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

01444 451264

Warden Park Primary

'Reach for the Stars'


A message from Esther Gunter, Chair of the Governing Body


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 Governance Support Officer at clerk@sussexlearningtrust.co.uk.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.  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 LGB

Trustee – Sussex Learning Trust



THE GOVERNORS CAN BE CONTACTED VIA THE GOVERNANCE SUPPORT OFFICER, Ms Natalie Shelford at clerk@sussexlearningtrust.co.uk 

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 

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 and Trustee 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 Allik 

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 affecting 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 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. 



Lucinda Meagher

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

Over the last fifteen 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 approximately 20 years.  I am married and have three daughters, who have now all left school.


Laren Doe 

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I became a Trustee appointed Governor at the end of 2018 and am responsible for the area of Health and Safety. I was assigned this area due to my background in Risk management having worked in the Insurance Industry for over 10 years, the last six of which specialising in the Education Sector. 


I live locally to the school and was looking for an opportunity to become more involved within my community. I have attended numerous events at the Academy over the years due to family involvement and am always overwhelmed by the atmosphere of fun, supportive learning which I am excited to be a small part of. 


Felicity Hart (Staff-nominated Governor)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I began my working life in the fundraising sector and then for 11 years worked for an independent therapeutic fostering agency.  I gained a lot of experience of working with vulnerable young people, foster carers, social workers and other care professionals. The insights I gained from this work have helped me to be an effective teacher at Warden Park Primary Academy. 


I have a particular interest in developing high levels of parental engagement, especially with hard to reach families.  I am passionate about improving the life chances of young people, especially those from challenged backgrounds. However, I become a governor to also contribute to the strategic vision of Warden Park Primary Academy as it continues to go from strength to strength

Emma Barrington (Parent-nominated Governor)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

A Dietitian by profession, I have spent years working both in and outside of the NHS providing nutritional support to those who need it. I have worked in a variety of schools, helping at events, delivering healthy eating workshops and researching food choices in young children. My experience in stress management, motivational coaching, behavioural change and complimentary therapies has nurtured within me a holistic overview regarding the things that enable pupils to thrive.

I also have a background in performing arts, having studied dance at Trinity Laban and being a lifelong player of the piano (amongst other instruments) and I have been lucky enough to teach music and dance to children at various junctures in my life.  I am a firm believer in how these subjects can enhance physical and mental wellbeing, as well as aiding many other aspects of development such as the attainment of basic skills in maths, language and communication.

I am passionate about education and am wholly committed as a Governor to help WPPA and its children achieve their very best. I feel strongly about supporting families and strengthening the sense of community that underpins the health, wellbeing and success of all.


Pitchaya Piyachan (Staff-nominated Governor)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise


Ben Swithenbank (Parent-nominated Governor)

Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

Steve Davis (Head teacher - ex officio role on the Governing Body)


Copies of Minutes of Governing Body meetings are available on request from the Governance Support Officer, Ms Natalie Shelford at clerk@sussexlearningtrust.co.uk 


For details of the local governing body, including declarations of interests and attendance, please click the following links:

Scheme of Delegation 

Local Governing Body