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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.

If you have an enquiry for the Governors please email the Clerk in the first instance; she will then forward your query as appropriate.

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.

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 Miss Sarah RobertsThe current Co- Vice Chairs are Mr John Griffiths and Mr Peter Colebourn.

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

Governors that resigned within the school year 2019-2020:

Professor Michael Bull ( Associate) Term of Office:06/12/2018 - Stepped down 11/09/2019.






Gaydree Wrigley

Business Manager at Glenleigh Park Primary Academy Bexhill on Sea

Graham Arr-Jones

No business interest declared

John Griffiths

Director/Consultant of JRTZ Ltd consultancy firm

Director of Mansell Park Residents Association

Peter Colebourn

No business interest declared

Sarah Hinks

Careers and Skills Lead at Cultureshift CIC.

Freelance employability, skills & charity consultant

Sarah Roberts

Assistant in Additional Learning Support department at East Sussex College Group Lewes  

Suzy Carpenter

Senior Science Technician Priory School

Has a relation who works for D:Cat as a Finance Officer

Tony Smith

Executive Headteacher Priory School

Ken Caplan

Trustee for Common Cause Lewes (local environmental charity)

Governor of Carlton Hill Community Primary School Brighton

Freelance Consulting of International Development

Martin Penrose

Employed by the Ministry of Justice

David Conway

Finance Director of CEGA Group

Liz Webb

Director of Liz Webb Management. Liz Webb Management manages the Orchestra of Sound and Light which presents music workshops at primary and secondary schools, sixth form colleges and universities in East Sussex and the surrounding area.

Joanna Loader

Employed by Northbrook Metropolitan College - programme lead (theatre) & Chichester University - Lecturer & Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) - workshop Lead. Lecturer at Chichester College.

Arif Said-McCullough

Science Teacher Priory School



Mr Graham Arr-Jones

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

On the Teaching & Learning 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.


Mr Ken Caplan

Ken(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

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

On the Teaching & Learning Committee 

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

Peter(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

David(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

John(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

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

On the Teaching & Learning Committee 

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.


Mrs Joanna Loader

Joanna Loader  3

(Parent) Term of office : 11/12/2018 - 10/12/2022

On the Teaching and Learning Committee

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

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(Chair, Parent) Term of office : 21/10/2016 - 20/10/2020

On the Strategic Organisation Committee 

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

On the Teaching & Learning Committee

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 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.



Governing Body Minutes Date  
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 Apr 2019 18th Jul 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes May 2019 18th Jul 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes Feb 2019 04th Jun 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes Dec 2018 04th Jun 2019 Download
Governing Body Minutes Jul 2019 12th Sep 2019 Download
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