'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: 18/07/2018

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.

Appointed: 02/07/2019

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. 

Appointed: 01/04/2020

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.

Appointed: 01/09/2019

Term of Office Expiry: 31/08/2023

Martin Lewis - Vice Chair of Governors (Foundation Governor)

My initial involvement in St Edmunds started in October 2011 when I was appointed Acting Deputy Head, a post I held until the following August. My previous governor experience was at Oaklands Catholic School where I served as an Associate Governor for 15 years before I retired from the post of Deputy Head in 2008 after 25 years at the school. In 2012 I firstly became an Associate Governor at St Edmunds then moved to become the Local Authority Governor in 2014 before accepting the role of Foundation Governor in May 2015.  

At present I am the Vice-Chair of the Governing Body, Chair of the Policy, Standards & Assessment Committee and am link governor for Science and Special Education Needs. During my 38 years as a teacher my subject was science, so it is natural I have become involved with this department at St Edmunds. I also have a great interest in all aspects of special education needs having spent many years as the line manager of this department at Oaklands and was delighted to take on this vital area of the curriculum when appointed a governor at St Edmunds. Ensuring all students achieve their potential is important, but those with learning and other difficulties at times need far more support and I see my role as governor in ensuring this is the case.  My other great love is music and I have been involved in all aspects of liturgical music for many years, an experience I very much enjoyed sharing with students and staff when Deputy Head at St Edmunds. I am currently in charge of music at the Sunday evening folk mass at the Sacred Heart church, Waterlooville.    Outside education my interests are gardening (my wife and I look after the gardens at our local community centre), I am president of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in Waterlooville (SVP is a worldwide organisation that aims to help those in need); I also enjoy photography, swimming, cycling and walking, however my greatest interest is rugby, especially when Wales play England!

Appointed: 23/06/2018

Term of Office Expiry: 22/06/2022

Jack Moore (Authority Governor)

I have been a Sports Coach/Teacher for 15 years, working predominantly in football. In which I am the current Sports Academy Manager and Teacher at Portsmouth College. My role has taken me to teach at Primary and Further Education whilst coaching in America, China and Europe. I work closely working with the local community developing sports provisions and promoting inclusion. 

Having a young family, being involved in education is very important to me. I am looking forward to further supporting and developing the academic success of St Edmund's students for years to come.   


Appointed: 13/09/2019

Term of Office Expiry: 12/09/2023

 Rachel O'Reilly (Foundation Governor)

Creative Director of Morph PR and Marketing. I am an experienced marketing manager with extensive experience of partnership working in a range of sectors.   I am delighted that we have such great school in our city for our local children.  Two of my three sons attends St Edmund's and I have seen first hand how committed the staff are to the children's success, both academic and spiritual.

I am passionate about supporting our school family to continue to provide a successful, nurturing and vibrant school and look forward to ensuring both academic and pastoral success for St Edmund's pupils in the coming years.

Appointed: 01/05/2019

Term of Office Expiry: 28/04/2022

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.

 Appointed: 21/10/2019

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.

Appointed:  25/03/2018

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.

Appointed: 25/04/2016

Term of Office Expiry: 24/04/2020

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: 06/11/2017

Term of Office Expiry: 05/11/2021