Harlands Primary School

TRUSTEE Profiles

In addition to the volunteer trustees profiled below, the  Headteacher, David McKeown-Webster is an ex officio trustee.  The Deputy Head, Sally Nixey, may also attend the main trustee board and committees by invitation.

A document which details the role/functions of trustees may be found here.


Michael Swiggs - Trustee from September 2017 - Chair of the Board

After taking a degree in History, at University College London, my career over the following 30 + years was with London Transport/Transport for London. My responsibilities included HR, Facilities and Premises management, Industrial Relations, company secretariat and – later - pension fund trustee. After leaving, I undertook some HR consultancy, and in recent years have undertaken, hands on,  a number of property renovation projects in mid Sussex.

My association with Harlands stretches over many years; my children and now my grandchildren are Harlands educated.


Sandie Sansom - Trustee from 1996 - Vice-Chair of the Board, Chair of School Improvement

I trained as a teacher in the mid-70s but never taught in mainstream education. I have taught English as a foreign language in Mexico City and in London. I worked in the financial markets in the City of London for 16 years; in foreign exchange, sterling deposits, financial futures and as a Investment Manager.
I left the City to spend more time with my family. My son went to Harlands and then on to Warden Park. I have a step-son and daughter, both grown up and my grandchildren (via my step daughter) have also been educated at Harlands.
I became a governor in 1996 and was Chair of Governors for 12 years. I also served on the Warden Park Secondary governing body for 8 years and was Vice-Chair for the last 3 years there.
The talents I feel that I bring to governance are: time, enthusiasm, commitment, logical thinking, common sense, financial skills and sound ICT skills.


Rocky Datoo - Parent Trustee from October 2018

My HR career began as a training officer for East Sussex Education Authority. I continued to work, across both public and private organisations, as an organisational and professional development specialist for the next 15 years. Now self-employed, I split my time between training facilitation, coaching, The Juno Project (a charity dedicated to empowering vulnerable teenage girls at risk of exclusion) and my own business: RAW (resilience and wellbeing). I am also a qualified mental health first aider.

I have two children at Harlands and am a Harlands' alumnus myself. 


Ruth de Mierre - co-opted Trustee from July 2016

I have lived and worked in Haywards Heath for 47 years, with  two sons born and educated here, and with four lovely grandchildren now.  A District Councillor for Lucastes Ward, I am also MSDC Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Chairman of Haywards Heath Town Team.


Abi Dudley - appointed by Members, December 2021

 I have over 15 years of strategy and transformation consulting experience, including two years in the Education sector where I worked at the Department for Education to design and roll out a new educational program.

Although I am not a parent trustee, I have two children at Harlands.  I am proud to be a member o the Board of Trustees to support the school and all the dedicated teachers and staff who work so hard to educate and develop all of our children.


Will Durham - appointed by Members, December 2021

I moved to Haywards Heath in March 2021 and am proud to have been appointed as a Trustee at Harlands. I am looking forward to getting to know the school community.

I work for the national charity Governors for Schools as Head of Delivery and Impact and have previously been a governor for five years at a primary school in North London.


Frank Gainsbury - co-opted Trustee from May 1997

Three of my children were educated at Harlands and I have been a school trustee continuously since 1997.

I have had my own practice of Chartered Surveyors since 1987 and I am a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a qualified Arbitrator.

I have been able to assist the School with many of their building and major maintenance projects during the period I have been involved with the School.


Vicki Gilsenan - Parent Trustee from September 2013-2021, re-appointed as a co-opted Trustee from September 2021




Allie Jenkin - appointed by Members, December 2021

I'm delighted to be appointed as Trustee for Harlands. My husband and I moved to Haywards Heath in 2019. We have a labradoodle and a 1 year old. 

I've been in financial services for 20 years and for my current employer for 6 years. I was the head of client for the last 5 years and have recently become the head of european strategic services. I really found my passion at work when I realised that I could be a part of helping better inform clients about how to save and invest. 

I'm really looking forward to being involved in supporting the school.


 David Nisbet - co-opted Trustee from March 2019

I have a degree in history and have spent nearly twenty years working in international acquisition finance, most recently for a large European bank. I have lived in the area for four years and, though I am not a parent governor, both my children attend Harlands.



Dominic Sadler - Parent Trustee, appointed October 2021

I have one child at Harland’s and a second that will hopefully be joining the school in 2024.
I have previously been an honorary governor for Chafford Hundred School.   Due to my work with this and another school in and around London, I sat on the board for just under one term helping to manage the transition to an academy.
I currently work in marketing communications, planning and strategy, helping to drive growth along with building successfully long term brands by looking at both the short and long term impacts of different approaches.




Caroline Spencer - co-opted Trustee from July 2020, Chair of Resources from September 2021

I have a Civil Service background, working in both Immigration and then HR recruitment.



Derek Gwynne  - Associate Trustee fr0m July 2020

Specific financial responsibilities in respect of internal scrutiny, and the Audit Committee

Megan Glew - Staff Voice from March 2021 - previously the staff appointed trustee, due to changes recommended by the DfE Megan became a non-voting representative of the staff in March 2021

Karen Michael - Governance Professional since July 2007

I originally joined Harlands in May 2000 as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant, a role that fitted beautifully with my own three children attending the school.  My previous background was as  PA/Secretary working with senior staff within a governmental organisation, including a long spell in their Press Office.

The Clerk (now known as the Governance Professional) is appointed by the Board of Trustees and attends the Full Board and other main Committee Meetings. They are responsible for the agenda, minutes and general administration and support for the Board of Trustees.

 Updated March 2022