The Sussex Learning Trust aims to play an integral part in providing the highest possible educational opportunities for children and young people in Sussex via a network of Academies committed to partnership working for the benefit of pupils and students

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GCSE results 2020: 35% of grades achieved were the top 9-7 grades!OUTSTANDING: Personal development, behaviour and welfare (Ofsted, 2017)“Governors and staff promote positive relationships combined with high aspirations for themselves and pupils” (Ofsted, 2017)"The behaviour of pupils is outstanding" (Ofsted, 2017)GCSE results 2020: English, 91% / Maths 86% achieved a grade of 9-4OUTSTANDING: Effectiveness of leadership and management (Ofsted, 2017)..the school's culture of respect for all and positive relationships, summarised succinctly in "do your best and be nice" (Ofsted, 2017)GCSE results 2020: The proportion of students who achieved both English and Maths at grade 9-4 is a truly impressive 82%!Virtual Open Evening: Wednesday 23 September 2020 - Dedicated website is due for release here at 6 pm on 23 September 2020



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

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.


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.


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.


Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

Staff nominated Governor

KS3 Maths Co-ordinator


Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

I am a Senior Library manager working in Higher Education with experience of change and project management understanding and engaging with a wide range of users.

  • Expertise in teaching and learning practices 
  • Individual and team development, through mentoring and training programmes
  • Developing digital literacies
  • Service development and delivery

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

Biography to follow.


Experience, Skills Set and Expertise

Staff nominated Governor

Assistant Headteacher (Student Progress KS3)



Articles of Association

Constitution of Local Governing Body for Warden Park Secondary

Scheme of Delegation

Register of Interests for WPSA Senior Leadership Team



Click here to contact Clerk to Board of Governors



Copies of Governors Minutes are available on request from our Clerk to the Board of Directors, Mrs Natalie Shelford. Click on link below

Contact Clerk to Board of Governors