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Claremont Special

Governor Profiles

Sarah Ball

Role on Governing Body:  Co-opted Governor since October 2019.

Background:  I am married and have two adult children. I enjoy hiking, table tennis, art and poetry.

Education and Employment: I came to Bristol University in 1972 and have stayed in this city, which I love. After University I qualified as a social worker and have worked in Children’s Services, both for the local authority and also for a charity which supported homeless families.  

Particular Interest in Governing BodyI am the Named Governor for Children-in-care and for children benefiting from targeted funding

Relevant experience:  I have spent much of my social work career supporting children with special needs and their families.


Clare Campion-Smith 

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor. I have been a governor since 2005

Background: I am married and we have a son who lives 10 minutes away from us and a daughter who lives in Australia! We have two football-mad grandsons and enjoy being in the countryside and listening to music

Education and employment: I was born and went to school in Liverpool. I became a mathematics teacher and, on retiring, was elected to the Council to represent Henleaze ward

Particular interest in Governing Body: 'I am on the Safeguarding & well-being and Learning & Curriculum committees and I am the Named Governor for Child Protection

Relevant Experience: My teaching experience was in mainstream schools but I am familiar with curriculum development, working in subject teams, assessment and the complexity of modern education

 Mark Dillon 

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor

Background: I have been a qualified and practising solicitor for over twenty years and during that time have worked in the City; in Local and Central Government and in Commerce and Industry. Currently I work in Bristol's Defence Sector. 

Before becoming a solicitor, I worked in sales marketing, public relations. and as a teacher and I like to think that those experiences beyond the law have made me more interested in the generic, problem-solving skills which a legal training can give rather than just the law itself. 

Education and employment: I went to school in Nottingham, University at Cambridge and Leeds and to the College of Law in York

Interests/hobbies: I love the Great Outdoors (cross country and fell running, 'cycling, hiking, climbing); history of all types (but particularly local history), politics and- above all- a good conversation!

Particular interest in Governing Body: Governance and the School's planned Building Programme.

Relevant Experience: Each of my roles over the last 15 years or so has involved a lot of governance work- basically trying to make the organisation work more effectively and make decisions in a coherent, informed and transparent manner.

I am also a Governor at Whitehall Primary School Bristol where I sit on the Finance and Health and Safety Committees.

Joined October 2019


Graham Donald 

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor

Personal Details: Graham is married to Gillian and they have two children and two grandsons.  Their daughter, Mary, has moderate learning difficulties and attended Kingsweston School.

Background: Graham comes from Somerset and lived in Oxford, Edinburgh and Essex before moving to Bristol in 1993.  Graham was a senior civil servant, working for the Department of the Environment and then the Privy Council Office, where he was Deputy Clerk and Director of Corporate Services.  After early retirement, he had a variety of roles in statutory regulation and chaired the board of trustees of a Bristol charity.  He is a member of the National Blood Transfusion Committee and has also worked with NICE. 

Interests/hobbies: Politics and community affairs; church and charitable work; reading, theatre, music and the arts generally.

Particular interest in Governing Body: Graham would like to bring his experience of being a parent of a child with learning difficulties, including advocating for his daughter and dealing with the various statutory authorities, to the role of school governor.

Relevant experience: He believes he has transferable skills to offer from his civil service and other roles, for example, decision-making, communication, collaborative, listening, learning and negotiation skills.

 Vicky Fraser                                                    


Role on governor Body: Co-opted governor from December 2020

Background: I am married and have 2 teenage children at Redland Green School. My son Harry plays for Bristol Rugby and my daughter Tilly is a county swimmer. We enjoy going for walks with our dog Nala and seeing friends when we can!

Education and employment: I am a freelance Business Development and Marketing consultant. I have a psychology degree from Southampton University and worked for many years in large advertising agencies in London, Istanbul and Prague. Since moving to Bristol in 2007, I have worked for some amazing companies; notably Fosters Events, Bristol Old Vic, Pukka Herbs, The Wave and currently Future Leap.

Particular interest in governing body: I am on the Resources committee and am interested in the schools planned building programme.

Relevant experience: I have over 25 years experience in business; in budget setting, financial strategy & control and in management. I most enjoy working as part of a team and in offering strategic guidance where required. I am in the process of training to be a school business manager.



Elizabeth Jahn 

 Role on Governing Body: Clerk to the Governors




Charlie McCall

Role on Governing Body: Parent Governor

Background: I am married with two young children (our oldest will be starting school Sept 2020).  I moved to Bristol in 2011 after living and working in London for years.  We love walking, running, and being in the mountains. Family disco time is also important in our house.

Education and Employment: I went to school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  I did both my Physiotherapy and MSc degrees in East London.  I qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2001.  I worked in the NHS in large teaching hospitals for 7 years and have worked in private practice since specialising in musculoskeletal physiotherapy.  I have also worked within sport including attending two World University Games with Team GBR, and being Chief Physiotherapy Officer for the School Games since 2014.

Particular interest in Governing Body: I am on the Safeguarding & well-being and Learning & Curriculum committees

Relevant experience: Early on in my NHS work I started training as a Paediatric Physiotherapist before switching to MSK.  During this time, I was a visiting Physiotherapist to special schools and community services in south London. I am about to embark on the school journey with my own children so have a keen interest in what is happening within education.


Samantha Piggot

Role on Governing Body: Staff governor since 2018

Background:  I am married with a daughter and a son with high-functioning autism. I am a keen musician and singer and have taken great delight in applying this to our school’s Open Orchestra.

Education and employment:  I went to school in the Scottish Borders and to St Andrews University. Throughout my working life I worked in a variety of contexts including: supported living for people with learning difficulties and respite work; guidance work in the Employment service; and Community, FE and SEN education.

Particular interest in Governing Body:  I am on the safeguarding & Wellbeing committee.

Relevant Experience: Education context, previous parent governor at my children's schools and roles on various committees including leading teaching and learning and being the SEN governor.


Emma Richards

Role on Governing Body: Head teacher, since September 2018

Background:  I am married with 4 teenage children.  We live in a village near Stroud, Gloucestershire.  I like to spend free time with my family, pets and friends, and getting outdoors when possible, into the Cotswold countryside. 

Education and employment:  I come from Chepstow, and went to Bath for university (Single Honours History degree) and then UWE for my PGCE (Secondary History).  I worked in mainstream Secondary Schools in Bristol and Bath until 1999 when I started working in a SEND school in Stroud.  I have worked within SEND since then, in a range of different settings, with a range of different student needs. 

Particular interest in Governing Body:  I am on all our committees.

Relevant Experience: Teaching experience of 23 years, SEND Education background of 21 years, previous experience as staff governor at a SEND school for 5 years, member of playgroup committee for 2 years, trustee member of local charity for 7 years. 


Graham Symonds

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor since December 2019

Background:  Married, with two sons, and two grand-children. We moved to Bristol in Summer 2019. I enjoy keeping active, particularly outdoors, and being with family and friends.

Education and employment:  I went to school in Reading and to Leeds University.  Throughout my working life I worked for local authorities in a variety of departments and roles. My most recent experience has been in education, children and family teams in local authorities in the south east of England.  I retired from paid work in April 2019.  

Particular interest in Governing BodyI have been Chair of the Governing Body since March 2020. I am on all our committees.

Relevant Experience: Education context; previous parent governor at my children's schools and roles on various management committees; working as part of teams; budget and staffing management.

Joined late 2019


Barry Trahar

Role on Governing Body:  Local Authority Governor, appointed by Bristol City Council

Personal Details:  Australian by birth, now of joint British/Australian nationality.  I have lived in the UK since 1975 and in Bristol since 1978 

Background:  Educated in Australia and have a Diploma in Catering & Hotel Management. I am a fellow of the UK’s Institute of Hospitality. I was responsible for the management of the University of Bristol’s catering and residential services (13 departments) until my retirement in 2010.  I am a Magistrate, sitting in both the Criminal and Family Courts. 

Interests/hobbies:  Travel, walking, politics, theatre, wine & food, voluntary work.  I am also a Governor at Redland Green School. 

Particular interest in Governing Body:  Resources Committee - Finance, staffing and site matters

Relevant Experience:  As an LEA approved governor, my appointment was by political party (the Labour Party) and so not for any educational experience, but my 28 years at the University gave me a significant understanding of the broad political aspects relating to education. 

My most relevant experience in respect of Claremont relates to financial, budgetary and staff management, as I manage a multi-million pound budget at the University and had responsibility for approximately 600 staff.