The Governing Body of Cornerstone Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School consists of fourteen governors: two parent governors, one local authority governor, one staff governor, the head-teacher, one co-opted governor and eight foundation governors. In addition, associate members can be appointed. The Instrument of Government can be found here: Instrument of Government Cornerstone Church of England VA Primary School The usual term of office is four years, with the exception of the head-teacher and the principal officiating minister who is the ex-officio governor.


Co-Opted Governors

Co-opted Governors are appointed by the Full Governing Body.

Sue Dawson (Vice-Chair of Governors)

Picture Sue Dawson Committee Membership: School Improvement; Responsibilities: Vice-Chair of Governors; Chair of School Improvement committee; Curriculum; Safeguarding / Child Protection / E-Safety; Term of Office ends: 04/10/2022

I joined Cornerstone’s governing body when the school opened in September 2013, having been involved with the temporary governance since February that year.   The children are at the heart of everything we do and I have a particular interest in their engagement with sport, the arts and music. I have been involved in school governance for 12 years including at Brookfield Community School and Sarisbury Infant School.  I am a Royal National Lifeboat Institution governor and an affiliate of ICSA, the Governance Institute. I have worked at the Foreign Office and in television production where I travelled on assignments throughout the UK and on location abroad.   I am now in business locally with my husband and we have three adult children.  Our company has grown to become the leading supplier of high performance materials and accessories for the marine and leisure industries and there have been similarities with supporting the growth of this wonderful new school which opened with just 27 children in two classes.  In a voluntary capacity, I have been a school librarian, a counsellor and a membership ambassador for the Imperial War Museum for which I am now an honorary life member. A former judo player, county tennis player and junior England territories lacrosse player, for many years I competed in senior club squash and tennis but now sail, play golf and ski.   I have a keen interest in gardening, social history, photography and music.

Foundation Governors

Foundation Governors are appointed by the Portsmouth Diocesan Board of Education (Church of England) after consultation with the Church Council of  Whiteley Conventional District.

Femi Adeniran

Committee Membership: School Improvement Term of Office ends: 05/01/2024

After finishing a degree at Kings College London in 2006 I moved to Southampton and began a career as a maths teacher at an inner city school. Since then I have worked in a variety of schools in a variety of roles and am now head of mathematics at an independent school in Sussex called Seaford College. I have a deep interest in education and follow the activities of various schools online.

Married to Reverend Amy Adeniran  we moved to Whitely with our daughter in 2018 and we now have son as well. My interests are watching and reading about rugby and studying French. I began studying the language in 2013 and by using a combination of various methods (including living in France for several months) I have achieved an A grade in AS French and reached a level of conversational fluency.

Rev Sandy Matheson

Picture Sandy Matheson Committee Membership: New Build; Resources, Pay & Personnel; Responsibilities: Chair of the New Build Committee; RE / Collective Worship; Term of Office ends: 13/10/2021 I moved to Sarisbury Green in 2003 when I became the vicar of St Paul’s. I have been a governor in four schools over the past 14 years. Before becoming a vicar, I worked in Sales and Sales Management in IT and Telephony. This provided opportunities to develop skills in sales, marketing, personnel and finance. I am also a foundation governor at Sarisbury CofE Junior School.

Rev Philippa Mills

Philippa photo Committee Membership: New Build; School Improvement; Responsibilities: English; RE / Collective Worship; Year 1 Link Governor; Term of Office ends: Ex Officio

I was licensed as Vicar of Whiteley in August 2013 having been Interim Minister here since November 2012.  Before that I was the Assistant Curate at St Mary Hook with Warsash where I was a Foundation Governor for the C of E (Controlled) Primary School.  I have been involved with Cornerstone C of E Primary School from the beginning: initially as a Foundation Governor on the temporary governing body and now as the local Vicar.  I am in school at least once a week, leading collective worship on Thursdays and sometimes visiting on other days. I love living and working in Whiteley and I am excited by the opportunities here for what the C of E calls ‘Pioneer Ministry’ : connecting faith and contemporary culture.   I am married to Tom and we have a son at the University of York and a daughter at Barton Peveril College in Eastleigh.   My background is as a maths graduate, first working as an officer in the Royal Navy involved in training and then, at the end of my 8 year commission, studying to become a secondary maths teacher. After having my children I trained as a Reader (lay minister) and was very involved in the parishes of Botley, Curdridge and Durley before training for ordination. In my spare time I relax by singing in a community choir and, when I get the chance, reading, and going to the cinema or theatre.   I also enjoy cooking and sharing meals with friends and family. In all areas of life I’m passionate about the importance of good listening.

Tom Mills (Chair of Governors)

Tom Mills Committee Membership: Resources, Pay & Personnel; Responsibilities: Chair of Governors; RE / Collective Worship; Year R Link Governor; Term of Office ends: 1/4/2023

Born in Glasgow, I studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at university and worked for a short time in industry prior to joining the Royal Navy in 1985.  I served for just under 28 years as an Engineering Training Manager, retiring in early 2013 in the rank of Commander.  After 2 years as a senior training consultant with Atkins plc I took up my present appointment in 2015 in the MoD Civil Service as an Engineering Principles Lecturer in HMS SULTAN.  Married to Reverend Philippa Mills, we live in Whiteley and have 2 children; a son in his final year at York University and a daughter at the University of Westminster.  I enjoy reading, listening to music, cooking and am a member of Botley Choral Society.  I re-live my childhood through building 1:72 scale model aircraft and one day will have a proper train set.

Andrew Short

  Committee Membership: Resources, Pay & Personnel; Responsibilities: RE / Collective Worship; Health and Safety; Year 5 Link Governor Term of Office ends: 04/10/2020

Born in Jersey, I studied Accountancy at University and worked for a short time in a local audit firm before joining the Southampton University School of Nursing and Midwifery finance team where I qualified as a Chartered Global Management Accountant. In 1998, after a couple of years with the University, I made a move across to the National Health Service where I have held a variety of roles in a number of local provider and commissioner organisations over the past 21 years. I currently work for West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group as Associate Director of Finance. I have lived in Whiteley for 14 years with my wife and two daughters, one of whom is 10 and the other 14. I am the children’s leader at Portsmouth Citadel Salvation Army Church and 4 years ago launched a now-thriving Messy Church. In my spare time, I enjoy walking the family dog, running and playing the trombone (although not necessarily all at the same time).

Amanda Tucker

Picture Mandy Tucker Committee Membership: Resources, Pay & Personnel; Responsibilities: Vice-Chair of the Resources, Pay & Personnel Committee; Development & Training; RE / Collective Worship; Year 4 Link Governor; Term of Office ends: 12/6/2022

I have lived in Whiteley for 12 years and am a regular member of Whiteley church where I currently co lead their Sunday school having previously been a church warden for 6 years. I live in Bader Way so have no excuse of traffic delays to get to governor meetings. I am a full time civil servant who is passionate about future capability and emerging technology and enjoy encouraging the next generation of Scientists and Mathematicians. I am also mother of 2 boys and the whole family keeps busy with hockey. Both my sons play outfield, my husband manages one of the men’s teams and I play in goal.



Local Authority Governor

Sarah Dow

              Committee Membership: Resources, Pay & Personnel; Responsibilities: Chair of the Resources, Pay & Personnel Committee; Headteacher Review Panel; High Attainers; Pupil & Sports Premium; Science; Year 3 Link Governor; Term of Office ends: 15/12/2024

I have been involved with the school since the beginning. Back in 2013, I was part of a group of parents working towards getting a second primary school for Whiteley. Now all three of my children attend the school. Since my twins joined in 2014, I have been involved in the school through the PTA and I also thoroughly enjoy volunteering in the Year R classroom one afternoon a week. I have always enjoyed working with children. During my time studying Engineering at the University of Cambridge, I volunteered at a primary school as part of the STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics Education) scheme as well as coaching a number of school students in Maths and Physics.  I continued working with school children when I started work as an Engineer through the SEA (Science and Engineering Ambassadors) scheme. I am currently working part time as a Senior Research Analyst at NATS in the Research and Development department for Air Traffic Control. I manage a large European Research Project and a team of employees. I have always had an interest in education and am driven by a desire to get the best for the children, families and wider community of the school. As the school is growing and developing this is an exciting time to be part of the governing body, contributing to decision making and representing the parent community.”

Parent Governors

Parent Governors are self-nominated and elected by the parent community.

Lisa Needham

              Committee Membership: School Improvement; Responsibilities: LAC; SEND; Term of Office ends: 15/12/2024

I am passionate about learning, I want the pupils to make the best progress they possibly can and wish to do everything I can to support the school in providing a safe, nurturing environment for all pupils to enjoy and achieve success.  I have 19 years teaching experience in a range of Infant, Junior and Primary schools, ten of which have been in senior management capacity. I currently work as Head of School in a Primary Special School in Southampton, giving me a wide range of SEND (special needs) experience. I am also a trained Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and also Children Looked After Lead. I am a Specialist Leader of Education and as my school is a teaching school, I am regularly involved in supporting other schools across Southampton and Hampshire. I am a mother of two children, who both attend Cornerstone. I have lived in Whiteley for the last 8 years.

We currently have a vacancy for a Parent Governor.

Staff Governor

Staff Governors are self-nominated and elected by the members of the school staff team.



Tim Clarke

Tim2 Committee Membership: Resources, Pay & Personnel; School Improvement; New Build Term of Office ends: Headteacher

I have been working in schools for 25 years, as a class teacher, Year Leader, Senior Leader and Headteacher. I have worked as an Assistant Headteacher, a Deputy Headteacher and an Acting Headteacher before joining Cornerstone in September 2014. This is also the fourth school in which I have been a governor. I am fascinated by teaching and learning, passionate about ensuring the best opportunities and experiences for our pupils and benefit by networking with others within our school community, within Whiteley and the wider educational community. I have been married for 21 years and have two daughters, one of whom is 12 and the other 18. So I do understand what life is like being a parent. I feel very proud and privileged to work at Cornerstone with enthusiastic and inspiring staff, governors and parents, but most of all for the wonderful children we are all dedicated to supporting.