Aston Rowant Church of England Primary School

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Aston Rowant Church of England Primary School

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Introducing our Governors


At Aston Rowant, we have a committed board of governors with a wealth of expertise, who work tirelessly to support and challenge the school to fulfil the vision. The attachments below contain information about the work of our Board and how it is structured, including the names, categories, responsibilities and terms of appointment for each Governor.  


Who’s who on the Board of Governors


Dr. Steve Taylor (Chair of Governors)

I'm married with three daughters, a dog and I live in Aston Rowant.  I have a PhD in organic chemistry and have worked in research, manufacturing and latterly, Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) within the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. From 2003 up until retirement in 2015, I was as director and head of global internal audit for EHS.  The changes in my career path have required that I study for additional appropriate professional qualifications along the way. I don’t know where the spark came from that initiated my interest and ability to learn, but what I do know, is that I had a very happy and rewarding start in life at a rural primary school not unlike Aston Rowant.  Retirement has given the time for me to follow my many and varied hobbies so often neglected due to work commitments. In addition, when the post of school governor became available, has provided the opportunity to pursue my lifelong interest in learning and hopefully put something back into a system that has provided me with so much.  


Alan Melady (Vice Chair of Governors)

A father of two children at Aston Rowant school who has lived in the parish since 2013. Born and raised in Birmingham, as an adult I have lived in Leicester, Solihull, multiple parts of London, New York, Hoboken (New Jersey), back to London and then up to this lovely part of England. My professional career has mainly been at British Airways where I worked in commercial and strategic roles. I have an MBA and currently work as Head of Strategy at Hertz, the global car rental company. I am a strong believer in the central role that education plays in the country and the school plays in our parish. I am determined to ensure a sustainable future for the school and its continual improvement for pupils and staff. I am excited and energised by this opportunity to utilise my skills and experience to benefit others.


Helen France

As Head Teacher, I am an ex-officio member of the Board of Governors. I studied business at university and my first career was as a Regional HR Manager working in retail. Whilst I took a career break to have my family I did some HR consultancy work, headed the youth and family ministry in my local church, was Chair of Governors at a local church school, ran parenting courses for the local authority and completed a Diploma in Biblical Theology. When my youngest child started school I completed my PGCE, with my first teaching practice at Aston Rowant School! My business background, church work, 17 years as a governor and my work with children and families gives me a broad range of skills which I delighted to bring to the role of Head Teacher and member of the Governing Body.


Tom Sowerby

I have lived in Aston Rowant since 2009 and been a Governor at Aston Rowant since 2013. My day job is Principal at Bisham Abbey Sailing School as well as running first aid and health and safety training. In my free time I enjoy sailing, horseball (no, you won't have heard of it!) and cycling.  I first joined the governing body to take a more active role in the school community as a neighbour.  I enjoy helping support and drive the school forwards. Seeing the positive impact on the children as they progress through their primary education is very rewarding. It's also a real pleasure to work with such a dedicated and committed group of staff and fellow governors.


Rev. Des Foote

I was an electrical engineer with the Electricity company for 35 years during which time I gained a variety of experiences in people skills, problem solving, quality and financial control. During the later years I undertook part time study to become an ordained minister. After privatisation there was an opportunity for voluntary redundancy enabling me to become a full-time parish priest until I retired 5 years ago.  I have always had a special interest in helping young people grow and develop in the fullest possible way, enabling them to discover and use their unique talents, skills and interests.  I have been a governor at 3 different schools over the last 17 years and still enjoy the constant new challenges which this role brings.


Georgina McCleary

I have been a class teacher at Aston Rowant for 7 years and am currently teaching Years 3 and 4 in Fox Class. I am passionate about education and the positive impact life-long learning can have on people’s lives. I look forward to working alongside school staff and the rest of the governing body to continue our exciting and ambitious plans for the future.


Sam Goose

I have spent my whole working life in public service including 10 years in the Royal Navy and almost five now working for the NHS. I have a great interest in ensuring that services provided to taxpayers are effective and value for money, and would love to take the opportunity to use this experience in the education sector. I’m currently the Practice Manager at a GP Practice in Maidenhead. Similarly, to the school, it is a small organisation with a sizeable budget which requires careful management to ensure that money is spent effectively and limited resources are used to their best effect. My job also involves significant interaction with shareholders in the wider healthcare community, which I am sure has similarities with the way the school works with its shareholders such as the Thame Partnership, OFSTED and the County Council. I can bring this experience to the Board of Governors to assist with understanding the challenges facing a small, rural primary school and provide strategic thought and decision making on the direction and vision of the school. With two children at the school, I have a heavily vested interest in seeing the school go from strength to strength and enjoy working with the current team of Governors to help make this happen.



You can contact us to discuss any aspect of governance at any time though the school office or by email to: or We look forward to hearing from you.

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