Our Governors

St Dominic’s Priory governors and bios.

Lord Stafford

Lord Stafford


Lord Stafford inherited the title on the death of his father in 1986 and now runs the family estate of 8,000 acres in Staffordshire. He is currently the President or Patron of a number of Charities and organisations mainly in Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

He was Pro Chancellor of Keele University (1993-2003), on the Board and then Chairman of Governors Harper Adams University College (1990-2004), Chairman of Governors Swynnerton School (1986 – 2008) and High Sheriff of Staffordshire (2005-2006). He is currently the Chairman of Countryside Learning which aims to educate inner city school children about the countryside through estate and farm visits. In 1997, he established the Lord Stafford Awards to encourage the development of collaborative relationship between Staffordshire businesses and universities. His Lordship is married to Katie and has 2 sons and 2 daughters.

Karen Champ

Karen Champ

Chair of Governors

Karen has been involved with St Dominic’s Priory School since 2005 when her eldest daughter Amy joined in P5, followed by her youngest daughter Jessica in 2006 joining P1.  During her time at the school Karen has done two periods as Chair of the PFA and one as Treasurer. She still likes to help and support the PFA wherever and whenever she can.  She was elected as a Parent Governor in 2015 and moved to be an Independent and Vice Chair of Governors in 2017 when Jessica left.

She has been married to Stephen for 32 years and they live locally in Stone.

Karen started her career in 1983 as a YTS for a multi-national industrial door company.  Whilst there she worked in all areas of the business and eventually worked her way up to be PA to the Operations Director.  She left there in 1994 to help Stephen run the family businesses, which she continues to do today.  When Karen is not working she enjoys looking after her granddaughter Poppy.

Karen is also the Chair of the Facilities Committee and a member of the Finance Committee.

Martin Ware

Martin Ware


Martin lives locally with his partner Lucy (a nurse) and their children, including his two daughters (Amanda and Hannah) and son (Daniel) plus a step-son (Malachi) and step-daughter (Leah, the eldest who lives in Manchester but visits regularly). Amanda is a pupil at St Dominic’s. Martin and Lucy are very committed to their faith with religion playing a central role in their daily lives.

Martin has two master’s level qualifications both passed with Distinction: ‘Master of Business Administration’ (MBA) and ‘Managing Performance and Change’. Martin also has a degree in Marketing. He is a full member by qualification and experience with the Chartered Management Institute; Chartered Institute of Marketing and the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Martin brings with him a wealth of experience across private and public sector businesses. For ten years he worked for a multi-national company where he had spells managing an oil refinery site and other facilities on behalf of large organisations. Since 2008, Martin has worked for the NHS in various roles. He currently manages a team of 150 people overseeing more than £150m/yr of contracts for continuing healthcare and related services across Merseyside and Lancashire.

Beth Selwood

Beth Selwood


Beth Selwood has a long career working in education. She is currently an education consultant and part time Ofsted Inspector. Prior to taking early retirement in 2019, Beth was vice principal at a large further education college and university centre. Beth now divides her time between working and enjoying time with the family and visiting their holiday home in the French Alps! She has welcomed the opportunity to become involved with St Dominic’s Priory School as a governor and hopes that she can contribute to the ongoing success of our school and community.


Tony Liversage

Tony Liversage


Tony and his wife Kelly joined our school community in September 2016 when their son and daughter, Jude and Marcie (P6), joined our school. Tony is very involved with the ‘Making a Difference Campaign’ through Stoke City FC, along with the Local Education Authority, Staffs University and other key stakeholders who build and promote equal opportunities for all children and young adults living with disabilities.

He also works with Stoke City Community Trust as a volunteer and is the founder of the Stoke City cerebral palsy under 12s football team, which he set up in 2015, giving children an opportunity to participate in sport for fitness, strengthening and conditioning, social skills and confidence building.

Tony has been a governor at a Primary School in the past, so has experience of being on an educational board. He works flexible hours as an independent financial advisor, which means Tony will be able to offer his time to the school without limited restrictions. We look forward to welcoming him to the governing board and benefiting from the vast experience that he will bring to the table.

Sarah Sims

Sarah Sims


Sarah and Mathew have two daughters, who joined the prep school in 2019.

Sarah has a B.A. (Hons) Degree in Business Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management and a M.A. Degree in Human Resource Management. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Sarah has been practising HR for over 15 years within the private and public sector and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Board of Governors. Since 2019, Sarah has worked for a local organisation that specialises in the Education sector, and her current role is HR Casework Manager.

Sarah provides advice, support and guidance to clients in a measured and methodical approach in relation to all aspects of employee relations, to ensure best practice, whilst maintaining core values and adapting to any given situation.

Sarah undertakes continual professional development to ensure that she provides advice and guidance that is in accordance with employment legislation.

In 2019 Sarah undertook training to become a Mental Health First Aid Champion, as well as Safer Recruitment training and in 2020 she completed her Level 1 Safeguarding training.

Sarah looks forward to being able to add value to the Board of Governors and to support the school with their continued success and futures plans.

Georgina Brian

Georgina Brian

Vice-Chair of Governors

Mrs Georgina Brian was born in Birmingham and after moving to this area was educated at Alleyne’s Grammar School. She attended London University, Goldsmiths College where she studied Mathematics and was awarded a first class teaching qualification, with distinctions in practical teaching. Later, she gained a degree in Mathematics and Psychology as an external candidate. She began her teaching career at Meir Secondary school, taught for 5 years at Stafford College of Fe, had a break to have a family and after a spell at Sandon High School began a career at Alleyne’s High School. There she became Deputy Head of Maths, teaching mathematics across the whole school, Head of House and Assistant Head with responsibility for all aspects of pupil education and welfare. During her time at Alleyne’s, Mrs Brian directed several plays and musicals, organised whole school activities and was responsible for the Personal, Social and Health Education Programme for the whole school.

Mrs Brian has two children, both educated locally, one is a teacher and the other is a Space Scientist. She belongs to the North Staffs Operatic Society , several choirs, takes tap dancing lessons and has recently begun to learn to play the ukulele.

Celia Gilbert

Celia Gilbert


Celia has always lived in Stone and was educated at St Dominic’s Priory School from the age of 7 until 18. 

After training as a teacher at Newman College in Birmingham, Celia remained in Catholic education and taught at St Dominic’s Primary School for over 30 years. During this time she has held positions of responsibility for religious education, literacy, EYFS and Key Stage 1.  Celia also acted as teacher governor for several terms.

Celia is a very active parishioner in St. Dominic’s Church and as a parish Catechist is particularly involved in sacramental preparation. 

Married to Ian, who has recently retired, Celia and Ian spend their time renovating their new house. Celia has a son, Anthony, whose children are in the prep school and a daughter, Sarah, who was also educated at St. Dominic’s. 

Angela Hughes

Angela Hughes


Angela and her husband Michael (Former Chair of Governors) have been very involved in our school since their daughter’s Sophie and Molly joined St. Dominic’s.

Angela has held the position of Chair of the PFA in the past and is now a valued active member, always lending a hand in supporting events for our students and their families. Angela brings to the board a wealth of experience, having worked previously in management and administration for a FTSE100 plc company before becoming a stay-at-home mother. She has already started to forge strong links with our parents to ensure there is more transparency between them and the school’s governing body in the future.

Neill Harvey-Smith

Neill Harvey-Smith


Neill is married to Beth, and they have three children enjoying life at St Dominic’s across the prep and senior school.

He has an international role with a large professional services firm, coaching senior leadership and improving performance.

In a varied career, Neill has been an author, consultant, advisor to CEOs, communications director and for five years ran a business in the education sector

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