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
- Staff Governors who are elected by school staff
- Local Authority Governors who are nominated by the Local Authority but are 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.
If you have an enquiry for the Governors please email the Clerk in the first instance; she will then forward your query as appropriate.
The current Chair is Miss Sarah Roberts. The current Vice Chair is Mr John Griffiths.
All Governors have had a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Resigned within the school year 2018-2019
Mr Jason Knight (Parent) Term of office : 27/11/2015 - stepped down 05/11/2018
Dr Penelope Leach (Local Authority Governor) Term of office: 06/05/2017 – stepped down 19/12/2018
Mr Graham Arr-Jones
(Foundation/Trust) Term of office : 04/09/2018 - 03/09/2022
On the Strategic Organisation Committee
I am probably Priory's longest serving Governor. During my two sons' passage through Priory I was Chair of Priory School's PTA and an elected parent Governor. Subsequently I have served as a community Governor including several years as Chair of Governors. I am a chartered town planner providing strategic planning policy advice for East Sussex County Council and have lived in Lewes for 26 years. Supporting my son's interests involved me in junior sport and informal twinning activities with Lewes' French twin, Blois. I am also a member of the Independent Monitoring Board of Lewes Prison. I very much wish to see the links between the school and the community continue to strengthen.
Professor Michael Bull
(Associate) Term of office : 06/12/2018 - 05/12/2022
The Governing Body has given Michael as an Associate voting rights on the committees but he does not have casting votes in the event of a committee vote being evenly split. This is as set out in regulation 14(3) and regulation 24 of the School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013.
Teaching & Learning Committee Chair - Michael has one child at the school
I’m the father of a student in Year 7, so the school is still relatively new for both of us. I’m a trained teacher, having worked in the secondary sector for 14 years before moving into the university sector, where I’m now a Professor at the University of Sussex. I also understand the changes in curriculum that all of our children will face in the coming years, having been invited to sit on the AQA Examination Board’s national committee to advise on changes to the curriculum in the Humanities.
Mr Ken Caplan
(Local Authority) Term of office : 08/02/2019 - 07/02/2023
On the Strategic Organisation Committee
I have lived in Lewes for about 20 years and my two children have successfully navigated through Priory in recent years. I was a governor at Western Road Community Primary School for 6 years and more recently became a governor at Carlton Hill Community Primary School in Brighton. During my time at Western Road, we negotiated the Lewes area schools partnership for which Western Road and Priory were the founding partners. Working as a governor across primary and secondary schools provides a useful sense of the education system as a whole. My background is in international development and I work as a consultant mainly supporting governments to extend access to water and sanitation services in poorer communities across Africa and Asia.
Miss Susan Carpenter
(Co-opted) Term of office : 15/07/2019 - 14/07/2023
On the Teaching & Learning Committee - Cousins partners child attends the school
I have lived near Lewes for almost 25 years. I have been working at Priory for 7 years now as a science technician and been a Governor for 3 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
(Co-opted) Term of office : 05/09/2018 - 04/09/2022
Vice Chair of 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
(Co-opted) Term of office : 02/05/2018 – 01/05/2022
On the Strategic Organisation Committee David has one child at the school
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 is 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
(Vice Chair, Trust/Foundation) Term of office : 03/09/2018 - 02/09/2022
Teaching and Learning Committee Vice Chair
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
(Co-opted) Term of office : 06/09/2018 - 05/09/2022
On the Teaching & Learning Committee - Sarah has a nephew at the school via her partner
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.
Miss Suzanne Howells
(Staff) Term of office: 08/09/2015 - 07/09/2019
On the Strategic Organisation Committee
I am an currently an Assistant Head Teacher at Priory with a responsibility for 1 of the 4 Houses within the Pastoral system. Over the 10 years I have been at the school I have seen the community that is Priory grow and flourish. I decided to train as an educator 25 years ago after gaining an MSc in Forensic Science. During this time I have taught in 3 very different state schools carrying out several different roles. I enjoy working with staff and very much value the generous time and effort they give, but my enthusiasm and drive comes from the daily contact I have with the students, who continue to inspire and surprise me. It is genuinely rewarding to be able to enhance the experiences of any individual and see them thrive, develop and progress.
Mrs Joanna Loader
(Parent) Term of office : 11/12/2018 - 10/12/2022
Joanna has one child at the school.
When I first lived in Lewes in 1992 I worked at Glyndebourne Opera House as an Assistant Stage Manager. While I continued to work in Theatre all over the world during the following 15 years it was always Lewes I came home to. The town is my home. I then trained as a teacher working initially at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then leading Foundation Degrees in Technical Theatre Production at Northbrook Metropolitan College. In addition I lecture in Production and Event Management at Chichester University to their degree students.
I have one son at Priory and firmly believe that the best and most positive experience a child can have in education is when parents, carers and teachers work collaboratively to support their learning and development. I hope that as a new Parent Governor I can begin to facilitate that belief and look forward to my tenure.
Mr Martin Penrose
(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
(Chair, Parent) Term of office : 21/10/2016 - 20/10/2020
On the Strategic Organisation Committee - Sarah has one child at the school
I have a daughter in Year 11 and my two older children both went to Priory, so I have seen the school develop over time. I am an active member of the Parent Voice Group which offers me direct access to issues of interest for parents.
I am a historian and have lectured at Sussex and Kingston Universities as well as teaching A level. At present I am continuing research into my personal historical interests and have also gone back to my early roots in art and craft.
I believe passionately about education from both a personal and professional perspective and hope to use this enthusiasm to play my part in supporting Priory School.
Mr Tony Smith
(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.
Mrs Radha Stuart
(Parent) Term of office : 27/06/2018 - 26/06/2022
On the Teaching & Learning Committee - Radha has one child at the school
I am keen to be involved in assisting the school with its future developments. As a parent and Head of English in a comprehensive school in West Sussex, I feel able to offer a valuable perspective. I am aware of the challenges of the education landscape and am interested in helping to ensure that the stakeholders of Priory School are well served. Governors are a valuable resource and I work closely with our faculty governor in my present role. I have lived in Lewes for 11 years; our links with Priory began with my husband, who attended the school.
Ms 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
(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 the Business Manager in an East Sussex Primary Academy since 2012. Before that I worked in finance in ESCC for 9 years, in Adult Social Care and in the Schools Finance teams. I have a Chemistry degree, am a qualified Accounting Technician and completed the Certificate of School Business Management in 2012. Before working at County I ran my own retail business for 5 years and was a ceramics restorer for 17 years. I am passionate about education and believe that I have many useful experiences and skills that I bring to the role of governor, particularly in the area of finance. I love the positive ethos at Priory and being part of the team working to keep it a happy and successful school.