Our Governors

Oak Tree Federation Governors
Please contact Teresa Horan for enquiries through the school office tel: 01273 858260 or email on office@firle-school.e-sussex.sch.uk
  • 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

    Coopted 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

    Coopted 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.

  • 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.

  • Victoria Mandy

    Staff Governor

  • Caroline Hampden

    Foundation Governor

    I have been a Foundation Governor at Firle Primary school for the last four years and was part of the Federation Working Group. I am delighted that our two schools have federated and am pleased to be continuing as a governor for the Oak Tree Federation.

    I am a part time general practitioner and I have also been involved in teaching students at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. My experience in undergraduate teaching has made me passionate about instilling a love of learning in our children from as early as possible.

  • Elizabeth Fitzpatrick

    Co-opted Governor

  • Andrew Sidebottom

    Co-opted Governor

  • Gemma Collins

    Vice Chair and Parent Governor

    I have two children at Laughton Community Primary School. I became a parent governor in September 2018.

    I have a degree in Communications and Media Studies, a diploma in Marketing and am an Accredited Clerk. I am currently the studio manager of a photography company and I am the Secretary of The British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers.

    With a communications, marketing and governance background I am looking forward to the challenge of being a parent governor. My first area of responsibility is being the link governor for Safeguarding.

  • Denise Kong

    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.