About Our Governors

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Lorraine Desai (Chair), Co-opted Governor (Finance, Strategy and Resources Committee)

I originally came to Oxford some 25 years ago to read Law at Oxford University and have lived here ever since. I have been a Governor at Botley School since October 2012 and took over as Chair of Governors in November 2013. I am a member of our Financial, Strategy and Resources Committee where my background as a solicitor often proves useful. I also have special responsibility for Health and Safety matters and Special Educational Needs.

My daughter, Mia, is  in  Year 6, and has been at Botley School since Nursery. I am particularly proud of the commitment of our staff to creating an inclusive learning environment where all of our children are challenged, supported and encouraged to achieve the very highest standards in all aspects of their lives.


Annette Ahern (Vice Chair), Co–opted Governor (Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee)

Annette became a governor in 1999 when both her children were attending Botley School.  From 2003=2013 she was Chair of Governors.  In 2013 she made the decision to return to work and stepped down from the role of Chair.  She is currently Vice Chair.  Annette works for a charity in Oxford.  She has two grown up children.  Annette enjoys cooking, gardening and crafts and you may have seen her stall at the summer and Xmas fairs in School.  Annette has also been a Panel Member for Education Appeals and Exclusion Appeals.


Kerry O'Callaghan, Parent Governor (Finance, Strategy and Resources Committee)

I have two children Phoebe (Year 6) and Dylan (Year 3) and have been a Parent Governor since December 2012. I am currently chair of the Financial Strategy & Resources Committee.

I grew up in a small village in Wales and after completing my GCSE’s & A' levels went on to study Mathematics at The University of Hertfordshire where I met my husband Nick. I worked for a few years in Oxford for Hartwell Ford and then in Wales for Land Rover/Jaguar until we moved permanently to Oxford in 2004. We finally settled in Botley 6 years ago as Phoebe was approaching school age and I have been working in the Finance Bursary at Brasenose College for the last 10 years.

In my spare time I am an avid reader which is a trait that has been passed to both my children who adore books. I like to cook and I also make re-usable eye patches for children to make that awful patching experience a bit more enjoyable.

I became a parent governor because I wanted to make a positive contribution towards the School and my maths & accounts background has been invaluable when working on budget planning & staffing structures. I have a keen interest in ensuring that the school makes continuous improvements in standards that are both inclusive and challenging for all children.I believe a positive experience in education is the key to every child's future and in my role as a governor I support, as well as challenge, the school on its performance and standards to ensure that all the children gain a quality education in a great school that creates excellence & embraces all.


Sue Dowe, Co-Opted Governor, (Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee)

I have been a Community Governor for around 4 years and previously managed Elms Road Children's Centre. My previous experience includes teaching in a secondary school, teaching adults, home-school link worker and family learning tutor.

My interests lie in empowering families to support their child's learning and development and creating a positive school and home partnership.

I am currently Safeguarding Lead Governor and am Link Governor for Maths and KS2.


Layla Moran MP, Associate Governor (Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee)

Layla Moran is a Physics and Maths teacher who works for an education company designing online learning products in Oxford.  She has lived and worked in many countries including Jamaica, Jordan, Greece and Belgium, speaks fluent French and embarrassingly little Arabic given that she is half Palestinian. She read Physics at Imperial College and holds an MA in Comparative Education from the Institute of Education.  She has been involved in local politics for several years which is how she got to know, and fell in love with, Botley School.

Layla was elected as the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West in 2017 and is an Associate Governor at Botley School. She is currently the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education.


Cllr Judy Roberts, Local Authority Governor (Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee)

Botley has been my home since 1988. I have an MSc in Analytical Chemistry and worked for the NHS for 18 years in Pathology followed by 7 years at Oxford University in Scientific Archaeology. I currently work at St.Edward’s school in Chemistry. Both my children attended Elms Road Nursery followed by Botley School and I became involved with the organisation of the school when I was Secretary of FOBS. I became L.A. governor in 2007 when I was elected as a District Councillor for Cumnor Ward. In 2017, I was elected as a County Councillor for Oxfordshire County Council in the North Hinksey Division.

As a councillor I am involved in the future planning of this area and help to keep the school well informed. I have always been passionate about Science and feel that the Forest School brings this subject alive. I hope that my experience as a childminder and the setting up of BOHSC as Chair of that committee have been useful in my previous role as Early Years Lead Governor. I feel honoured to be part of such an enthusiastic and dedicated team at Botley School. I am currently Science Lead Governor


Alison Marsh, Head Teacher (Finance, Strategy and Resources Committee)

I started my teaching career in Birmingham in 1991 and have taught in both large urban and small villages schools with huge differences in social and cultural diversity.

I relocated to Oxford in 2008 and have been Headteacher at Botley since January 2009. Botley School was placed in a failing Ofsted category prior to my appointment and after considerable hard work became a “Good” school.  We are now working even harder to retain that rating, after our Ofsted inspection in November 2016 rated us as “Requires Improvement”. Value added data for children leaving Botley School is better than the National average and we put this down to the hard work and commitment we have to learning, making learning irresistible – especially through Outdoor Learning.


Lisa Barnes, Parent Governor (Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee)

I am a parent governor and I sit on the Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee. I have recently taken over the role of joint Chair of this Committee (alongside Ben Potter). I have special responsibility for our Early Years provision and for the school’s breakfast and after school clubs.

We moved to Botley in 2014 from the Netherlands where we had spent 5 years as expats. I have 3 children, one who is in Year 9 at Matthew Arnold,  and two children at Botley, one in Year 6 and one in  Year 1. When we moved here, I was in the privileged position of deciding where to live based on the school we chose for our children. I looked round many schools in Oxford and chose Botley as I immediately liked the warmth, space and exciting mixture of cultures that was on offer here. I have not looked back!

Having experienced a (state run) International school which followed the International Baccalaureate program I am interested in the UK curriculum and the strengths and weaknesses of both systems. Prior to having children I ran a ski company, training adults to become ski/ snowboard instructors. I remain a non-executive board member but now fill my time as a qualified personal fitness trainer. As such I am passionate about sport and fitness in schools running alongside a strong arts programme. I believe that every child should be able to find a sport or activity which they enjoy alongside their school work which gives them self-confidence and a healthy attitude. I have been delighted to find that Botley school has many teachers and staff who share this belief and lead the way in offering a high standard of sport tuition and musical clubs and activities as well as organizing exciting school trips and inviting interesting visitors to the school.

Ben Potter, Parent Governor (Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee)

I currently serve as a parent governor at Botley School having been elected in January 2016. I am currently co-Chair of the Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee. I have special responsibility for Literacy and KS1.

I have lived in Botley for over five years and my children both go to Botley school. I am an Associate Professor of Energy Systems at the University of Reading, with a background in electronic engineering, and I am also a director of an engineering consultancy business. I have an Engineering Science degree from Oxford, a PhD in electronic engineering from Reading, and an NVQ Level 4 in Management from the Chartered Management Institute. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and volunteer with the Institute of Engineering and Technology. Prior to working at the University, I was an R&D Manager in an international engineering company.

Jules Christie, Staff Governor

Information to be added soon.

Clive Hodge, Parent Governor (Finance, Strategy and Resources Committee)

I was elected a Parent Governor in June 2016. This year I join the Financial Strategy & Resources Committee where I hope to help the school continue to grow and prosper in the face of increasing pressure on finances and the prospect of more families coming to the area.

I have lived in Botley for the last 9 years. My eldest son left at the end of the last academic year, his brother now starting in Year 4. I am an Electronics Engineer by training and after a 33-year career at the BBC I now work part-time helping smaller companies to develop their digital technologies.


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Family Services


School Update - 5:15pm

Plan is to open tomorrow as usual

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Update - 7:20

School Closed

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School Update

Site inspection being carried out

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Update 2.45pm Monday 11th December 2017

Plan is for school to be open.

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School Closure

School Closed to all Monday 11th December

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