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 Française, 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.
Bursar —Nick Paladina MA (Oxford) FCA FRSA
As the Bursar and Clerk to the Governors, Nick is responsible for the College’s finances, HR, 28 properties, housekeeping, catering, security and governance. He is a graduate of St Peter’s College, Oxford where he read English but devoted rather more time to music and drama. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1998 which has enabled him to work for a film production company, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Wallace Collection and the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (where his job title was ‘The Collector’) before joining St Clare’s in 2009.
He was the chairman of the Oxford Literary Festival for its first six years, and has also served on the board of various arts charities. He currently chairs the Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committee for an Oxford college and advises on financial and governance matters for a not-for-profit organisation working for conflict prevention.
Nick has two grown-up children who are now earning their keep away from home. In his spare time he enjoys Oxford United’s current success, cooking for his very forbearing family, theatre, a wide range of live music and trying to improve his French and Italian.
Vice Principal (Pastoral) — Ellen 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.
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.
We had so much to be grateful for this summer: weeks of pristine weather, some truly special activities, and most of all we had the chance to meet so many lovely people from all over the world. We were thrilled to host groups from Korea, Argentina and the...
The orientation weekend would not be complete without the Orientation Olympics. This is an annual event for new students arriving to study Pre-IB or IB and each student is assigned a team: Blue, Green, Yellow or Red. They play a range of fun games...
Student profiles is a blog feature designed to celebrate our international student body and their achievements. We are very proud of all our students, and love to share their success stories with anyone who will listen! Lourdes joined our English for Life...