Senior Management Group
Principal —Andrew Rattue MA (Oxford) MA (London) PGCE (London)
Andy has been the Principal of St Clare’s, Oxford since January 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. Andy was Chairman of HMC (Headmasters and Headmistresses’ Conference) West Division in 2010-11, and a member of the HMC/GSA Universities Committee 2012-14.
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. Andy 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, and his wife Jacky and four children are far stronger linguists. 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 (Academic) — Cormack Kirby BA (Leeds) PGCE MEd (Bristol)
Cormack has taught English and Theory of Knowledge in England, Argentina and France. His first degree was at Leeds, he completed his PGCE at Reading and an MEd at Bristol. He also has a Cert TEFL. His career began in Sixth Form and Tertiary colleges in Harrow and Somerset where he was Head of English, Humanities and Languages, mostly running A Level programmes.
In 1998, he took his family to Argentina for two years where he was converted to the superiority of the IB and he then went to Toulouse, France where he set up the IB Diploma in a brand new international school.
Cormack has worked closely with the IBO as a Senior Moderator for English IA, a workshop leader and a member of various sub-committees. He came to St Clare’s in 2008 and can’t imagine wanting to work anywhere else. He has four children, runs with a local club and speaks (with more enthusiasm than accuracy) Spanish and French. A follower of Tottenham Hotspur, he is inured to disappointment.
Vice Principal (Pastoral) — Susan Tawse BSc (Edinburgh) PGCE
Susan graduated with a BSc in Mathematical Science from the University of Edinburgh and then went on to complete her PGCE at Moray House (Edinburgh). Having spent most of her childhood overseas, she was keen to return to somewhere hot and her first teaching post was in a government school in Botswana. Her teaching experiences have been varied and include four years spent in an inner London comprehensive and seven years working at Maputo International School in Mozambique. She came to St. Clare’s in 2006 as Dean of Students and has been the Vice Principal, Pastoral since 2014. She still loves to teach mathematics but her educational focus is now very much pastoral care. Although she did not anticipate staying in the UK for long, she has thoroughly enjoyed working in this internationally diverse community and now considers Oxford to be home.
Susan has two children, a son who is about to graduate in computer science and a teenage daughter. In her spare time she acts as a chauffeur to her daughter and through her interests, Susan has grown to enjoy the world of musical theatre and has spent many an hour on the side of a hockey pitch or athletics track. She does contemplate picking up her own hockey stick again but these days she tends to pick up her knitting needles instead and enjoys designing knitted hats, gloves and socks. Her love of travel and wild camping developed whilst living in Africa and she is hoping to return for a trip down memory lane soon.
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!
Everything you need to know about the University Foundation Course at St Clare’s, including the benefits, the structure of the course and how to apply.
An interview with a group of flight attendants, studying Combination English. Here’s their view of the course, their accommodation and the British accent.
St Clare’s students have had their artwork included in a special exhibit in the University of Wisconsin, featuring children affected by the Syrian war.