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Governing Body

Every school has a governing body whose members work as a team. Governors are responsible to parents, funders and the community for making sure the school provides a good quality education. Governors also promote high standards of educational achievement. They do this together with the Headteacher, who is responsible for day-to-day management of the school. Governing bodies may also include representatives from the church, charitable trust or business interests. The term of office is four years for our Governors at the school.

Governing bodies may include :

  • Parent Governors who are elected by other parents/carers at the school
  • A Staff Governor who is elected by school staff
  • A Local Authority Governor who is nominated by the Local Authority but is appointed by the Governing Body
  • Co-opted Governors who are appointed by the Governing Body
  • Foundation/Trust Governors who are appointed by the Lewes Co-operative Learning Partnership (LCLP)

The Headteacher is a member of the Governing Body by virtue of their office.

The purpose of our Governing Body is to help the school provide the best possible education for its students. To be achieved by strongly focussing on:

  • Setting the vision and strategic direction of the school
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for its educational performance
  • Ensuring financial resources are well spent.

At Priory most of the formal governor business is conducted at the full governing body meetings - held seven times per academic year.  Supporting the full governing body we have two committees, Teaching and Learning who meet once per term and Strategic Organisation (finance) who meet once per term during terms 1-5.

If you have an enquiry for the Governors please email the Clerk in the first instance; she will then forward your query as appropriate. Alternatively please post your enquiry marked for the Chair of Governors, c/o Clerk to the Governors, Priory School, Mountfield Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2XN.

Priory School will always advertise if they have a vacancy on their governing body.

You could also discover more about the role, or register your skills and find a local governor vacancy, at Inspiring Governance  or Governors for Schools.

Or if you are interested in becoming a governor, apply to be matched with a school in your area using the Governor Expression of Interest form.

The following link will take you to East Sussex County Council’s I’m a Governor video which may be of interest.


The current Chair is Mr Peter Colebourn.The current Co- Vice Chairs are Mr John Griffiths and Mr Noah Curthoys.

All Governors have had a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Governors that resigned within the school year :

Mr Ken Caplan (LA Governor) Term of Office :08/02/2019 - Stepped down 31/08/2021




Arif Said-McCullough

Science Teacher at Priory School

Neighbours Child is in Year 7

David Conway

Global Head of Shared Services support function for an insurance support company

Gaydree Wrigley

School Business Manager at Meridian Community Primary School in Peacehaven

Graham Arr-Jones


John Griffiths

Director/Consultant of JRTZ Ltd consultancy firm

Director of Mansell Park Residents Association

Member of Local Authority’s school placement appeals panel list

Trustee of the Lewes Priory School Memorial Chapel Trust

Liz Webb

Director at Liz Webb Management - concert and composer consultancy and management. Occasional music education projects in East sussex Schools - none currently planned for the school year 2021/22

I am related to a student in Year 11

Martin Penrose

Employed by the Ministry of Justice

I am related to a student in Year 11

Peter Colebourn

Part time guide/room steward at Firle Place, Firle, Lewes.

Sarah Hinks

Careers and Skills Lead at Cultureshift.

Vice Chair Now Charity Group

Sarah Roberts

Learning Assistant at East Sussex College Group in Lewes 

Suzy Carpenter

Senior Science Technician at Priory School

Has a relation who works for Hurstpierpoint College as Chief Financial Officer

Tony Smith

Headteacher Priory School

Julia Blake-Madigan

Run my own property business.

I am related to a student in Year 8.

Noah Curthoys

Director/Owner, Bridgenor Associates-communications consultancy

Director/Owner,Northshott Consulting- research/insight consultancy.

Lay Member, NHS North East london(formerly NHS Tower Hamlets CCG)-non executive role

Council Member, Democratic Society- no executive Belian NGO role, unpaid

Spouse works for Medical Justice, human rights charity

Parent of child in Year 7 

James (Jim) Endersby

History Professor and Associate Dean for Student Experience at the University of Sussex.

Visiting Professor, Gresham College London.

Parent of a child in Year 7

Kaveri Sharma

I work for East Sussex County Council.

I am related to a student in Year 8






FOR 2020-21

Governor’s Name

Attendance at Full Governing Body Meetings 2020-21

Attendance at Strategic Organisation (finance) Committee Meetings 2020-21

Attendance at Teaching & Learning Committee Meetings 2020-21

Gaydree Wrigley




Graham Arr-Jones




David Conway




John Griffiths




Arif Said-McCullough




Ken Caplan




Peter Colebourn




Sarah Hinks




Susan Carpenter




Sarah Roberts




Tony Smith




Martin Penrose




Liz Webb




Kaveri Sharma*

3/4 0/2 0/3

Jim Endersby*

3/4 0/2 2/3

Julia Blake-Madigan*

4/4 2/2 2/3

Noah Curthoys*




Governors marked * joined part way through the school year


The information on our Governors below includes which committees they are members of and also who our Committee Chairs are:

Mr Graham Arr-Jones

Graham(Foundation/Trust) Term of office : 04/09/2018 - 03/09/2022

On the Teaching & Learning Committee 

Originally an elected parent governor with two sons at the school, I am a past chair of governors and currently one of two foundation governors sitting on both Priory’s governing body and the board of the Lewes Co-operative Learning Partnership. The Partnership, which I chair, encourages co-operative working between Lewes schools so as to provide the very best education possible for all children and young people in our communities. As a long standing resident of Lewes I very much wish to see the links between school and community continue to strengthen.


Miss Susan Carpenter

Susan(Co-opted) Term of office : 15/07/2019 - 14/07/2023

On the Strategic Organisation Committee 

I have lived near Lewes for almost 27 years. I have been working at Priory for 9 years now as a science technician and been a Governor for nearly 5 years. I have had the delight of being both a student here and now a member of the staff. During my time here as a student, I was both a charity rep and a prefect. I loved being involved with the student voice at the time and trying to make a difference for my fellow students. The experience as both a student and staff member has allowed me to see both sides of the education system here. I am very proud to have been made a governor and be given the opportunity to help keep Priory a successful and happy environment for both students and staff.


Mr Peter Colebourn

Peter(Chair, Co-opted) Term of office : 05/09/2018 - 04/09/2022

Strategic Organisation Committee

I have lived in the Lewes area since 1988. Until 2006 I was Deputy Head at Heathfield Community College, and then, as an Associate Lecturer at Christchurch University Canterbury, taught on an MA course in Educational Leadership and Management for serving teachers in Kent and Surrey. Over the last 5 years I have also been teaching EFL both in China and the UK helping to organise the International Summer School at Sussex Downs College. I am passionate about teaching and learning, and want schools to be seen as positive, vibrant and inclusive learning communities. As a new governor I look forward to playing a supporting role, helping Priory School to develop and promote its role at the heart of the community in the Lewes area.


Mr David Conway

David(Co-opted) Term of office : 02/05/2018 – 01/05/2022

On the Strategic Organisation Committee

I have lived in or around Lewes for the last 15 years and feel very lucky to be part of a special community. My son was a pupil at Priory school,  transitioning from Western Road Primary school in Lewes and receiving support from many teachers and parents along the way. I have a finance background graduating from the London School of Economics and qualifying as an accountant in the city. On qualifying I lived and worked in Bermuda for 10 years in various finance roles before returning to work in London. I am currently Group Finance Director of a medical assistance company.


Mr John Griffiths

John(Joint Vice Chair, Trust/Foundation) Term of office : 03/09/2018 - 02/09/2022

Having graduated and completed a PGCE, I taught Economics and Business Studies at a large sixth form college in Essex. After 4 years I changed career and worked in the Lloyd’s of London market as a reinsurance broker. During this time I worked extensively on USA professional liability business and my family and I have been lucky to have lived and worked in both Los Angeles and Chicago for extended periods. In 2013 I retired from the City in order to reprioritise my work/life balance which has allowed me the opportunity to join Priory currently as a Foundation governor. I am currently working in property management and renovation in Sussex. I have two children, one working as a teacher, the other, in banking.


Ms Sarah Hinks

Sarah(Co-opted) Term of office : 06/09/2018 - 05/09/2022

Joint Teaching and Learning Chair

I appreciate both the rewards and the challenges of being a Governor here at Priory since 2006. As the Governor lead for Safeguarding and Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance I work closely with the school to ensure that these areas are constantly being reviewed and improved. I spent twenty years working in the world of book publishing, ten as a freelance publishing and production consultant working with national and international companies and printers such as Dorling Kindersley, Penguin and Simon and Schuster. I switched from the private to the public sector in 2006, working in a range of management positions for Children's Services at ESCC including planning and performance, contracts, organisational development, children centres and the Standards and Learning Effectiveness Service. I am currently working as a freelance Skills and Employability consultant with the Sussex Council Training Providers. I have lived in Lewes since 2003 with my partner, an ex Priory student and our three children.


Mr Martin Penrose

Martin(Co-opted) Term of office : 03/05/2018 - 02/05/2022

On the Teaching & Learning Committee

Martin has one child at the school

I worked for many years as a solicitor promoting civil rights for members of diverse communities in London and Brighton.  My experience includes Parliamentary lobbying, setting legal professional examinations and, many years ago, teaching English in a school in Sudan.  More recently, I have worked exclusively for HM Courts and Tribunals Service. I have lived in Lewes for over 11 years and been a Priory parent since 2011. I have become a governor to support the school in challenging times.


Miss Sarah Roberts

Sarah(Co-opted) Term of office : 05/11/2020 - 04/11/24

Joint Teaching and Learning Chair.

I have three children who all attended Priory School; my youngest took her GCSEs in 2018.  I have seen the school develop over time and respond to a variety of challenges.

I am an historian and have lectured at Sussex and Kingston Universities as well as teaching A level at a local college. At present I am at East Sussex College, Lewes, working with young adults with SEN. I also enjoy continuing to research into my personal historical interests and spend time, when possible, on my interest in art and craft.
I am passionate about education from both a personal and professional perspective and use this enthusiasm to play my part in supporting Priory School. I am link governor for SEN and try to work hard to further inclusion within education. I believe that a holistic approach to learning helps achieve positive results. 



Mr Arif Said-McCullough

Arif(Staff) Term of office : 8/11/2019 - 7/11/2023

On the Teaching & Learning Committee 

I am a strong believer in a well-balanced and holistic approach to education.  I must admit that I am still rather new to the teaching profession, having previously worked as an Assistant Manager at a small boutique hotel in central Brighton as well as serving an academic year as a Teaching Assistant at Longhill High School, attached to the Learning Support Department mainly supporting students with SEN/D.  It was during this time as a TA, working with a wheelchair-bound young person who aspires to be the next Stephen Hawking, that my inspiration and determination to pursue a career in teaching flourished with the vision of encouraging our young people to reach and achieve their potential irrespective of their ability and background.

Despite my recent entrance to the teaching profession, I believe that I bring an honest, hard-working and creative approach to my work.  So, it is this same attitude that I wish to bring to this important role as a representative of the school’s teaching staff on the board of Governors.  I very much look forward to working with parents, other teaching and support staff colleagues, the Headteacher, SLTs and other Governors to help ensure that we continue to improve the educational provision we provide to our young people in order to provide them with the best possible chance to succeed, both within the educational system as well as in the wider community.



Mr Tony Smith

Tony(Headteacher) Term of office : 01/09/2010 -

I have lived in and around Lewes since 1988. Given that Lewes has been my local town I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to lead Priory School. I started my career as a graduate trainee in retail management but after two and a half years I decided to train as a teacher and completed my training at the University of Sussex. I have always taught in East Sussex, starting as a teacher of Geography and Economics at Heathfield Community College. I gained promotion early in my career and taught in Hastings for 6 years. I spent 11 years as a Deputy Headteacher at an Eastbourne school where I was twice the “Acting Headteacher”. I have also been seconded, on two separate occasions, to East Sussex Children’s Services as a 14-19 Development Manager, overseeing many of the initiatives of the previous government. I commenced at Priory School at the start of the 2010-11 academic year.


Ms Liz Webb

Liz Webb(Parent) Term of office : 07/12/2018 - 06/12/2022

Liz has one child at the school

I am a Priory parent and an active member of the Friends of Priory since 2014, including organising bars and refreshments for school events to raise funds for the school.

I am keen to represent the views and perspectives of parents to the governing body and to support music and the arts at Priory in the context of its many excellent activities.

I run my own arts management company, promoting composers and top professional musicians and managing operas, tours, concerts and recordings. Recently I have produced a series of publicly funded large-scale music education projects in schools and colleges across East Sussex culminating in performances at the Brighton Festival.


Miss Gaydree Wrigley

Gaydree(Co-opted) Term of office : 03/09/2018 - 02/09/2022

Strategic Organisation Committee Chair

I became interested in education when my daughters went to school, helping in their primary school and as part of the PTA committee at their secondary school. I have been a School Business Manager since 2012, working before that in the schools finance teams at County. I am passionate about the importance of education and believe that I have many useful experiences and skills to bring to the role of governor, particularly in the area of finance. I love the positive ethos at Priory and being a part of the team working together to keep it a happy and successful school.


Mr Noah Curthoys

(Joint Vice Chair/Local Authority) Term of office : 02/09/2021 - 01/09/2025                    Noah curthoys

Noah has one child at the school.

Vice Chair of the Strategic Organisation Committee

Noah has lived in Lewes for almost a decade and has a background in strategy and research. He has previously worked in government (HM Treasury, Cabinet Office and the competition regulator), in finance (Morgan Stanley) and in the NGO sector (Democratic Society). He currently runs a research consultancy and is a governor at a Lewes primary school. A graduate of LSE and UCL, Noah is married and has one child in secondary school.


Ms Julia Blake Madigan

Parent) Term of office : 22 Jan 2021 - 21 Jan 2025

Julia has one child at the school.

On the Strategic Organisation Committee

Being new to Priory, with a student in year 7, I’m keen to be involved in the functioning of the school as I’ve two other daughters who will be attending in the coming years! I’d like to help Priory be the best school it can be, and would contribute in a positive, challenging and constructive way. I’ve lived in Lewes for most of my life. I do building work and am often to be found up a ladder! I’m interested in all aspects of education and feel I could provide a holistic and grounded contribution to this well intentioned hub of learning.



Ms Kaveri Sharma

Ms Kaveri Sharma
(Parent) Term of office : 04 Feb 2021 - 03 Feb 2025

Kaveri has one child at the school.Ks pic 1

On the Strategic Organisation Committee

Kaveri trained as a human rights lawyer in Delhi, India. She is a British Chevening Fellow and studied Law in Development at University of Warwick. Kaveri started her career as a family lawyer, moving to immigration and homelessness. She led on an investigation on low rates of employment for Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black women in the UK as a Policy Officer at Equal Opportunities Commission. Later, she worked at the Equality and Human Rights Commission during the time of merger of the three equality commissions and became part of the team that was working on the first set of Equality Impact Assessment Forms.

Kaveri has been a trainer, facilitator and inspirator on gender and race equality issues for twenty years. She has an interest in issues of migration and social policy. She is working on an edited collection of essays on race, gender and migration.





Professor Jim Endersby

Professor Jim Endersby

(Parent) Term of office : 04 Feb 2021 - 03 Feb 2025

Jim has one child at the school.

Teaching and Learning Vice ChairEndersby jim 2021

I have lived in Lewes for about 14 years, have been a Priory parent for many years, and am currently Chair of the Friends of Priory. I teach history at the University of Sussex, where I have particular responsibilities for working with students and colleagues at the university to improve teaching and learning.

I have a strong concern with equalities issues, and wish to support Priory staff and parents in ensuring all our children get equal access to education. I have a particular interest in improving access for students with special educational needs (my older child, who successfully completed his time at Priory a couple of years ago, has a mild autism spectrum condition).



Governing Body Minutes Date  
Governing Body Minutes Mar 2021 27th May 2021 Download
Governing Body Minutes Feb 2021 23rd Mar 2021 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2018 11th Oct 2018 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2018 30th Sep 2018 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jul 2018 12th Jul 2018 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2018 17th May 2018 Download
Governing Body Minutes Mar 2018 15th Mar 2018 Download
Governing Body Minutes Feb 2018 08th Feb 2018 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2017 14th Dec 2017 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2017 12th Oct 2017 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2017 05th Sep 2017 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jun 2017 28th Jun 2017 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2017 18th May 2017 Download
Governing Body Minutes Mar 2017 27th Mar 2017 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2016 08th Dec 2016 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2016 13th Oct 2016 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2016 06th Sep 2016 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jun 2016 30th Jun 2016 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2016 12th May 2016 Download
Governing Body Minutes Feb 2016 11th Feb 2016 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2015 10th Dec 2015 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2015 15th Oct 2015 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2015 03rd Sep 2015 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jul 2015 09th Jul 2015 Download
Governing Body Minutes Feb 2015 12th Feb 2015 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2014 11th Dec 2014 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2014 16th Oct 2014 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2014 04th Sep 2014 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jul 2014 03rd Jul 2014 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2014 08th May 2014 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jan 2014 30th Jan 2014 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2013 12th Dec 2013 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2013 04th Sep 2013 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jun 2013 27th Jun 2013 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2013 02nd May 2013 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jan 2013 31st Jan 2013 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2012 06th Dec 2012 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2012 06th Dec 2012 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2012 11th Oct 2012 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2012 04th Sep 2012 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jun 2012 21st Jun 2012 Download
Governing Body Minutes Apr 2012 26th Apr 2012 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2020 12th Jan 2021 Download
Governing Body Minutes Mar 2020 02nd Jun 2020 Download
Full Govening Body Minutes 15 07 2021 06th Sep 2021 Download
Governing Body Minutes Apr 2019 18th Jul 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2019 18th Jul 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2020 24th Feb 2021 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jul 2019 12th Sep 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2020 18th Aug 2020 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jul 2020 16th Sep 2020 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2019 27th Jan 2020 Download
Governing Body Minutes Oct 2019 27th Jan 2020 Download
Governing Body Minutes Sep 2020 25th Nov 2020 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2018 04th Jun 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes Feb 2019 04th Jun 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2021 21st Jul 2021 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2019 05th Mar 2020 Download
Governing Body Minutes Feb 2020 31st Mar 2020 Download
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