Our Governors

  • Rachel West

    Executive Head Teacher

    I have been at Laughton Community Primary School for 7 years and have been working in partnership with Firle Cof E Primary School for 2 years before becoming Executive Head of The Oak Tree Federation in September 2018.
    I represent our EIP on the East Sussex Strategic Management Board as I am on the Ashdown Strategic EIP group . I am committed to inspiring a love of learning in our primary schools to give children the very best start in life.
    It is a pleasure to work with such dedicated staff, governors, parents and children, we are all very proud of our success.

  • Debra Vice- Holt

    Chair of Governors and Parent Governor

    I joined the governing board as a parent governor in 2018 and became the Chair of Governors in 2019. I have son at Firle School. I am a member of the Finance and Pay Committee and the working groups Leadership and Management and Quality of Education.

    I have a background in education working with schools and colleges across Sussex and am currently working on a project with schools, colleges and universities in Sussex to increase the number of young people from under-represented groups that progress in education. I am Director of the community interest company, Work & Learning Opportunities and undertake coaching specifically focusing on careers and education. My formal qualifications include a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies and an MA in Gender Studies. I have served as trustee with two charities and was Chair of the Brighton Women’s Centre. I am keen to represent parents and carers through my role as a governor and would be happy to speak with you to ensure your comments, views and questions are addressed.

  • Liz Fradd Gilbert

    Co-opted Governor

    I am currently a full time mum but my background is in Law. I have been a governor for about 5 years. I have one child at Laughton CP School and my eldest has just started secondary school after 7 happy years at Laughton.

    I feel passionate about helping the school to continue to develop and improve. I particularly enjoy working with the school to fulfil its vision of "Inspiring Learning for Life", ensuring every pupil has the opportunity to have the best start to their educational journey.

  • Katharine Martyn

    Co-opted Governor

  • Priscilla Paddock

    Clerk to Governors

    I joined Laughton Primary School as their Clerk to Governors in September 2017. I am an Early Years Professional and have previously worked in management roles in a school and for ESCC. I am passionate about ensuring the best outcomes for children and believe that the governing body is pivotal in providing the school with support and challenge to achieve this.

  • Victoria Mandy

    Staff Governor

    I have been teaching at Laughton Community Primary School for just under three years in the year 5/6 class. I lead maths, assessment and PE across The Oak Tree Federation. During my time at Laughton, I have taken part in a maths research group and begun embedding the use of mastery teaching in maths across the two schools. I am passionate about sport and providing children with opportunities to take part in sporting activities. It is a pleasure to work in such a lovely school community.

  • Gemma Collins

    Vice Chair and Parent Governor

    I have a son and a daughter at Laughton CP School. I have a degree in Communications and Media Studies, a diploma in Marketing and am an Accredited Clerk. I work on a self employed basis for a photography company, a building firm and The British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers. With a communications, marketing and governance background I hope to utilise my skills and knowledge in the role of parent governor. I am the link governor for Safeguarding and for governor training.

  • Andrew Sidebottom

    Co-opted Governor

  • Elizabeth Fitzpatrick

    Co-opted Governor

    I am the Cherry Class teacher and the SENDCo (I oversee the provision for children with a special educational needs within the school).
    I have worked at Firle for over 8 years. In addition to working in such a beautiful setting, it has been a joy to teach the inquisitive and enthusiastic children here.
    Throughout my lengthy teaching career I have taught in Hackney and rural Sussex. These contrasting areas have both provided different challenges and rewards!

  • Denise Kong

    LA Governor

    I became involved in governance in 2010 and since then I have Chaired and sat on governing boards at various different types of schools in East Sussex. I am also a member of the East Sussex Governor Forum, which is the county’s governor representative group.

    My specialist areas in governance have included pupil premium; safeguarding; special needs; data; wellbeing. My areas of interest across the county include promoting networking and producing the governors’ newsletter.

    I work in school database management. Other interests include assessing for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and running Maths Challenge and Further Maths clubs for secondary school students.

  • Caroline Hampden

    Foundation Governor

    I had been a Foundation Governor at Firle School since 2013. I am delighted that our two schools have federated and I am pleased to be continuing as a governor for the Oak Tree Federation. My three children all attended Firle school.

    I am a part time general practitioner and, for several years, I was a GP facilitator at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, taking tutorials with first and second year medical students. I also run a learning set for GPs in the Lewes area where we invite speakers and share our knowledge of new developments in medicine.

    My experience in undergraduate teaching and in learning throughout my career has made me passionate about teaching children how to learn and to instils a love of learning from as early as possible.