Who are Governors and what do they do?

Governors are volunteers who work in partnership with schools to ensure that children receive the best education possible. Every state school in the UK has a Governing Body to provide strategic management and to act as a "critical friend” to the school, supporting the work of the Headteacher and other staff.  Together with the Headteacher they set the future direction of the school and decide how the school’s budget should be spent.  Governing bodies make decisions collectively on matters such as school policies and the school’s development plan.

Governors do not run the school; the Headteacher and the leadership team are responsible for day-to-day management of the school.

Governors are usually appointed or elected for a period of four years.   If you are interested in becoming a Governor in the future or wish to contact the Chair of Governors, please do so via our Clerk to the Governors at the school

Our current Governing Body is as follows:



Sue Maizonnier - Chair of Governors,  Community Governor

I’ve lived in Tewkesbury since 1982 and have two sons who both progressed to university from Tewkesbury School. I live in the school community and have a keen interest in the success of Tewkesbury School, so  I am delighted to be invited to support the school and community as a Community Governor and now to serve as Chair of Governors.

Recently retired, my background is in the Financial Services sector, with 40 years’ experience in General Insurance Underwriting, People and Project Management, Marketing and Strategy.  I am a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.   As well as a business contribution, I’m keen to support the school in seeking opportunities to develop our students and at the same time support the community.

I’m very much an outdoors person and in my spare time I enjoy leading guided walks for a holiday company.  When I’m not doing this  I  can be found taking an energetic walk to enjoy our countryside and coastlines, or supporting the school’s Duke of Edinburgh award programme. 

I  currently serve on the following committees: Chair of Full Governing Board meetings; Curriculum and Standards; Personnel and Student/Staff Welfare. 

Term of office ends: 02 July 2024.

Pat Stringfellow 14-9-21Patricia Stringfellow, MBE - Community Governor

In my early career I spent over 15 years working at board level of UK service sector companies. I have a degree in Business Studies and an MBA as well as being a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). I have many years of experience as a Human Resource Director and in 2010 set up my own freelance consultancy business advising Board level directors in strategic HR matters as well as business effectiveness issues. My work has covered sectors across service, distribution, charities, education, pharmaceuticals, health care and oil exploration.

I am also a co-founder and joint Managing Director of WatchMeGrow an early year’s education consultancy and software business.

In 2003 I was awarded an MBE for services to training through many years of chairing the National Training Awards (NTA’s). I now chair The Princess Royal Training Awards. I am an Honorary Fellow of City and Guilds and served on the Trustee Board for 12 years. I now sit on its Council.

I have lived in Tewkesbury for 32 years. My husband David, set up his business in the town 20 years ago and employs over 25 people some of whom joined from Tewkesbury School. I am particularly interested in supporting students to become job ready and to forging links between the school and local employers as well as supporting the teaching body in business related subjects.

In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors whether walking the hills, out kayaking or tending our garden.

I currently serve on the following committees:  Vice Chair Personnel and Student Welfare

Term of office ends: 31 August 2024

Sarah Cole image A 2

Sarah Cole - Community Governor

I am a Chartered Accountant, qualified in 1995, and spent the initial part of my career post qualification working for Grant Thornton in Cheltenham specialising in statutory audit services.  However, since 2004 I have worked for Trelleborg, a multi-national Swedish owned manufacturing group, as their UK Financial and Tax Controller, based at their Sealing Solutions manufacturing site in Tewkesbury. My role mainly encompasses statutory financial statements, statutory audit oversight and corporation tax compliance for all UK companies in the Group as well as other legal and compliance matters.

I have adopted Tewkesbury as my home town, having grown up in South East Kent, and am passionate about the future of young people in the town.  When the opportunity to join the Governing body arose I was keen to get involved.  I have three boys, two of which have attended Tewkesbury School, although the youngest is elsewhere. I therefore have experience as a parent of different schools and hope to be able to draw on that in my role as a governor.  

In my spare time I am also Treasurer of Tewkesbury Tigers, the junior section of Tewkesbury RFC, enjoy watching rugby and going to the gym.

I currently serve on the following committees:  Finance and Premises

Term of office ends: 2 September 2025


Quinn, Jon

Jon Quinn – Partnership Governor

I am the owner and Managing Director of Geckota Limited.  Geckota is a local company specialising in the design and online retail of watches and replacement watch straps. I have a degree in electronics and prior to setting up Geckota I was employed as a Development Engineer at L-3 TRL Technology.

Geckota has grown to a staff of around 20 people and in the last few years we have taken on a number of apprentices and former pupils of Tewkesbury School. I believe that young people should be given every possible opportunity to achieve their full potential and at Geckota we do this with on the job training as well as providing opportunities for additional study.

I am keen to contribute to the development of Tewkesbury School and look forward to serving as a Governor.

I currently serve on the following committee: Vice Chair of Full Governing Board meetings; Chair Curriculum and Standards. 

Term of office ends: 14 August 2022.

Steve Hawkins - Parternship Governor Ste

I started working life as a Student Dowty Apprentice who subsequently went to work for: Dowty Hydraulics, Mining, Rotol and Propellers where I became Managing Director. I then continued to work for TI and Smiths Aerospace Landing Gear Actuation in similar roles.

Whilst most of my career has been spent in Senior Aerospace Management positions, I have had more general Engineering positions working for John Brown Group and B.P. My position before retiring September 2012 was Site Manager for Moog Controls at Tewkesbury, with Operational responsibilities in the US and Philippines. In 2011 I was asked to join the Board of the Gloucestershire L.E.P. and set up the Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Sector Group. I am the Business Manager Trustee for the Peter Lang Trust, a Gloucestershire based charity.

Until recently I have raced and prepared my own Formula Ford race car. I have now unsuccessfully focused my attention to golf and cruising on the River Avon. I am married to Anne and have lived in Cheltenham for the last forty years with my two daughters.

I currently serve on the following committees:  Chair Personnel and Student/Staff Welfare; Finance and Premises.

Term of office ends: 24 May 2024.


Nigel Cottell

Nigel Cottell – Partnership Governor 

I am a retired Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.  I spent my working career based mainly in Gloucestershire, initially with the Dowty Group, where I completed a student apprenticeship, and then more recently with Moog Controls Limited at Tewkesbury.  I moved to Moog in 1990 and held a number of senior management positions including an overseas posting as Director and General Manager of Moog Luxembourg.  Before I retired I was the Site Director for Moog Controls Limited and the European Director of Quality for Moog Aircraft Group.

I believe that strong links between school and business provide a very valuable dimension to any student’s learning experience and I continue to be active in this area in retirement.  I hope I can support the school as it develops and build links with local businesses that will help inform students on career choices and further education.

I am married to Rachel (a primary school teacher), I have 4 children and live just south of Cheltenham.   

I currently serve on the following committees: Chair Finance and Premises.

Term of office ends: 19 May 2024.


Machray, Richard

Richard Machray - Parent Governor

I’m a parent of two children at Tewkesbury school, both of whom are throughly enjoying their educational experience.  I volunteered to become a parent governor to support this important stage in their life.  I’ve been greatly impressed in how the school delivers my children’s education and all of the extra-curricular opportunities that are offered. 

In my working life I am a Chartered Mechanical engineer working within the nuclear power generation industry where I am responsible for the delivery of a significant part of a new build power station in north wales.  I fully understand the need to develop a low carbon culture now to ensure our children don’t suffer in the future and I’m keen to ensure that the children understand where nuclear energy sits within this mix.

In my limited spare time I’m a serving Army Reserve officer where I put my engineering skills to use within the Army’s Infrastructure design organisation, this has given me a great deal of experience in understanding how government departments work and also a great deal of understanding of facilities management.  I am hoping that my experience in this will support the schools ongoing growth and development.

I currently service on the following committee: Vice Chair Finance and Premises.

Term of Office ends: 22 October 2022.


Catherine Folkes - Parent Governor

I am from a teaching background, with experience in both inner city and more suburban/rural schools, but also have spent time working as a 1:1 SEN teaching assistant. I am currently working in a local school, as a creative technician, across the Art and Photography departments.

My eldest son is currently in Year 8 and I have been really impressed, especially throughout lockdown, by the commitment and enthusiasm of the teachers at Tewkesbury School. This has inspired me to want to play my part in the future developments of the school, seeking a high-quality educational experience for all.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family: we are part of Holy Trinity Church in Tewkesbury; enjoy exploring the countryside around us; travelling (when we’re allowed!) and I am always interested in new creative projects.

I am really looking forward to becoming part of the Governing body and learning more about the organisation and culture of Tewkesbury School.

I currently service on the following committee: Vice Chair Curriculum and Standards.

Term of Office ends: 20 October 2024.


Kate Thompson - Parent Governor

I started as a Parent Governor in 2020, just as my son joined the school in Year 7 in the most unusual of circumstances due to COVID-19. It may seem early to volunteer to join the Governing body when he has only been here a few weeks but I feel that it gives me the perfect opportunity to see things through his eyes as a newcomer and add this perspective to the board.

We have lived in Tewkesbury for 14 years and I work across Gloucestershire as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, leading services for people with learning disabilities and autism, as well as providing support to staff in a variety of settings.  My studies and work in Psychology have provided wide ranging knowledge and experience of supporting people of all ages in a variety of settings, generally with the aim of helping them be the best version of themselves that they can be. This is often made easier by ensuring that they, and those around them, are receiving the right support. With this in mind I am keen to join the Personnel and Student / Staff Welfare committee and also the Curriculum and Standards committee.

I currently service on the following committee: Curriculum and Standards; Personnel and Student/Staff Welfare.

Term of Office ends: 20 October 2024.

Sarah Penny - Photo

Sarah Penny - Parent Governor

I am a parent of three girls, two of which have attended Tewkesbury School. My youngest has recently joined in Year 7, so have had experience of children being in both the lower and higher years within the school. I am excited to part of the Governing Board, and contribute to the future development of the school to achieve the best outcomes for all students. 
I have worked and continue to work with young people for all of my working life, within the fields of Youth Work, Social Care and Youth Justice, and I have extensive experience of multiagency working to support young people to thrive, often when dealing with complex issues. I am always amazed and inspired by young people and their resilience, motivation and capacity to change. I use the restorative approach in all aspects of my work, to rebuild relationships and repair harm. I hope that my knowledge and experience will enable me to fully contribute as a board member to support the school.
Outside of work, and busy family life, I am part of a women’s rounders team, and also play in a samba band.

I currently service on the following committee: Curriculum and Standards; Personnel and Student/Staff Welfare.

Term of Office ends: 4 October 2025.



Ed Fair - Staff Governor

Prior to teaching I spent a number of years working in sales and manufacturing, I now teach Electronics and am Head of Year.  I have been a member of the Governing Body for several years and sit on the Finance Committee.  My work at the school brings me into contact with staff from all areas of the school and I am keen to use the skills and experience I have gained over the years to keep Tewkesbury School moving forwards and help our young people fulfil their potential.

I currently serve on the following committees:  Curriculum and Standards.

Term of office ends: 20 March 2026.