Meet the Prep Team

Mr Mike Farmer – Executive Head

Mr Mike Farmer – Executive Director of the Trust

Mike Farmer joined St Teresa’s in September 2012. He began his career teaching Economics and Business at the Godolphin School in Salisbury, taking up the position of Assistant Head at Headington School in Oxford in 1997. In 2003 he was appointed Principal of Kilgraston School in Perthshire. He transformed the school to achieve the highest growth rate within the sector and also topped the Scottish academic league tables. In 2011, Kilgraston gained national recognition by being named the UK Independent School of the Year.

Under Mike’s headship, St Teresa’s has experienced dramatic growth of 60%, enabling capital investment of over £5m. With a roll of 650 pupils, St. Teresa’s is currently the largest Catholic independent girls-only school in the UK.

In addition to Headship, Mike was a member of the governing council for the Girls’ Schools Association for many years, and also Chair of the boarding committee. In 2016 he had the honour of chairing the Boarding Schools’ Association. He is a Governor of two independent schools and also chairs the advisory board for the Chinese owned company, Achieve Education.

Mike is supported by his wife Mary-Ann who has worked in boarding for many years. They have two grown up children.
 

Sarah Conrad – Prep Headteacher

Sarah Conrad – Prep Headteacher

Sarah Conrad (BA Hons Dunelm, PGCE, NPQH) graduated with a degree in English, German and Theology from the University of Durham. After completing her PGCE, she began her career in primary education, teaching in a variety of schools including a four year post in the renowned British International School, Tanglin Trust School, in Singapore.

On her return to the UK, Sarah worked as Director of Music at St Cedd’s Independent School in Chelmsford before moving to New Hall, one of the largest Catholic independent schools in the country, where she worked for 10 years – 3 years as Deputy Head and Director of Music and 7 years as Headteacher. During her Headship, New Hall Preparatory School was judged to be ‘Outstanding’ in both the ISI inspection and the Diocesan inspection.

Sarah joined St Teresa’s school for girls in September 2015. She is passionate about education and has worked on a national level with educationalists such as Shirley Clarke with whom she led an action research group on Assessment for Learning in 2010. She is an inspector for ISI as well as a section 48 inspector for both the Diocese of Brentwood and the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. Sarah is a committee member of the national Catholic Independent Schools’ Committee (CISC).

Sarah is married to Simon, a Deacon at Brentwood cathedral, and has two grown-up daughters.

In her free time she enjoys reading, dancing, trips to the theatre, scrapbooking and walking.
 

Gareth Tindall – Prep School Deputy Headteacher

Gareth Tindall – Prep School Deputy Headteacher

Gareth Tindall (B Ed Hons) comes to us with over 27 years of experience in education including 21 years in the independent sector, 16 years of which were in leadership roles. Most recently he spent 8 years as the Deputy Head of two different schools: an all-girls independent school in the UK and a large international Preparatory School in Abu Dhabi.

Gareth is passionate about pastoral work in schools and has completed training in safeguarding, counselling, motivational coaching and, most recently, as a qualified Mental Health First Aider. He is a firm advocate that education should provide children with the opportunity to try new things and to discover what they are good at.

Gareth is married to Annie, an NHS manager, and they have 3 grown up sons and a 12-year-old daughter. Gareth likes country walks with the dogs, reading, hiking, climbing mountains or sitting by an open fire catching up with friends.
 

Helen Canning – Director of Pastoral

Helen Canning – Director of Pastoral

A St Teresa’s old girl herself, Helen returned to the school as a Prep teacher in 2016. After graduating from St Mary’s University, Twickenham, with a BA (Hons) degree in Primary Education specialising in History, Helen spent the first few years of her career teaching in Marylebone, London. A passion for travel then took her to the United Arab Emirates teaching in a British school in Sharjah, using her holidays to travel in the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Returning to England in 2003 she spent the next few years of her career at a school in Guildford where she took on the role of PSHE coordinator and Pastoral lead. Pastoral care extends to every aspect of school life in order to foster pupils’ personal development as much as their academic progress. This is an area of the curriculum that Helen feels passionate about and has great enjoyment in extending her knowledge and is dedicated to sharing this expertise with others.

Away from school, Helen enjoys walking, musical theatre and historical literature. She lives locally with her husband and three sons.