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School Governors

The Council is the board of governors of the Cathedral School. Each member shares in the oversight of the school.

Joanna is a Legal Director of Blake Morgan LLP, specialising in Commercial Litigation, and regularly advises schools, governing bodies and local authorities in relation to Special Educational and Additional Learning Needs as well as Disability Discrimination claims. She has acted as a mentor for school pupils through both One Million Mentors and the Seren Network.

She was educated at one of England’s first City Technology Colleges and went on to study Law with French at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and as an Erasmus student at L’Universite Lumiere Lyon II. She then obtained a Masters in European Politics before attending Law School in Cardiff. Joanna captained the netball clubs at University and Law School and enjoys skiing and yoga.

Joanna is also a keen gardener and Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of g39, Wales’ largest artist run contemporary art gallery and studio space.

Joanna was appointed to the School Council in November 2023 as the lead governor for safeguarding and sits on the Education Committee.

A Chartered Accountant and partner in the national insolvency firm Begbies Traynor LLP, Peter has served on the School Council since 2022. Peter is Chairman of the Finance Committee and sits on the Remuneration Committee.

Born in Cardiff, Peter obtained a degree in Economics from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology. After specializing in business recovery in his professional practice, he moved into the hospitality sector, running hotels and restaurants in South Wales, whilst setting up his own accountancy firm.

Peter’s service as High Sheriff of South Glamorgan from 2021-2022 reflects his commitment to matters which affect his community.

Outside of work Peter pursues many interests, including sport, literature, and a wide variety of music and enjoys spending time with his ever-increasing family.

A Senior Fundraiser in a Welsh charity, Phae joined the School Council in 2022 and also serves on the Estates, Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Phae attended the School of St Clare, previously a Woodard School, and during this time was the School’s Games Captain and a member of the County Youth Orchestra, from here she went on to study at the University of South Wales.

An active member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Phae has held senior roles in UK and Welsh charities, supporting the generation of income from a wide range of sources.

Robin has served on the School Council since July 2007 and became Custos in January 2022. He chairs the Remuneration Committee and serves on the Estates, Risk Management, Finance and General Purposes and Nominations Committees.

He is an Old Llandavian as were his father and two brothers. When a pupil at the school, he was Captain of rugby and cricket, Head Boy and Dean's Scholar. From the Cathedral School, he went to Epsom College and then Cardiff University.

Robin played first class rugby for ten years and cricket in the Western League, during the pre-professional era.

Robin is a solicitor. In 1987, he became a partner in the firm which is now Blake Morgan LLP and retired from the partnership in October 2019.  From 2003 to 2012, he was Chairman of the firm.

Since 2000, Robin has served as a fee paid Employment Judge and, in 2017, was also appointed as a fee paid Judge of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

Peter Knowles, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at Cardiff University, joined the School Council in 2020 and sits on the Remuneration, Risk Management and Nominations and Education Committees.

After research and teaching academic positions at Cambridge, Western Ontario, Sussex and Birmingham universities, Peter moved to Cardiff as Professor of Theoretical Chemistry in 2004, and has served in various leadership roles including head of department.  Peter has previous governance experience as a trustee of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is involved in a small scientific software business.

Peter is the parent of two former Cathedral School students, and is an enthusiast for the difference that strong education can make to young lives.

A retired Headmaster of The King’s School Gloucester, Peter has served on the School Council since 2008. Peter currently chairs the Education Committee and also serves on the Risk Management and Nominations and Remuneration Committees.

Peter read Mathematics at Balliol College, Oxford.

Peter has chaired the Choir Schools Association and is a member of the Gloucestershire Area Child Protection Committee.

A partner in the Energy, Sustainability & Infrastructure business at Guidehouse, Evelyn joined the School Council in March 2023.  In this capacity, Evelyn is a specialist in business and digital transformation, advising commercial clients as they establish and execute their long-term strategies in response to changes in the regulatory and market environment around them.  Evelyn serves on the Risk Management Committee. 

Evelyn is originally from the north-east of England and was educated in the state school sector.

A passionate skier, Evelyn is a qualified instructor and sits as a council member for the Ski Club of Great Britain.  Alongside her sporting activities, Evelyn cultivates her interest and understanding of environmental and other sustainability concerns through her membership of the AECB, IEMA and Energy Institute.

A former Headteacher of two prep schools in England, Jane has also taught in the maintained sector and was a part-time inspector for ISAI and ISI for 20 years. Jane has been a member of the School Council since 2010 and serves on the Estates, Risk Management and Nominations and Education Committees.

Jane retired from working in archaeological/historical matters, especially with regard to buildings in 2020. 

Jane has a long-standing family association with Llandaff and has learnt Welsh as an adult for 13 years. A member of London Welsh RFC, Jane has many prehistorical, historical and archaeological interests, along with early and baroque music and environmental concerns.

A partner in the firm of Rawlins & Madley, Chartered Surveyors, Jeremy has served on the School Council since 2011. Jeremy currently chairs the Estates Committee and also serves on the Finance and General Purposes and Risk Management and Nominations Committees.

He is an Old Llandavian, and from the Cathedral School, went on to Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex, another Woodard school.

A Church Warden, Jeremy was also a member of the Governing Council of the RICS for many years and has held a number of external examiner posts at various universities.

James is a business founder, CEO and Non-executive Director, with three decades of technology leadership experience.

During his career, James has built and scaled multiple technology companies and launched e-commerce websites for industry giants such as Dell, Pizza Hut and ASOS.His accolades include Small Business Director of the Year (IOD) and Technology Leader of the Year (EstNet) and he has been a finalist for the Welsh First Minister's St Davids Award, celebrating contributions to innovation, science, and technology in Wales.

James is an industrial advisor to the Institute of Coding and Technocamps, actively bridging digital education gaps in Wales. Outside the tech realm, a love of motorsport sees him compete in the BRSCC City Car Cup racing series.

James is passionate about using his rich tapestry of experience and dedication to innovation to help shape a progressive educational landscape.

James joined the School Council in March 2023 and sits on the Estates, Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Mr Paul Smith, joined the Governing Body in 2021 following his retirement as Headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School. Paul was educated in the state sector, read Zoology and prior to entering teaching carried out research on the behavioural ecology of small mammals. He has published a number of scientific papers, most notably on the ‘black rat’.

Paul has taught biology in coeducational, single sex, day and boarding schools.  He has been a Head of Department, Head of Science, Deputy Head, ISI Inspector and was Chair of The Choir Schools Association during their centenary year.

Paul is currently a member of the Education Committee.

Matthew is a solicitor and currently a Senior Partner and Chairman of Hugh James Solicitors, having previously served as Managing Partner for 12 years.

He was educated in the state sector and graduated from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology and from the College of Law. He specialised in commercial property development and finance, developing FinTech solutions for the banking sector before taking on managerial leadership roles within the practice.

He is a Governor of Cardiff Metropolitan University and a member of the Business Council of the Cardiff Capital Region.

He is the father of three Old Landavians, and, from personal experience, a strong believer in the enabling power of education.

Matthew was appointed to the School Council in March 2023 and is a member of the Estates, Finance & General Purposes Committee; the Risk Management Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

If you would like to contact the Custos, please send your correspondence c/o Mr Robert Leek, Bursar and Clerk to the Governing Body, The Cathedral School, Cardiff Road, Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5 2YH.