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.
Term of Office Expiry: 17/07/2022
Helena Clarke (Foundation Governor)
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 Foundation 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 attend 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 Foundation Governor at St Edmund’s.
Term of Office Expiry: 01/07/2023
Carolyn Stevenson (Staff Governor)
I am proud to have grown up in Portsmouth, I have a passion for my city and support the education and aspiration of pupils here. I hope as a school governor I can support the vision and ethos of St Edmund’s Catholic School promoting the best outcomes for the pupils and staff. My eldest daughter attended St Edmund’s and had a very positive experience.
I attended Oaklands R.C. School and then Havant College. I gained a BA Hons Degree in Music at University Of Chichester in 2001 and an MA in Education in 2009. In 2002, I completed a PGCE in Secondary Music Teaching through University Of Sussex.
I started my career as Music Teacher at Springfield School in Portsmouth in 2002, later taking on an Assistant Head of Year Role. I have been in my current post as Head of Music at St Edmund’s Catholic school for 6 years. I work closely with organisations in Portsmouth to provide musical opportunities for pupils in all schools. I run a local community choir based in Southsea.
Term of Office Expiry: 31/03/2024
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 two kids currently attending St. Edmund's, and looking forward to the third joining soon. 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.
Term of Office Expiry: 31/08/2023
Fr Emmanuel Rinda (Foundation Governor)
Fr. Rinda Emmanuel Bamuh are my names. I am a priest for the Archdiocese of Bamenda, Cameroon, found in Central and West Africa. Was ordained a priest on May 29th, 2014. Thereafter, I was sent to one of the parishes of the diocese (St. Paul Parish Benakuma). There, I served the first two years as assisting priest and Manager of eight primary schools and the next two years as parish priest and Dean of Wum deanery. After four years of service in Bamenda, I was asked to come over to England for studies at the University of Southampton where I did a master’s course on Education Management and Leadership, which I just finished on Friday 13th September 2019 by submitting my dissertation. While in England, my first parish was St. Joseph Parish Basingstoke. At the close of my stay there, the Bishop asked me to come over to the Cathedral to be an assistant priest.
Assisting at the Cathedral, I also assist the Chaplain of St. Edmund’s secondary school and come into the school every Thursday and participate in their Religious Study classes. I was also assigned by the Bishop as one of the Foundation Governors of St. Edmund’s secondary school. I am delighted to take up this office to learn and to be a critical friend to this beautiful and outstanding school.
Term of Office Expiry: 20/10/2023
Rita Waight (Parent Governor)
I have been a School Governor for 27 years, at 2 schools, with 21 of those years being at St Edmund's. My 2 daughters attended the school, had a very good education, and have gone on to successful careers.
I became a governor to support the schools my daughters attended and help implement the many changes in Education policy that have been made over the years.
I am a member of various committees and Chair of the Policy and Strategy committee. My responsibilities are Vocational Education and Training.
I work part-time in Retail which gives me the opportunity to visit during school hours.
Term of Office Expiry: 24/03/2022
Sophie Venables (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 eldest two of whom are at St Edmund's and the others attend St Swithun's School. 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.
Term of Office Expiry: 24/01/2024
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.
Term of Office Expiry: 05/11/2021