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Governor profiles

Tom Austin- Co-opted Governor

Having attended Stratton myself, progressing through Deer Park and Cirencester College, I moved away from the area after reading Geography at Exeter University and completing my Chartered Accountancy exams in Bristol with a global accountancy firm who I still work for. Wanting to be closer to family, my wife (Gemma) and I moved back to Cirencester several years ago and now have a family of our own, two girls and a rather mischievous whippet. I am a firm believer in wanting to create the best learning environment for the children of our school and hope they enjoy their experience at Stratton as much as I did as a child. In my spare time I am keen to get involved in anything sport related and never pass up the opportunity to get out on the golf course.


C Crawford - Parent Governor (Vice Chair)

My daughter started at Stratton in 2018 and I have a son who will start in 2020. I therefore have a significant interest in ensuring the continued excellence and improvement of the school. I am keen to ensure the children are able to achieve to the best of their abilities and are happy and confident. In doing this I will learn more about the school and education system in order to support the teachers in giving the children the best education and experience possible. I believe that my skills will bring a fresh perspective to the school. I regularly use information, data and experience to make decisions about complex situations. This involves working under pressure and communicating difficult issues. I work within an accreditation system that ensures continuous improvement which I am heavily involved in. I am director of a property management company, a role in which I have had to learn to deal with finances and property management. In my free time I like to exercise and spend time at my allotment as well as having fun with my kids and husband.

Elizabeth (Beth) Hamid- Foundation Governor

I have lived in Stratton since 1986 and all three of my children came to Stratton School. I have been a Governor here for over 25 years, as a Parent Governor, as Chair of Governors for nine years, and now as a Foundation Governor appointed by the church. It is a particular pleasure to have known as children the parents of some of our present pupils! I work for Swindon Borough Council as a Child Care Social Worker in the Adoption Team and also as a practice teacher with social work students. It has been a great pleasure to be able to play a little part in the expansion of the school, to see new classrooms, and to support all the children and families in our continuing commitment to excellence.

CHAIR Sarah John- Parent Governor

I work a for a global technology consultancy company designing the future experience of work for employees, with a focus on innovation. I have lived and worked in several different countries, including Germany, Australia, New Zealand and India. I have a degree in Law and German from the University of Bristol. Before moving to Cirencester in 2014, I lived in London for many years and spent three years living and working in Bangalore, India, where we thoroughly enjoyed a very different way of life! I live with my husband, two daughters and our cat Lola. As Chair of Governors, my role involves building an effective governance team with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to play a significant part in the strategic leadership of the school and to drive school improvement. I work in partnership with teachers, parents and fellow Governors on all aspects of school life to ensure our school delivers the best possible education for our children, in a safe and secure environment.


Rev. David Minns- Foundation Governor

I moved to Stratton at the beginning of 2017 as Rector of the Churn Valley and I am a Foundation Governor at the school.

I was Ordained Priest 22 years ago. I have been governor at 3 schools before and was a member of Guildford Diocese’s Board of Education before moving here. I enjoy working leading collective worship in the school and finding creative ways to access the wisdom and love of God for the children.

I see the school as an important part of the community, equipping our children to live the fullest possible life.


Steven Paddock - Local Authority Governor

I am currently a Deputy Headteacher at a large comprehensive secondary school in Wiltshire. I have been a school leader since 2005 in London Borough of Croydon and Wiltshire. My focus is around the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and how this links to a quality education for all learners.



Hilary Tippett - Parent Governor

My son Oliver started at Stratton school in 2017. Since Oliver joined the school, I have been impressed by all the hard work which goes into providing the supportive, nurturing environment that Stratton offers our children. I believe passionately that the school can only really deliver what we want it to for our children if we as parents support the staff. I value the opportunity to play a role in helping the school provide a great education for our children.

In my day job as a solicitor for the National Trust I am often dealing with challenging situations. I have experience in working with charity trustees so I’m used to dealing with people who oversee the running of an organisation. I feel I have useful skills that will be of assistance to the school.

Head Teacher - Mrs Ceris Towler

Dr Sarah Woods- Foundation Governor

I have been a Foundation Governor for 7 years, having been invited to take on the role by Stratton PCC. As a Foundation Governor, I have a responsibility to ensure that the school maintains its Church of England Distinctiveness. I have had 2 children at the school, they are now in years 7 and 10 at Cirencester Deer Park School. I agreed to become a Governor because I am passionate about the education of our children and relished the opportunity to be able to have a positive input into my local primary school by encouraging the school to strive for improvement to provide the best opportunities for all the children who pass through the school. I work as a Geriatrician at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and have been involved in education and training at the hospital. For some years I have been an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Bristol University whilst I was Unit Tutor for Fourth Year Medical students doing their Care of Elderly module. I have more recently taken on the role of Educational Lead for Simulation Training for postgraduate doctors. I love gardening and enjoy sharing that love of gardening. I have designed and helped the children to plant our Reflective Garden in the playground, and I have also coordinated our PolliNation project. I have set up an after-school gardening club for children in Key Stage 2, and most years will be seen running the plant stall at the School Fayre.

Hanna Price - Parent Governor

I have lived in Stratton for the last 12 years, my eldest son has recently left Stratton for secondary school and my other two sons still attend.  I am delighted with the progress that my children have made at the school and have thoroughly enjoyed watching them develop and take part in such a wide variety of opportunities including mock trials, Shakespearean plays and numerous sporting activities.  Over the years I have played an active role within the PTA, attending and helping to run events, as well as acting as joint secretary for a year.  I work part time as a History and Sociology teacher at Malmesbury secondary school which means that I am very familiar with the education system and how schools operate.  I am looking forward to extending my involvement within the school and helping to maintain its excellent standards in my role as parent governor. 

Barbara Cartwright- Staff Governor

I have been part of the team at Stratton C of E Primary School for four years.  I am currently a teacher in Class 2 and subject lead for DT.  I am excited to be part of the Governing Body and to have the opportunity to help shape and continue to strengthen our school and community.

I have a degree in French with Politics from Newcastle University and qualified as a teacher in London.  My husband and I moved to Cirencester 14 years ago and we now have two school aged children.  Outside of school, I like to read and go to the gym.

Stephanie Knowles - Associate Member

I have two children who both attend Stratton School. I am a Chartered Accountant and work as a portfolio Finance Director with Charities, SME and Start up businesses. I was a school Governor for several years at a Special Needs School. I believe that all children should be able to reach their full potential with the appropriate support and help.