe it builds a secure foundation in young people. 

Although I no longer work in a Catholic school, I have continued to be involved in the wider Catholic education environment through my role leading Children’s Liturgy in my parish of Corpus Christi and St Joseph’s and am looking forward to expanding my contribution to Catholic Education through my role as Associate Governor at St Edmund’s.

Appointed: 06/12/2023

Term of Office Expiry: 05/12/2027

Jacob Hoare
Foundation Governor

I have worked in business since 2005, both inside and outside the local area. I am particularly interested in renewable energy, recycling and waste management, with a focus on new technologies.

I am a director of several companies that operate in a range of industries, from recruitment to recycling and transport to property development. I am involved in raising money for specialist projects through angel investors, venture finance, private equity alongside more traditional commercial finance.

I enjoy the entrepreneurial world, particularly problem solving, meeting new and interesting people and growing businesses in a crowded and fast paced industry. I like the challenge of looking at new technologies and trying to identify those that could help solve the issues we are facing both today and in the future.

Over 17 years I have developed a range of skills such as project management, problem solving, human resources and financial development that will help me support St Edmund’s in getting the best for pupils and staff.

Alongside my work I have 3 young children, am co-chair (lay) of The Closer to Christ Campaign and I am studying part time with Oxford University for an MBA.

Appointed: 29/05/2022

Term of Office Expiry: 28/05/2026

 Chidubem Ikeatuegwu
Foundation Governor

Born in Nigeria, I originally qualified as a mechanical engineer. Over the years I rose to manage a number of engineering projects, and along the way gradually fell in love with management. As a result I returned to the University for a formal degree in management, graduating with a master's degree in project management. I went further and completed a PhD in 'Business Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship' at the University of Portsmouth. I now teach the same subject at the University of Southampton. Now settling into a career in teaching I very recently started pursuing another degree in Education at the same University that I teach.

I have one child who currently attends St. Edmund's.  My family are regular at St. John's Cathedral and we always look forward to the 10:00 Sunday service and its liturgical music that mirrors the African liturgical music I grew up with. Besides my love for liturgical music, I also clap for Arsenal, I watch a lot of football, and I do a lot of athletics, usually on the roads and at parks; yet I have never ran a marathon!

Although I have spent considerable time sitting and listening in classrooms and have previously at various times been involved in teaching on part-time basis, I consider myself 'young' in the field of education, yet I am very excited at combining my management knowledge and experience with being a Foundation Governor. I see it a privilege being given a chance to contribute to Catholic education and the future of our children, and I look forward to a whole new experience.

Appointed: 01/09/2023

Term of Office Expiry: 31/08/27

Fr Paul Nwune
Foundation Governor

I was born in Nigeria. I came to the UK as an undergraduate student. I studied Philosophy in Birmingham. I gained my master’s degree in theology at St Mary’s University Twickenham London. As a student, I worked at Barnet hospital in London.

In 2015, I was accepted by the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth for priestly formation. I spent six years in seminary formation at St John’s Seminary Wonersh in Guildford.

At the end of my seminary formation, I was ordained a priest by Bishop Philip in 2021. After my ordination, my first appointment was to become an assistant priest in Jersey Channel Islands. In 2023, I was appointed to St John’s Cathedral to work as an assistant priest at the Cathedral. On arriving at the Cathedral, I was asked to become a Foundation Governor at St Edmund's Secondary School. It is a great privilege for me to learn more about Catholic education, and to work with the staff and students of St Edmund's, and to provide spiritual care and support for the school.  

Appointed: 01/09/2023

Term of Office Expiry: 31/08/2027

Ian White
Staff Governor

I joined the Army at 16 in the Corp of the Royal Engineers, after leaving the Army I found it very difficult to settle into a regular Job, doing the same thing day in day out was a real struggle as I like to keep my mind active with varying tasks and the Army delivered that in abundance.

When the opportunity came up to manage IT in a school I jumped at it, no two days are the same and every day presents a new challenge, and still does... 19 Years later!

I get the opportunity to interact with the future generations of young people, hoping that I can make a positive impact on their lives as they move to become productive members of society.

I have a long family connection to St Edmund’s, my mum went to the original school when it was at the Cathedral, all of my family and siblings have been to St Edmund’s as well as my three children. You could argue that if I were to work in any school, destiny brought me back to St Edmund’s!

Appointed: 13/01/2023

Term of Office Expiry: 13/01/2027

Chris Whitfield
Foundation Governor

I was delighted to have been appointed as a Foundation Governor at St Edmund’s Catholic School, Portsmouth in November 2017.

I have over 40 years’ experience in education, starting first as a teacher of Modern Languages, then Head of Department, Head of Year, Deputy Head and, finally, Headteacher of Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville for nearly 23 years. During my final few years  at Oaklands I was also an Ofsted inspector.

In 2007 I was awarded a Papal Knighthood (Knight of St Gregory : KSG) by Pope Benedict for services to Catholic Education.

In 2010, following 3 years as Principal of an international School in Thailand, I was asked by Bishop Crispian to look after St Edmund’s as Acting Head for a year to help the school through a difficult period. This was a very rewarding experience which allowed me to build up strong professional links with the school community and the present head, Simon Graham.

I now look forward to using my experience and skills in working with the Head to ensure that St Edmund’s continues to prosper and remains the outstanding school that it is today.

Appointed: 06/11/2021

Term of Office Expiry: 05/11/2025

 Dr Malcolm Whitworth
L.A. Governor

 I was very pleased to have been appointed as a Governor at St. Edmund's Catholic School in October 2020.

I am a lecturer in Engineering Geology at the University of Portsmouth, where I have been teaching for 21 years. This has given me extensive experience in managing research projects, delivering teaching and an awareness of students’ academic and pastoral needs.

I am a firm believer in the importance of good quality education at all levels and that all children should have the very best opportunities.

I am new to the role and I am already enjoying working as part of a team on the Governing Body, getting to know the school and supporting the Head, staff and pupils.

I have two children who attend the school so can contribute from a parent’s perspective as well as acting as the Local Authority Governor on the Governing Body.

It is an honour to be able to contribute to such a caring school community, which provides an outstanding spiritual and academic education.

Appointed: 22/10/2020

Term of Office Expiry: 21/10/2024