The Oratory School and The Oratory Preparatory School share the same governing body. They volunteer their time and professional skills to ensure that the Schools operate efficiently. They are responsible for the strategy and future development of the Schools.
Link Governor for Safeguarding and Boarding
Christina Hill Williams was High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire during 2009-2010, having served as Deputy Lieutenant since 2005. In her varied career, Christina has run two organisations as National Director and General Secretary and has served on YWCA Board of Governors. She has had various appointments within the Magistracy and The Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, and has been a General Commissioner of Income Tax. She sits as a Mental Health Act Manager at various hospitals, on the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and has been involved with a number of local charities. Christina was first appointed a Governor in 2010 and was elected Chairman in 2016. She is also a Member of the Finance & General Purpose Committee and is Child Protection Governor at both Schools.
A Chartered Accountant by profession and now retired, Jamie Sehmer is the Governor with responsibility for finance. He was appointed a Governor in 1986 and elected Vice Chairman in 2002. He is also Vice Chairman of the Finance & General Purpose Committee and sits on the Property sub-committee. Jamie is an Old Boy of the Oratory School and has three sons. He is a trustee and treasurer of a number of charities.
Martin Berkeley is an Old Oratorian who grew up in Woodcote. After university and training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Martin completed a Short Service Commission in a reconnaissance regiment. He went on to hold a number of senior commercial appointments in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, before joining the banking industry specialising in investment and private banking. Martin is director of a finance consultancy practice and is a serving Magistrate.
Link Governor for Special Educational needs and Disability
Barney Bettesworth, a Chartered Surveyor and Licensed Property Agent, is a Director of a commercial firm of Chartered Surveyors. He was appointed a Governor in 2006. Barney sat as a Magistrate for 15 years. He, his two sons and his two brothers are all Old Oratorians.
Bishop Robert Byrne entered the Birmingham Oratory in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1985. In 1990 the then Fr Robert and another priest from the Birmingham Oratory moved to St Aloysius Oxford to found what was in 1993 to become the Oxford Oratory. He was Provost from 1993 until 2011 when he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Dialogue and Unity at The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Fr Robert has been a prison Chaplain since 1988 and in 2000 he became President of the Permanent Deputation of the International Oratorian Confederation. In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Fr Robert an Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham and was ordained Bishop on 13th May. A Governor since 1996, Bishop Robert is also a member of the Finance & General Purpose Committee as well as the Academic Sub-Committee.
Mary Cochrane is a Company Director of a family business which manufactures maths and science materials. She was appointed a Governor in 2002. Mary is married with three children. She is a member of the special needs staff at her local primary school.
Link Governor for Safeguarding and Health and Safety
Margaret Edwards is a former parent, having educated three children at both The Oratory Preparatory School and The Oratory School. Family connections with the School include her brother, an Old Boy of both The Oratory Preparatory School and The Oratory School. Since 1994, Margaret has been a Consultant specialising in Islamic-Indian art with one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. She is an experienced Governor, being a long-serving Governor at her daughter’s all girl independent school, sitting on many committees and representing the School on the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS).
Link Governor for Early Years Foundation Stage
Peter Evans is Emeritus Professor of Hispanic Studies and Film Studies. He was decorated in 2005 by the Spanish State with the Order of Isabel the Catholic. He was appointed a Governor in 2002, is a member of the Finance & General Purpose Committee and also chairs the Academic Sub-Committee. He attended both The Oratory Preparatory School and The Oratory School.
Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes is an old Oratorian and was appointed a Governor in 1998. He is a partner in an international law firm, where he is the co-head of the firm’s European capital markets group and head of the London office practice group. He has been a Governor since 1999.
Chris French is a retired farmer, turned businessman, who has been actively involved in the agricultural industry throughout his life. He was appointed a Governor in 1993, is a member of the Finance & General Purpose Committee and chairs the Property Sub-Committee. He has been Governor of an Independent School and a College of Agriculture. Chris is an Old Boy of both the Oratory Preparatory School and the Oratory School and his father was also a Governor of The Oratory Schools Association.
Michael Hasslacher attended both The Oratory Preparatory School and The Oratory School. He has a son who is also an Old Oratorian. A retired businessman who ran his own company, he has been Master of The Vintners’ Company and a member of Court. He was first appointed a Governor in 1986 and served as Chairman from 2006-2016. He also sits on the Finance & General Purpose Committee, the Property and Academic sub-committees.
Link Governor for Personal Development
Keith Hornby, an Old Oratorian, read law at Trinity College Dublin and was called to the Bar in 1970. He has been a Circuit Judge on the South Eastern Circuit since 1995 and has been a Tutor/Syndicate Leader for the Judicial Studies Board from 1996 to date. He is the author of a number of papers for the Board and a member of the ETAC committee of the JSB between 2006-10. He is a former law lecturer and was appointed a Governor in 2007.
Nicholas Purnell is a leading Barrister and Head of Chambers in the City, where he practises predominantly in Commercial and White Collar Crime. He is also a Deputy High Court Judge and Recorder of the Crown Court. He is an Old Oratorian and has four Old Oratorian sons. Appointed a Governor in 1994, he is also a member of the Finance & General Purpose Committee.
Link Governor for Catholic Life
Fr John Saward is Priest in charge of a parish in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Previously he taught Dogmatic Theology at seminaries in England and the USA and at the International Theological Institute in Austria. An author and translator, he was appointed Governor in 2004.
Matthew Stilwell on leaving the Oratory became an Assistant School Master at a Preparatory School before he joined the Royal Air Force and later transferred to the Army via the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He has since been Product Development Manager in a number of companies and was appointed a Governor in 1998. He chairs the Finance & General Purpose Committee and also sits on the Academic Sub-Committee.
Colonel Craig Sutherland was educated at the Oratory Preparatory School, the Oratory School, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Royal Military College of Science and the Joint Services Command and Staff College, and was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1990. As a serving Army officer he has worked extensively around the World on a variety of humanitarian, disaster relief, evacuation, intelligence and war fighting operations, and has served on every continent. During his military career he has commanded at every level, including command of his own Regiment from 2011 – 2013. He was appointed a Governor in 2017.
Nicholas Tanner is a former parent. Now retired, after school he worked initially in an Overseas Bank and then joined Rolls-Royce. Following this, most of his working life was spent in Local Government and the NHS in the Human Resources function.
The Right Hon. Lord Judge
J J Eyston MA FRICS KSG
His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols PhL M MEd STL
Contact Address for the Chairman of Governors
Dr C B T Hill Williams DL MA FRGS FRSA
c/o The Clerk to the Governors
The Oratory School
Nr Reading RG8 0PJ