Meet our Governing Body

Mrs Jean Cheesbrough 

Chair of Governors/Foundation Governor



Ms Sandra Forster

Foundation Governor

Canon Frank Moran

Foundation Governor/ Safeguarding Governor

Mrs Rachel Laidlaw

Foundation Governor

Mr Chris Wells

Foundation Governor

Mrs Christina Wells

Vice Chair of Governors/Foundation Governor

Mrs Kelly Taylor

Parent Governor


Parent Governor

Dr Alan Norley

Co-opted Governor

Mrs Megan Underhill

Staff Governor

Mrs Sara Wakefield


Mrs Lauren Flain

Associate Member

Mr Phil Barham

Clerk to the Governors

A little bit about who we are:

Jean Cheesbrough

Jean has lived on the Island her entire life, working for over 15 years in industry, including positions in management and human resources at Natwest Bank and Abbott Laboratories. Jean has two sons, both of whom went to St Edward's.

She re-trained as a teacher in 1990 and began a successful career at Minster College where she stayed until 2004. She went on to lead successful faculties at St John Fisher Catholic School, Chatham and Highsted Grammar School for Girls, Sittingbourne.

A committed Catholic, Jean plays an active role in parish life, and was excited by the opportunity to sit on the board of governors for St Edward's, where she is currently the Chair.

Declaration of Business Interests: None declared


Alan Norley

Alan has been a governor of St Edward’s RC Primary School for 4 years. He has worked extensively in school leadership, teacher education and development, quality assurance/inspection, education leadership development, strategic planning and capacity building of educational establishments, (and more latterly systems) for over 40 years.

He was appointed as a National Leader of Governance for the National College for Teaching & Leadership in January 2013 and also works with Kent Local Authority as a Local Leader of Governance and governor trainer, helping to support and develop governors and school leaders.

He runs his own education consultancy company working with Local Authorities and schools locally and with Governments and Development Agencies abroad. He began international education work in 1990 and that work has currently taken him to more than 26 countries worldwide.

In addition to being a governor at St Edward’s, he is involved in the governance of 5 primary schools, and a Special School. He is a Chair Trustee and Founding Director of CARE Foundation Trust of 10 primary schools and is the Chair/Coordinator of the CARE collaborative group of 15 primary schools.

Declaration of Business Interests: Alan's own education consultancy company.


Rachel Laidlaw

My name is Rachel Laidlaw and I am married with two children who both attend St Edwards. As an islander I grew up on Sheppey (I also attended St Edwards!) so I have strong links to the school, parish and the local community. I initially became a parent governor in February 2014 but later that year changed to a Foundation governor.

My roles in the governing body have included having a responsibility for the early years foundation stage (Year R). RE and the training and development of the governors. I became a governor because I wanted to be involved in driving the school forward whilst maintaining the friendly caring environment that the school has. I have strong views that all children have a right to a good, sound education and that this education should take place within an environment that is nurturing, and one that values all individuals, so that children’s needs are supported not just academically but physically, socially and psychologically too.

It is no surprise then that my background is based around Psychology. I have been involved in Research (which I have a great passion for), Health, Educational and Clinical Psychology. I have worked with adults with learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, challenging behaviours, brain damage and rehabilitation, and in Mental Health Services.

Declaration of Business Interests: None declared


Sara Wakefield

Sara starting teaching in 1990 and spent her next 21 years teaching or advising on teaching in London. Sara worked for Lewisham and Westminster as a school improvement advisor, with a particular interest in how mathematics is taught and learnt in schools, before training as an Ofsted inspector. She has also led on a pilot called the Making Good Progress for the Department of Education.

Sara achieved the National Professional Qualification of Headship and became a Headteacher in Hythe in Kent in January 2011. She is delighted to have joined the St Edward's team in 2017 as their Headteacher.

Declaration of Business Interests: None declared


Megan Underhill

Megan has been teaching for 12 years at St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Whitstable and has been seconded to St Edward's as the Assistant Head and Year 6 teacher. Megan is new to governance.

Declaration of Business Interests: None declared


Christopher Wells

This is my second time as a Governor of St Edward’s as I was a Governor some thirty years ago. My area of expertise is the same now as then, Finance.
In the Parish, I am a member of The Knights of St Columba, where I have held the position of Treasurer for the last twenty five years. I am an active member of our Church and manage the parish Gift Aid Scheme.

My children attended both St Edward’s and St John Fisher in Chatham; I am proud to be associated with the school once again in the role of Foundation Governor.

I retired in December 2017, having spent a lifetime working in Finance. I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management and have papers published. I am now Chairman of the Rochester Pickwick Club and play an active role in the twice yearly Rochester Dickens Festival. I am a keen fundraiser and I do my best to support other organisations in the Parish and in the local community to raise funds.

Declaration of Business Interests: None declared


Christina Wells

I have been a Foundation Governor for just one year, however, my association with St. Edward’s goes back many years. All five of our children attended St Edward’s, as did many of our nieces and nephews. We remember it to be a very good school where our children thrived and were happy.
I have a spent the last thirty years in education, retiring in 2016 as Principal and CEO of West Heath School in Sevenoaks. My specialism is Special Educational Needs (SEN).

I am delighted to be part of the Governing body team and I am keen to see St Edward’s return to being a Good / Outstanding School.

I am also a Trustee of the Inspiring Leadership Trust, which is a charity supporting vulnerable young women around the world.

In my spare time I am an ardent Dickens fan, and can be seen walking the streets of Rochester during the Dickens Festival in full Dickensian costume. I am blessed with nine grandchildren who keep me busy and in touch with the thoughts and feelings of today’s younger generation.

Declaration of Business Interests: None declared

Mrs Cheesbrough, Chair of Governors, can be contacted via the school office. 

Terms of Reference, Constitution and Membership 2016/2017

Governing Body Information - Attendance & Terms of Office

Coming soon 

  • Governor Register of Interests and Responsibilities
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