Emsworth Primary School

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Meet the Governors

Role of the Governing Body 

The Governing Body of a school is akin to the board of directors of a company. It provides leadership at a strategic level, acting as a “critical friend” to the headteacher who is responsible and accountable to it for the operational day-to-day running of the school. The Governing Body has three core functions:

  • Setting the vision and strategic direction of the school
  • Holding the headteacher to account for its educational performance
  • Ensuring financial resources are well spent

The Governing Body is accountable to Ofsted for its effectiveness, and consists of members elected from/by parents and staff, members appointed by the Local Authority and members appointed from the local community.

The Governors 

Steve Leniston: Chair 

Steve is 64 years old, married, and moved to Emsworth when he retired as a British Airways pilot in 2005. He has two grown up daughters, and was a parent governor at their middle school in the 1990's, including four years as Chair. After moving to Emsworth, Steve wanted to get involved with the local community, and a request for governors at Emsworth Primary School seemed to fit the bill. He has now been a governor here for eight years. Steve’s leisure interests include sailing, tennis and golf; he has also taken on an allotment, so plenty of fresh air and exercise! 


Sandy Keefe: Vice Chair

Sandy has lived in Emsworth with her family for over 30 years. Having now retired from a 30 year career in education, latterly as a head teacher and a Local Authority School Improvement Manager, she now spends time doing the things she has had little time to do when working full time. However, her interest in all things educational and passion for learning continues. She is delighted to represent the community on the governing body of Emsworth Primary and hopes that her experience and knowledge of the education system complements the skills and expertise of the rest of the governing body. Above all, she wants the children who attend this rapidly improving school community to have the best start in life and to be able to look at their primary school years with pride. 


Simon O'Hea: Co-opted Governor 


Simon has lived in Emsworth since 1992. He is interested in giving children the best possible start in life and also in giving something back to the Community. That’s why he is delighted to be serving as a Governor of the School. Up to his recent semi- retirement Simon had been working in the communications and marketing fields for a local company and as a German to English translator. His interests include singing, cycling and sailing.


Graham Fishwick: Parent Governor

Graham is married and has 2 children who are both at Emsworth Primary School who are both thoroughly enjoying it and thriving. A recent joiner to the Governors, Graham decided to become a member so that he could be involved in the school and help in some way. He is a qualified Financial Adviser currently studying to become chartered level and has lived in Emsworth for the past 5 years or so. When not working, Graham spends his time studying, running and spending time with his family, including a very energetic spaniel called Freddy.


Paul Curtis: Co-opted Governor




Paul is a retired solicitor, married with two children and four grandchildren, and has lived in Emsworth and area for over thirty years.

He is delighted to be a Co-opted Governor and in a small way help the School provide children with education and a learning experience that is the best it can be.



Cathy Faulkner: Parent Governor

Cathy has had children at Emsworth Primary School for the past 10 years, and has been a parent governor for 9 years. She is currently working part time for the Civil Service. In a previous existence before children she worked in Germany translating, and more locally for a medical rescue company arranging medical repatriations for holidaymakers. During her time as governor Cathy has had responsibility for Health and Safety, Safer Recruitment and Safeguarding. When not working or acting as a taxi service for her children, she enjoys swimming, country walks, reading and playing the piano. 


Eloise Dodgson: Parent Governor

Eloise has been a parent governor at EPS for 8 years and has a daughter in Year 5 and a son at senior school – both have loved being at EPS! She chose the school because of its inclusive nature and happy, caring environment and has seen it go from strength to strength. Her work history includes housing, personnel and teaching aerobics. Since having children Eloise embarked on a full time course at Portsmouth University and gained a first class honours degree and masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She is a volunteer puppy socialiser for Hearing Dogs which the family really enjoy. Passions are travelling, walking and live bands. 


Manisha Cox: Parent Governor 

Manisha is keen to play an active role in supporting the school in its drive to continually improve upon its already good status. She wants to make a positive contribution to the school and every child’s education. Manisha is entering her tenth year as a registered nurse and hopes to enrol in a Masters degree to become a specialist nurse practitioner. She has previously volunteered in the community, supporting breastfeeding mothers. Manisha is married with two children (Sofia and Beaux) and her daughter has recently started at EPS and is thoroughly enjoying it. Hobbies and interests include learning Spanish with her children, baking birthday cakes, and when time allows she loves to sew and make clothing for her children. 

 Kenneth Street: Co-opted Governor



I joined, what was then Hampshire Ambulance Service, in 2000 and have worked as a Paramedic since 2002. I have held a variety of roles in that time which have allowed me to work in both the local Hospital Trusts as well as within the community as a Specialist Paramedic. I still retain a Bank contract with the ambulance service which enables me to continue to work locally. Since 2012 my full time role has been as an educator and Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, teaching the next generation of Paramedics.  

My career in higher education has given me a number of transferable skills that will enable me to work effectively as a Governor. I am familiar with quality assurance procedures, curriculum design and delivery and statutory requirements. I have a role with the statutory health regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council, which regulates over 366,000 health professionals from a variety of professions. My work with the regulator ensures that I have contemporary knowledge of all the relevant educational statutory requirements as well as providing oversight and scrutiny of other Higher Education Institutions. I work closely with the College of Paramedics, the professional body for the paramedic profession, including holding a position on the College’s Educational Advisory Committee which develops the curriculum for both the undergraduate paramedic degrees as well as the various post graduate pathways.  

Personally, my motivation for undertaking the role of Governor is that it will allow me to play a wider part within the school community and to serve all the children who attend the school and represent the parents of those children who have just as much a vested interest in the quality of the school as I have, but don’t necessarily have the forum of being a Governor. It’s key that the Board of Governors is representative of the community it serves and as a member of a busy family unit trying to juggle full time work and caring duties with the demands of full time education I understand the challenges that parents face and I am passionate about being a voice for all who may well face similar daily challenges.  

Outside of work my interests include being a father to two adult children and carer for Ronnie, a year 1 pupil, supporting Southampton FC (don’t judge me), reading, walking, occasional cycling and regular training at a local boxing gym.  

 Claire Johnson: Parent Governor

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Claire joined as a parent governor when her daughter joined the school in Year R. Claire is keen to understand the workings of primary school education and to hopefully give something back to the school as a whole by fulling the strategic role of the governing body. Claire also enjoys helping in the classrooms and assisting on school visits when work allows. Having worked with Autistic children and children with behavioural problems in the past Claire is particularly interested in the provision for disadvantaged children.