Andrew WhiteleyChair of Governors
Andrew isÂ a retired graduate electrical engineer with a masters degree in business administration. In his early career he worked in engineering research and development before moving into various management roles. He has previously been a director of a UK PLC with over thirty years board level management experience.
Throughout the bulk of his career Andrew has worked in businesses that supplied the education sector in terms of facilities, consultancy, equipment and services mainly in the areas of engineering and science. He has a wide experience of the tertiary, technician and vocational education sectors and has worked extensively in the MENA countries developing education projects.
Prior to his retirement Andrew was director General of the Worlddidac Association, based in Switzerland, an international trade association representing most of the world's education suppliers and consultants. He was also a trustee of the Worlddidac Foundation, a Swiss based charity that funded education projects in developing countries.
Previously Andrew was a co-opted, and then LEA governor, of Herne School serving for seven years until work commitments took him overseas in July 2002. During his time as a governor at Herne he was involved in the recruitment of a Headteacher, two deputy headteachers and several classroom teachers, chairing the staffing subcommittee.
Andrew is married to Liz, a recently retired Speech and Language Therapist who worked locally for many years. They have two daughters who both attended Herne School progressing via university to careers in medical research and teaching.
Alison is the parent of Daniel andÂ BethanÂ who both attend Beacon Academy and previously went to Whitehill Infant School & Herne Junior School,Â and Lauren who now attends Ashdown Primary junior site. She has been a parent volunteer at Whitehill (school & nursery), Herne, the Federation and Ashdown since 2004, being an active member of the PTAs, listening to readers in class, helping with cooking & swimming, being involved with the Walking Bus, running an after-school French Club, working with the Green Team and attending school trips & inter-school sports events - in addition to her roles as Parent Governor and Co-Opted Governor since 2013.Â
This year Alison is particularly excited to be selected as lead governor for the OPAL project, Outdoor Play And Learning. She sits on the Standards & Data and Leadership & Management committees as part ofÂ Ashdown Board of Governors.
She has experience of organising PTA events and teaching French, German and English. She is self-employed and runs several part-time businesses. She is also a governor at Withyham and has recently become a Crowborough Town Councillor. Her interests include the environment, cooking, music, languages and travel and she is passionate about the future success of Ashdown Primary School and the learning opportunities and life experiences of the children and staff.
Amber has two girls at Ashdown.
After a stint in the chemistry lab, earning her PhD at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Amber left research to become a secondary school science teacher. She has taught at four schools in her career, which have varied widely in location and student intake, and has been Head of Department at three of these and a member of various strategic boards in two. She is currently Head of Science at Beacon Academy, and as such hopes to ensure that Ashdown continue to send her high-achieving students.
She is passionate about all aspects of education, and firmly believes in providing opportunities and supporting every child's development regardless of their starting point. She believes it important not only that every child has the opportunity to achieve academic success, but that they should enjoy the journey as well.
Ben has taken up a role as a co-opted governor, and is one of the Vicars at St Richard's and All Saints churches in Crowborough. Ben is married with three young children, and has also worked with children and young people in a variety of roles over the years. Before working as a minister in local churches, Ben spent a number of years as a Secondary School teacher in Cambridge - teaching Business and Economics, as well as taking on the role of Deputy Head of Sixth Form. He understands how organisations function, as well as some of the complexities of the education sector! Prior to that Ben did project development work for a charity in North Yorkshire, particularly in fostering multi-agency links between community, voluntary, healthcare and social services. Ben believes people are physical, emotional and spiritual, convinced that we ought to nurture each of those parts to grow healthily. He is therefore committed to education and learning in many different areas, to the local community in Crowborough, and to growing community links in his current role for St Richard's and All Saints.
Cheryl AdamsClerk to the Governors
Greg is married to Andrea and they have 2 daughters -Â Katie, who isÂ at the school, andÂ Sophie who attended Ashdown but is now at Beacon Academy. Â Greg is committed to supporting the ongoing success of Ashdown Primary SchoolÂ and has been a Governor at the school for 5 years.
Greg is currently the Business Development Manager for a company supplying card payment services, and brings a broad range of business and commercial experience to his role as Governor.Â
Greg has previously chaired the school's Standards & Data Committee for a number of years, but has more recently taken over the vice-chair role for the Governing Body.
Ian is a qualified accountant and has retired from a career in audit and risk management within local government, telecommunications and banking. Ian and his wife, Jill, have lived in Crowborough for 40 years and their three children have each passed through Whitehill, Herne, Beacon and university and are all happily married producing grandchildren, 6 to date. Ian has been a governor at Whitehill, Herne, the Federation and now Ashdown Primary School since 1986. He has chaired the Finance Committees for most of that time and latterly the Leadership and Management Committee for the Federation. He chaired the Herne Governing Body for two years. Having retired in 2003 he undertook a 6 year term as governor at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead and is a magistrate sitting at Brighton. His other interests include theatre, golf and gardening.
Kate has 3 boys at Ashdown School at Ashdown School, across both sites.
Kate has a BA Hons in Theatre Studies and Social Psychology from York University and a PGCE from Central School of Speech and Drama.
Before having her children, Kate spent 14 years working at Secondary schools in London, where she worked in a variety of positions. Starting as a teacher of Drama and English, then moving on to Head of Literacy, Head of PSHCE and at her last school in West London, she spent 5 years as a Head of Year, seeing her year group through from Year 7 to Year 11.
Kate is adamant that education should equal for all and has spent a lot of time working with disadvantaged and disaffected children and ensuring their inclusion within schools. She believes that a child's educational experience is vital for helping to shape their future, not just academically but socially and wants to help ensure that the children at Ashdown Primary School are provided with the skills to help them towards a successful future.
Peter is an Assistant Headteacher at Beacon Academy and has two children at Beacon.Â He has lived in Crowborough since 2005 and is a committed Christian who attends All Saints church regularly.Â He has taught Maths since 1995 and has recently jointly written three new maths textbooks.Â At Beacon Peter works with the school IT and data systems, and creates the school timetable.Â He is keen to utilise these skills to help Ashdown.Â He enjoys walking, reading and holidaying on the Isle of Wight.
Dan is a class teacher and has been at Ashdown Primary School since 2015. He studied at The University of Chichester where he qualified with a BA (Hons) degree in Primary Education, specialising in mathematics. It is here where he met his future wife, Laura (also a teacher!), and they were married in 2016. Dan has many interests; football, being a lifelong supporter of Liverpool FC, and playing the guitar and drums in his church band. Dan has really enjoyed his time as a teacherÂ so far and cannot wait to see what the future brings for him, he feels that his career choice is a good one!
Kate OwbridgeExecutive Head
Kate isÂ the Executive Headteacher of Ashdown Primary School. She has BA (hons) QTS from the University of Hull (Bishop Grosseteste College), the NPQH from the Institute of Education, London, and the NPQEL from Leadership Learning South East. Kate was made a Local Leader of Education in 2017 and has worked as a serving Consultant Headteacher for East Sussex County Council, as well as supporting schools across the country in a consultancy role.
SheÂ has been involved in education for almostÂ her whole life! And she has served on governing bodies since 1998 as both a staff governor and as a head teacher.
She believes that governors are a vital part of a school community and that it is a real privilege at this school to work with such a strong team.
The best interests of the children are at the heart of everythingÂ the governorsÂ do, and remind themÂ of the reasonÂ they stay at school until all hours mid-week!
Kate believes that Ashdown Primary continues to go from strength to strength and the governors are an important part of that development.