Reception: 01235 520173

Admissions: 01235 530593

Executive Assistant to the Headmistress: 01235 546502

Bursary: 01235 520657

Joint Bus Service: 01235 546565

St Helen and St Katharine, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BE

How to find us

Governors' biographies

Kevan Leggett, Chair of Governors. Kevan is a Chartered Accountant. He spent 15 years advising on mergers and acquisitions, latterly as a partner at Ernst & Young. He then

 moved into private equity before retiring from full time roles in 2011. He has been a non-executive director of a number of companies, mainly in the services sector. He was until recently the non-executive chairman of a Newbury-based media technology business and is on the board of a global gas services business headquartered in Bristol. Kevan lives outside Newbury and has a daughter and two sons. His daughter spent seven enjoyable years at St Helen and St Katharine. He enjoys playing golf and has an active interest in horse racing. He is a member of the Finance & Systems Committee, the Risk & Compliance Committee, The Foundation Committee and the Education Committee.

Pauline Cakebread. Pauline’s first career in financial, operational and change management was in global multinational companies such as Unilever, GSK and Dun & Bradstreet, where she progressed to senior leadership roles building teams and initiating commercial transformation strategies. She applied the same skills in small independent and venture-backed businesses in a variety of sectors including pharmaceuticals, IT, retail and services, achieving challenging turnaround goals both as Finance and Managing Director. She now runs an independent consulting business.

Dr Manjari Chandran-Ramesh. Dr. Manjari Chandran-Ramesh is a Deep-Tech and Software Venture Investor at IP Group plc. She takes an active role as a non-executive director in several software and quantum companies and has over a decade of experience in commercialising deep-tech intellectual property. At IP Group, she also leads the Quantum Technology portfolio. She manages technology investments from deal origination to exit, having been responsible for the trade sale of TheySay Ltd (acquired by Aptean), secondary share sale exit in Concirrus as well as sourcing and working with the founding team to build Quantum Motion Ltd. She has also been the acting Chair of Boxarr and Quantum Motion, and during her tenure as Chair at Quantum Motion, the company became the first Quantum Computing hardware company in the UK to successfully raise an over-subscribed series A round. She runs the Investment Accelerator in Quantum Technologies as the exclusive partner of Innovate UK and was invited by the European Investment Fund's conference in 2019 to give a keynote address about Quantum Computing. An engineer by background, Manjari has a PhD from the University of Oxford specialising in machine learning and autonomous vehicles, which she did on a Rhodes Scholarship. She has been a professional musician (Indian classical music) for 23 years having won the All India Radio National Competition (similar to the BBC young musicians award) but gave it up to enable more time to support her two daughters when they started their musical journey in western classical music. She also serves as a governor at her local primary school. 

Sharon Cooper. Sharon has a degree in Chemistry from Royal Holloway College, and has worked in publishing and information industries for 30 years, including five years in the public sector, working for the leading Government Digital Service. Currently the Chief Digital Officer for the EIU, the forecasting division of The Economist Group, she has been leading technology teams, managing modernisation and digital transformation for the last 15 years. She's passionate about encouraging women and girls to embrace the power of technology and  take leading roles in Tech. She is married with a daughter, an alumna of St Helen and St Katherine, and the Trustee of a charity supporting a rare genetic disorder, The ED Society.

Giles Crowe. Giles has been in the financial services and wealth management industry for over 35 years working at Coutts, Merrill Lynch and Barclays, and since 2005 as a Managing Director at the US bank Citigroup. In his current position as a Senior Private Banker he and his team advises some of the wealthiest UK resident individuals and their families on all aspects of wealth management.  Giles is no stranger to the local independent schools, having been educated at Radley College and with two daughters who are both alumnae of St Helen’s and an elder son James who attended Abingdon. Giles has been a co-opted trustee on the School Foundation since 2008.

 

Dave Lea. A chartered chemical engineer and fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers with over 35 years’ experience in the oil industry working in operations, commissioning, project engineering, construction and management, Dave is now a consulting engineer. Having lived in Oxfordshire for nearly 30 years, his two daughters went to St Helen and St Katharine.  As a long standing member of the St Helen’s governing board, including as chair of the Building Development Committee since becoming a governor, Dave has overseen numerous large construction project onsite, working closely with the Head, Bursar, Senior Management and Department heads.

Joanne Loveridge. Joanne studied Law with Law Studies in Europe (French) at Magdalen College Oxford, where she was also a keen rower, taking part in the Oxford/Cambridge boat race four times. She trained as a solicitor with Osborne Clarke LLP and advises clients on a wide range of commercial, privacy and IP/IT matters. Areas of interest include data protection, IT and telecoms, and the protection and exploitation of intellectual property. Joanne lives locally with her husband and three young children.

Jenny Mitchell. Jenny is the Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Thoracic Surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. In this role she is involved in all aspects of the surgical patient’s pathway from referral at MDT to on-going follow-up and surveillance after surgery. Jenny is chair of the Thoracic Surgery Group, a sub group of the UK National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses. She has published and presented on thoracic surgery, extended nursing roles and surveillance after lung cancer surgery. Jenny qualified from Queen Margaret, Edinburgh in 1990 and has over 25 years’ experience in cardiothoracic nursing. She has two children, both now adults, and her daughter is a former pupil at the school.

Jacqualyn Pain. An old girl of the school, Jackie became a teacher after leaving university. Working mainly in London, she taught in both maintained and independent schools, becoming a Head teacher in 2000. In all, she was Head of three very different types of school so has considerable experience in all matters educational. She is an independent school inspector, specialising in compliance and in leadership and management. Jackie retired to Gloucestershire in September 2018.

Olivia Rathbone. Having spent the last twenty years working in international development and human rights, Olivia is passionate about girls’ education both globally and nationally. Following an initial career in dance, she pursued a Masters of Law at University of London, specialising in public international law. This led to research, journalism and consultancy work focused on combatting the strategic use of violence against women and girls, such as in armed conflict or as a means of minority religious persecution. She has now come full-circle and is studying a Masters in Acting at East 15 Acting School (University of Essex). She is married to Stephen, who is the Academic Director at Radley College.

Graham Steinsberg. Graham studied modern languages at University College London before joining Coopers and Lybrand (now PwC) where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.  After a brief spell with IBM he formed a software house acting as CEO then Chairman, taking the company public in 2006. He lives locally and is married with three grown up children, including two daughters who are both Old Girls of St Helen's. Graham was a former Chair of Finance and Systems, standing down in 2017 to pursue business interests. He was delighted to be invited to rejoin the board in 2021.