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School Organisation & Staff Team


Senior Leadership Team

Mrs Simrit Otway, Headteacher

Mrs Otway is passionate that all children should have the best opportunities in life and fulfil their potential. Since graduating from the University of Cambridge, Mrs Otway has completed post graduate study in Curriculum innovation and training with HMI and Ofsted. She has held teaching and leadership positions in a variety of schools and led the curriculum subjects of Science, Computing, Mathematics, Art. Her career began in a large city school in Oxford, moving to Berkshire and then a two-form entry school in Winchester before joining Preston Candover.

Over the last 25 years, Mrs Otway has gained invaluable experience in strategic leadership and managing change as a member of a number of Governing Boards and partnerships. She works closely with the 7 Alresford Schools (7AS) Headteacher group.

Mrs Otway is immensely proud to be the Headteacher of a Church of England School that is inclusive and welcomes all. She believes that a good education is life changing and it is a privilege to make a difference to the lives of children and families.


Mrs Heather Hulme, Assistant Headteacher

Mrs Hulme is the Assistant Headteacher at Preston Candover CE Primary and the very proud class teacher of Robins class (Years 3 and 4). She is a member of the Designated Safeguarding lead team at the school.

Mrs Hulme qualified as a teacher in 2012, having graduated from the University of Chichester with a First Class degree in (BA) Primary Education and specialised in English which remains one of her favourite subjects to teach. She was previously a Year Leader in a large, all-through 4-16 school in Aldershot. Her career to date has primarily involved teaching years 3-6, leading year groups and subjects such as English, RE, History and PSHE as well as mentoring and coaching both student and qualified teachers across the primary range. She is currently leading RE and History at the school. Mrs Hulme is very happy to be a part of the wonderful school community here at Preston Candover CE Primary School.


Mrs Dominque Meier, Inclusion Leader

Mrs Meier is Inclusion Leader and senior leadership team member at Preston Candover. Her passion to teach started when she was sixteen years old and taught swimming to all ages and abilities. She then went on to do a Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education, which allowed her to gain experience in all childcare settings from ages 0- 11 years old. Mrs Meier completed a four-year degree in 2012 achieving a BA (Hons) in Primary Education with QTS at the University of Winchester. Her specialist subject during training was Special Educational Needs along with Music and Computing.

Mrs Meier began her teaching career working across Devon, Dorset and then teaching in Oxfordshire. She moved to Hampshire and started teaching at Preston Candover CE Primary School in September 2016. Since joining our school, she has taught across Key Stage 2 and is the Maths and Music lead. In addition, she is a member of the Designated Safeguarding lead team at Preston Candover and Behaviour lead. Mrs Meier runs a successful school choir and song writing club and thoroughly enjoys being part of such a fantastic school.


Teaching team

Mrs Michelle Cooke, EY and KS1 Class teacher

Mrs Cooke studied the Bachelor of Education at Derby University and graduated with her teaching degree in 1996, having majored in English and studied PE as her minor subject.  She then took up her first teaching post in 1996 as a full time Reception teacher at Preston Candover. In 2002 she studied for and gained a certificate in Advanced Educational Studies at King Alfred’s college in Winchester for the Education of children under 5.

Mrs Cooke continued to job share and is the Early Years/KS1 transition leader. She has also taught in all classes in the school covering teachers PPA and subject leadership time. During her time at Preston Candover, Mrs Cooke has led the subjects of PE and MFL and is currently the English Leader. Mrs Cooke also works with the Junior Sports Leader pupils in school and with PE lead teachers in the cluster to plan joint PE/Sports events.  She served as a teacher governor at Preston Candover for 16 years.


Mrs Sarah Defferding, Class teacher

Mrs Defferding has been at Preston Candover Primary School for over 20 years and has taught Year R, 1 and 2 pupils. Her subject leadership areas include Science and Design Technology and she leads the Healthy Schools Programme and Eco Schools. She has a particular interest in the environment and nature and she has run an after school nature and gardening club in the past. She believes that outdoor learning encourages independence, investigation and questioning, which are all vital skills in a child’s learning journey.

Mrs Defferding followed in her father’s footsteps to train as a teacher. She completed her teacher training in Southampton and gained a BEd with her main subject in English. She has continued her career different primary schools in the Basingstoke area, which has covered the primary range. Mrs Defferding continues to learn new things and thoroughly enjoys making a difference to the lives of the children in her care.


Miss Chloe Chandler, Class teacher

Miss Chandler has worked in primary schools for the past 10 years in a variety of different roles and year groups. She studied at Chichester University and qualified with a First Class BA Hons Degree in Education with specialisms including Child Psychology and Behaviour, Social and Emotional Development, Outdoor Education and Child Developmental Neurology.

Miss Chandler is the Computing and Art lead at the school and currently teaching in Year 1. She enjoys learning in the outdoors and especially using the school’s fire pit to inspire the children. Miss Chandler is passionate about teaching and aims to involve, engage and inspire children so they too develop a love of learning. A love of learning which will support them to not only succeed, but to exceed expectations.


Miss Keira McPhee, Class teacher

Miss McPhee studied Education Studies at the University of Winchester where she covered modules such as Inclusion, Philosophy of Education and Child Centred Learning, before completing her Teacher Training there. She has experience of teaching in Key Stage 1 and 2 and is currently teaching in Year 2 at Preston Candover.

Miss McPhee has a variety of interests and loves History (especially the Tudors) and is known to be a bookworm! She is currently the Geography lead at Preston Candover. Miss Mcphee is looking forward getting to know the wider community.


Mrs Daisy Adarijo-Akindele, Teacher

Mrs Akindele studied languages at the University of Bath and completed her PGCE in Greenwich, London. After a few years teaching in London, she relocated to Brussels, where she worked in an International Primary School with children from many different nationalities.

At Preston Candover, she teaches across all year groups as a cover teacher and leads the French and PSHE Curriculum. She loves being able to share her passion for languages with the children and has an interest in diversity.


Mrs Marina Avis, cover Teacher

Mrs Marina Avis attended Eltham Well Hall College of Education, part of the London University, she has a Certificate in Education and Distinctions in Teaching Practices whilst training. Mrs Avis has over 44 years of experience in the Primary sector. During this time, she has been a Class Teacher for all year groups except Reception at Preston Candover. Mrs Avis covers teachers NQT and subject release time.


Senior Leadership


Mrs Otway  

Headteacher (DSL)

Mrs Hulme

Mrs Meier

Asst Headteacher & Class Teacher Robins (Deputy DSL)

Inclusion Leader & Class Teacher Kingfishers (Deputy DSL)    





Year R

Mrs Cooke & Mrs Defferding          




Miss Byrne

Mrs Croombs

Mrs Mas (ELSA)        

Mrs Vickers



Year 1

Miss Chandler (4 days)       

Mrs Cooke (1 day)


Year 2

Miss McPhee


Year 3/Year 4

Mrs Hulme


Year 5/Year 6

Mrs Meier

Additional Teachers

Mrs Avis

Mrs Adarijo-Akindele

Pastoral support

Mrs Meier & all staff


Mrs Cooke

Senior Admin/Finance Officer   

Mrs Forrest

Senior Admin Assistant

Mrs Brown


Mr Larkins