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Northease Manor School

Parent Portal

Governing body

The primary objective of the Governing body is to work collaboratively with the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that your children receive the best  quality of education in a safe and caring environment. As trustees of the school the governors are proprietors.

The Governing body is made up of the following members:

Julie Toben, Chair of Governors


For over 20 years, Julie has worked extensively with boards of local, national and international charities to improve their governance, management and sustainability. Before joining the voluntary sector, she was operations director in a fast growing construction and property letting company. Julie has held interim CEO and director roles, particularly during times of crisis or rapid growth, has been a trustee for more than 15 years (four charities) and has chaired various boards including investment, treasury and fundraising.

Mark Cummins, Vice Chair of Governors


FCCA qualified Accountant

I am honoured to be a part of the Governing Body here at Northease. I bring a wealth of experience, expertise and a personal interest in charitable organisation within the education sector. For the last 16 years, I have expanded my knowledge beyond that of a traditional accountant. I offer the school support in areas such as audit, accountancy, tax, governance and strategic support.  

My client base of academies, independent , specialist,  and proprietary schools gives me a great insight to how other schools operate and which elements could be translated and put in to practice here  at  Northease to improve the business functions of the school. Northease is a wonderful school with friendly, dedicated staff and students who benefit from such an amazing family feel and approach.

Clare Gillies

Boarding & Special Educational Needs

BA, DiP Ed, MA Education Management

Clare’s working life has been in teaching, in both independent and maintained secondary schools, inspecting, consultancy work and training. She has an MA in Education Management and Administration with distinction. She was a governor of a large, maintained primary school in South London for ten years, prior to moving to East Sussex. Her work as a DfE and LA school improvement partner included a maintained boarding school.


Clare was filmed observing lessons and giving feedback in six series of the popular Teachers TV programme ‘From Good to Outstanding’. She is fully up-to-date with legislation related to residential special schools, ISS legislation, safeguarding and has qualifications related to pupils with special educational needs and/or disability. She has a good understanding of autistic pupils’ needs.



David Roberts


MA Leadership and Management

Watching my son's self esteem and confidence grow since he joined Northease made we want to get more involved with the school. Its a pleasure to share my experience and enthusiasm to help the school maintain and build upon its firm foundations. 

Northease helps, teaches and guides its students towards a more enriched and fulfilling experience of school life. For me, it is all about opening doors to possibilities they never thought would open to them and contributing as much as I can to ensure that the school is fully supported. My expertise and strengths are within the area of development and improvements in individuals and systems. I am an experienced Mentor supporting indivduals to achieve their personal and business goals. I am also a qualified Business Mentor with a valuable insight and expertise in running and developing a business.


Jean Rolfe

I have worked with, and for, children and young adults with additional educational needs in a variety of roles over the last three decades, most recently I was CEO for a west London based charity specialising in supporting vulnerable young people back into education, employment and training through landbased activities. It was rewarding, exciting and at times challenging work!

My love of working with young people started 30 years ago, and believe it or not Northease Manor School was the catalyst! I worked with the school in my capacity as an East Sussex County Council Countryside Ranger!

The school left an indelible mark, its warmth, sense of place and friendly “can do” atmosphere, particularly in relation to how it worked alongside it’s student cohort, was a real privilege to be part of. It was an environment that recognised every young person for what they had to offer and for what they could achieve, often in their own unique way! And it was this sense of place that helped shape my career.

The opportunity to therefore come back to Northease was one I couldn’t pass by. It’s exciting to be back and I very much look forward to getting stuck in over the coming months and years.


Sophie Skinner 

MA Human Resource Management Strategy and Change

I work with people to help them achieve their potential. I’m passionate about helping people be the best they can be and achieve the best possible outcome for them.

With more than 20 years experience with some of the world’s biggest brands, I’m a highly experienced and credible leadership coach and HR consultant. I help create frameworks to deliver solutions for individuals and organisations covering a range of HR disciplines.

I went through my school career as an unidentified dyslexic and it wasn’t until I went to university to study my under graduate degree I was tested. The help and support changed my life and approach, and I learnt to read and write (properly). Having the opportunity to work with a school that’s focus is helping children in education achieve their potential is something I really wanted to do. I feel very privileged to be working with Northease Manor School.


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