Our Staff

St. Mary’s Independent School is able to achieve its outstanding results by virtue of its values and the level of professionalism, knowledge, experience and dedication of its staff.

Headed up by Claire Charlemagne, she is supported by fifty-one staff who all work to create an environment for its students where they thrive, are happy and are motivated.

Claire Charlemagne

Executive Head Teacher

Claire Charlemagne graduated from the University of Bradford, UK, in 1999 with an honours degree in European Studies. She spent a year teaching English in the French island of La Réunion and then returned to the UK to complete her PGCE in Secondary Modern Foreign Languages (French and Spanish). After teaching in the UK she […]

Katie Thom

Deputy Head Teacher

Katie has worked at St. Mary’s since 2008, having worked in a number of Catholic secondary schools before. She came to St. Mary’s as Head of Religious Education. Katie attended St. Anne’s before completing her degree in ‘Studies in Religion and Creative Writing’ at Bath Spa University College.  She went on to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Education […]

Patrick McPhillips

Assistant Head Teacher

Patrick was born in Northern Ireland and moved to England in 2004 where he completed his teacher training at the University of Southampton. Previously, he studied English at the Queen’s University of Belfast and Business Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota. More recently, he worked on a National College leadership programme and received […]

John Halstead

Facilities and Safety Manager

John is a committed, sensible and well qualified Health and Safety advocate with over 12 years of work and training experience in site and safety management within education. John is methodical and strategic in his approach and understands the value of improving the facilities for the betterment of the students’ education. Coming from a traditional […]

James Abernethy


James started catering college when he was 16 and with previous industry experience (The Botleigh Grange Hotel and the Hilton Hotel, both in Southampton) took well to his course, passing his NVQ early, allowing him the opportunity to participate in catering competitions both home & away. In 2003 James achieved a 1st place Gold Award […]

David Cheeseman

Head of P.E.

David is a current member of the teaching staff and is on the Education Sub Committee.  He is a committed Christian, married with two young children, with over 13 years of teaching experience – the majority at St Mary’s.  David is passionate about helping the school to perform to the best of its ability ensuring […]

Rev. Fr. E. Michael Peters


Fr. Michael was born and brought up in Portsmouth. After National Service in Germany with the Royal Air Force he joined the Inland Revenue. A priestly vocation beckoned and following six years of studies in the Royal English College, Valladolid (Spain) he was ordained in 1968 for the Portsmouth Diocese. His priestly ministry took him […]

If you would like to join our team then take a look at our vacancies page.