I am trained as a geologist, and spent many years working in places as far- flung as Angola and Norway.
For the last 16 years, I have worked in sales, business development and management roles in the UK.
My hobbies include cooking, camping and running.
For me, serving on the governing board is all about St Mary’s: the children; the staff; and the community. Seeing children thrive in a diverse, friendly and nurturing environment is what it’s all about… and being part of that community.
Chair of Governors
Foundation Governor and Co Vice-Chair of Governors
I am a foundation governor and have started my second term of office on the board at St Mary’s.
I became governor because I wanted to use my professional skills to give something back to our lovely school in ensuring the implementation and maintenance of our strong vision and ethos; keeping the children at the centre of everything we do.
I have recently stepped down as chair of governors having been in post for 4 years and am now supporting our new chair. I enjoy being part of a team who all care deeply about our children, staff and school community.
I have a legal background, having worked in law firms in London and locally for most of my career. I qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and practised at a local law firm for over a decade specialising in personal injury law, advising and helping clients navigate the legal system in order to achieve a positive outcome following their experience of often very difficult circumstances. Although I have now taken a break from practising law, the skills I gained during this time are invaluable to my role on the governing board and in my current job working as a governance professional (also known as a clerk to governors) at another primary school in East Sussex.
Outside of work, I am keen on keeping fit and regularly attend kickboxing and kettlebell classes at a local gym. I also like taking long walks with our family dog (a crazy cockapoo) in the beautiful Ashdown Forest.
Foundation Governor & Co Vice-Chair of Governors
My interest in governance comes from a broad career in education and education policy. A former teacher and curriculum manager, I later lead education in a grade 1 listed historic visitor attraction, before becoming a senior manager in the Civil Service.
I served as an elected national executive member for the FDA union and now work for the UK’s largest trade union for school leaders, where I am responsible for a range of policy areas.
My son was fortunate to attend St Mary’s before going onto secondary school and I am committed to playing my part in ensuring that the school, its pupils and its staff continue to thrive.
As a foundation governor, my role is to support (and challenge) our school to maintain a clear strategic vision and direction that delivers a great education for its pupils and to preserve and enhance its unique Catholic mission and ethos.
I am a Foundation governor and link governor for safeguarding; I also serve on the wellbeing team. I have one child at St Mary's and was once a pupil at the school myself, so I have great love for the school.
In my role as Detective Constabke for Sussex Police, I work in the safeguarding arena. I will endeavour to bring my passion, knowledge and expertise in safeguarding to the governing body to ensure that our pupils continue to be safe, happy and supporting allowing them to thtrive within our school and community.
I worked in the hospitality industry overseeing many establishments before deciding to train as a teacher.
I have over 15 years teaching experience including working in the Cayman Islands at an International Catholic School. I have spent the last 5 years teaching Science at Beacon Academy.
I am delighted to be part of the governing board at St Mary’s which provides such a diverse and nurturing environment allowing children to become resilient and independent learners whilst developing into kind and conscientious young people.
I am a trained zoologist, and spent 20 years working in the health and fitness industry. I have worked for a large commercial and National leisure operator opening in excess of 60 health clubs across the UK and Ireland. I now work for the NHS, Waitrose and I have 2 children under 5.
My hobbies include swimming, travelling and skiing. I joined the school governing board to help integrate myself within a new community when I moved to the area from Manchester.
My name is David Barton and first and foremost, I’m a dad to my wonderful 3 daughters, all of which now attend St Mary’s.
I work as a Commercial Manager for a construction management company and with my free time I love to try my hand at almost any sport, socialize and am currently involved in helping a number of charitable organisations. I am also very passionate about developing young people as this was something that benefitted me in my younger years.
I’ve been on the St Mary’s Governing board for 2 years now and have been delighted to be heavily involved with the improvements recently made to the premises and the changed in financial reporting to ensure the long-term future of the school. I am also very pleased to have been part of the recruitment of 2 of the 3 new senior leadership positions appointed at the school.
What I value most at St Mary’s is its caring ethos. It can be clearly seen in every person in the school and comes through in all aspects of what the children learn and what staff and governors hold in such high regard.
I have spent over 25 years working in the banking and finance sector within bank manager and financial advisor roles.
My children have both been to St Mary’s and I have seen them both progress through the school and develop. Becoming a parent governor gives me the opportunity to use his knowledge and skills for the benefit of the school and help contribute towards its continued success.
Deputy Headteacher and Associate Member
I am the staff governor at St. Marys. I am also the Year 3 teacher and have a keen interest overseeing the delivery and development of maths across the school. I have been teaching for 19 years and have worked in London and in international schools, teaching across Key Stages 1 and Key Stage 2. This is my first year at St. Marys and I am absolutely loving it - the warm welcome I receive everyday from my bubbly class and colleagues is wonderful, and I instantly felt happy and at home. I am excited by the new challenges of being a school Governor, helping to shape and direct our wonderful school on it's journey forward.
When not in the classroom, I enjoy swimming and cycling, and although I'm trying to get into running to complete the triathlon set - I'm not sure I ever really enjoy it. I am certainly loving exploring the Ashdown forest though and am glad this wonderful resource is on our doorstep. I also love cake!