Our Governors and their roles
Local Authority Governor
Mrs Sue Meekings (Chair of Governors)
Hello, I am the new Local Authority Governor, having recently moved (July 2018) to Rustington I am keen to get involved in my local community and what better way than becoming a governor at a local school. I recently retired from my role of Headteacher of a West Sussex Special School and am passionate about education and in particular ensuring we are effectively meeting the needs of children with special educational needs.
I have 3 sons, 2 stepdaughters and 7 grandchildren children so far! I enjoy walking our large labradoodle, I am an avid reader and love spending time at our beach hut and with our family.
I am looking forward to becoming involved in Summerlea School, spending time with the children and learning how best I can support the school.
Mrs Liz Henderson
Hello, I am a new co-opted governor and am enjoying learning about Summerlea. I have lived in Rustington with my husband, Keith, since 1976, a few years before our two children were born. Up to that time, I had been a Secondary English teacher for six years for East Sussex and Oxforshire Local Authority (LA). I came to West Sussex to take up post as Head of English at the newly built Angmering School. Subsequently, I have taught in several secondary schools, Northbrook College and Ford Prison. My last school post was on the Senior Management Team at The Regis School (then known as B.R.C.C.) where I was very proud to work for thirteen years. I then moved into the English Advisory Team for West Sussex LA and spent ten years developing English, Literacy across the Curriculum and Assessment before becoming an Independent Consultant for a few years. My passion is learning and language and the introduction of people to literature. It is through that ‘secondary world’ of literature that much growth happens, especially in childhood, allowing people to enjoy and experience so much that helps them to understand themselves and others. I completed two accredited counselling courses when I first retired and contribute in a variety of ways to the life of our local church, St Peter and St Paul, Rustington. The centre of my attention in the last eight years has been on my five grandchildren from one to eight years old who live in Brighton and Hove. So my excitement about learning has come full circle as I watch them move through childhood and into schools. When I was offered the role of governor, I accepted it so I could support a team that is so committed to children and learning. I look forward to getting to know the school better and learning how I can serve the staff at Summerlea and the children and families in this area. Please say hello if you see me so that I can learn names as quickly as possible.
Ms Louise Prideaux
Hello, I’m Louise and I am delighted to have joined Summerlea as a Co-opted Governor in September 2020. I have worked as a Strategy Consultant in the media, publishing and technology sectors for the past nine years. I am currently working on a freelance basis alongside studying for a Masters in Comparative Education at the Institute of Education at UCL. I am also a Visiting Lecturer at the Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design, where I teach business strategy.
I have recently moved back from London to Arundel, where I grew up, and where I’m now living with my husband and two year old son. I’m really excited to get to know everyone at Summerlea and to work with the Governing Body to ensure that all the children here are given the best possible opportunities to thrive.
Mrs Marion Webb
Hello. I am really excited to be joining the Governing Body here at Summerlea School as a Co-opted Governor.
I have been involved in education all my adult life. I started my career teaching English in secondary schools then moved into further education and then for seventeen years I was a senior lecturer in Educational Development at Kingston University. Following my retirement I became a governor in two federated secondary schools in Kingston upon Thames and then was elected chair of a multi academy trust, a role which I held for six years. I stepped down when we bought our home in Rustington last year.
I am so pleased to be in Rustington and have started to look into some family history since my great grandparents are buried in Littlehampton Cemetery. I have two sons who live in London, I like walking and reading and am a member of three book groups.
I am very keen to learn more about Summerlea and to support the pupils, families and staff in the community in any way I can.
Mrs Sara Hughes
Hello, my name is Sara Hughes and I feel very privileged to be a Parent Governor here at Summerlea School.
My husband and I moved to Rustington 18 months ago with our 2 small children and our cat, Spaghetti. We are thoroughly enjoying getting to know the area and integrating into the local community. We have a 5 year old daughter who is currently having a whale of a time in reception here at Summerlea. We also have a 2 year old son who attends nursery and is looking forward to gaining his Green and Yellow uniform in the near future!
I work for West Sussex County Council as part of the Safeguarding in Education Team, with particular focus on children missing education and children in employment and entertainment. I find my work both enjoyable and challenging but always very rewarding. I have a very strong passion for influencing positive outcomes for all West Sussex children, but most specifically for the children of Summerlea School – being not only the school that my daughter attends, but also the school that serves my own local community. I hope that my experience in the education welfare sector will serve as a real benefit when undertaking my duties as a governor.
I am very much looking forward to supporting the school in providing our children with the very best levels of care and educational provision.
Mrs Laura Stevens
Hello, my name is Laura, and I am excited to be joining the Summerlea family as a Parent Governor. I have lived in Rustington/Littlehampton all my life and now live close to the school with my husband and 2 children, who both attend Summerlea. My son is in year 4 and my daughter has just joined EYFS. They both love coming to school every day and getting involved in their school community.
I work for an Academy Trust based in Chichester, where I oversee the finances of four primary schools. I particularly enjoy setting and managing school budgets and ensuring that the school funds are well spent. I am passionate about getting schools good value for money and helping them to become more environmentally friendly.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time in the great outdoors with my family, and I am particularly fond of a National Trust café!
I am looking forward to supporting the school and its dedicated staff in their plans for the future. But most of all, I want to help them to continue giving all our children the safe, nurturing and happy environment they deserve, to enable them to thrive.
Ms Marie Smailes (Headteacher)
As the Executive Headteacher here at Summerlea I am automatically on the governing body. I have worked in education for more than 24 years across West Sussex and for Schoolsworks Academy progressing from class teacher to Senior Leader, then on to Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher. I am currently Executive Headteacher for Summerlea Primary and Rustington Community Primary - an interim position while Summerlea recruits their next Headteacher.
I feel very privileged to work with such a committed and able Governing Body. They offer the school support and challenge in equal measure as we strive towards our shared vision of continuous improvement to make Summerlea CP School outstanding in the view of parents/carers, staff, children and the whole community, as well as Ofsted.
Mrs Charlie Radley
I started my Summerlea career in January 2022, and I feel very fortunate to be selected to be a member of the governing body. I thoroughly enjoy my time spent at Summerlea with the children, parents and staff and value the family ethos created in this school. I am passionate about driving standards and giving children the best possible education.
Though I am fairly new to Summerlea, I have worked in education since 2013. I qualified as a teacher in 2016 and started my career at a three-form entry primary school in Crawley, where I worked across all of KS2 and eventually achieved the role of year group lead. Prior to this, I was employed in many capacities, from midday meal supervisor to higher level teaching assistant. It is this varied experience that I think gives me a very thorough perspective on all roles in school and the importance of them.
In 2020, I moved from Worthing to Yapton with my wife and now 3-year-old son. We also share our house with a very greedy cat called Inky! In our free time, above all else, we enjoy spending time with our family as we are fortunate enough to all live very close to each other!
Mrs Karla Strong (Deputy Headteacher)
Many of you know me already because I have been with Summerlea since the very beginning in 1997. Back then I was Miss Bridle and a newly qualified teacher. I had 17 children in my class from aged 5 to 10 years old, (Years 1 – 5) whilst my colleague had a full reception class. Brian Ball was soon appointed as Headteacher and we grew from there. I like to think that although we have grown rapidly we still have a ‘small school feel’. I have stayed so long because Summerlea is a fantastic community to work in and I have been fortunate enough to have been given many varied opportunities and challenges in my career. Before I had my son in 2007, I was a Teacher Governor. Then, as I returned to full time teaching and entered into a senior leadership role, I became an Associate Governor. I believe our Governing Body is a dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate team of people who have the children’s best interests at the core of all they do. Out of school, I love spending time in the great outdoors with my family. I enjoy horse riding, walking my black Labrador, gardening, yoga and wildlife. I am very excited to be combining my love of nature and the outside with my professional life through Forest School and continuing to work with the Governing Body to ensure that the children of Summerlea are given the best opportunities to flourish and thrive.
Mrs Vicky Galpin (Assistant Headteacher)
Hello, my name is Vicky Galpin. Many of you may already know me from around school. I was appointed as Assistant Headteacher in the summer of 2021 and started my role in the September. I feel very lucky to be part of Summerlea’s wonderful community, and I am looking forward to growing with the school, supporting the children, families and staff and working with the Governing Body to ensure the best possible experiences and outcomes for the school.
I qualified as a teacher in 2011 after attending Roehampton University gaining my BA in Primary Education with Physical Education. For 9 years, I worked within London schools. I have experience of working in Local Authority Schools and smaller Multi-Academy Trusts, as well as for one of the largest Multi-Academy Trusts in the country. Throughout my career, I have worked across all the phases and year groups in primary schools, all the way from nursery to year 6. I am passionate about education and ensuring that all children have access to the best quality of education and range of experiences possible.
Out of school, my family and I are always on the go. I play hockey regularly for a local club and tend to my allotment, as well as keeping active by cycling, kayaking and paddling boarding. As a family, we love going to the theatre, listening to music and travelling. Our travels are often inspired by our teaching with trips to Suffolk to discover the treasures and history of the royal burial site at Sutton Hoo; Norway and Iceland to explore the Vikings, volcanic Geography and Arctic and Antarctic explorers like Roald Amundsen; and inter-railing across Europe being among our favourites. When we are home, we love to play board games, listening to podcasts and having kitchen discos!
Clerk to Governors
Miss Amanda Francombe (PA to Headteacher)
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