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

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

He is a parent of two children who attend Preston Hedges, which puts him in a position to be willing and able to invest his time and commitment over a long period. He is an experienced  financial consultant working for the UK’s largest Mutual insurer, in which everything they do is built on the foundations of Independent Governance and Client Outcomes (in this case the children, teachers and school). He has 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 his everyday work. These skills and attributes are benefiting him in his role of LAB chair for the school.

Tracey Coles – Principal

Tracey has 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 she is honoured to lead a school within our Trust.

She is hugely inspired by the excellence and passion of the children, community and fellow educationalists within the Trust, and enjoys working in collaboration with all of the community to ensure that the school’s offer the children the best possible opportunities for our children.

Sarah Straiton – Staff LAB Member

Sarah has worked at Preston Hedge’s since 2006, and is currently an Assistant Principal in the school.

Sarah believes that the creative approach that the school’s 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. She is 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, Paul has been amazed by the Trust’s response to Covid and how well the children were looked after. He is a driven and enthusiastic individual who enjoys helping organisations develop and grow.

Paul is an experienced senior leader in the IT service industry at Capita, focusing on 3 portfolios including Education and Learning. He has 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.  His role at Capita is very much around developing people and enabling clients to drive better outcomes, so hopes to use these skills to support the ongoing development of Preston Hedges for Children, Teachers and Staff.

Esther Anyaegbu – LAB Member

Esther is a mum to two lovely boys, both of whom attend Preston Hedges Primary School. She has lived in Wootton for over 10 years.  


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

Victoria Meakin – LAB Member

Victoria’s  eldest daughter started in reception September 2021.  From speaking to the wider community and her interactions with the school its clear Preston Hedges is an incredibly creative school with unique learning experiences. She is excited for her daughter to be a pupil here and to donate her spare time and energy to support the school in whatever way she can to maintain its already high standards.

Victoria has 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. She currently works as a Brand Manager where creativity, project management and organisational skills are key and transferrable to this role.  

PHP-LAB Pecuniary-Interest-Form-2021