Governor Biographies

Amanda Hawkins

Oct 2015. I have two children, Trinity who has had a very happy and enjoyable time at Framfield School and is starting her Key Stage 2 journey and Ethan who has just embarked on his school life in Reception. My professional background before becoming a full time mum was as a Group Human Resources Manager in the retail motor industry. Within this role I dealt with all aspects of Human Resources including: recruitment, writing and reviewing policies, managing performance and sitting on the company board. I undertook my professional qualifications and have retained my chartered membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Since Trinity started school I have been an active and supportive parent within the School. For the past two years I have been the Chair of the Friends of Framfield Pre-School which has been a very successful fund raising group. I feel that in bringing together my professional HR experience, my approachability, with the experience of being a Framfield parent I can contribute to supporting our Schools in delivering the best educational opportunities for all our children.

Chris Lawrence (Rev.)

Oct 2015. I have been an ordained clergyman for ten years with a previous career as a research engineer within the Ministry of Defence. As Vicar of St Thomas à Becket Church, Framfield and Blackboys CE Schools naturally fall within my parish remit to provide assemblies and services that are Christian based and in keeping with the ethos of both schools. Apart from the usual church duties I see my role as helping the children, parents and staff to take a wider view of life and how the spiritual side helps us to make greater sense of the world we live in and how we address real life issues. From a personal point of view I see my calling unfolding mainly in the area of relationships. I came to faith eighteen years ago from a largely unchurched background and as such can empathise with the ups and downs of life. I am always happy to provide pastoral support and a confidential listening ear to individuals or families, particularly when life is challenging or complicated. Contact can be made directly or via the church website: Focus for Religious Instruction.

Christine Hayler

Oct 2015. I am now retired but was a Headteacher and a School Improvement Partner. I was head at a small village first school in Surrey and then moved to a larger school in Crawley, I was also an Acting Headteacher in several West Sussex schools prior to retirement. I believe high quality Primary education is vitally important for all pupils and want to see the children at Framfield enjoying and succeeding in all areas. I also see education as a partnership between the school and the family. I hope that my background, and particularly my interest and experience in early years, is of value to the school in being able to provide support and challenge.

Emma Doherty

Oct 2015. All my four children have attended Blackboys School and two are current pupils. After completing a Biology degree, I worked as an Environmental Planner and gained an MSc in Environmental Impact Assessment before becoming a freelance environmental consultant. Over the past 10 years I have gained experience as a classroom assistant and a registered childminder, and have served on the Blackboys Pre-School and Blackboys School PTA committees. I currently work part-time at The Grove café/village stores in Blackboys, set up by my husband and I and two business partners three years ago. I am an active member of Blackboys New Life Baptist Church and for many years have helped to run Sunday school groups and ‘Crusaders’. I hope to make a valuable contribution in my role as parent governor.

Gillian Clark

I have lived in Blackboys for the past 6 years and am very active in my local Church – New Life Blackboys. I have assisted at Crusaders after school club and presented the charity that I work for at School Assemblies in Blackboys School. I am married with 3 grown up children and have 2 small grandsons. My daughter is a year 1 teacher at a faith school in Morden. I work part time for the Quicken Trust and initially I regularly visited many local schools informing them about the work we do in a small village in Uganda. Having visited the project 3 times I still very much have a heart for the people there. I am now more involved with the orphan sponsorship scheme but will be retiring in April 2017 and would therefore like to be able to offer some of my skills to the schools in Blackboys and Framfield.

Graham Sullivan

Head of School

Heather West

I am a Mum of two grown up daughters and have lived in the parish for nigh on thirty years. My husband and girls attended Framfield School. Back in the day I was Chair of the PTA and a committed volunteer, giving ten hours per week to helping in school. I have been employed at Framfield since 2000 and am now the SEND HLTA (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator graded as a Highert Level Teaching Assistant), working with children from all year groups. I work closely with our SENDCO and Class Teachers to implement individual and group programmes of support, as well as providing in class support. I am passionate about our Federation and excited to see what happens to us in the future. Supporting and nurturing all of our children is paramount and it’s a privilege to be part of this.

Jacqueline Davis

Head of School

Katharine Rabson Stark

Oct 2015. I am a mum of three children and they all attend Framfield School. I have worked at King’s College London for 16 years in strategic planning, partnership development and fixing tricky problems through consultation. I have worked on the restructure of the medical schools, the development of a Student Entrepreneurship Institute and the renovation of the East Wing of Somerset House, and am currently responsible for the University’s innovation agenda. My experience, particularly in establishing partnerships and representing the views of all parties concerned can, I hope, benefit the St Thomas à Becket Federation. I am passionate about education and want to work as hard as I can to support our Schools to give our children the best possible opportunities.

Keith Brandon

Oct 2015. My professional background over the past 24 years is within the rail industry to which I have held senior technical leadership roles for the most part. I have three children, one of whom is at Blackboys C of E Primary School. I have lived in the Parish for 12 years and hope that my role as local Parish Councillor will help affirm the relationship with the schools in order to support and maintain a wonderful environment for the pupils and community. With the ability to think independently and work as a team I offer the commitment and determination to continue the good work already being done. I pledge to bring many of my vocational and professional skills to the benefit of the Governorship and schools, including senior leadership experience focusing on major project work, health and safety and managerial support. I am a tutor for the British Red Cross specialising in psychosocial support and safeguarding children and adults amongst other subjects. I am a local councillor for our Parish, and currently sit as chairman for the planning committee. I am also the Parish Emergency Planning Coordinator. I believe that these skills amongst many others will add value to the Federation and ultimately the wellbeing and future of our children.

Lynda Lynch

Oct 2015. I have two children who are current pupils at Blackboys School. I served for one year as an elected parent governor on the Blackboys School governing body and am a Foundation governor on the federated governing body. I work in public service, have special experience in safeguarding children and bring this experience to my role as one of the federation’s nominated governors for child protection and safeguarding. My particular area of curriculum interest is physical education and I help out at the Blackboys School netball and hockey clubs. I also support the Blackboys School Parent Teacher Association and sometimes help out at their events.

Mark Filsell

Oct 2015. I am a Chartered Accountant, working with a local accountancy firm. Throughout my 30-year career I have worked with schools and charities as auditor, accountant and advisor. In my current role I work with a variety of different types of school in Sussex and Kent so have a good understanding of how school finances should operate. I served as a parent governor on the Blackboys School governing body for one year before federation and am now an Associate governor, serving on the Finance & Resources committee. Through my wide-ranging financial expertise and experience I hope to make a useful contribution to the work of the governing body.

Peter Berry

Oct 2015. I am not half as grand as my title. Born in Framfield and a former pupil at the school, my grandsons attend and are the fourth generation to do so. I am a farmer who in common with many has had to diversify to other businesses, all based on the farm at Birdineye. I like to think I have a genuine commitment to our C of E school; its wellbeing and Christian ethos. Bottom line – I will do all I can to promote a happy, positive school that is well run and where our pupils can thrive.

Phil Wilmowski TD

Oct 2015: The Clerk holds an historic appointment going back 400 years and works closely with the Chair of Governors, the Headteacher, and the other Governors to support the Governing Body. I advise the Governing Body on constitutional and procedural matters, duties, and powers. I am accountable to the Governing Body, maintain its information management system, record minutes of meetings, and undertake the role of historian. Before taking early retirement, I worked as a BT manager (planning, customer service, staff management, and project management) for 36 years, and spent 42 years in the Territorial Army (rising from Pte to Major).

Samatha Butler

I grew up in East Sussex and attended a local primary school and then St. Leonards Mayfield. I studied English Literature at Durham University then after a CPE conversion course at the College of Law, Guildford and Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, London, qualified as a lawyer. I have worked at law firms in London, Norfolk and Kent but most recently in the City where I practised in the area of Commercial Litigation specialising in Construction industry disputes. Currently I look after my three small children, the eldest of whom is in year 1 at Blackboys CEP, and manage a number of properties which we rent to tenants in London. I am on the PCC in Buxted but we will shortly be moving to Framfield where I am looking forward to being a part of our new parish.

Sarah Cottingham

I am a full time Mum of 7 children whose ages range from 16 Year to 23 months. I have links with Blackboys School dating back to 1980, as my husband and all his siblings attended the school. I grew up in Wiltshire and moved to Sussex in 1994 to work in a residential care home for the elderly. I then moved on to Brighton University to train as a Staff Nurse. I graduated in 1998 and worked at Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) on the Opthalmic Surgery ward until our eldest children (twins) wewre born, when i gave up nursing to become a full time Mum. During the past 16 years I have found my nursing skills an invaluable help! Amongst my many duties as Mum, I also help my husband, working in the family business in Halland. Four of our children have now passed through Blackboys CEP School (receiving an excellent education on the way!!) and on to Secondary School and Colege. I still have 2 children attending Blackboys at present and therefore have a keen interest in the continued progress and developmenmt of both schools in the partnership. I have a wealth of experience from my nursing background which has proved very useful in manmy different situations. I have current experience of a large variety of issues associated with children passing through Primary (and Secondary) education and also have a long “history” at Blackboys School. I have been a witness to the changes and developments there during the time of then 2 previous Headteachers and now the present Executive Headteacher. I hope that this experience will stand me in good stead for the challenges of being a Foundation Governor.

Tjadine Ullmann-Carp

Since 2011 I have been living in East-Sussex. We moved from Holland, where I was born, raised and had a full on career as partner of a consultancy firm, to follow my husband’s job and choose this area to live because of Blackboys School. I love to be as involved as you can in the school and social life of my children. As such I have sat on the Committee of the preschool, started after school hockeyclub, one of my own passions, and for the last 3 years was co-chair of the PTA. I strongly believe a community has the responsibility to help a child find its place in society as well as it possibly can, socially, educationally and happily. I feel very honoured to have been asked to become a foundation Governor, to assist the federation to keep its high standards when the world around us brings so many challenges. Professionally I believe I can bring some helpful experience. I have been involved in the management of a large primary school federation (9 schools) in Amsterdam, worked for the largest commercial real estate company in the world, was chair of the Preschool Committee in Rotterdam and advised several companies and governmental departments on how to reduce costs and find ways to improve their financial outlook. Momentarily I work for Wizenoze, a Tech Company, that makes the Internet a better place for children, which will launch its products in the UK this year. Personally I hope to be able to act as a helpful and active soundboard to the Staff, Management and parents. I hope to bring a bit of matter of fact Dutchness, obviously with the appropriate English touch and based on Christian values.