Governor Profiles

Governor Profiles

Find out a little more about our governors...


Mary Burr

I first got to know South Malling School when I was appointed as its Local Authority adviser from September 2013 to July 2014 and enjoyed it so much that I have continued to work with the school in a voluntary capacity until the present day! I joined the governing body of South Malling as an associate member in December 2015. In July 2016 I became a Local Authority governor and was elected Chair of Governors for September 2016 which has added an interesting new perspective to my work with the school.

I have worked in education for over forty years as a teacher, headteacher, adviser, school improvement partner and governor, mostly in Oxford. I retired and moved to Seaford six years ago, though I still work as a part time schools adviser for East Sussex.

I thoroughly enjoy going into South Malling School and try to visit as often as I can to talk to staff and children and use my experience, knowledge and skills to further enhance the strengths and successes of our lovely school.


Liz Kaye

I am a Foundation Governor, appointed during the Summer of 2013. My recent background is in tertiary education, currently working in the management team of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, where I am responsible for the quality assurance of our course in general, and particularly that of our NHS placements. 

My husband and I have been living in Malling since 2004 and we have one daughter who is currently in Year 5. I am a member of TRINITY South Malling Church, Cliffe Bonfire Society, LOS Musical Theatre and St Mary's Pantomime (for whom I was choreographer, working with many local youngsters, from 2004 - 2011).

During my tenure so far I have been lead governor for Learning and then Chair for two years.  I am currently Deputy Chair.  I am passionate about education and about giving all our kids the best possible opportunities to fulfil their potential, both within the school curriculum and via wider extra-curricular activities.  


Kevin Bull

I am a co-opted Governor having joined the Governing board in October 2015. As part of my role as a governor I am a member of the Finance Working Group, supporting the school's financial and risk management and the Early Years Working Group, supporting the development and integration of the school's Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 provision.

I currently work as a Further Education Lecturer in Economics, Accounting and Business at Sussex Downs College in Lewes teaching A-Levels and vocational courses.  Prior to moving into education in 2014 I worked for 15 years as a Chartered Management Accountant in various industries starting in Financial Services and latterly working for an international charity where I travelled widely in Africa and Asia overseeing the financial management of the organisation's international programmes.  In 2004/5 I spent a wonderful year in Tanzania undertaking voluntary work supporting young people in accessing vocational training and working with local schools to find opportunities for disadvantaged children to obtain a quality education.     

I live in South Malling and my son attends the school, currently in Year 5. I have lived in Lewes for 7 years and my wife is from a Lewes family which stretches back generations. Indeed her father attended South Malling School a number of years ago! My wife is also involved with the Friends committee at South Malling.

In the little free time I can cobble together I can be found playing football with a veterans’ team in Lewes on Friday evenings and my son and I are season ticket holders at Brighton and Hove Albion.


Mandi Ramshaw

I was appointed as a Parent Governor in July 2016. I am the mother of two girls at the school, one in Year 5 and one in Year 2.

Currently, I am self-employed, working as an editor and writer. Previously, I worked as a training associate for an international public health charity in Washington, DC. My role included designing training courses and developing training materials. I was also responsible for organising training workshops and conferences. I have a Masters’ Degree in International Training and Education from American University and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Middlebury College.

I have always been passionate about education. I want to dedicate my free time to working for the school. It has become such an important part of my life since my older daughter started there. I look forward to bringing my skills and passion to the position as governor and helping the school in any way possible. 

Between 2016 and the Summer of 2019 I was also the Chair of the Friends of South Malling.


Francis King

I became a co-opted governor in September 2016.  I work for Brighton and Hove City Council Children's Services as a lead practitioner.  I feel very strongly about the value of education to children, and how a positive experience in primary school can have such an influence on a young person's life and opportunities.  I have two children at the school, and have loved becoming part of the school community.  I enjoy being outside and walking on Malling Down, music, cooking and reading.  I am very enthusiastic about sport, but my football career was cut short after a disastrous season in goal for Boxford Rovers under 11s team: we came second bottom of the league, losing one game 25 nil (in just 60 minutes).


Lucy McAskie

I have two children at the school.  I enjoyed my C of E primary school, particularly when I was encouraged to learn through developing my own interests and passions, and to use initiative, creativity and critical thinking. I believe that experience was a fundamental contributing factor to my continued love of learning (I’m still studying today). In my experience so far, I have found South Malling strives to provide a broad, fun and rigorous education for all its pupils, despite a very different regulatory environment, national curriculum, and size of class to that in which I grew up.

I have a BSc and MSc from Sussex University.  I came to work in Lewes after graduating, to manage the ever-popular Farmers’ Market for a spell and later to work with the Council’s Sustainability Department. Lewes struck me as an interesting and inspiring place to raise a family, and we were lucky enough to be able to settle here just before our first child was born.

As a Parent Governor I mostly bring enthusiasm for the school and a desire to contribute to its continued development and success. From my previous work and education I bring skills in listening, discretion, analysis, organisation and creative problem solving. I have devoted much of my working life to the fitness and health food sectors, I am currently studying nutrition, and I am particularly looking forward to contributing to the Wellbeing Working Group.  In my spare time I enjoy exercise, yoga, gardening, and cooking for family and friends. 


Simon Popple

After completing my MBA at Birmingham University in 1993, I joined the corporate finance team at Singer & Friedlander working on small and mid-cap mergers and acquisitions. In 1997 I joined the senior banker team at ABN AMRO before moving into their corporate finance department in 1999, where I specialised in private equity. I then became head of investment management at Strutt & Parker’s Real Estate Financial Services before becoming a director of Topland, one of Europe’s largest private investment companies. In 2008, I set up Brookville Capital, a capital-raising business.  My interests are hockey and rugby.  My daughter is in Year 3 at South Malling.


Sarah Lyons

I live in South Malling with my husband Pete and our two boys; Freddie, who attends the school, and Jacob, who is three and would love to be at school with Freddie. I'm a Christian and a member of King's Church, Lewes.

My background is in nursing, though I now spend much of my time looking after Jacob and volunteering in various roles in and around the Lewes area, including Designated Safeguarding Officer for our church, and teaching in the Key Stage 2 kids' work team, and also the crèche, as I am passionate about serving our community, especially young people. As a Health Visitor and Mental Health nurse, I have worked with many children and different agencies, and I am honoured to have met so many families, to have listened to their stories and experiences, provided feedback and information, advocated for those most in need, challenged unsafe practice and addressed ways of working that hinder voices being heard.

I love being outdoors and enjoy spending time being active with friends and family in the wild, or locally around town, and like to knit or read under canvas, and I also share my enthusiasm of crazy camping and outdoor skills with young people through the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.


Judy Yeomans

As a Foundation Governor, my appointment is through Chichester Diocese.  I am a member of TRINITY Church and worship at Southover.  I have worked for the last 13 years in a voluntary capacity, supporting children and families, through Sunday school and pastoral work with the church.

My early training as a speech and language therapist, subsequent work in my children’s primary school, and interest in children’s well-being have led me to pursue additional training.  I am now a Trainer and advisor for Godly Play UK, a charity that seeks to transform thinking and practice in the area children’s spirituality.  My involvement with South Malling School has come about through my interest in the spiritual dimension of childhood. 

My husband, Martin and I have lived in Lewes for more than 25 years and seen my children flourish in Lewes schools.  We continue to enjoy the exciting company of children and young people.  My greatest pleasure is watching and listening to the discoveries children make for themselves about the world, themselves and each other, and God. 


Peter Hughes

I became an Associate Governor in June 2019 and am part of the Finance Working Group. I work in finance, currently for the University of Sussex, responsible for their strategic and commercial projects. Prior to working in Higher Education, I worked in a variety of commercial finance roles in the private sector. I am a qualified accountant and project manager but also have a degree in Environmental Sciences.

I am from Sussex originally and moved back to Lewes with my wife in 2004, we currently live in South Malling and have two children at the school. I enjoy running and photography but generally not at the same time.