The Pioneer Federation About the Governors

Alan Brundle the Chair of Governors can be contacted at

The Clerk to the Governors can be contacted at

Alan Brundle – Chair

Local Authority Governor 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025

For those of you that do not know me I live in Hailsham. I am married (to a teacher) and have one child. I am a Civil Servant and have recently taken partial retirement. I relax by playing, umpiring, and coaching hockey for Hailsham. I also have an allotment, though I am struggling to find enough day light hours to do it justice. I also seem to get roped into running for good causes – even though I really am not that keen on running! I think if someone highlights a good cause, I appear to be easily persuaded! I have now completed the London Marathon and the Brighton and Eastbourne half marathons over the last few years. Not to mention the Mince pie run in December that Mr Procter has successfully convinced me to run several times. I mistakenly thought I would get a mince pie at each water stop……apparently, they expect you to finish before they give you a mince pie!! I started as a Governor of Chiddingly School over 20 years ago when my child was a pupil. During that time, I have served as Chair at Chiddingly for approximately 11 years, Vice Chair of the Federation and now Chair. I have also recently been selected as a Local Support Governor (LSG) lending support to other Governing bodies.

Being a Governor is an extremely rewarding role while at the same time being sometimes quite challenging. As a Governor, you are responsible for influencing the strategic direction of the schools but also must avoid the temptation to get involved in the day-to-day management of the schools. We are responsible with the senior leadership team for the individual schools and Federation’s performance and direction but as Governors we must get the balance right so that we allow the senior leadership team to manage on a day-to-day basis without interfering. We must learn to fulfil the “critical friend” role. I have seen many ups and downs over the years but the most exciting was the move to the Federation. I have been amazed by the progress each school has made over the period it has been in the partnership or federation. The results and the Ofsted judgements have been so good to see. The benefits of schools and professionals working together cannot be underestimated and I think the evidence speaks for itself. There is, of course, still work to be done and areas where we can improve, but I think the foundations have been laid and we have a good team of professionals in the Pioneer Federation who will drive us all forward for the most important aspect, which is of course the children. Why have I stayed around for so long? Well, there is no substitute for seeing the excitement on the children’s faces and hearing their chatter as they grow and develop. They are always so willing to share what is important to them. Seeing the schools move forward and develop is just so rewarding. I try to get into school either on formal visits for meetings and interviews or more informally just to look round the classrooms and chat with the staff and children. It just puts the day job into perspective! The Governors normally have their badges on when they are in school so if you see any of us, then by all means stop us, introduce yourselves and have a chat.

James Procter

Executive Head Teacher

I have worked in Primary Schools in both Lincolnshire and East Sussex and have taught all year groups. I have been a Leading County Teacher, Senior Teacher, Deputy Headteacher, Head of School and now Executive Headteacher.  I love seeing the amazing children in our Federation finding their learning irresistible, particularly where the children actively explore concepts, apply skills, ask questions and are motivated by independent discovery. I enjoy working alongside the great staff team and supportive parents and governors. My vision and values for ­­The Pioneer Federation: An outstanding federation with a central focus on creative, innovative and engaging teaching that develops a love and interest in learning. My vision is for our children to value learning as a creative endeavour that underpins their aspirations for great futures and to ensure that we are all focused on seeing opportunities and believing that anything is possible. We craft meaningful contexts for learning and tasks that develop key skills for independence, confidence and resilience, which actively engage children. The federation will have outstanding schools where every child is provided with a toolkit for life-long learning through the highest quality teaching. I am a very active person who enjoys challenges. I run regularly and have fundraised for developments in all the schools I have worked in, taking part in half marathons and more recently, the Brighton marathon. I also enjoy socialising with friends and family, surfing, snowboarding, gardening and am hoping to take up kite surfing in the near future. I have a young family and I enjoy going away on adventures with them!

Lorna Duggleby

Foundation Governor 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025

I come from an education background, having worked in a very wide variety of secondary and all-through schools for over 35 years, the last 22 of which were in various leadership roles, including Executive Head. I enjoy horse-riding, reading, music and Chess as well as house renovation and interior design.

Rev Julie Sear

Ex-offico Governor

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Rev Julie Sear and I am the Rector of Hartfield and Coleman’s Hatch. I have been in the post for over  five years. I am married to Trevor and we have two married Sons and several Grandchildren. I have been Governor at St Mary’s School since my arrival. The school has been on a wonderful journey and it has been a privilege to be part of that journey. The Christian ethos of the school is grounded in everything that goes on across the school. As Rector, I was thrilled when the school was presented with outstanding in its SIAMS inspection. Since then, we have been working at a new vision statement and values. Learning with love, strength and faith, following the example of Jesus. The children know these values and each week have times of learning and reflection on a key value. On a Wednesday afternoon, the children walk up to St Mary’s Church for their afternoon Collective Worship. It is a great opportunity for each child to experience being part of a church that has stood here for nearly 800 years. I also encourage the children to participate in the Collective Worship Services in church. It has been such an encouragement watching the children grow in confidence leading the prayers or in drama. Each month we also have Open the Book Team come and open up a bible story for the children. Since being part of the Pioneer Federation, we have seen great progress made across the partnership. We are seeing good and strong foundations laid for the children and for the future of our school. As Governor, my role is to pray for all Staff and children. I sit on the Governing body with a particular responsibility for SIAMS and collective worship. This includes all major festivals. I am often at the school gate or in church on a Wednesday afternoon with the school. If you get the chance to come and join us at 2.45pm on a Wednesday, we would love to see you.

Jenn Adams

Staff Governor 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025

Dominic Fawls

Parent Governor 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025

Rev Jeremy Sykes

Foundation Governor 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025

Kelly McDonagh

Co-opted Governor 01/09/2022 – 31/08/2026

I have always lived locally in East Sussex, growing up in Shinewater in Eastbourne; I attended St Thomas a Beckett, St Richard’s, and Park College. I then moved to Brighton and studied law at Sussex University. I now work as a court clerk at Lewes Crown court, which is fascinating and varied!

I really really (really!) like walking. My husband and I chose to walk from Land’s End to John O’groats for our honeymoon (1200 miles in 3 months!) and I have walked 100k in 23 hours. I also run and go to the local book club. I live in Upper Dicker with my husband and three young children, the eldest has just started in reception at Park Mead. I really love being part of village life, mucking about with the kids, and contributing to our community.

I have been part of the governing board since before Park Mead joined the Pioneer Federation. As Alan says, as governors, we must be responsible for strategic direction but avoid involvement with day-to-day management. We also want to support our teachers as much as possible but provide critique and ask challenging questions to ensure our children’s education is the best it can possibly be. I am specifically linked to Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing alongside Ms West, which is challenging but thought-provoking, as is scrutinising the implementation of strategies to encourage our children’s confidence and resilience.


Mandy Watson

Foundation Governor 01/09/2022 – 31/08/2025

John Black

Foundation Governor 07/11/2022 – 06/11/2026

Having lived in numerous areas around the UK and the World I am now settled in Hartfield with my wife and two young children. I have always had a fascination with science and after studying for a degree in Chemistry at Nottingham University I started my working career at Royal Ordnance,Westcott. After six fabulous years with Royal Ordnance I was then fortunate enough to achieve my childhood dreams by gaining a sponsorship to become an airline pilot. Outside of my work, I love spending time with my family, hiking, gardening and general household DIY.

Jane Sykes

Foundation Governor 24/02/2023 – 23/02/2027

Lucy Watton

Parent Governor 27/04/23 – 26/04/2027

Our daughter started East Hoathly nursery ten years ago and now our younger sons are in Years 5 and 2. Throughout their time at the school, I have consistently been active in the FPTA and enjoyed being part of many exciting events including the Fun Runs, Christmas Fairs and hosting the annual quiz. I have been an English and Media Studies teacher for eighteen years and my current role is Leader of KS3 English, Year 9 and Primary Transition in a secondary school in Horsham. I absolutely love my job, despite the trials and tribulations teaching brings! I am passionate about literacy being the bedrock of all learning and thrive on leading extra-curricular initiatives; most recently, I ran a book quiz for feeder schools in the Horsham area, Giant Wordle and a ‘Live-Action Where’s Wally?’ on World Book Day. Predictably for an English teacher, my hobbies include reading and going to the theatre but I do also enjoy going to the gym and walking. School holidays and weekends are special times for spending with my family.

Father James Vine

Ex-Officio Governor

I was born and brought up in the Village of Westham, and attended Pevensey & Westham Primary School, Willingdon Secondary school and Eastbourne Sixth form College I began a nursing career in Hastings in 1985, qualifying as a Registered General Nurse in the May of 1988, working initially in paediatrics, then moving on to Adult Cardiac Care. During my nursing Career I completed a BSc. (Hons) degree course with Brighton University. I responded to a call to Ordained ministry towards the end of the 1990’s, attended theological college at St. Stephen’s House Oxford, obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Ministry and was ordained in the summer of 2000. Having served my Curacy at Eastbourne Parish Church, I have been Vicar of Saint Luke’s Stone Cross with North Langney since 2003 and Priest in Charge of Pevensey Parish since September 2021. I graduated with honours with an MA in Christian Spirituality from Winchester University in the autumn of 2017. I will be licenced as Priest in Charge of Chiddingly, East Hoathly and Framfield on Thursday the 8th of June I am married to Clare and we have two grown up children; Chloe who is a Piano Teacher and lives with her husband in Rye, and Sebastian who lives with his Fiancé in Bournemouth and manages a large Wetherspoons in the town centre.

I’m really looking forward to playing my part in the governance of the schools.

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