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 has been a parent of children who attend Farmor's since 2015. Sam is an experienced primary school Headteacher and School Improvement Adviser - he uses his knowledge of education in his role as a governor to support the school.  In his spare time Sam enjoys playing the piano and running at a very leisurely pace.

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 attends Farmor’s School. His professional life has always been working within an educational and training setting.  A retired military officer who currently works with the MOD advising and helping improve training. 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.

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. 

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.

Mrs Rachel Surch

Rachel has a son who attends Farmor's School.  She has 25 years experience in education and 17 years of this in senior leadership.  Rachel is Director of Primary at the Park Academies Trust currently overseeing 3 primary schools and working closely with 3 secondary schools.  In her 'spare' time, Rachel enjoys walking the dog, holidays by the sea, music and theatre.

Mr Michael Hawkins

Mike lives locally in Fairford and has one son at Farmor’s. He is a serving member of the Royal Air Force, currently working at RAF Henlow and has been involved in delivering engineering solutions for over 25 years. In his spare time, he volunteers with the local branch of the RBL, uses his engineering skills to assist in the upkeep of Farringdon Folly and competes nationally at Tug-of-War. He spends as much time as he can with his son and wife, enjoying day trips to historical locations around Britain.

Mr Simon Hill

After studying at Farmor’s from 1986-1992, Simon followed the apprenticeship route of education when he left becoming an electrical / mechanical engineer and now runs his own business. Simon lives in Fairford with his wife and two boys with his eldest having just started at Farmor’s this year. 

Mrs Rachel Chamberlain

Rachel joined the History Department at Farmor's School in 2018, having previously been an Assistant Headteacher at a Secondary school in Leamington Spa. As well as teaching History for over 20 years, she has been a Staff Governor in two other Secondary schools and she is currently also a Governor of a local Primary School. Rachel lives in the local area and has a daughter at Secondary school. Aside from her work in the classroom, Rachel plays several musical instruments and enjoys sport, especially tennis.

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.