Leadership team and governors

The Senior Leadership Team

Mr Matthew Evans (Headteacher)

Matthew joined the school as Headteacher in 2013. He previously worked in schools across Oxfordshire and Berkshire as a teacher of Business, Economics and ICT. Matthew lives in Swindon and has two daughters of secondary school age. When not at home or at work, he can usually be found up a mountain, bringing this passion to Farmor's by launching the annual 3 Peaks challenges.

Mrs Emma White (Deputy Head)

Joining the school in 2000 as an English teacher, Emma later became a Head of Year and then Head of Sixth Form in 2010. Emma has two sons and a daughter, now in their twenties, who enjoyed their various studies for GCSE and A level at Farmor’s School and Sixth Form. Emma continues to teach English and also Horticulture, a course she set up in 2009.

Ms Noelle Sturla (Assistant Head)

Noelle joined the Learning Support Team in January 2014.  Before taking on the role of Inclusion Manager at Farmor's, Noelle worked as an Advisory Teacher for Wiltshire Council and Head of Year in Swindon.  Noelle has two daughters and her husband is Headteacher of a Special School in Newbury.  Outside of school, Noelle enjoys planning holidays to take with her family.

Mr Roger Eckersley (Assistant Head)

Roger took up the role of Pastoral Assistant Headteacher when he joined the school in September 2016.  After an accountancy career in the City of London he turned to education in 2005, working as a teacher of Mathematics and Head of Year in Witney. As a qualified Mountain Leader and keen lover of the outdoors he is often found hiking, biking or skiing in the mountains with groups of students (or his own children) during weekends and holidays.
Mrs Claire Wells (Assistant Head)
Claire joined Farmor's School in 2022 as Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning. Claire started her teaching career in inner London. She moved out of London in 2001 and since then Claire has worked in schools in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Claire's degree is in Geography, but she now also teaches Sociology. Claire has two teenage boys, one of whom is now at university. Like many staff at Farmor's Claire also enjoys mountains, walking her dog (Hugo - a black Labrador), cycling and spending time with friends and family.

Tor Kelly - Head of Sixth Form

Tor was a latecomer to teaching having worked in a variety of jobs in the UK and abroad in her twenties and thirties.  She did her PGCE training at Farmor’s and liked it so much that she never left.  She has been a member of the English department since 2008 and head of year since 2014.  She has two daughters, both now in their twenties and on the weekends can be found yomping up and down the hills and valleys of the Stroud area. 

Mrs Sarah Hughes (Business Manager)

Sarah joined Farmor's in 2020 and has been in education since leaving the commercial sector in 2015. Outside of school she spends time with her family, walking her dogs, looking after their horses and playing hockey.


Mr Sam Bartholomew (Chair of Governors)

Sam is the father of three girls, with his youngest due to start at Farmor’s in 2022.  Sam is an experienced primary school Headteacher and he uses his knowledge of education in his role as governor to support the school.  In his spare time Sam enjoys playing the piano and running at a very leisurely pace.

Mr Richard Hills

Rich is currently the Area Director for Africa and Asia Pacific, for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). Rich joined the CWGC in 2013 after completing 22 years' service as a Royal Marines Officer. He has a broad background in Leadership, Strategy, Training, and Diplomacy. Rich is married, lives in Lechlade and has two boys currently at Farmor’s. In his spare time, he would rather be found in Snowdonia or the Highlands of Scotland.

Mrs Elizabeth Knox

Elizabeth is a solicitor specialising in financial matters and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and Milan before settling in Quenington with her husband and family.  She is a governor of Fairford Church of England Primary School as well as Farmor's. Her interest in education originally arose from having her family of seven children, all of whom are now grown up and working. Elizabeth finds her legal background is useful in her role as a governor. 

Mr Andy Mitchell

Andy has a son who joined Year 7 in 2021. His professional life has always been working within an educational and training setting. Currently, he works for the MOD managing their awarding organisation iaw Ofqual (the Office for Qualifications and Examinations) rules. Andy holds other voluntary roles as a cycling ride leader, member of Wilts LTA Jnr Tennis Committee and an LTA Court Supervisor.  Andy's hobbies are running, cycling, tennis and family activities. 

Mrs Kay Norman

Kay is a mother of two, both of whom attend Farmor’s. She currently works as a business performance analyst for Honda Motor Europe. Kay coached girls gymnastics for 7 years but now spends her time chauffering the children to climbing events. She is an avid fan of live music and as a result spend as much time as possible attending concerts.

Ms Lynne Porter

Lynne's son and daughter both enjoyed their time at Farmor's and derived huge benefits from the dedication of the teaching staff.  She works at Research England in Bristol on a competitive funding programme that requires engagement with universities and innovative businesses. Outside of work Lynne leads a reassuringly dull life but she is sometimes coerced into being a terrified passenger groom for carriage driving friends. 

Mrs Amy Sevier

Amy has worked as a dispute resolution solicitor since 2008. She grew up in the Cotswolds and returned to live here at the end of 2018. Having a father and sister who are both teachers inspired her to get involved in the governance of a local school. Her two children attend Fairford Primary School and will hopefully one day be at Farmors. She has enjoyed getting to know the SLT and understanding how the vision for the school is put in place. 

Mr David Russell

Dave lives locally in Fairford and has one son at Farmor’s. He is a member of the Royal Air Force at RAF Brize Norton and has been involved in operations world-wide serving for nearly 30 years. He uses his Mountain Leader qualification to train and assess local RAF Air Cadets during their expedition element of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and he in his “happy place” when enjoying a walk in the Lake District mountains with the family or spending a night out wild camping with his son.

Melanie Preece Smith

Melanie joined as a parent Governor in 2020, and lives in Fairford. She has four school-age children including one currently in KS3 at Farmor’s. Melanie works as an Accountant and Business Manager for a small property development company, a subsidiary of the Diocese of Gloucester. In the past she has assisted with the setting-up of a Multi Academy Trust (as a short secondment to the Diocese’ DoE), which has provided some experience in the education sector. Melanie is also a Trustee for a local charity, The Lady Mico Trust, and has volunteered for other organisations in the past.

Melanie’s most recent hobby is a new Dobermann puppy, which is keeping the family busy (and entertained) during lockdown!

Mrs Rachel Surch

Rachel has a son who attends Farmor's School. She has 24 years experience in education and 16 as a senior leader. Rachel is Primary Executive Principal at The Park Academies Trust in Swindon currently leading 3 primary schools and working closely with 2 secondary schools. In her 'spare' time, Rachel enjoys music, theatre, holidays by the sea and drumming.

Dr Sylvia Bettington - Staff Governor

Sylvia joined Farmor’s school in 2018 as Head of Science, having previously worked as Head of Chemistry and NQT tutor at another school in Gloucestershire.  Sylvia studied pure Chemistry at Durham University, where she gained both her MSci and PhD degrees, before qualifying to teach. Sylvia lives in Cirencester and has a son and daughter, both of whom are school age. When not at home, she can usually be found hiking or cycling with her family. 

Rachel Mehtar - Clerk to the Governing Board

I live in Eastleach and have three children who went to Southrop Primary School and then to Farmor's School. My daughter is now in her third year at university studying Pharmacology. My middle son finished his A levels this year and is applying to study Chemistry at university in 2022. My youngest son finished his GCSEs this summer and has just started an engineering apprenticeship. Their secondary school years at Farmor's proved to be the best foundation for their onward destinations. I have a good understanding of the school which makes my role as Clerk to the Governing Board even more rewarding, and it is an excellent change to give something back to the school. I work full-time as Fellows' Administrator at Magdalen College, University of Oxford and I am also Clerk to the Governing Board at Southrop CofE Primary School.

Roz Morton - Clerk to the Committees

My name is Roz Morton, I've lived in Fairford for 10 years, having moved from London with my two children, Oscar (now 12 and in Y8 at Farmor's) and Isobel (now 10 and in Y6 at Fairford Primary). In my other life I am the Deputy Town Clerk at Fairford Town Council and have been since 2012.