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Governor Profiles

Sylvia Cousins

I have been a Foundation Governor at this school since February 2006 and Chair of Governors since November 2009. In addition to my role as Chair, I also chair the Strategic Organization Committee and am the designated Safeguarding/Child Protection Governor. My current monitoring responsibility is Pupil Voice, with PSHEe, for which I liaise with Mrs Brennan and attend School Council meetings.

I have over 40 years’ experience in Catholic education, both in this country and in the Republic of Ireland. My degree was in Modern Languages, at the University of London, and I have taught French and Spanish in four schools. I was Headteacher in two schools and Deputy Headteacher at St Richard’s prior to my “retirement”. I have lived in Bexhill for 24 years and enjoy reading, walking, travel, family history and music, especially being a member of JACS choir. I am also very involved in the life of our parish, where I am the Safeguarding Representative and an RCIA catechist, as well as a reader and Eucharistic minister. On a lighter note, I do also enjoy socialising, visiting places of interest and meeting up with friends!

On my frequent visits to the school, I find the atmosphere is always warm and welcoming and I believe we have a very special community spirit here.

Trish Davis

I am now in my 12th year of working here at St. Mary Magdalene School. Before this I worked for Barclays Bank and for Private Patients Plan (now Axa).

As a parent helper I became more involved with the school, this included being Chair of the PTFA.

I decided to ‘go back to school’ and study as a mature student at Brighton University, studying Primary Education and Learning and Development including High Level Teaching Assistant status. After 5 years I gained my BA Hons Degree and HLTA status.

My work means a great deal to me and when the opportunity arose of becoming a staff governor I jumped at the chance.

Being a governor has enhanced my role at school and helped me to understand the bigger picture of life within our school and education.

My passions outside of school are skiing, tap and jazz dancing, walking, gardening and cooking. I love the great outdoors and enjoy seeing many different places and countries in our camper vans.

I am married and have two children one attends St Richards and is in Year 11 and the other is studying for her A Levels in Eastbourne. 

Nabil Zakher

I have been a local authority governor since December 2013.

I am a qualified retired accountant with over 30 experiences mainly in NHS financial management and control. I am passionate about ensuring good use of public resources, I am always looking for ways to maximise value for money and ensure transparency and accountability for the public resources that we have been trusted with.

I have lived in Bexhill for some 25 years; I am married with 3 children who have all attended St Mary Magdalene’s Catholic school and St Richards Catholic college. I feel privileged that my children received such high quality education and Christian spiritual enrichment. I hope the same valuable education opportunities can be offered to many more children.

Jamie Bligh

It has been a real pleasure to become a Foundation Governor starting in September 2015. I have had a long association with St. Mary Magdalene’s being a past pupil and leading the transition of many pupils into their secondary education at St. Richard’s Catholic College. I am at present the Pastoral Leader for Year Seven at St. Richard’s Catholic College. One of my specific roles as a Foundation Governor is to work on the ‘Teaching and Learning’ committee.

St. Mary Magdalene’s school has always had a special place in my heart and I always felt cared for and safe when I attended it. I feel it is my responsibility in partnership with the other Governors, Parish, Staff and families is to ensure that all pupils who attend St. Mary Magdalene’s experience the same as I did.

Louise Campbell

I have been a Foundation Governor at St Mary’s since June 2012.  I am on the Strategic Organisation Committee and the Admissions Committee.  I am now the link Governor for Vulnerable Groups and I also monitor the extracurricular activities in the school i.e., the Before and After School clubs.

I work part time when my children are at school, so I became a Governor as I wanted to be able to make a contribution to the well-being and the success of the school.

I am married with 3 children all of whom are at St Richards. My eldest is in year 10 and my twins have just started in year 7.  All my children have enjoyed their journey through the school and have benefited from the warm and spiritual ethos that the school offers. 

Luke Flanagan

 I have been a Foundation Governor since July 2015. I am also a member of the Strategic Organisation Committee. My background is in education; I am an academic by training and received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Edinburgh in 2013. In my career to date I have taught at universities in Scotland and Canada. I also conduct academic research, some of which has touched on Bexhill's experience of Canadian soldiers during the First World War. I have also researched the role of the Catholic Church during that conflict. I am currently employed as a Teacher of Politics at Bexhill 6th Form College. 

 I have a strong interest in furthering the academic performance of St Mary Magdalene's. For me, the Catholicity of the school is at the heart of its academic achievements and welcoming environment. The strong community foundation provided by the Parish and Diocese is an immense source of support and comfort to the pupils, parents and teachers as they navigate the expectations of the education system. As a Foundation Governor I will do my best to ensure that this Catholic-led community spirit remains at the forefront of the school and its ethos.

Frances Haragan

I was appointed as a new Foundation Governor in August 2015 and shortly became a member of the Admissions Committee.  My monitoring responsibility is Extra Curricular Activities, which includes Before and After School Clubs.  I shall liaise with Mrs Nic Levett, visit the clubs and report back on my visits.  I have a long association with St. Mary Magdalene’s: my three children attended the school in the 1990s, during which time I worked there as a Teaching Assistant and was also secretary of the PTA. 

In recent times I have visited the school as the local CAFOD educational representative and was always welcomed into a caring, positive community, which I feel reflects the general ethos of the school.  I have also been a parish catechist for 1st Holy Communicants, during which time I instructed many of the school’s children and met their parents.  As a new Foundation Governor I have received recent training, and hope to support the school in its ongoing Catholic commitment which upholds the religious and moral well-being of the children. 

Clare Paine

I was appointed as a foundation governor in November 2015. I am a member of the strategic organisation committee, my monitoring role is linked with teaching learning and assessment and my subject link is English. 

My family have a long history with St. Mary Magdalene’s. My grandmother was one of the evacuees who attended the school when it was situated at the church in Magdalene Road. Since then my father and myself have attended the school and currently my 3 children are now in reception class, year 1 and year 5.

Being a governor of St Mary Magdalene’s school is my way of giving something back to the school for the many
years of education, love and support it has given my family. In the past I worked as a financial controller for a company in Polegate but after some time I came to
realise that accountancy was not my passion. I am now the manager of a florist shop in Bexhill. Outside of work I am on the committee for our Lady of the Rosary church.  I enjoy spending time with my family, I love to read and when I get the chance I like to sing.

Nigel Feast

I joined the school as an associate governor in October 2016 which is a role which enables me to participate in supporting the work of the school without formal voting rights on the Governing Board.

Having attended Essex and Keele Universities I believe in the power of teaching to change lives and in education to enhance opportunities in life -- which all begins in primary school

My work experience is in senior posts in both social services and the NHS  which I believe  can  be used  for the benefit of  the school   both in  supporting staff and as a ' critical friend' in dealing with the issues  we  face in the future

Jeremy Over

I have been a Parent Governor since December 2016 and my area of responsibility is Parental Involvement.

I wanted to become a governor simply in order to give something back in return for the fantastic education and nurturing my children receive at the school. I firmly believe that a well-rounded education is one of the best starts we can provide for our children, but that it is a joint effort between school and home.

I hope that as a Parent Governor I can help improve the communication and interaction between parents and the school which will only serve to further benefit our children.

In addition, I have nearly always worked in the world of finance and hope that my experience and expertise might provide some helpful and valuable input in my role as Parent Governor.