Who's Who in West

Sarah Sutton

Assistant Houseparent
Georgina Black

Under Houseparent
Francesca Holloway
Lucianne Guntner
Ruth Taylor

Ilona Harding

Sarah Sutton, Houseparent

I began my career at Stowe in September 2008, teaching Sports Science, specialising in Exercise Physiology, as well as coaching Girls’ Games (Hockey, Netball and Tennis). Before joining Stowe I taught at St Edward's, Oxford, Downe House, Berkshire and Highworth Grammar School for Girls' in Kent following a BA (Hons) degree at Exeter University. 

In 2019 I became the founder Houseparent of Cheshire House, Stowe's first day house for girls, and in January 2023, moved back on site to become the Houseparent of West. 

I am married to Craig, former Houseparent of Bruce for ten years and now Stowe's Director of Sport, and we have two children, Emily and Ben, who are both flourishing at Stowe. We enjoy family time in Cornwall and holidays in the French Alps, keeping active, both representing Great Britain age-group team in the World Triathlon Championships 2016 in Cozumel. 

I pride myself on doing the very best for the girls in West House, offering the highest level of pastoral support both academically and socially, to ensure the girls receive individual care and encouragement to become an integral part of our busy community, thriving in all aspects of Stowe life. 

In West House, the girls will have a friendly, welcoming home for their sixth form journey at Stowe supported by the caring House team. We have developed a sense of community and house pride where the girls are happy and fulfilled, thoughtful and ambitious; encouraged to achieve their potential during their time at Stowe.

History of the House

Being located on the western edge of the School campus provides West House with a real sense of open space and tranquillity, not found in the labyrinth of the main mansion. West is a Sixth Form Girl's' house and there is real sense of maturity amongst the girls who are afforded a degree of additional independence in their daily routine.  

In West there is a wealth of talent among the girls joining Stowe and we strongly encourage all our girls to be actively involved in the range of activities and experiences by participating in Sports and Arts; becoming involved in CCF and Duke of Edinburgh; and contributing to the wider community through the range of volunteering projects and initiatives. 

We are very fortunate to have purpose-built accommodation in the form of the new West 5 building. There are 23 en-suite rooms joined by a glass walkway with balconies to be enjoyed on sunny days. Within this part of the house there is a large kitchen, the Houseparents' office, and a bright communal space to be shared and enjoyed by all West girls. The boarding house is completed by other recently renovated buildings that each have their own smaller kitchens, providing an opportunity for the girls to have some independence and get a feel for what university life might be like. The gardens and surrounding areas are beautiful, particularly welcome on sunny days - West is a very special part of Stowe! 

Head of House

"What I like about West is that it offers preparation and guidance for the transition between school and university, allowing you to develop in confidence and gain other skills such as the ability to organise oneself efficiently. West also gives you the opportunity to make lifelong friends, in a welcoming and family-style community.

West is a house that is very encouraging and seeks to bring out the individual person, whether their talents lie with sports, academia or elsewhere, rather than taking the approach that everyone should fit a prescribed ideal."

                              Did You Know...

  • The House is not in fact named after its location in the Western Garden, but after a member of the Temple-Grenville family named Gilbert West.
  • As the newest House at Stowe, West was officially opened in 2014 by Viscount Cobham, the direct descendent of the family who built and lived at Stowe.
  • Our House Colours are ‘argent and sable’ – better known to those without a deep knowledge of heraldry as silver and black! These are based on the coat of arms of the West family.