Fun, Creativity & Achievement



On April 12th 2021, the Trust Board replaced Local Governing Bodies with Local Advisory Boards. This change was made for two key reasons:

  • The responsibility and accountability for each school no longer rests with Governing Bodies but with the Trust. Therefore, we needed a model that was more aligned to our scheme of delegation.
  • We wanted to create a model of Governance which ensures more community representation, is more linked to the Trust and has more time to focus on each school, it’s priorities and its uniqueness, rather than budgets and school performance data.


The Purpose of the LAB


  • The primary focus of the LABs is to promote the best interests of all the children and their families within their school and the wider Trust. They will provide an opportunity to support the ‘uniqueness’ of each school in terms of learning opportunities available, enhancing school wellbeing and a focus on the needs of the local community. The LAB will enhance community engagement through being a collective channel of communication. The focus of enhancing community engagement reflects the Trust’s values and will be particularly important for the growth of the PHAT.

Preston Hedge’s Primary School LAB

Simon Swaffer – Chair of the LAB

I’m approaching my second full year as a Governor. I am keen to see the school continue to thrive and develop from its current very strong position. I am an enthusiastic, well-motivated individual who has been both support and constructively challenging to help the school develop.

I’m a parent of two children who attend Preston Hedges, which puts me in a position to be willing and able to invest my time and commitment over a long period. I am an experienced  financial consultant working for the UK’s largest Mutual insurer, in which everything we do is built on the foundations of Independent Governance and Client Outcomes (in this case the children, teachers and school). I have gained valuable experience and knowledge as a result of sitting on corporate employee representative committees as well as using management, mentoring and situational leadership skills as part of my everyday work. These skills and attributes are benefiting me in my role of LAB chair for the school.

In my spare time I enjoy keeping fit, taking part in triathlons and am happy to encourage my children and others to lead a happy and active lifestyle

Tracey Coles – Principal

 I have worked within Preston Hedge’s Primary School and the Trust since 2007, as a teacher, leader and now as Principal of the school and an Executive Principal within the Trust.

The philosophy of offering ‘Fun, Creativity & Achievement’ to our children is right at the heart of what believe in as an educationalist, and I am honoured to lead a school within our Trust.

I am hugely inspired by the excellence and passion of our children, community and fellow educationalists within the Trust, and enjoy working in collaboration with all of the community to ensure that we offer our children the best possible opportunities for our children.

Sarah Straiton – Staff LAB Member

I have worked at Preston Hedge’s since 2006, and I am currently an Assistant Principal in the school.

I believe that the creative approach that we take in everything we do makes Preston Hedge’s a particularly special and unique place to be – both as a pupil and as a member of staff. I am passionate about ensuring that we offer the very best of educational experiences and opportunities for our children.

Paul Rowden – LAB Member

Brand new to the role and with a child currently at Preston Hedges, I have been amazed by their response to Covid and how well our children were looked after. I am a driven and enthusiastic individual who enjoys helping organisations develop and grow, so I’m delighted to be part of the school that already has an excellent reputation.

I am an experienced senior leader in the IT service industry at Capita, focusing on 3 portfolios including Education and Learning. I have gained significant experience as an MFP Board Member at Tech UK, where we are championing technology’s role in preparing and empowering the UK for what comes next, delivering a better future for people, the economy and the planet.  My role at Capita is very much around developing people and enabling clients to drive better outcomes, so I hope to use these skills to support the ongoing development of Preston Hedges for Children, Teachers and Staff.

In my spare time I enjoy powerboating and golf, as well as the usual weekend sports and activities to encourage my child’s development.

Esther Anyaegbu – LAB Member

I am a mum to two lovely boys, both of whom attend Preston Hedges Primary School. I have lived in Wootton for over 10 years.  


I am a Systems Engineer in Spirent Communications. My job involves the design and development of solutions for Spirent’s positioning, navigation and timing technology applications. I am passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM), and I looking forward to using my skills to help support and contribute to the school and local community.

Victoria Meakin – LAB Member

This is my first year volunteering as a LAB member as my eldest daughter starts in reception this September.  From speaking to the wider community and my interactions with the school its clear Preston Hedges is an incredibly creative school with unique learning experiences. I’m excited for my daughter to be a pupil here and want to donate my spare time and energy to support the school in whatever way I can to maintain its already high standards.

I have worked for a leading soft drinks company for the past 11 years in different areas of marketing- building and implementing strategies with key retailers, bringing new products to market, conducting consumer feedback studies and designing creative marketing campaigns. I currently work as a Brand Manager where creativity, project management and organisational skills are key and transferrable to this role.  I love to socialise and really excited about the opportunity in this role to feel better connected to the school and wider community.

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