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Governor Profiles

Please find below the profiles of some of our Governing Body:

James Rothwell (Chair of Governors)

James Rothwell read Classics at Magdalen College, Oxford and retired in July 2018 after 41 years as a Classics teacher. Latterly he was Senior Master at Marlborough College and then at St Mary's, Calne.

He is a Court member of the Worshipful Company of Dyers, with which St Saviour's has a close connection. He is married with four grown up children and divides his time between Wiltshire (where he governs a local primary school) and London. His interests include Cricket, Rugby and British Political History.

Eilidh Verhoeven

Following university, Eilidh worked as a reporter for Strathclyde education department (Glasgow division) before deciding that teaching was where her future lay. After completing her PGCE(primary),Eilidh taught in Oban, a fishing town in the west of Scotland. After a few years, feeling the need for a fresh  challenge, she went to Nepal with VSO to work as a teacher trainer. 

On her return to the UK, Eilidh worked as an EAL language specialist teacher in Newham, before taking over mathematics and a Y6 class at a large primary school in East Ham.

Moving to South London in 1997, Eilidh taught in Dulwich for seven years as IT coordinator & member of the senior leadership team before moving to Boutcher CE primary as deputy head in 2000 and then took the role of Headteacher seven years ago. She is passionate about improving the lives of all children in the area and very committed to her role as St Saviour’s & St Olave’s Governor.Having experienced first hand the transformational & empowering impact that schools and education make on young people's lives, the role of Governor is one which allows Eilidh to put in  to practice the opportunity of supporting the girls of St Saviour's & St Olave's to flourish and become the leaders of the future. 

Laura Johnson

Laura is a former student of St Saviour’s & St Olave’s and also worked at the school as PA to the Senior Leadership Team when her children were both babies.

 Laura has a varied professional background having worked for HMRC, other Southwark schools and in the music and hospitality industry.  Laura currently works for the National Education Union in their London Regional Office, helping assist members who are encountering difficulties with their employers and assisting in the Union’s campaigns for more funding for schools, assessments, workload and pay.

 Laura is also a parent governor at Charles Dickens Primary School, located in the Borough.

 Laura lives in the local area with her two sons and enjoys the fun activities to be had in the area, especially dining out and socialising.

Maria Beattie

Maria is looking forward to her role as school Governor at St Saviours and joined the governing body as a parent governor in 2017. She is the Deputy Office Manager at the Property Department for the Diocese of Southwark and looks to secure funding and produce funds through letting properties where there is a clergy vacancy.

She has two children, one of whom is currently in her final year at St Saviours and the other in the infants at Cathedral School. She is enthusiastic about fundraising for and safety of the girls at the school and has the utmost respect for what SSSO teachers do. She passionately believes in nurturing relationships between pupils, staff, parents and the wider community to best serve each and every child in the school.

Martin Hodgson

Martin who was born and brought up near Glasgow now splits his  time between Yorkshire, where his family are based, and London where he lives within 1 mile of St Saviour's & St Olave's School. Martin is married and has 2 children aged 15 and 17 who attend a Quaker school in York. Martin is a chartered accountant and is a partner with  PwC who employ several thousand people within Southwark. Martin has a Masters degree from Glasgow University in Economics and Economic History. Outside of work and family, interests include running, sport as a spectator, cooking, travel and history.

Natalie Usher (Vice Chair of Governors)

Natalie Usher is a Film & TV lawyer with more than twenty years’ experience working with commercial and public sector clients. Natalie was the UK Film Council’s in‑house legal advisor to the New Cinema Fund, the production fund dedicated to innovative approaches to filmmaking and the development of new talent. She moved from there to Lee & Thompson LLP, one of the UK’s leading Media and Entertainment law firms, where she was a partner in the Film and TV Group for eight years specialising in financing, production and distribution. Moving to Edinburgh in 2014, she was Director of Screen at Creative Scotland, with responsibility for leading public support for Scotland’s Film & TV industry. She left in March 2018 to become an independent Film & TV consultant based between Edinburgh and London.

Natalie is also Vice-Chair of the Board of the Scottish Documentary Institute, based at the Edinburgh College of Art ( and an Ambassador for GMAC Film, a development and training organisation for new and emerging filmmakers in Glasgow (

Stephen Parry

Stephen graduated through the University of Life by entering the City post his 'A' levels. He progressed through the ranks to become a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers where he managed and built a variety of trading and investment businesses, while also spending several years in New York. He subsequently moved to Nomura, after Lehman's demise, to manage their proprietary trading business. He then took some time out from work to literally 'spend more time with the family' which comprises his wife Lucy and three children. He currently works as an Investment manager at a Hedge Fund in the West End.


Stephen has historical, one step removed, connections with the foundation schools as his wife and her mother both attended St Saviour's. His father also attended St Olave's while on it's previous Tooley Street site.


Stephen is additionally a Trustee of the St Olave's and St Saviour's Schools Foundation, as Dulwich Estate's representative. Outside of these activities he enjoys golf, sailing and walking and warmly embraces general socialising!


Father Jonathan Sedgwick

Jonathan has been the Rector of St George the Martyr Church in Borough since 2014 and has been ordained for over 25 years serving mainly in the Southwark Diocese.  For much of that time he was a self-supporting priest and so also worked as a civil servant at the Home Office on a range of issues and was Principal Private Secretary to the Home Secretary from 2001 to 2004.  


Jonathan is a member of Diocesan Synod and has served as a Diocesan Trustee.  He chairs the local ecumenical group South Bank Churches and assists in the training of curates.

He lived and worked in Ghana in 1985/86 and has recently renewed links with that country by supporting one of the Anglican Dioceses there and returning to lead a clergy conference.

He is in a civil partnership with Alistair and in odd moments of free time enjoys walking, running, opera, music, the theatre and travel.


Rob Thomas

Rob grew up in Devon and moved to London to study an Economics Degree at Brunel University. After graduation he began his career in the city where he now has over 15 years experience in Financial Services, predominantly in risk management, product management and consulting. He currently works as an Executive Director at Coutts & Co. who are partnered with St Saviours and help support the school through open days, teacher and pupil mentoring and other activities.


Rob lives in Epsom, Surrey and is married with 2 children; a daughter who is in Year 1, and a son who goes part time to nursery. Rob is a volunteer for the Princes Trust and Coram and supports various charities through fundraising. His hobbies include golf, running and windsurfing.


Cherish Bere


Cherish is the Head of Religious Studies at St Saviour’s and St Olave’s. Prior to this she was an Assistant Head of Year and Teacher of Social Sciences at Beths Grammar School, Bexley. She is an Associate Fellow of Kings College London and holds a Masters in Education Management. Cherish is passionate about effective teaching and learning and before completing her PGCE at Kings College London she studied Theology and Religious Studies at York St John University.


Cherish is also the Co-Founder of Effective Education Africa a charity that works to support the provision of girls’ education in sub Saharan Africa particularly her home country Zimbabwe. In her spare time Cherish enjoys cooking, reading and travelling.


Sue Long

Sue had a very happy career as a teacher for 39 years. She began teaching in 1974 and, with the exception of one year, when she moved to Lambeth, she has always taught in Southwark schools. Sue grew up in Peckham and went to school in Camberwell. She taught at St Saviour's and St Olave's for 27 years and was deputy head for 23 of those years. She is proud to say that she was deputy to three of the six heads that St Saviour's has had in its 117 year history! Sue retired in 2013 but SSSO has always remained close to her heart. She moved to West Sussex in 2014 and has enjoyed being in a more rural area whilst regularly hopping on the train to London for retail therapy and catching up with friends! Also in 2014 she was appointed by Woodard to the Academy Council of an academy in Maidstone, becoming the vice-chair a while later. She is safeguarding lead for the Council. Sue has two daughters and six grandchildren who keep her busy. Sue feels very privileged to be a governor at St Saviour's and St Olave's and is greatly looking forward to the role.


Tim McNally

Tim McNally grew up on Dartmoor in Devon and came to London to study Computing and now runs an ICT consultancy. Tim was formerly a local councillor for the ward in which the school is located and he is now an Alderman of Southwark and Vice-Chairman of the National Liberal Club. Tim is a Freeman of the City of London, and is a Liveryman on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers.

Tim is involved with seven charities – he is Chair of the Newcomen Collett Educational Foundation and Chair of the St George the Martyr Charity, as well as being a Trustee of the Wakefield and Tetley Trust and of Southwark United Charities. Tim is Treasurer and is a PCC member of St James church in Bermondsey, which is where he lives.