Claremont School

Governor Profiles

Sarah Ball

Role on Governing Body:  Co-opted Governor since October 2019.

Background:  I am married and have two adult children. I enjoy hiking, table tennis, art and poetry.

Education and Employment: I came to Bristol University in 1972 and have stayed in this city, which I love. After University I qualified as a social worker and have worked in Children’s Services, both for the local authority and also for a charity which supported homeless families.  

Particular Interest in Governing Body:  I am the named governor for Pupil Premium.

Relevant experience:  I have spent much of my social work career supporting children with special needs and their families.

 

Clare Campion-Smith 

Role on Governing Body: Governor since 2005

Background: I am married and we have a son who lives 10 minutes away from us and a daughter who lives in Australia! We have two football-mad grandsons and enjoy being in the countryside and listening to music

Education and employment: I was born and went to school in Liverpool. I became a mathematics teacher and, on retiring, was elected to the Council to represent Henleaze ward

Particular interest in Governing Body: I am on the Finance and Staffing Committee and I am the named governor for Safeguarding

Relevant Experience: My teaching experience was in mainstream schools but I am familiar with curriculum development, working in subject teams, assessment and the complexity of modern education

 

Steve Cocks 

Role on Governing Body:  co opted governor since 2017

Background:   I am originally from North Devon and have lived in Bristol for 30 years. I have 2 children, 2 grandchildren, am a Bristol Rovers season ticket holder and a member of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

Education and Employment:  For the first 5 years of my working life I was a history teacher in what were then secondary modern schools. From there I moved into a variety of Sales and Marketing roles including sales management, recruitment and market and product development. I retired in 2011.

Particular Interests in Governing Body:  I am a member of the Finance and Staffing Committee and chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee.

Relevant Experience:  During my working life I was responsible for setting and managing budgets, developing forecasts, team management and recruitment.

 

Mark Dillon 

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor

Background: I have been a qualified and practising solicitor for over twenty years and during that time have worked in the City; in Local and Central Government and in Commerce and Industry. Currently I work in Bristol's Defence Sector. 

Before becoming a solicitor, I worked in sales marketing, public relations. and as a teacher and I like to think that those experiences beyond the law have made me more interested in the generic, problem-solving skills which a legal training can give rather than just the law itself. 

Education and employment: I went to school in Nottingham, University at Cambridge and Leeds and to the College of Law in York

Interests/hobbies: I love the Great Outdoors (cross country and fell running, 'cycling, hiking, climbing); history of all types (but particularly local history), politics and- above all- a good conversation!

Particular interest in Governing Body: Governance and the School's planned Building Programme.

Relevant Experience: Each of my roles over the last 15 years or so has involved a lot of governance work- basically trying to make the organisation work more effectively and make decisions in a coherent, informed and transparent manner.

I am also a Governor at Whitehall Primary School Bristol where I sit on the Finance and Health and Safety Committees.

Joined October 2019

 

Graham Donald 

Role on Governing Body: Parent Governor

Personal Details: Graham is married to Gillian and they have two children and two grandsons.  Their daughter, Mary, has moderate learning difficulties and attended Kingsweston School.

Background: Graham comes from Somerset and lived in Oxford, Edinburgh and Essex before moving to Bristol in 1993.  Graham was a senior civil servant, working for the Department of the Environment and then the Privy Council Office, where he was Deputy Clerk and Director of Corporate Services.  After early retirement, he had a variety of roles in statutory regulation and chaired the board of trustees of a Bristol charity.  He is a member of the National Blood Transfusion Committee and has also worked with NICE. 

Interests/hobbies: Politics and community affairs; church and charitable work; reading, theatre, music and the arts generally.

Particular interest in Governing Body: Graham would like to bring his experience of being a parent of a child with learning difficulties, including advocating for his daughter and dealing with the various statutory authorities, to the role of school governor.

Relevant experience: He believes he has transferable skills to offer from his civil service and other roles, for example, decision-making, communication, collaborative, listening, learning and negotiation skills.

 

Elizabeth Jahn 

 Role on Governing Body: Clerk to the Governors

 

 

 

Charlie McCall

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted governor

Background: I am married with two young children (our oldest will be starting school Sept 2020).  I moved to Bristol in 2011 after living and working in London for years.  We love walking, running, and being in the mountains. Family disco time is also important in our house.

Education and Employment: I went to school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  I did both my Physiotherapy and MSc degrees in East London.  I qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2001.  I worked in the NHS in large teaching hospitals for 7 years and have worked in private practice since specialising in musculoskeletal physiotherapy.  I have also worked within sport including attending two World University Games with Team GBR, and being Chief Physiotherapy Officer for the School Games since 2014.

Particular interest in Governing Body: I am new to the governing body so do not have a particular committee involvement yet.

Relevant experience: Early on in my NHS work I started training as a Paediatric Physiotherapist before switching to MSK.  During this time, I was a visiting Physiotherapist to special schools and community services in south London. I am about to embark on the school journey with my own children so have a keen interest in what is happening within education.

 

Samantha Piggot

Role on Governing Body: Staff governor since 2018

Background:  I am married with a daughter and a son with high-functioning autism. I am a keen musician and singer and have taken great delight in applying this to our school’s Open Orchestra.

Education and employment:  I went to school in the Scottish Borders and to St Andrews University. Throughout my working life I worked in a variety of contexts including: supported living for people with learning difficulties and respite work; guidance work in the Employment service; and Community, FE and SEN education.

Particular interest in Governing Body:  I am on the Health and Safety Committee.

Relevant Experience: Education context, previous parent governor at my children's schools and roles on various committees including leading teaching and learning and being the SEN governor.

 

Emma Richards

Role on Governing Body: Head teacher, since September 2018

Background:  I am married with 4 teenage children.  We live in a village near Stroud, Gloucestershire.  I like to spend free time with my family, pets and friends, and getting outdoors when possible, into the Cotswold countryside. 

Education and employment:  I come from Chepstow, and went to Bath for university (Single Honours History degree) and then UWE for my PGCE (Secondary History).  I worked in mainstream Secondary Schools in Bristol and Bath until 1999 when I started working in a SEND school in Stroud.  I have worked within SEND since then, in a range of different settings, with a range of different student needs. 

Particular interest in Governing Body:  I am on the Finance and Staffing Committee and Teaching and Learning Committee.

Relevant Experience: Teaching experience of 23 years, SEND Education background of 21 years, previous experience as staff governor at a SEND school for 5 years, member of playgroup committee for 2 years, trustee member of local charity for 7 years. 

 

Jenny Singleton

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor since September 2019

Background:  I have worked as a teacher for over twenty years in Surrey and moved back to Bristol in May 2019, having grown up in the City.

Interests/hobbies: I enjoy going to the theatre and running. I’m a keen skier and also enjoy walking and cycling.

Education and employment: After completing a degree in Civil Engineering at Southampton University, I did a PGCE at Exeter University to teach Design Technology. I have taught Design Technology and more recently Maths in secondary schools, both state and independent. I have enjoyed a variety of pastoral roles throughout my career, including being a Head of Year and Head of Middle School and Lower School. My current post is as a Deputy Head (School Development) in a Bristol school located close to Claremont. I completed a Master’s in Education through the Open University in December 2016 and I am currently studying for a Doctorate in Education at UWE.

Particular interest in Governing Body:  I am the named governor for SEND.

Relevant Experience: My teaching career and Senior leadership Team positions in three schools have provided me with valuable experience in how schools operate.

 

Graham Symonds

Role on Governing Body: Chair of Governing Body, Co-Opted Governor since 2019

Background:  Married, with two sons, and two grand-children. We moved to Bristol in Summer 2019. I enjoy keeping active, particularly outdoors, and being with family and friends.

Education and employment:  I went to school in Reading and to Leeds University.  Throughout my working life I worked for local authorities in a variety of departments and roles. My most recent experience has been in education, children and family teams in local authorities in the south east of England.  I retired from paid work in April 2019.  

Particular interest in Governing Body:  I have been Chair of the Governing Body since March 2020.  I am also on the Finance and Staffing Committee.

Relevant Experience: Education context; previous parent governor at my children's schools and roles on various management committees; working as part of teams; budget and staffing management.

Joined late 2019

 

Barry Trahar

Role on Governing Body:  Chair of Finance Committee

Personal Details:  Australian by birth, now of joint British/Australian nationality.  I have lived in the UK since 1975 and in Bristol since 1978 

Background:  Educated in Australia and have a Diploma in Catering & Hotel Management. I am a fellow of the UK’s Institute of Hospitality. I was responsible for the management of the University of Bristol’s catering and residential services (13 departments) until my retirement in 2010.  I am a Magistrate, sitting in both the Criminal and Family Courts. 

Interests/hobbies:  Travel, walking, politics, theatre, wine & food, voluntary work.  I am also a Governor at Redland Green School. 

Particular interest in Governing Body:  Finance and Personnel. 

Relevant Experience:  As an LEA approved governor, my appointment was by political party (the Labour Party) and so not for any educational experience, but my 28 years at the University gave me a significant understanding of the broad political aspects relating to education. 

My most relevant experience in respect of Claremont relates to financial, budgetary and staff management, as I manage a multi-million pound budget at the University and had responsibility for approximately 600 staff.