Quick Links

Quick Links

Kingsweston School

Governor Profiles 

Kristy Bowers

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor since May 2022.

Background: I’m a solicitor by training but have spent the last 8 years working in schools.  I enjoy early morning workouts, social history, travelling and reading.

I have lived in the area with my family for the past 20 years.

Education and EmploymentI went to school in Wiltshire, studied History and American Studies at the University of Birmingham and then moved to Bristol in 2000 to complete my Post Graduate Diploma in Law and then my Legal Practice Course.

I qualified as a solicitor in a large local firm in 2003, specialising in Real Estate.  I practiced for a number of years before having children and a career break.  

In 2014 I started working in the school office of a local primary school and in 2018 moved to work in a larger all-through school that provides education for children aged from 4 to 18.  I work closely with the Senior Leadership Team - monitoring and auditing compliance, CPD and other data as well as forming and implementing both mid- and longer-term strategies.

Relevant Experience: I’ve always been logical and thorough and enjoy working as part of a multi-disciplinary team - either collaborating to formulate strategy, thinking critically to deliver solutions or working constructively to suggest improvements.  From 2014 to 2018 I was a Governor at another local school.

Particular Interest in Governing Body: I currently sit on the Finance & Resources Committee and the Safeguarding, Health & Wellbeing Committee and am involved in the ongoing program of monitoring visits.  I also look forward to working as part of any smaller ad hoc Committees.  I am also the Named Governor for Staff & Student Wellbeing & Mental Health.

Helen Bryer

Role on Governing BodyCo-opted Governor since September 2021.

Background: I am married, with two young children. I've been in Bristol a few years now and really enjoy getting outside and exploring the local area.

Education and Employment: I'm a civil servant and have worked in the UK and overseas, as well as with a charity working with young people. 

Relevant Experience: I have experience in shaping policy and strategy as a civil servant, as well as experience of building an effective Governing Body through my work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs). I have worked on safeguarding in a range of contexts. 

Particular Interest in Governing Body: I am the Named Governor for Safeguarding, as well as a wider interest in all elements of governance. I currently sit on the Safeguarding, Health & Wellbeing Committee and the Learning, Curriculum & Teaching Committee.   

Ally Churchill

Role on Governing Body: Staff Governor since March 2023.

Background: I have been working at Kingsweston School for the past 12 years.

Education and Employment: I have worked in different roles including Teaching Assistant (TA), Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) and more recently Pupil Support Mentor. I am a licenced Thrive practitioner and have a passion for all things pastoral.

Relevant Experience: As a Kingsweston School staff member, I have a good understanding of the school, education and the needs of the children and families we serve.

Particular Interest in Governing Body: I currently sit on the Safeguarding, Health & Wellbeing Committee and provide updates to the Committee on children and young people’s attendance as well as feedback from student voice.

Elizabeth Jahn 

Role on Governing Body: Clerk to the Governors since March 2013.

Education and EmploymentI attended Filton College to study Business & Management Studies including Managerial Accountancy, Public Administration, Business Administration, Organisation in its Environment, People & Communication, Secretarial Skills I & II.  I am also employed as a Clerk at several other schools and Trusts within and outside of Bristol as well as Clerk to Trustees of 2 charity organisations serving the community.

I have been a foster parent since April 2018 and from then until November 2023, together with my husband, we have looked after 31 children, 2 of which, now live with us as part of our family under a Special Guardianship Order.  Together with my husband, who is from the Czech Republic, I am also a property owner landlord in Weston-Super-Mare where we live having moved from Bristol in 2017.

Relevant Experience: I have been a Clerk since 2006 for a large number of different schools/educational provisions from nursery to Post 16; I also work for several special schools/alternative provisions, and therefore, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to support Governors carry out their roles and responsibilities.

I also have experience of working as a legal secretary and employing staff within 2 business jointly owned with my husband; as well as being a former professional ice skater having spent 12 years touring the world in the multi-million-dollar ice show, Holiday on Ice where I met my husband who is a former Czech Champion!  I have ice skated alongside World and Olympic champions including Bristol’s own Robin Cousins, and occasionally non-skating artists such as Billy Ocean, Vanessa Mae and Chris de Burgh.

Particular Interest in Governing Body: The role of Clerk is to ensure that the Governing Body follows agreed and proper procedures, operates within its powers and the business of the Governing Body is conducted smoothly and efficiently.  The Clerk has a pivotal role in managing the business of the Governing Body and in making sure the Governing Body fulfils its responsibilities and adds value to the process of governance.  My work includes preparing Agendas, taking and distributing Minutes of meetings, and providing effective administrative support, procedural and legislative advice to the Governing Body. 


Jo Penny

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor since March 2023.

Background: I am a Primary school teacher in a large co-educational school in Clifton. I enjoy weekends spent visiting family in Cornwall and making the most of being by the sea. I am a keen traveller and animal lover. 

Education and Employment: I went to school in Taunton and studied for my degree in Primary Education in Canterbury. I moved to Bristol to start my teaching career in 2007. In December 2010, I spent 19 months travelling around New Zealand, Fiji and Australia and I worked as an au-pair in Sydney for 13 months, where I also volunteered at the local Primary school. I returned to Bristol, and Primary school teaching, in September 2012.

Relevant Experience: I have 14 years teaching experience.

Particular Interest in Governing Body: As a recently appointed Governor, I am looking forward to finding out about Claremont and Kingsweston Schools and I have a particular interest in pastoral care and behaviour.  I currently sit on the Learning, Curriculum & Teaching Committee and the Safeguarding, Health & Wellbeing Committee and I am School Development Plan (SDP) Link Governor for Behaviour & Attitudes and for Quality of Education.

Emma Richards

Role on Governing Body: Ex-officio by virtue of being Headteacher of Claremont School since September 2018 and from 2023, the Executive Headteacher of Claremont and Kingsweston Schools Federation.

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 the University of the West of England (UWE) for my postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) (Secondary History).  I worked in mainstream Secondary schools in Bristol and Bath until 1999 when I started working in a special educational needs and disability (SEND) school in Stroud.  I have worked within SEND since then, in a range of different settings, with a range of different student needs. 

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. 

Particular Interest in Governing Body: I am on all our Committees.

Maureen Salter - Co-Chair of the Governing Body

Role on Governing Body: Co-Opted Governor (and also formerly the Local Authority nominated Governor) since July 2018 and Co-Chair of the Governing Body.

Background: I am a local, having lived in Bristol all my life! I am married with very grown-up children and 2 amazing grandchildren who live in Warwick and visit regularly. I spend much time in my garden growing flowers and veggies...when the winter drives me inside, I love to sew, mainly flowers!! I also enjoy walking and travel, both abroad and in the UK.

Education and Employment: Educated in the Direct Grant system (long defunct!) I left school at 16 and held a variety of clerical jobs until the late 1970s when I took a career break to raise my kids. 

In the late 1980s I embarked on my undergrad degree at what is now the University of the West of England (UWE) and after I graduated, I spent the next 19 years teaching - in a mainstream Primary and then in social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) Special. Absolutely the best years of my working life, I retired in 2010.

Relevant Experience: I was Staff Governor at both the school I taught in as well as a Co-opted Governor at another Bristol Special school, including a year as Chair.

Particular Interest in Governing Body: I have a specific interest in both the curriculum, how it is constructed and delivered and, in the attitudes, and behaviours of pupils and how this impacts learning. I remain committed to the provision of quality education for all pupils.  I am currently the Chair of the Learning, Curriculum & Teaching Committee and of the Safeguarding, Health & Wellbeing Committee.  I am a member of the Appraisal of the Executive Headteacher Panel and School Development Plan (SDP) Link Governor for Quality of Education

Nick Sampson

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor (and also formerly a Parent Governor) since July 2019.

Background: I have lived in Bristol since 1996 and am married with two daughters, one of whom has autism. I enjoy films, reading and the outdoors – walking, cycling, and the occasional wild swim!

Education and Employment: I went to school in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and completed a BEng degree in Electronic Engineering at Sheffield University. I work as a technical manager in the telecommunications industry and am involved at a governance level in several international organisations developing future telecommunications technology and services.

Relevant Experience: My job includes setting strategy and budgets, and resource and project management. I have experience of governance, including Chair roles, at various levels in different types of organisations. Aa a parent of a daughter who has special educational needs, I have experience of the SEND system and processes.

Particular Interest in the Governor Body: I currently sit on the Finance & Resources Committee and I am Named Governor for Careers and for Governor Development & Training.

Moira Stephens

Role on the Governing Body: Co-opted Governor since May 2023.

Background: I have five children and have lived in Bristol all my life. I was a foster carer and short-break provider for 25 years in Bristol. I enjoy volunteering with Flamingo Chicks Dance School and have a love of dancing to keep myself fit. My hobby is chasing hot air balloons for Virgin Balloons around the southwest of England during the spring and summer months.

Education and Employment: I attended school in South Gloucestershire and went on to college in the mid-80s. I’ve worked in special educational needs and disability (SEND) schools since then. During my time in education, I have broadened my SEND knowledge at the university level, completing various specialist courses and a master’s in Educational Assistive Technology.

I am also an expert witness for a disability and assistive technology consultancy, holding a Cardiff University Expert Witness certificate. I work closely with a team of consultants providing reports for the High Courts of London for medical negligence cases.

Relevant Experience: I have over 34 years’ experience working in the field of SEND education. My specialist areas and qualifications are in the fields of cerebral palsy with profound and multiple sensory impairments, learning difficulties, and alternative and augmentative communication. I have a keen interest in digital technology, assistive technology, and web design.

Particular Interest in Governing Body: I am interested in finance and resourcing and learning more about strategic governance.  I currently sit on the Learning, Curriculum & Teaching Committee and I am Named Governor for Website Compliance.  I also look forward to working as part of any smaller ad hoc Committees.

Graham Symonds - Co-Chair of the Governing Body

Role on Governing Body: Co-opted Governor since December 2019 and Co-Chair of the Governing Body.

BackgroundI am married with two sons, and two grandchildren. 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.  

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.

Particular Interest in Governing Body: I currently sit on the Finance & Resources Committee and the Learning, Curriculum & Teaching Committee.  I am a member of the Appraisal of the Executive Headteacher Panel, Named Governor for Equalities and for Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND), and School Development Plan (SDP) Link Governor for Leadership & Management.

Barry Trahar

Role on Governing Body: Local Authority Nominated Governor since August 2008.

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

Education and Employment: Educated in Australia and I 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.

My hobbies and interests include travel, walking, politics, theatre, wine and food, and voluntary work.  I am also a Governor at Redland Green School.

Particular Interest in Governing Body:  I am currently Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee and Named Governor for Health & Safety.  I am interested in finance, staffing and site matters.

Relevant Experience:  As a Local Authority Nominated Governor, my original appointment to Claremont School 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 relates to financial, budgetary and staff management, as I managed a multi-million-pound budget at the University and had responsibility for approximately 600 staff.

Co-opted Governor - vacancy

Co-opted Governor - vacancy

Co-opted Governor - vacancy

Parent Governor - vacancy