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.


Charlotte Blake - Parent Trustee from March 2024

I am delighted to be appointed parent trustee. My daughter speaks with such enthusiasm
about her experiences at Harlands and I look forward to the opportunity to support the
smooth running of the school.

I have a decade of experience as a science teacher and middle leader in secondary education. I have a passion for ensuring children receive the very best education to support their development, both academically and holistically.



Rocky Datoo - Parent Trustee from October 2018 to October 2022, then Co-opted Trustee (School Improvement)

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, 

I currently have one child at Harlands, with my other child having moved to secondary school,  and am a Harlands' alumnus myself. 


Abi Dudley - Trustee 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 of 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 - Trustee appointed by Members, December 2021, Vice-Chair from May 2023

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 -  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 Trustee from September 2021
I was a parent trustee for eight years, with two sons in the school, and am now in a new appointment on the Trustee Board, with particular interest in curriculum teaching. I am on the staff at Warden Park Secondary School.   



Russell Goodrum - Trustee from November 2023

I’ve lived in Haywards Heath since 2011 and our eldest child started in Harlands in 2023. I’m proud to have been appointed as a trustee and am excited to provide help and support to the school and existing trustees over the coming years

I have a degree in mathematics from the University of Southampton, and have worked for several major banks and consultancies, primarily in financial risk analytics and management since 2005.



Debra Hollingum - Trustee from September 2023

While not a parent trustee, I have a son at Harlands, with a daughter to hopefully join in a few years. I wanted to do something to support the local community and found the perfect opportunity here.

I have worked in operations for over 10 years, with diverse responsibilities, including strategic planning, operational governance and people operations. I also have qualifications in and a passion for learning and development and hope to use these skills to support the trust in realising its aspirations.




 David Nisbet -  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 trustee, both my children attend Harlands.




Mark Pawson - Trustee from September 2023

I am delighted to be a member of the Board of Trustees to offer my support to this fantastic school and also to fellow trustees and staff.

I moved to Haywards Heath in early 2021 and live close to the school. I have worked for various investment banks for the past 25 years and I currently head up Change Programmes at a Bank. I look forward to meeting parents and staff alike over the course of 2024!


Yasmin Shepherd - Parent Trustee from March 2024

I have two children at Harlands and a third hopefully starting in September. I was previously a KS2 teacher, teaching in Years 5 and 6. My passion lay in teaching literacy where I acted as literacy lead, planning and implementing new literacy curriculum and led extension groups for able writers. I also mentored NQTs, providing them with support throughout their early years teaching. 


Derek Gwynne  - Co-opted Trustee fr0m July 2020

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

Liam Collingborn -  Staff Voice from July 2022 

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 2024