2023 - 2024
Rob Thomas – Chair of Governors
Having grown up in Caerphilly and attended St Helens School I am very proud to have been a governor here for over 20 years. My 5 Children have all attended the school and are now all thriving in their chosen careers. I enjoy watching sport - rugby and cricket being my favourite and I am an enthusiastic supporter of my teams. I am a Project Manager with over 30 years’ experience in the Railway industry.
Amy Jenner - Vice chair of Governors
I'm thrilled to hold the role as Foundation Governor for St Helen's School. Being a a past pupil and now have a daughter in St Helen's I have a huge passion for this school, and always have done. It was very important for me to continue the Catholic Education for my daughter, whilst giving her the best education she can and feeling safe and happy within the school and parish environment.
I work for Welsh Triathlon the National Governing Body for Triathlon in Wales as Workforce officer which means I lead of the coach education programme and volunteer workforce across Wales. Along side this I am the Safeguarding lead and Equality and Diversity lead.for the organisation, and UK Anti Doping Educator.
My most recent project has seen me be involved in creating a Physical literacy multi-sport course for school teachers to deliver multi-sport sessions in PE time underpinned by Physical Literacy. I hope i am able to use my skill set and experience to help support the Governing body drive the school forward towards the new curriculum.
Outside of work I am a founding member, Chair and coach of Caerphilly Tri-ers triathlon club which has over 140 members. So when i'm not doing the school run, after school clubs or homework, you'll find me usually in the pool, on my bike or running around the streets of Caerphilly.
Sophie Sanchez - Headteacher
I am delighted to be the Headteacher of this wonderful school. St Helen’s is an incredibly unique school with wonderful outdoor provision, high expectations and ample opportunities to develop confidence and teamwork with Christ at the forefront. My vision for education is where children’s well-being and happiness are at the heart of all decision making. As a mother myself, I am passionate about children’s happiness and providing them with opportunities to shine in a variety of arenas.
Ceri Evans - Local Authority Governor
I am a busy working mum of two lovely boys who attend St Helens, and the head of a primary phase in a Caerphilly school. I am passionate about foundation phase pedagody, inclusion, and the new curriculum for Wales. I have a wide experience and knowledge to share with the school and am delighted to be on the schools governors team to support the exciting future of St Helens.
Canon John Kelly - Foundation Governor, Parish Priest
The Catholic School is central to the work and mission of the Parish, and so one of my main responsibilities. As I pointed out to the Archbishop at the 50th Anniversary of the School, Saint Helen is unique among the schools in the Diocese: Whereas most schools were set up by the Diocese as the seed-bed of a new Parish and so predate the parish church, Saint Helen’s School was founded, organised, and formed by the Parishioners, for the education of our children in the faith, to ensure the future of our Parish community.
I recognise being a governor as a duty, and find great help, encouragement, and support from the able and committed team of the Governing Body. With them, I seek to tie the school into the life of the Parish, and bring our children, indeed the whole school, teachers and staff, parents and governors, to grow in the love and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, share in the Communion of his Body and Blood Sunday by Sunday, and so build up the Kingdom of God in Caerphilly and its surrounds.
Kath Jones - Foundation Governor
I’m delighted to support St. Helen’s School as a Foundation Governor. My son was a pupil and it gave him a wonderful start to his education, nurturing his love of learning (and competitive athletics!) and he is now at university. I’ve been part of St. Helen’s Parish since I moved here 30 years ago, I’m part of the CAFOD group and read at Mass.
I work for the NHS as an Occupational Therapist in a Rehabilitation Centre. As well as treating patients my role involves staff recruitment and this has been useful in my role on the Staffing sub committee. I’m also a trustee of a charity I helped to set up which provides equipment and social events for our patients.
Peter Belson – Foundation Governor
I have been a governor at St Helen’s since 1998 – missing Michael Owen’s wonder goal against Argentina because I was attending my 1st governors meeting. All 3 of my children attended St Helen’s and my wife is an LSA at the school. I work in finance and use my knowledge in this area to assist the school in any way that I can.
I always enjoy my visits to the school and have participated in many school events and trips. Outside of work and school commitments I am a keen player of board games and D&D, making Lego Star Wars models and much to my wife and others annoyance listening to very loud music.
Jo Daniels - Teacher Governor
I am proud and privileged to have been a teacher, and the teacher-governor, at St Helen’s since 2008. Being from ‘down West’, it’s testament to how special the school and it’s community are that the daily journey continues to be completely worth it - even now that my baby boy Edison is sharing my world!
As a passionate teacher and governor, I try to ensure a strong connectivity between the governing body and the teaching & learning at St Helen’s. I believe wholeheartedly in providing the children at St. Helens’s with a fun and happy education both indoors and out which provides them with the best possible start in life.
Louise Parry - Parent Governor
As a past pupil, and parent of a child in Reception, I am excited to have been appointed as Parent Governor. I am a secondary school teacher of 23 years and am passionate about making a difference to the lives of all children. During my teaching career I have been involved in both pastoral and academic roles. Currently I am Head of Department for Design & Technology, with my subject specialism being Food. I also held the role of Transition Coordinator for many years, and I thoroughly enjoyed liaising with Cluster Primary Schools.
On a personal note, I am very much family orientated and value being able to spend my time with them. I consider myself to be creative, with my hobbies including cake decorating and singing. I am extremely lucky to have been a pupil myself at St Helen’s, where I learnt many core values and made close friendships that have withstood time. I relish this opportunity, as Parent Governor, to give something back to the school that provided me many happy years in my formative education.
Rachel De Benedictis - Parent Governor
I am proud to be a parent governor at St Helen’s. Both my children currently attend the school which has a wonderful community ethos, therefore I am delighted to offer my support to the governing body.
I am a civil servant with nearly 20 years experience working in Welsh Government. I am currently working in its Education Directorate, focussing on finance, project management and stakeholder engagement.