The Pioneer Federation Federated Governing Body

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Governors photo March 2016 (edited)
Federation Governors, taken March 2016

 Name  Category  Appointed By Date of Appointment  Responsibilities Relevant Business Interests Recorded Sept 2015 Other Governing Positions Held Relevant Relationships Within School
Mandy Watson  

Co-opted Governor


Governing Body 8 Dec 2015 –
7 Oct 2019
Chair of Governors, Early Years, Assessment, Senior and Middle Leaders Chichester Diocese Education Consultant


Chair – Chiddingly Primary, Co-opted – Wivelsfield School Nil

Ian Allison


Co-opted Governor Governing Body 08 Dec 2015 –
7 Dec 2019
Curriculum, Training Link Music teacher Bonners Primary  and Heathfield Area School Partnership Nil
Alan Brundle


Local Authority East Sussex County Council 1 Nov 2015 –
30 Oct 2019
Vice Chair of Governors, Curriculum Nil Nil
Suzanne Goss Co-opted Governor Governing Body 08 Dec 2016 –
7 Dec 2019
Health & Safety, Safeguarding Nil Nil
Philip Hodgins Foundation Governor (ex officio) Diocese of Chichester 1 Nov 2015 – ongoing Community, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development Rector of Chiddingly with East Hoathly, Director of Spouses’ Consultancy Company Nil
Hanne Gouveia  Co-opted Governor Governing Body 14 Mar 2016 –
13 Mar 2020
Nil Nil
James Procter Staff (ex officio) Governing Body 1 Nov 2015 – ongoing Executive Head – Pioneer Federation Nil
Lisa Purcell Staff Governor Staff 13 Nov 2015 –
12 Nov 2019
Extra-curricular Staff Member Pioneer Federation Nil
Hayley Banfield-Giggs Parent Governing Body 10/02/17 – 09/02/2021
Alex Rattray Parent Governor Governing Body 14 Mar 2016 –
13 Mar 2020
Nil Nil
Lindsay Wigens Foundation Governor Diocese of Chichester 1 Nov 2015 –
30 Oct 2019
SEN, Finance & Personnel, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development Employed at Priory School Lewes Nil
Retired Governors
Emma Webb Parent Governor Parents  

27 Nov 2015 – 08 Dec 2016


Early Years Nil Nil
Paul Jeary Co-opted Governor Governing Body  

8 Dec 2015 – 8 June 16


Assessment, Finance & Personnel Nil Nil

Jane Tarry


Associate Governor Governing Body 8 Dec 2015 – 11 May 2016 Physical well being, Outdoor learning, Nursery Nil Nil
Elizabeth Brown Associate Governor Governing Body  

08 Dec 2015 –  6 July 2016


Pupil Voice, School Council Hotel Manager Horsted Place Hotel Nil


Mandy Watson

Mandy WatsonAs a previous teacher and Headteacher in Sussex and overseas in Botswana, I gained so much pleasure from seeing children excited by and enjoying their learning, while achieving the very best they can. Sharing the new experiences of my grandchildren as they move through their schools in East Sussex confirms my belief that the key to successful lifelong education is children’s primary school foundation in strong basic skills, independence, self-confidence and high expectations of what they can achieve.

As Chair of Governors for the Pioneer Federation I am delighted to see this happening for the children in our federation and to be part of the terrific team and ‘whole schools family’ that will build on our achievements and ensure a secure future for our schools.  I became a governor in 2008 at another successful village school, then Chair of Governors at East Hoathly in 2013 and at Chiddingly in 2014.  We were extremely pleased to see the hard work and achievement in each school recognised by very successful Ofsteds.

As the senior primary improvement adviser for Greenwich Local Authority, I work with a large number of schools and their governors in developing and evaluating their school improvement strategies and plans.  I bring the skills of coaching, mentoring, challenging and supporting senior leaders and the analysis of school improvement data to my role as  governor.

My particular focus within The Pioneer Federation is leadership and management growth and strong team development. I also monitor the outstanding practice in the Early Years Foundation classes and the exciting changes in the Nursery, which are such crucial times in children’s development.  We are greatly encouraged by our great parent support and involvement and hope there will be more opportunities for you to meet governors, as we welcome your views and comments.

My favourite places in the schools are the book areas in our classrooms and the huge variety of reading materials available to our children. As a ‘marathon’ reader myself there is something really satisfying about ‘sharing’ a book and seeing the joy children can experience in the world of books!

Mind you the outside area in the Nursery takes some beating-it makes me want to start school all over again.  There is something very special about being a governor!

Ian Allison

Ian AllisonMy professional background was in primary education and for nearly twenty years I was the Headteacher of an East Sussex primary school.  Consequently, I have a very real sense of how important these special years are in the lives of young children.

The changing educational and political landscape has been a feature of the last few decades and that is set to continue with the recent government White paper outlining the promise of more challenges to come.

Managing that development demands much of our school leaders and the governors but, given recent very positive reports by Ofsted for the Pioneer Federation, I believe we, as a group of governors and the school leadership team, are well placed to face those challenges.

I bring to my role at East Hoathly and Chiddingly many years experiences of managing change across the spectrum of school life, whilst retaining the core values relating to standards and pupil welfare.

As one of the governors tasked with leading on standards and curriculum, I endeavour to be a critical friend to the Pioneer schools and am keen to ensure that, above all, the school experience for children and their parents is a positive and rewarding one.

As is the case for all governors, I am contactable though the school office and would be pleased to hear from any parent especially with regard to any aspect of the curriculum.

Alan Brundle

Alan BrundleFor those of you that don’t know me I live in Hailsham. I am married (to a teacher) and have one son. I am a Civil Servant and work in London. After the joys of commuting I relax by playing, umpiring and coaching hockey for Hailsham. I also have an allotment, though I am struggling to find enough daylight hours to do it justice.

I am a Local Authority Governor. This means that I am appointed by a local authority committee for a four year term of office to this school and now federation. Sounds grand but nothing could be further from the truth…..forms and references etc!

I started as a Governor of Chiddingly School over 15 years ago when my son was a pupil. (He is now 21!!) During that time I have also served as Chair for approximately 11 years and I have seen many changes (and Head teachers come to that!!). It is a very rewarding role while at the same time being sometimes quite challenging. As Governors you are responsible for influencing the strategic direction of the schools, but have to avoid the temptation to get involved in the day to day management of the school. The latter is very much the domain of your Headteacher and their senior team and Governors should be there to support and challenge. We are responsible with the senior leadership team for the school/federations performance and direction,  but have to get the balance right so that we allow the senior leadership team to manage the schools/federation on a day to day basis without interfering. We have to learn to fulfil the “critical friend” role.

I have seen many ups and downs over the 15 years but the most exciting is the move to the Federation. I have not seen either school move forward as fast as they have over the last two years. The results and the Ofsted judgements have been so good to see. The benefits of schools and professionals working together cannot be underestimated and I think the evidence speaks for itself. There is of course still work to be done but I think the foundations have been laid and we have in the Pioneer Federation a really good team of professionals who will drive us all forward for the most important aspect which is of course the children.

Why have I stayed for 15 years? Well there is no substitute for seeing the excitement on the children’s faces and hearing their chatter as they grow and develop. They are always so willing to share what is important to them.  Seeing the schools move forward and develop is just so rewarding.  I often get into school either on formal governor visits, to interview for staff or just to look round the classrooms and chat with the staff and the children. It just puts the day job into perspective!  The governors normally have their badges on when they are in school so if you see any of us by all means stop us for a chat.

Suzanne Goss

I have lived in Chiddingly for more than 30 years have always been impressed by the self confidence and well–rounded characters of the children and young people that our school and village community has encouraged and developed.  Being a school Governor is an important community job and the skills I used in business are transferable to my role as a governor. During my 5 years tenure I have seen many changes in the fortunes and running of Chiddingly School, but the past 18 months has seen great changes in not only the achievements and progress of the children but also in the general happy and buzzing atmosphere of pupils and staff.  This has been brought about by the enthusiasm and commitment of the teaching and support staff, who together, have worked hard to drive up standards, and the children have risen to the challenge.  Seeing these changes take place is what makes being a governor worthwhile and rewarding.

My particular role on the Governing Body is to be responsible for Safeguarding and Health and Safety.  It is especially important that everyone within the school feels safe and secure, and so with the help of Mr Proctor, Miss Lewis and Mr Herdman I make sure that the correct Policies and Procedures are in place and being followed to promote a safe environment. As well as checking that the formal Health and Safeguarding needs are being addressed and reporting back to the other governors, I also check on the level of happiness and consideration that I see as I chat to children and staff during my visits, as unless people are happy and feel valued and supported whilst in school then all the paperwork and “official” systems are worthless. I feel very confident that as a Federated School we will continue to grow and develop successful and confident young people.

Philip Hodgins

Phil HodginsI have been a Priest for 30 years but much of my working life has been in Human Resources in secular employment. So, had a ‘day job’ commuting to London and I operated as a Priest alongside this. My last role was as Head of Human Resources and Organisation Development at Age Concern England (leaving in 2004).

I have been Rector of Chiddingly & East Hoathly (ie Church of England Parish Priest) for nearly 12 years. I am married with 2 (now grown-up) sons and live in East Hoathly next to the Church and School.

One of the great joys of my time here has been involvement with the two Schools and am privileged to be able to do something with or at both the schools virtually every week. Before the establishment of the Pioneer Federation I served as a Governor at East Hoathly since I came here (as it is a Church School) and was a Community Governor at Chiddingly for 6 years until 2011.  My particular focus as a Federation Governor is on relationship with the Community and also, for East Hoathly, our specific ‘Church School’ responsibilities.

Emma Webb

Emma WebbFor those who don’t yet know me, my name is Emma Webb. I live locally on a farm in Golden Cross with my partner of fifteen years, our two beautiful girls and three year old Labrador. Chloe and Katie are both thriving at Chiddingly School, so when asked by parents if I would become the Parent Governor I agreed and became elected in November 2015.

I have a BTEC in Early Years, an NVQ3 for Teaching Assistants and worked at Blackboys Primary School for five years… School life is part of me, whether it’s sweeping the school hall after a Christmas meal or working in my new role as Nursery Assistant at East Hoathly! I am yet to turn down the opportunity to be involved in any way at both our Pioneer Schools. They are unique and the energy within them is infectious.

I am a calm and creative person; I enjoy swimming, yoga, walking, art, music, food and socialising. These are all easy passions to share with the children through volunteering my time. I have enjoyed reading with them, supporting PFCS events, and helping to create their wonderful surroundings. My future Governor training sessions will involve looking more closely at the Special Educational Needs of our pupils, to which I have first-hand experience of children with Downs Syndrome and autism.

The reason for our governing body is our children, and securing their education and welfare during this crucial stage of life.  Our Governing body has a variety of strengths, those who understand the finances, those who understand the endless tables of statistics and others like me, a mother and a child care worker who notices the smaller pieces of the puzzle. Please remember I am representing all the parents, alongside Paul Jeary and Alex Rattray from East Hoathly and will always listen to your thoughts and comments.

Lindsay Wigens

Lindsay WigensSo what can I tell you about me?  I have been a Foundation Governor at East Hoathly, and latterly Chiddingly, for about 15 years.  Why?  I love the village I live in and enjoy seeing the schools nurturing the talents of our children, watching them grow into knowledgeable, confident, outgoing young people, well equipped for secondary school.  I work in a secondary school and am very aware of the transition between primary and secondary school and how difficult it is for some, particularly parents (and that’s from personal experience!).

My brief is finance which is a challenge.  Roughly 90% of the schools’ budget is spent on staffing, which doesn’t leave a lot to spend on curriculum resources,  keeping the grounds and buildings in good condition and thankfully, this winter has been mild, so the oil bill shouldn’t be too high!  My thanks go to Janette and Libby who do an excellent job managing the schools’ finances.