Dr. James Whiston OBE- Foundation Governor & Chair

James was born and brought up in St Patrick’s Parish, Middlesbrough. He spent seven years at Durham University (King’s College, Newcastle) with the last two years as a member of staff.

James joined ICI Billingham and spent the rest of his working life with the Company. During his time at ICI, James worked in the USSR, USA and in a number of UK locations, eventually at ICI’s Headquarters in London as Group Vice President responsible for safety, security, health and environmental affairs world-wide.  On his return to his home town of Middlesbrough, James joined the Diocese as Financial Secretary and was involved in both local and national Church matters.

James has been recognised for his services in his long-standing career with an OBE. He is also a Knight of St Gregory for services to the Catholic Church. He has extensive experience of school governance having been a Governor in both primary and secondary schools in the Dioceses of Middlesbrough and Lancaster.

James has two children and two grandchildren.

Pauline Laverick BA (Hons) PGCSEN- Ex Officio Headteacher

Pauline has worked in Catholic education throughout her teaching career. She is committed to ensuring the pupils have a rich curriculum that enables them to reach their full potential. Pauline knows the families and pupils who attend the school well and has built a great rapport with them in her roles as deputy Headteacher, acting Headteacher and Headteacher of school. She understands the demographics of the local area and is passionate about ensuring that all children at Sacred Heart have an enjoyable experience of Catholic education. Pauline believes in ‘developing the whole child through Catholic values, vision, mission statement, curriculum and love of God.’

John Kabuye MsC, PGCE- Parent Governor

Link governor for Personal Development

John has been a Parent Governor since 2020, as a former Governor of another school, John believes that governance is a great way to be a voice of the community in the school and above all help to improve the school through scrutiny. With a career in education himself, John understands the importance of governance and the impact of what good governance can do. He is also founder of Ubuntu Multicultural Centre CIC, a company that aims to link communities together harmoniously through food, dance and storytelling.


John says “Sacred Heart primary should be a safe place to come and learn, a God-fearing place where kids respect each other and a successful school where kids attain highly.”


John’s hobbies are Football, Politics and Community activism.

Olakekan Odedeyi- Parent Governor MSc, PhD


Link governor for PE & Sports Premium


Olakekan joins the governing body at Sacred Heart as a parent governor. He is delighted to be part of the governing body and hopes his skillset can be a valuable addition to the board. As a Community Advocate, Olakekan believes in the involvement of parents in a child’s learning and development journey. The African adage “It takes a village to raise a child” drives his interest and his decision to become a school governor was driven by a recognition that the contribution of parents will have in shaping the strategic direction of the school and helping to raise standards. This is critical to the success of the school. Olakekan has had a number of voluntary roles over the past few years including being a Member of the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel for the Crown Prosecution Service and also serving as a member of the Stop and Search BAME Scrutiny Panel for Cleveland Police. In addition to this, Olakekan was a Former Chair of the Middlesbrough-Independent Advisory Group for Policing, at Cleveland Police and has also been a parent governor at another school. Olakekan has had a passion since the age of 8 years old of helping the community wherever he has found himself, and has worked tirelessly for peace and justice of individuals and providing advocacy support to individuals and groups to ensure fairness and promote community cohesion.


Olakekan’s vision for St Joseph’s is for it “to become the most inclusive and culturally relevant environment for all children; this will strengthen the community, builds social capacity, and promote cohesion, all of which will impact positively on children’s learning. I hope to use my networks and community wider experience in bridging any gaps and contribute to achieve this.”


In his spare time Olakekan enjoys, researching, helping people in Community driven projects and travelling.


Joanne Smith- Foundation Governor

Link governor for Quality of Education/ Behaviour