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Who we are

Ben Potter, Parent Governor (Chair)Photo of Ben Potter

I currently serve as a parent governor at Botley School having been elected in January 2016. In September 2018 I took the role of Chair of the Governing Board having previously acted as co-Chair of the Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee and Link Governor for Literacy.


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. I also work as the Chief Software Architect at a Crowd Charge Ltd, a start-up company providing smart electric vehicle charging, 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 the R&D Manager in an international engineering company. 


Roles: Chair of Governors; Member of the Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee; Link Governor for the Wider Curriculum.

Victoria Cox, Co-Opted Governor

Throughout my career I have held numerous roles in Higher Education at both Durham University and the University of Oxford. These roles have included managing student support and development services, leading volunteering and community engagement programmes, and managing fundraising and alumni relations activities. I am currently head of Development and External Relations at St Cross College, University of Oxford.


I completed both my undergraduate and postgraduate degree at Durham University. In 2013 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to explore how universities engage with their local communities in North America.


In 2016 when I relocated to Oxfordshire, I became involved as a Governor at a Primary School south of Abingdon, and have been Chair of the Governing Board for 12-months. I enjoy volunteering my time to ensure that all young people have access to the best possible education and personal development opportunities. Earlier this year my husband and I moved to West Oxfordshire, and I was keen to become a Governor closer to home. I am delighted to join the Governing Body at Botley School and contribute to both the school and wider community.  


Roles: Chair of Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee, Link Governor for English.

Sue Dowe, Co-Opted GovernorPhoto of Sue Dowe

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.


Roles: Member of Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee; Safeguarding Lead Governor; Link Governor for Maths.





Layla Moran MP, Associate Governor

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

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. 


Roles: Member of the Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee, Link Governor for Science.



Alex Neil, Acting Head Teacher

Roles: Member of the Finance, Strategy and Resources Committee.




Lisa Barnes, Parent Governor

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 organising exciting school trips and inviting interesting visitors to the school.


Roles: Member of Performance, Standards and Curriculum Committee; Link Governor for Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS), Link Governor for PE.


Thomas Ottaway, Parent Governor


Tom has lived in Oxford since 2012.  He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and has fifteen years experience in accounting and finance.  Tom believe these skills and his experience can be transferred to the governing board to help maintain and monitor school finances and resources. Tom and his family enjoys camping and exploring, particularly Cornwall.


Roles: Chair of Finance, Strategy and Resources Committee, Link Governor for GDPR.


Jules Christie, Staff Governor

Information to be added soon.


Andrew Melvin, Co-opted Governor

Information to be added soon.


Clive Hodge, Parent Governor (Vice-Chair)

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.


Roles: Vice-Chair of Governing Body, Member of Finance, Strategy and Resources Committee, Governor for Whistleblowing, Governor for Health & Safety