Senior Management Group

Principal —Andrew Rattue MA (Oxford) MA (London) PGCE (London)

Andy has been the Principal of St Clare’s, Oxford since 2017. He has more than twenty years’ experience of leadership in independent education including eleven years as Head of two other well-known schools: The Royal Grammar School, Worcester and King’s College, Madrid. He was Chairman of HMC (Headmasters and Headmistresses’ Conference) West Division in 2010-11, and a member of the HMC/GSA Universities Committee 2012-14. He is a Governor of Oxfordshire Hospital School and Rye St Antony School, and a Trustee of the Alliance Fran?aise, Oxford. He is married with four children.

Andy read English at Brasenose College, Oxford and then did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at King’s College, London. He also has a master’s degree in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck College, London. He began his teaching career in London (Mill Hill School and Haberdashers’ Askes’s) and became Head of English at Highgate School. After that, he became Deputy Head of The Royal Grammar School, Guildford before moving to Worcester in 2005. Andy has always had a strong impulse to get out of his comfort zone. As well as living and working in Madrid, he also taught in a small international school in Bangkok, Thailand for a year in the early 80s and was a Fulbright Exchange Teacher at the Greenhill School, Dallas, Texas in 1990-91.

Andy speaks French and Spanish with gusto but only moderate fluency. He enjoys travelling, reading, hill walking, most sports, cooking and going to the theatre. He has directed and acted in quite a number of plays over the years. Having played Orsino and Malvolio in different productions of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night a number of years ago, he feels that his destiny is to play Sir Toby Belch.

Vice Principal (Pastoral) — Elena Hesse MSc (Banská Bystrica), PaedDr (Nitra), Assoc C.I.P.D (MOL), CELTA

Ellen holds an MSc degree from the University of Matej Bel, Banska Bystrica in Biology and English, and a pedagogical doctorate from Konstantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. Her early teaching career started in her native Slovakia as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and early on she became Head of English as a Foreign Language Department. Her desire to widen her teaching and management experience in an international setting and having an exposure to a multi-cultural environment brought her to the United Kingdom as well as her fascination with British history and literature. Her first appointment in the UK was a participant in the HMC Projects Eastern European Teachers scheme at King’s School, Ely. She also worked at Cobham Hall in Kent for nine years where she taught Science and was Head of Boarding. She worked towards launching the IB Programme and from its implementation in 2009, taught IB History and oversaw the CAS programme. From 2014 to 2018, she was Head of Pastoral Care, Director of Boarding and Designated Safeguarding Lead at the Royal School in Haslemere, Surrey.

In her school years, Ellen was awarded a place at Sports Grammar School in Banska Bystrica, the school for young top sportspeople preparing for a professional sports career. She competed in a high jump at a national level but she later decided to follow an academic route rather than the one of a professional sportswoman.? She now runs full marathons, half-marathons and does trail running and her highly competitive streak shows these days when she is competing against her husband. She is also a regular at the gym. Ellen is also fascinated by different cultural perspectives and travels extensively as a result.

Vice-Principal (Academic)- Alastair Summers BSc, PGCE (Edinburgh)

Alastair has always had a strong sense of international identity having spent his formative years studying for a European Baccalaureate at The European School, Culham. He graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from Edinburgh, but quickly realised he lacked the patience to be a research scientist. He subsequently worked for several years in London recruiting finance staff for a range of clients in the oil industry before returning to Edinburgh University to retrain as a teacher. Subsequently, as well as successfully producing two offspring, he taught in a state school in London before moving to Abingdon School where he taught biology and ran the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme. This allowed him to indulge his love of hill-walking, whilst attempting to persuade the students to love it too. He moved to St. Edward’s, Oxford in 2008 and held various posts including Head of Year and Head of Biology before being promoted to lead the IB Diploma programme. Five years of effort saw IB numbers eventually eclipse the numbers studying A levels.

Alastair joined St Clare’s in November 2018 and is looking forward to continuing the development of the highly successful IB diploma programme at the college. Thanks to his schooling he is able to discuss topics such as US agriculture in the 1930s in German to some extent, but wishes his everyday speaking and writing skills had not suffered 25 years of neglect. He still enjoys hill-walking, cooking (particularly Lebanese dishes), occasional triathlons, playing the piano and watching Oxford United draw 0-0 in the pouring rain with his son

Director of the International College — Lawrie Coupland MA (Cambridge) PGCE (Oxford) CELTA (UCLES)

With an MA from Cambridge and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Oxford, Lawrie has been in education all his working life. He began as a classroom teacher and has happy memories of teaching the full age-range in three comprehensive schools over the next 14 years. Then came his dream job – Education Officer at the World Heritage site, Avebury Stone Circle – although this lasted only a year!

Lawrie’s next move was to the British Council in Venezuela, with his family, for a couple of years before returning to the UK. He came back to set up an international language college in Cambridge for adults before moving to the company Head Office. He finally took responsibility for managing their summer schools and chain of year-round colleges in London, Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, Madrid, Sydney, and Boston. His move to St Clare’s in 2005 was a welcome return to a college where everyone, staff and students, is known as an individual.

In his spare time, Lawrie enjoys meeting people, visiting galleries and heritage sites, cycling, and adapting to the challenges of the modern world!

Director of Marketing, Admissions and Development – Suzanne Mowat BA (Glamorgan) CIM

Suzanne joined St Clare’s in July 2018 and is responsible for providing strategic leadership with regards to all the core marketing activities undertaken across the college.

After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Communication, Media and Culture, Suzanne undertook several marketing qualifications with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and then became an International Marketing Manager for a publishing company based in Boston. She now has over 14 years international marketing, admissions and recruitment experience from the Higher Education sector and was until recently Head of International Student Recruitment, Marketing and Development at Oxford Brookes University. She has spent a lot of time working with international students, their families, schools and universities overseas and has visited over 50 countries.

Suzanne works closely with Kings Sutton Primary Academy and is Secretary for the Charity ‘It’s for the Kids’. In 2017 she helped raise over £16k to provide IT equipment for the benefit of the children. This year she is embarking on a project to modernise their library. Suzanne has two young children at primary school, and in her spare time, enjoys a sporting challenge – from half marathons to 100km cycle rides through the night.

Further Reading

Celebrating another year of outstanding IB Diploma results

Once again our students have produced a remarkable set of results in the prestigious IB Diploma. We are relatively unselective in intake, making the average of 36.7 points (equating to better than 3 A grades at A level) even more impressive, and the...

“The Insider” podcast

The first episode of “The Insider” has just been published. “The Insider” is a new podcast created by our International Baccalaureate students. The podcast series seeks to find out more about teachers and gain unique insights on things they have learned on their...

A student view: Our CAS experience in Lisbon

On 21 March 2019 we were lucky enough to go on a study visit to sunny Lisbon as part of our Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) experience. We decided to film our adventures in Lisbon, to tell the story from our perspective. Firstly, a bit of background....

The Senior Management Group

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St Clare's, Oxford

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