Meet the Governors

Sarah Nolan

sarah nolan

What type of Governor are you?
I am a foundation Governor, appointed by the Diocese to ensure the Catholic ethos of the school is maintained and nurtured. I am currently Chair of Governors.

Why did you choose to be a Governor at OL&SPN?
I care passionately about OL&SPN having had 3 children attend the school. I felt that my experience in management and finance would be able to help steer and steady the school through a potentially tricky transition period. I was previously a parent governor, so had experience of the Governing Body and the challenges ahead.

What do you enjoy about being a Governor?
I enjoy tackling the different challenges that arise, and seeing the positive changes that occur. I enjoy seeing, and being a part of every child achieving. The caring nurturing ethos of the school continually makes be proud to be associated with OL&SPN. I also enjoy being able to bring my commercial business experience into the education system. Networking with other governing bodies and education specialists, also ensures I am continually learning.

Why would you encourage someone to be a Governor?
The Governor role is stimulating and challenging but ultimately very rewarding.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I enjoy my work but I love holidays more!


Barbara Cavanagh

Barbara Cavanagh

What type of Governor are you?
I’m a Foundation Governor, which means I am appointed by the diocese to oversee and ensure the Catholic nature of the school is maintained. It has nothing to do with the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Why did you choose to be a Governor at Our Lady & St. Philip Neri?
I wanted to give something back to the school after my children had benefited from their time here and I was interested to know how the school works.

What do you enjoy about being a Governor?
I am constantly learning.

Why would you encourage someone to be a Governor?
It gives you an idea of what is involved in running a school and how complicated it actually is.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I love tennis.


 Marie Ann Barlow

Marie Ann Barlow

What type of Governor are you?
I am a teacher/staff governor.

Why did you choose to be a Governor at Our Lady & St. Philip Neri?
I was asked to do it and accepted.

What do you enjoy about being a Governor?
The opportunity to help improve children’s education and support the staff by being a part of the decision/ policy making process.

Why would you encourage someone to be a Governor?
It is very rewarding and you learn a lot!

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I have taken part in four marathons. Edinburgh, Brighton, The Clarendon Way and London 2012 (my favourite!). I love running!


Nelly Campbell

Nelly Campbell

What type of Governor are you?
I am a foundation governor which means that I represent the interest of the parish.

Why did you choose to be a Governor at Our Lady & St. Philip Neri?
I am happy to be able to help the children of the parish through the school.

What do you enjoy about being a Governor?
I like being a governor because I feel I can make a difference, as I am a parishioner, a mum and a teacher. I understand how different people who are part of the school community may feel.

Why would you encourage someone to be a Governor?
I would really encourage people to become a governor as it is an excellent way to serve to school, and the children in particular.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I really love reading and when I was a child, I did not always understand why teachers insisted we should read. Growing up, I saw that it was the best way to learn new words. Most importantly I think, it allows you to enter an infinite amount of Subject: worlds, to discover new ideas, to get to know many characters, famous or not, real or fictive, to cry and laugh, to travel in time and space without changing place. It’s so much fun!


Russell Ewens

Russell Ewens

What type of Governor are you?
Local authority governor.

Why did you choose to be a Governor at Our Lady & St. Philip Neri?
I have previously been a governor and chair of governors at another church school and thought I could bring this experience to help a school that I really care about.

What do you enjoy about being a Governor?
Our children’s education depends on good teachers and good schools, and the Christian ethos of the school is important to me as well. This is a great way to make a difference, and to support the Catholic faith community.

Why would you encourage someone to be a Governor?
If you have any relevant experience or expertise, use it to benefit a local community and a new generation of children. Sharing our skills is something we can all do.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
You will occasionally see me playing the guitar in school concerts, services and musical productions, and hear songs that I have hastily written for them, in support of my wife Lesley Ewens who teaches music at the school. My day job is at the Department for Education, and I currently work on school funding.


Father Peter Mansfield

Fr. Peter Mansfield

I became Parish Priest in Sydenham in 2005. I have now been here over ten years, so about a third of my life as a priest has been spent at Our Lady & St. Philip Neri.

Having a Catholic school in the Parish is a wonderful facility for our Catholic families as well as being an important way of involving parents and children in the life of the Church.

I have two roles in connection with the school: The first concerns pastoral care of children and staff as well as leading liturgical services. The second concerns my duties as a foundation Governor.

Half the Governing body are foundation Governors. They represent the Archbishop and there are nine drawn from the two Sydenham parishes.


Edel Stewart

Edel Stewart

What type of Governor are you?
I’m a foundation governor, I’m appointed by the diocese, to ensure the catholic nature of the school is maintained.

Why did you choose to be a Governor at Our Lady & St. Philip Neri?
My Son enjoyed his time at the school and I thought it would be nice to give a little something back.

What do you enjoy about being a Governor?
I enjoy learning about the education system and meeting with interesting people who also want the best education for all the children.

Why would you encourage someone to be a Governor?
It’s a fantastic way to be involved in the community.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I enjoy going to Rock concerts & festivals, West end musicals & Ballet.


Deborah Westrup

Deborah Westrup

What type of Governor are you?
I’m a Parent Governor.  In theory, the parents elect the Parent Governor because a few candidates usually put themselves forward when a post comes up. However, in 2012, when a post did come up, I was the only parent in the whole school that put themselves forward! It was therefore uncontested.

Why did you choose to be a Governor at Our Lady & St. Philip Neri?
My husband encouraged me, as I work (part-time) in Education. I also thought that being a Parent Governor would be a good way to bring a parental perspective to the school governance.

What do you enjoy about being a Governor?
I like learning about the education system and knowing that the Governing Body works hard to do what’s best for the school.

Why would you encourage someone to be a Governor?
It’s a great way of giving something back to the school and you really learn the ins and outs of how a school is run. Schools operate like businesses nowadays.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I used to be a reserve for my University Basketball team, which shocks a lot of people because I’m quite petite – I can definitely shoot hoops though!


Nana Akosua Boateng

Nana Akosua Boateng

When did you become a Governor?
I became a Parent Governor in June 2015 when a vacancy was advertised and a senior member of the teaching staff with whom I had previous dealings with encouraged me to apply.

Why do you became a parent school governor?
I choose to became a Parent Governor because I am passionate about the welfare and education of children. I wanted to support the school in meeting its educational and welfare goals as well as advocate for parents & children by challenging the headteacher & his team to deliver their best with the resouces available to them. As a lawyer and advocate, I felt that my skills stood me in good sted for such a role.

What do you like most about the school?
What I like most about the school is the Christian ethos. I also like the way the teachers and staff work so hard to support the children’s education and welfare. Finally I like the empathic and respectful attitude cultivated by the children and genuinely encouraged by the school.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I am a solicitor with responsibility for advising magistrates and judges on matters of law, practice and procedure. As well as dispensing legal advice in the court room, I am also responsible for keeping an eye on the prosecution and defence lawyers to ensure that they are behaving themselves. I am also responsible for looking after people who cannot afford to appoint lawyers. To succeed at this role, I have developed eyes at the back of my head and in my forehead! I never miss a trick from my seat in the middle of the court room. My role (unlike the other lawyers) is so impartial and multi dimensional that its earned me the nicknames; “The Court Room Referee” & “Devil’s Advocate”.