In This Section

House Staff

As with all College boarding houses there are three residential members of staff in Ashmead – the Housemistress and the Residential Tutors. In addition there are two non-residential Assistant Matrons in Ashmead.

Mrs Ester Leach - Housemistress 

I started life at College in 2010 as an Ashmead tutor and Spanish teacher and in 2013, I became Head of Modern Languages and moved to Westal as a Resident Tutor with my husband Matthew and our twin girls, Zara and Tula. I spent most of my early academic life in Spain but then decided to study Modern Languages in the UK, following this with a PGCE. My family and I are passionate about food, not least due to my husband’s career as a chef. Food is a key aspect of the Spanish culture and in our experience, any activity in House involving food is always a success! 

What attracts me most about boarding is being able to interact with pupils in different spheres of school life, be it sport, co-curricular, or in House. I feel very privileged to have returned to Ashmead and the warmth, the fun and the vibrancy that the girls bring to the House. Our aim is to nurture each individual girl so that she can achieve her best.


Miss Claire Rowland (Resident Tutor)

After completing my degree in English Literature at Salford, I worked for a local charity in Worcestershire as a PR and Marketing Executive. I then joined the Communications and Marketing department at West Mercia Police, where I was responsible for promoting crime and safety campaigns and initiatives. I re-trained as a teacher in 2008 and following the completion of my PGCE, taught English and Drama at The King’s School in Gloucester for four years. I joined College in September 2013 and quickly became involved in all aspects of College life. Away from the classroom I am responsible for the Third Form Drama Club, I am part of the Third Form Challenge team and I coach some of the girls netball and tennis teams.

Miss Bryony Taylor (Matron – full time)

I officially started at Ashmead in the Spring of 2013 but have been in the background helping out when needed for many years. I have always worked with children, mostly as a nanny, and it was as a nanny that I first became involved with the College. Through looking after two young girls in the Prep School, I became known to Mr and Mrs Cutts and then also became nanny to their family. I stayed with the Cutts family for seven years and after a short-lived career change I came back to Ashmead.

Mrs Laurette Thomas (Matron – part time)

I joined Cheltenham College this year and went straight into Ashmead.  I love the buzzing atmosphere and high energy. I live one mile away and am married to Dave, who is an IT whizz.  Our daughter is 14 and keeps me on my toes.  I have worked for many years as a newspaper journalist and still enjoy writing.

Lower College Tutors

Third Form tutors are: Miss Jane Brodigan (English teacher) and Mrs Sarah Orwin-Henderson

Fourth Form tutors are: Mrs  Jane McQuitty (Psychology teacher)  and Mrs Zoe La Valette-Cooper (Economics and Business Studies, Head of Swimming)

Fifth Form tutors are: Miss Lizzie Rawkins (Classics teacher) and Mrs  Becki Faulkner (Head of Sports Science, Head of Girls Games)

Upper College Tutors

Mrs Ester Leach (Head of MFL)
Mrs Sian McBride (Director of Drama)
Miss Claire Rowland (English teacher, Assistant head of Sixth Form)

Duty Tutor

Mr Graham Cutts (Head of Lower College, Design and Technology)