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The Henry

Governor Profiles


Christine Wilson – Chair 

Chris was originally elected as a Community Governor in 2009 and following reconstitution was co-opted back onto the Governing body. She was Chair of Resources from 2013 -16. She was previously a teacher Governor at another Hampshire school for 8 years.

Chris is the mother of two former pupils who attended The Henry Beaufort School from 1988 to 1995. One is now a senior manager at the Bodleian libraries in Oxford and the other an accounts analyst for a multi-national company. She is a retired science teacher with over 40 years experience in secondary schools in Yorkshire and                              Hampshire.


Sue Hearle – Headteacher

Sue has been the Headteacher at Henry Beaufort for five years. She has worked in a range of secondary school provisions including a secondment to a school in Somerset as the Head of School.

Sue believes education is about the development of the whole child and is committed to the fundamental role that school’s play in the academic and moral education of young people.


John Atherton – Co-opted 

John Atherton attended Henry Beaufort School from 1986 to 1990 before going on to Peter Symonds College and The London School of Economics, where he took a degree in International History.  After qualifying as a chartered accountant with a practice in Southampton, John went on to work in finance roles at two regional tourist boards and since December 2014 he has been Director of Finance and Operations at The Elizabeth Foundation in Portsmouth, which is a charity that supports pre-school deaf children and their parents.


Peter Priest – Co-opted

Peter is a co-opted governor and is also a member of the support staff at Henry Beaufort. He retired from IBM in 2015 after 34 successful years in the IT service industry working globally in numerous technical, managerial and executive roles.  Peter is a former RAF Volunteer Reserve Wing Commander who had, until recently, command and responsibility for 250 volunteer and regular staff plus  1000 Air Cadets in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight.  Married to Sharon, a retired FE  teacher and specialist in MLD in the  post 16 area, he has two daughters one of whom works in marketing and the other is an international financial lawyer. Interests include sailing, a spot of gardening, keeping his old Triumph TR6 on the road, a smattering of photography and attempting to play the ukulele all mixed with a healthy dose of foreign travel.


Michelle Hemming - Co-opted (Vice-Chair)

Michelle joined Henry Beaufort’s Governing Body in April 2017 as a co-opted governor.  She has more than 25 years’ experience in the higher education sector, working at The Open University in a number of management roles.  She currently works for Hampshire County Council supporting school governing boards across the county. 

She believes deeply in equality of educational opportunity and the power of education to change lives.  She is a lifelong learner herself, currently studying languages and linguistics with the Open University. 

Gareth Jones - Co-opted

Gareth is a co-opted governor, appointed in July 2020. He started his career in software engineering for IBM near Winchester, after studying at Southampton University. Gareth is Vice President of Intellectual Property at BenevolentAI, a company sitting at the intersection of technology and drug discovery. He has also held roles at Microsoft and Vodafone, and at tech start-up SwiftKey.


Gareth is keen to use his governor role as an opportunity to give back to the local community. As a parent of 2 children at a local primary school, he is interested in education. Gareth enjoys learning and is looking forward to developing and applying his commercial, strategic, and legal experience to help the school.


Melissa Cavell-Wells - Co-opted (Chair of Resources)

Melissa’s interest in education and Henry Beaufort comes from being a mother of 3. (Pre, Current and post Henry Beaufort students). Her eldest daughter is now in her final year at university. Her son is currently a pupil and her youngest daughter is at Primary level hoping to come here in a few years. Melissa is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant and has worked with various FMCG companies including Mars Inc and now SC Johnson. Melissa has a passion for learning and development and for over 10 years has taught some modules for the AAT accountancy qualification part-time at Basingstoke college of Technology. This has led to her being a safeguarding governor at a primary school, a role that she is happy to revive here. Melissa is chair of the resources committee and is a member of the pay committee. Currently Melissa is working in a continuous improvement, six sigma type role and is always open to new and leaner ways of working. Melissa's term of Office as a Co-opted Governor began in early 2020. She is delighted to work with a great team of specialists to support the school.


Clinton Hadley - Co-opted

Further Information to follow


Ian McLeish - Co-opted 

Ian is an Army Officer, currently responsible for provision of leadership and education programmes to soldiers based across the South East. He has 14 years of military service, focussed on leadership education and training development. In addition, he has worked as a secondary school history and politics teacher, and as a training advisor for a corporate firm.

Until recently he was based at Worthy Down and he now lives locally. He has a particular interest in the school as it serves many military and non-military families in his community. He believes in the power of education to transform lives, and the importance of unlocking everyone’s potential. He is married with young children and his interests include mountain biking, cooking, reading, and running.


Karen Lewis – Staff

Karen is the elected staff Governor, she has been at The Henry Beaufort School for 13 years as Social Inclusion Officer. Karen works with students whose social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are a barrier to their learning, and believes that working with children who often find life such a challenge is both humbling and an honour.

Karen was also the Pastoral Leader for Luxembourg and Praque, and last year temporarily ran the OLC. Her proudest moment came, when along with her colleague, won an award for “Improving Life Chances” at the Hampshire Education awards.

Karen has been married for 43 years and has three children and two grandchildren. She loves entertaining her friends and family and the challenges her job presents on a day to day basis.


Steve Cross - Parent

Steve was elected as a parent governor in Autumn 2017, has a son in Year 10 and a daughter in Year 7. Steve is a Chartered Surveyor and is a Partner at national Property and Construction consultancy, Ridge and Partners, leading a Project Management team in the Winchester office in Winnall, having started his career at Winchester Hospital. Steve is hoping to use his 30 years of development and estates experience, having worked on many education construction projects, to support the school, and is keen to contribute across other areas of the Governor role. Steve enjoys football and most sports, as well as being the lead singer in a local band.


Alison McKenna

Alison McKenna, 54, qualified as a barrister in 1988 and was later also admitted as a solicitor.  After a career spanning the Bar, the Government Legal Service and private practice, she is now a full-time Tribunal Judge. She enjoys her work as a Diversity and Community Relations Judge, often speaking to students about the legal system and careers in law.



James Webster - Parent (Chair of Welfare)

James has two children at Henry Beaufort and younger child at a local primary school, and became a parent governor in 2019. He is an engineer and serving Army Officer with experience in personnel, infrastructure and procurement to apply where helpful, from many years working both in the UK and overseas. Now settled in Winchester, in his spare time he enjoys hill walking, reading and watching rugby with the family.



John Morgan (Chair of Curriculum)

John studied Fine Art at Reading University and began teaching at Brockenhurst College. He moved to Peter Symonds Sixth Form College as Head of Department and later became Vice Principal with responsibilities including curriculum planning, staff development and quality assurance. He was also a part-time inspector of Art & Design for the FEFC during the 1990’s.

John continues to paint and exhibits locally. He also enjoys cycling, reading and gardening.


David Alexander

Davy has a son at Henry Beaufort and volunteered to become a parent governor in 2019.  He is a serving Army officer with experience in personnel and welfare as well as a background in physical and adventurous training.  He has a specific interest in welfare; including SEND and pastoral provision.  In his spare time he volunteers as a cadet instructor, enjoys a variety of adventurous outdoor pursuits and is an avid supporter of Ulster Rugby.


Lionel Jones - Local Authority

Lionel currently works as a project manager for IBM in Hursley, with experience in software support, business development and offering fulfilment, in both national and international roles.

He is a Board member for Winchester City Penguins Swimming Club, which provides services ranging from swimming lessons to national representation, along with community activities and offering opportunities for teenagers to become teachers and coaches.

Lionel is one of the founders of Inspired Living, a local charitable group set up in 2010 which aims to promote healthy living through diet and increased activity. In the past 10 years they have raised over £400,000 for cancer charities, primarily through various long-distance bike rides across Europe.

Lionel's wife, a former teacher, passed away from cancer in 2017 . He has two grown up daughters, one working at the UK Intellectual Property Office, the other in student support at University of Winchester.

Outside of work, Lionel tries to keep fit through cycling, circuit training and running, and he is also trying to develop some gardening capability. In the summer Lionel can also be seen (and heard) driving a 1972 MGB convertible around Harestock and beyond.