Meet the Team

Amanda Griffiths
Director of Rural Schools Alliance

Amanda came into teaching relatively late, experiencing the world outside of education, before deciding that she couldn’t resist the lure of the classroom.  After completing a year as a Teaching Assistant, Amanda used this as a springboard to launch herself into a PGCE and the official start of her teaching career.

Amanda sees the work to build and develop the Rural Schools Alliance as a career highlight to date and believes that it is the teachers of the future who are the key to keeping the profession strong and resilient, and to ensure that teachers are consistently and unashamedly breaking each and every glass ceiling that is put in the way of a child making progress.

“I want the Rural Schools Alliance to offer all trainees the opportunity to learn their craft in a dynamic, ambitious and engaging setting.  I want prospective trainees to be able to complete placements to boost their confidence and skills, prior to starting the course, and I want the programme to be rewarding, rigorous and fun in its approach.  I also want trainees to secure QTS and move into their NQT year knowing that they have experienced first-class training that is the envy of their peers.”

The Rural Schools Alliance is a strong team based on shared values of hard work, collaboration and innovation, and we would very much like to welcome you to join us at this very exciting time in Education.


Cathy Fancett
Rural Schools Alliance Lead Tutor

Cathy has been teaching for 24 years and has been teaching in Hampshire since 2002. She is the Assistant Head of Maths at Swanmore College, as well as the Professional mentor to trainee teachers. She has been working with trainees for the last 10 years and has close links with Southampton, Chichester and Winchester Universities, LEARN Alliance and now the Rural Schools Alliance. Her role within the Rural Schools Alliance involves working closely with the trainees to monitor their progress as well as providing the trainees with the professional development training that they require.


Carleen Mills
Professional Mentor

Carleen is an English Lead Practitioner who has been teaching for 11 years across as number of schools in Hampshire. Carleen has worked in a coaching capacity for HIAS and continues to deliver training across the county to English subject leaders. Her role within the Rural Schools Alliance involves working closely with the trainees to monitor their progress as well as providing the trainees with the professional development training that they require.


Michelle Smith
Rural Schools Alliance Administrator

Michelle joined Swanmore College in June 2017 bringing with her over 20 years of administrative experience ranging from large corporate companies to national charities. Michelle deals with all administrative aspects of the Rural Schools Alliance ranging from the application process through to looking after our students once they start on their course with us.