Meet the Governors

Stephen Passey, Headteacher (Governor ex-officio)

Stephen has worked for the Local Authority since 1989, first teaching in the Primary sector becoming Deputy in 1996. Whilst completing his Masters in Education and National Professional Qualification of Headship he worked in several local special schools. He became headteacher at Bishopswood Special School in 2011 and has been headteacher of John Watson School and Wheatley Nursery School since September 2013.

Stephen is a member of the Resources Committee, the Teaching, Learning, & Safeguarding Committee and the Pay Committee.

Lynn Wong  (Chair of Governors)

Lynn is an experienced corporate adviser who has had an international career with a successful track record in both the legal and financial services industry.  She is admitted to practice as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales and as an Attorney & Counselor at Law in New York.  As well as having practiced as a lawyer at a leading international law firm, Lynn has also worked in venture capital, private equity, hedge funds and investment banking and is the co-founder of a medical technology company. 

Lynn’s roles have ranged from group general counsel to chief operating officer, managing partner and board director, both executive and non-executive and she has extensive experience in advising on the development of good corporate governance practices and accountability.  In these roles, Lynn has represented and advised high net worth individuals, early stage companies of all types, investment funds, asset managers, global investment banks and multinational corporations.  

Her experience spans the breadth of regulation, risk, investments, financial markets trading, structured finance, corporate governance, corporate affairs and mergers and acquisitions.  She has also served as a trustee of a philanthropic foundation, as a goodwill ambassador to Wellchild, the national charity for seriously ill children, and as an adviser to individuals in the entertainment and media industry, the third sector and a social enterprise. 

Lynn is Chair of Governors, Chair of the Transition Working Party, Chair of the Appraisal Sub-Committee, a member of the Teaching, Learning and Safeguarding Committee and the Pupil Premium Governor.

Liz Elsom

Liz Elsom is the Vice-Chair of Governors, Chair of the Teaching, Learning & Safeguarding Committee, a member of the Appraisal Sub-Committee, a member of the Transition Working Party and the Safeguarding Governor. 

She is an early years consultant who has a long history of supporting quality in the early years. Liz worked for Ofsted for fourteen years, in various roles including inspection framework development, training inspectors and latterly as head of early years policy. Since taking early retirement in 2013 Liz has worked as a consultant on various early years projects in England and internationally. She has a keen interest in building links in the local community and is currently a governor at Wheatley Primary School and a trustee of the Maple Tree children’s centre.

Elena Hesse

Elena (“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. 

She is a fully qualified HR professional and ISI inspector. 

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 brought her to the United Kingdom. Her first appointment in the UK was as 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. From 2014 to 2018, she was Head of Pastoral Care, Director of Boarding and Designated Safeguarding Lead at the Royal School in Haslemere, Surrey. From September 2018, she has served as Vice Principal Pastoral at St Clare’s Oxford. 

In her school years, she competed in high jump at a national level. She now runs full marathons, half-marathons and does trail running.

Ellen is also fascinated by different cultural perspectives and travels extensively as a result.

Ellen is the Chair of the Resources Committee, Chair of the Pay Committee, a member of the Appraisal Sub-Committee and the Wellbeing Governor.

Ellen is also currently a governor at St Francis C.E. Primary School

Shah Chaudhry

Shah is a co-opted governor, having originally joined the governing body as a parent governor in 2018.  He is a member of the Resources Committee and is the Health and Safety Governor and Swimming Governor. Shah is the Head of Clinical Coding and Clinical Data Quality at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, having previously worked as a Clinical Coding Manager at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Shah moved to Oxford in January 2011. Apart from medicine he holds Masters in Education and MSc in Computer Science.

Clea Lees

Clea is a co-opted governor has had a long connection with the school, with over 12 years teaching experience across the age range here and has been on the governing body since 2015 as co-opted governor. Clea is now a part time teacher at the school based on the primary site and has particular interest in family and community engagement. Clea is a member of the Resources committee.

Lois ward

Lois Ward is a Key Stage 1 teacher she joined John Watson School in September of 2018. She was initially a Teaching Assistant and progressed to the role of Higher Level Teaching Assistant in KS1. Lois completed a degree in Psychology in Barbados and during this time volunteered at a special school there. She then moved to the UK in 2016 and has worked in schools in Oxford. Lois is also a staff governor, a member  of the Teaching, Learning, & Safeguarding Committee and the Equality Governor.

Samuel Gormley

Samuel joined the governing body as a parent governor in October 2021 and is a member of the Resources Committee and the Pay Committee.  He is a qualified account with more than 20 years working experience. He has always been passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, joining Leo’s and Lions International in his teens and volunteering with Rotary international for a short while. 

Samuel grew up in South Africa and prior to moving to the UK 6 years ago, worked for TAFTA (The Association For The Aged) as Divisional Manager of Finance and Divisional Manager of Admin and Income Development. Samuel also holds a fractional appointment with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he works as the Director of Operations for the Health Economics and HIV/Aids Research Division, working on strategic projects and partnerships and overseeing the finance department. 

In the UK, Samuel is employed as finance manager of two companies based in Oxford.  He previously served on a school board in South Africa at the Browns School and also served as a board
member for the African Capacity Alliance based in Nairobi, Kenya.

James Keeley

James joined the governing body as a parent governor in October 2021 and is a member of the Teaching, Learning and Safeguarding Committee, James is also the SEND governor. 

James has had a career as a researcher, consultant and project manager, focusing on agriculture in Africa, and China and international development. After graduating, he spent four years as a VSO language teacher in China, before returning to the UK to undertake postgraduate study, and then to work as a researcher at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. He recently relocated to the UK with his family after ten years in Ethiopia and China, where he managed a collaboration between the UK and Chinese governments supporting agricultural development in Africa. He was previously a Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development. He speaks Mandarin.

James has two daughters, one in the senior school at John Watson. He likes gardening, swimming in the local river and playing guitar, which his family tolerate.

Meet the governors information table



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