Warden Park Primary Academy, New England Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3JR

01444 451264

Warden Park Primary

'Reach for the Stars'


A letter from Esther Gunter, chair of the governing body


Welcome to all, as our Summer Term draws to a steady close. This is the term I remember most fondly from my own school years; lots of outside learning, sports days, summer fairs and making daisy chains at breaktime.  Of course that all goes hand-in-hand with it also being exam or test season, and this term we’ve had our biggest test as a whole school, OFSTED.  

You may have read in the news about the stress incurred by young people at many schools during the summer SATs tests. However, one of the things I‘ve been most proud of since being part of Warden Park Primary Academy (WPPA) is the approach our academy takes to SATs. The care, consideration and stress-free environment that our academy fosters around these statutory tests means our young people face these tests with confidence and self-assurance, feeling not only fully supported but also fully nourished (as our teachers thoughtfully supply them with amazing cooked breakfasts every morning during SATs week).  

This year we have had some very welcome new faces join our Governing Body.  Michael Thompson and Emma Barrington have joined us as parent-nominated Governors and Laura Watson and Laren Doe have joined us as Community- and Trustee-nominated Governors. Further details about these new Governors and our complete Governing Body can be found in the Governors’ section of the WPPA website.

As I hope you will have seen, our OFSTED short inspection letter has now been released. Our Trust strongly believes that everything we do, we should do for the good of our children and community, rather than to satisfy OFSTED. I am delighted that this passion and our purpose and vision was recognised, respected and praised by the OFSTED inspector , who highlighted so many of the unique and special ways in which our academy supports all our children. 

Part of OFSTED’s inspection focuses on the Leadership of the school, not only the role of Mr Davies and his team, but also our role as Governors on the local governing Body of the academy. Therefore I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you all about the role of the Governing Body at WPPA and the responsibility we have to our academy and community. 

What does the Governing Body at Warden Park Primary Academy do?

The Governing Body has three main roles:

  • To be strategic
  • To act as critical friend in the development of the academy
  • To be accountable to the whole academy’s community

How we work 

The full Governing Body meets at least six times a year, roughly once per half term. Between these times our Link Governors visit the academy to review areas of:

  • Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  • Premises and Health & Safety
  • Finance
  • Pupil Outcomes and Effective Assessment
  • Personal Development, Welfare, Behaviour and Safeguarding
  • Leadership
  • Pupil Premium.

As Governors, we also share a common objective of supporting and developing the wider school community. We work in partnership with you as parents and carers and the WPPA staff to ensure that every child leaves our academy having developed at WPPA as an enterprising and creative contributor, an ethically-informed citizen, a healthy confident individual and an ambitious capable learner. 

To achieve this, and to carry out our role as Governors effectively, we need to know what issues are important to you (so we remain responsive) and ensure that you know what issues Governors are discussing (so that we remain accountable).That is why as Governors we work closely with Mr Davis and WPPA Staff to ensure that we continue to deliver a high standard of education to our children at Warden Park Primary Academy. 

I think that the most important thing to note is that Governors are a team, not a collection of individuals or groups with separate agenda. However much we may differ in our views and experiences, we are united by our commitment to the academy and the responsibility we share for WPPA’s long term success.  

All relevant governance information is included on the Warden Park Primary Academy’s website. Please remember that the website is a good way of keeping up to date with all aspects of academy life.

If you have a concern or a point of view to share, please let us know. We can be contacted via the Governors’ Clerk at clerk@sussexlearningtrust.co.uk, or please say hello to us at the upcoming Sports Day and Fair where we will be manning a stall.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during this and next term.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and to assure you that I am committed to and very proud of our academy and I will continue to work with Mr Davis and his Staff Team, the other Governors, Parents and Pupils as together we all continue strive to make Warden Park Primary Academy Outstanding.

Yours sincerely 


Esther Gunter 


Chair of Governors – WPPA

Trustee – Sussex Learning Trust





Warden Park Primary Academy is part of Sussex Learning Trust.  Click here for more information.

 Sussex Learning Trust, Broad Street, Cuckfield, West Sussex RH17 5DP

01444 457881

01444 417024


Meet the academy's governors:



Esther Gunter (Parent)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

During my career as a legal recruitment manager and trainer I have developed a commercial skills set, enabling me to analyse individuals’ potential and skills, coach and support staff and clients/candidates to identify career desires and  support them through interview preparation and allowing them to be career ready. Commercially I  consult and advise businesses on employer branding, candidate attraction, interview processes and recruitment market intelligence. 

During 15 years with Search Consultancy, I have managed teams, passionate about nurturing youthful talent, developing   graduate or “first job” staff to be successful innovative employees.

Since 2012, when my daughter started school at what was Heyworth now Warden Park Primary, I have taken  an active part in the development of the school as a Director of the Trust. I have found this experience hugely rewarding and now am getting involved in more opportunities  to support young people in securing the best life outcomes through inspirational learning, youth mental health support and career coaching.  


Vice Chair

Jenny Pearman (Parent)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise:

It’s my belief that all children have the potential to achieve anything they set their mind to; fundamental to this is access to an education that allows them to grow and develop their abilities.  My daughter joined Warden Park Primary at the end of her reception year in 2014 when we relocated to Haywards Heath and has flourished.  I am passionate about the school and the goals and aspirations of the Sussex Learning Trust.

My role as Head of Client Services for a London based Software Services Company working in the Broadcast and Music industry means that I am skilled in managing complex relationships across a wide variety of clients, balancing the clients’ needs against the company’s policy and growth.  Over the past 15 years I have helped the company grow from a start-up with one UK client to a globally recognised solutions provider that is driving the industry standards in an ever changing and diverse market.   My job means that I work with a diverse range of people from the creators of programming and music through to legal and technical teams effecting business change and ensuring compliance obligations are met.

I am keen to help support the trust in its growth and development whilst ensuring that it continues not to lose sight of its core values and continues to ensure the best possible education is provided for all students.


Jonathan Ash-Edwards

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I have been a member of the Board since 2007 and currently serve as Chair. As a former secondary student, I know Warden Park well and am committed to ensuring the Trust and its academies offer young people the best opportunities in life.

I led the Board’s decision to convert to academy status, establish the Trust and sponsor what is now Warden Park Primary Academy, leading to a transformation in academic standards. During my time as Chair, I have been involved in two Ofsted inspections, both of which have judged the Trust’s governance as being highly effective.  In April 2016 I was appointed as a National Leader of Governance, a role which involves supporting chairs of governors in other schools, part of the government’s plan to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school-led system.

I am a Director of the Central Mid Sussex Schools Community Interest Company and have previously served on the West Sussex Schools Forum.

As well as experience running a small business, I am Deputy Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, where I am responsible for giving strategic direction and leadership to the local authority. My portfolio responsibilities also include financial management, budget setting, HR, customer services, risk and performance management, ICT and shared services.


Joelle Packham (Community)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

For the last 20 years I have worked internationally in marketing and communications for a global engineering and energy firm, most recently focussing on recruiting communications.

This experience, in addition to having a daughter, has fostered my interest in promoting non-traditional careers and opportunities for young people—particularly girls. I introduced internships and work experience placements within my function and enjoy mentoring young people.

I became a Trust Director to help further links between business and local education and have been involved in various initiatives.

I moved to the Haywards Heath area ten years ago. I have a BA in French and Communication and an MA in Media and Communications.  I am married with a young daughter.


Lucinda Meagher (Community)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise
Over the last twelve years I have worked for the local charity IMPACT Foundation, running their Tasty Team project.  During this time I have worked in the community and at many primary schools in West Sussex, helping to give children and their parents new skills and increased confidence to use in everyday home life.  I managed a team of volunteers, encouraging them to pass on their skills to others.  
I have always watched with interest the developments at Warden Park Primary Academy and I am pleased to be now more involved with the school and its progression into the future.  
I have lived in West Sussex for 17 years.  I am married and have three daughters, who have now all left school.

Felicity Hart

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise


coming soon...


Laura Watson

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

coming soon...

Michael Thompson

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

coming soon...

Emma Barrington

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

coming soon...

laren doe

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

coming soon...


Copies of Governors Board Minutes are available on request from our Clerk to the Governing Body, Ms Natalie Shelford at clerk@sussexlearningtrust.co.uk


Governors have declared the following interests
Jonathan Ash-Edwards
Councillor & Deputy Leader, Mid Sussex District Council
National Leader of Governance

Director of Govern Ed Ltd (which holds a contract with the department for education for the provision of Governor training and Development)

Governors have declared the following relationships with members of the school community
Governors with a child / children at Warden Park Primary Academy:

Esther Gunter Michael Thompson Emma Barrington

Governors with a child / children at another Trust academy

Esther Gunter


Please click the following links:

Scheme of Delegation

Local Governing Body