Lord Stafford, Patron

Lord Stafford, Patron

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.

Mark Burton - Chair of Governors

Mark Burton - Chair of Governors

Mark’s expertise is forged by over 20 years experience in the IT Industry. He started his first business at the age of 21 and in 1997 he and three partners founded Synetrix Ltd. Synetrix is the UK’s leading supplier of Internet and associated services to the UK education market supplying over 7,000 schools. Revenue increased via organic growth and acquisition to over £75m. In 2009 the company was sold to Capita Group PLC. He led a six-month handover process and following a 3-year sabbatical, has founded a new IT Company, Wave 9.

Mark was a key member of the Parents Action Group that secured the School and brings a wealth of IT and business expertise to the Governing body.

Mark’s daughter, Victoria, was previously a School Head Girl who received 5 grade A* A Level's.

Mark is the governor responsible for ICT & e-safety.

Contact details: 

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 Telephone: 01785 814181


Karen Champ - Vice Chair of Governors

Karen Champ Parent Governor

Karen Champ is married to Stephen and has 2 daughters Amy and Jess.

Amy left St. Dominic’s in 2012 to study Agriculture at Reaseheath College and Jess left in 2017 after completing her GCSEs

Karen worked for a Multi-National Industrial door manufacturing company for 15 years. She starting as their YTS and worked her way up to become the Operations Director’s PA . Karen now occupies her time running a number of successful family businesses with her husband Stephen.

She is the governor responsible for the Schools Business Development but also has a prominent presence promoting the school through the schools PFA committee.

A very busy lady.

Martin Melling, Independent Governor

Martin Melling, Independent Governor

Martin has a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Engineering. During 1987-2000, Martin was Group Managing Director, later Senior Vice President of multi-national engineering businesses – in charge of businesses turning over in excess of £500m and with over 3,000 employees. Between 2000-2006, he was the Chief Executive and Chairman of Alstec Group – a management buy-out company sold in May 2006.

Martin retired in 2007 and is currently a Trustee and the Treasurer of Katharine House. He has also been Governor for Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth 1 College, Leicester and Governor for All Saints School, Ranton. Martin is married to Pat and has 2 daughters (one of whom went to St Dominic’s) and 3 granddaughters.

Georgina Brian, Independent Governor

Karen Champ Parent Governor

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.


Peter Thorpe – Independent Governor

Peter comes from Hertford and attended St Edmund’s College, Ware and then St Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill where he qualified as a teacher. Initially, he read History, Physical Education and Education. He then obtained a degree in Educational Psychology and later an MSc in Education Management.

After working in several parts of the country, at posts including two Deputy Headships, Peter arrived in this area in 1979 to take over the Headship of St Gabriel’s Catholic School, Alsager. He later became Head Teacher of St Teresa’s Catholic School, Trent Vale. Alongside his work at St Teresa’s Peter took over a number of local schools where there was the need for a Head Teacher and he supported others where there was a temporary need. He has mentored inexperienced Heads and has been an Advisory Head Teacher for Stoke on Trent.

Other professional tasks during thirty-three years of Headship have included being an  External Advisor, working throughout the Midlands and the north of England, advising governors as part of the Head Teacher Performance Management process and acting as an Educational Consultant in various education authorities.

Peter is married to Pat and they have five children and seven grandchildren.

Peter has owned or been a partner in such diverse businesses as a public house and private rental properties. In recent years he has assisted his wife Pat in their shop.

Now retired, Peter is an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at St Teresa’s Catholic Church, Trent Vale where he is also a member of the parish finance committee.

Peter and Pat continue what has become a long-term labour of love as they renovate their house in France, the rebuilding of which is nearly complete after fifteen years.


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© 2018 St. Dominic's Priory School Stone 21 Station Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8EN
Telephone: 01785 814181