Warden Park Secondary Academy

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Local Governing Body of Warden Park Secondary Academy


Warden Park Secondary Academy is for young people aged from 11-16 based in Cuckfield, West Sussex. The Academy operates as an independent school maintained by government funding. Parents do not pay fees.


Jonathan Ash-Edwards (chair)
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I currently serve as Chair of the Local Governing Body for Warden Park Secondary Academy and have over ten years of school governance experience across primary and secondary phases. As a former Warden Park student, I know the academy well and am committed to ensuring students have the very best opportunities to succeed.

I led the Board’s decision to convert Warden Park to academy status and establish Sussex Learning Trust. Since being Chair of Governors, governance has twice been rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. In April 2016, I was appointed by the Department for Education as a National Leader of Governance, a role which involves supporting Chairs of Governors in other schools and carrying out external reviews of governance. This role is part of the Government’s drive to give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school led system.

As well as experience running a small business, I am Deputy Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, where I have responsibility for giving strategic direction and leadership to the local authority. My portfolio responsibilities include financial management, budget setting, performance management and estates.

Jeff Thompson (vice chair)
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I’m married to Ros. We have two children, Alexander (who attends Warden Park) and Hope, who is at Ardingly Prep. Previously, I served as a Governor of Balcombe Primary for 13 years, 8 of those as Chair of Governors, which has given me a chance to work extensively with the schools in our locality, including Warden Park and Oathall. With that experience, I helped establish the locality Community Interest Company to make it easier for our schools to share and collaborate. I’ve also served on the West Sussex County Schools Forum, which was a consultative group for the County addressing county-wide school funding applications, amongst other issues.

I’m retired from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where I led their Consulting business. This practical experience in managing a wide-ranging business, as well as advising private and government organisations on how they can improve, has been invaluable in my role as a Governor, given the myriad educational and business issues our schools face. I’m passionate about education, as I believe that there is no greater gift we can give to our children..

Nick Dyson
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

My professional experience includes roles in retail and then education. Following the completion of the Aldi Graduate Management Scheme in 2005, I was appointed Area Manager for several stores across the south of England. I received intense training in accounting, logistics, marketing, recruitment, merchandising and inventory control before being allocated my own area. Training less experienced employees sparked my interest in education and training, which then led to my pursuit of a career in teaching.

Following the completion of a PGCE in Secondary Geography at the University of Exeter, I was appointed as Teacher of Geography at Exmouth Community College and later, Initial Teaching Experience Coordinator, overseeing the school placements of 20 PGCE students and Newly Qualified Teachers each academic year.

Since then, my career in teaching has involved roles as Head of Geography, Head of Careers and Head of Sixth Form. I am currently the Director of Creative Enterprise at Francis Holland School where I have responsibilities for whole school enterprise programmes, co-curricular provision, school trips and community engagement, including partnership work with charities and schools in Tanzania and New York. I am also an Education Consultant for the BBC Mind Set campaign and writer for Oxford University Press (Secondary Geography).  I enjoy windsurfing, running and walking in the wonderful Sussex countryside. I am married to Alison, who is an actor, and we have two young children.

Sally Gabriel 
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise
I am the mum of a current student at Warden Park and step-mum to three older children. I was educated in Hong Kong but returned to the UK for university.

My career has always been people focused. I was a Business Manager for McDonald’s for 6 years and ran four restaurants in that time. I also worked as the People Manager for Welcome Break–Fleet where in the peak season I oversaw 400 employees. For the last 12 years I have worked for Ronald McDonald House Charities – UK  and I currently run their house in Brighton whilst also supporting their national finance and people departments. I am also an apprenticeship mentor for the Charity.
In each workplace I have always enjoyed the area of learning and development – be it my own or that of others. It is crucial to me that people have the opportunity to develop and grow and this drew me to the role of a governor. Stemming from my own experiences, I firmly believe in the power and influence of a good, broad education. When I visited Warden Park for the initial open evening, it reminded me of my days at secondary school and I could feel the culture of learning. I am conscious of the additional pressures that young people face nowadays and would like to have the opportunity to work with like-minded people to ensure that where possible these pressures can be monitored and managed to maintain the well-being of our students.
Dom Kenrick (headteacher)
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

My teaching career has been based in Sussex and prior to my arrival at Warden Park Secondary Academy I worked as a senior leader in three schools, most recently as Deputy Headteacher at Steyning Grammar School.

As a school boy sport was my passion and the opportunities I had at school helped steer me into university where I trained as a PE teacher. New opportunities here opened up as a judge in Sports Acrobatics and I had the enormous privilege of judging for Great Britain at European and World Championships.

Nolan Mortimer
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I am a Partner in a national law firm where (amongst other things) I formulate strategy, approach things with a “can do” attitude and lead teams to success. Much of my recent work is operational and involves continually improving the business whilst trying to implement and drive change.

Throughout the many years I have lived in Mid-Sussex I have also been involved in the governance of local sporting clubs. In each of those roles I have sought to encourage participation in sports by young people, which I think is a hugely important part in building both confidence and life skills.

I have 2 young children (one currently at Warden Park) and we are lucky enough to live in Cuckfield.

I am keen to see young people achieve their ambitions and go on to do great things and appreciate the opportunity to input into their learning journey.

Ryan Scourfield
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

Staff nominated Governor

KS3 Maths Co-ordinator

James Simpson
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise
To follow....
Rob Stoneley
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I retired from Warden Park Secondary Academy in August 2018 having spent my entire teaching career, 38 years, at the school. I started in September 1980 teaching history primarily and some PE. I have a lot of experience in all school and educational matters having served as a Curriculum Leader, Head of Pastoral Care, Senior Teacher, Assistant Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and Head of School. I am well known and respected within the local community having taught and worked with in excess of 12000 students.

It is an honour for me to maintain my association with the Academy and Sussex Learning Trust in the role of Governor. 

Retirement has given me the opportunity and time to pursue my hobbies and interests. I play golf regularly. I have 2 lovely grandchildren. I own a touring caravan and enjoy weekends away with my wife throughout the year in addition to foreign travel. 

Edward Upsdell
Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I have had  a 25 year career in investment management covering the full spectrum of buy side and sell side activities from money management through client management via sales, product development and governance  and am a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Securities and
Investments. With academia in the blood, I have temporarily paused that career path in order to pursue a PhD in Astrophysics where I study the x-ray characteristics of galaxy clusters in order to constrain our understanding of the origins of the universe.

I had the good fortune of an international upbringing and sat the International Baccalaureate at school and am thus firmly, from first hand experience, bought into the benefits of a broad and rounded education.

I have three daughters; two currently at Warden Park with the other to hopefully follow in time.

As a governor, I will always strive to ensure Warden Park offers our students the very best of opportunities.  

Sussex Learning Trust video library

If you have visited this page,  you are probably interested to hear more about the workings of Sussex Learning Trust? What our values are that drive our work, how we organise ourselves to deliver the best for the children and to see and hear what some of our staff have to say about the Trust in which they work and serve the children.

Hopefully the video library will provide such information.

We suggest you start with 'Introducing SLT' but otherwise feel free to view those videos that are of most interest to you.

If you are still left with questions please do not hesitate to contact jmorris@sussexlearningtrust.co.uk


Constitution and register of interests of Local Governing Body for Warden Park Secondary Academy

Register of Interests for WPSA Senior Leadership Team

Minutes of Meetings:  Copies of Minutes of Local Governing meetings are available on request from the Clerk to the Local Governing Body

For enquiries or matters to be directed to the Local Governing Body of Warden Park Secondary Academy, please contact the Clerk

Contact the Clerk: click here

Contact the Chair of the Local Governing Body: click here

Warden Park Secondary Academy is part of Sussex Learning Trust.  The constitutional documents of Sussex Learning Trust, including the Articles of Association, Scheme of Delegation and Annual Report and Accounts, are available to view on the Sussex Learning Trust website click here