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LAB member profiles

Thomas McMorrin - Headteacher

I am overjoyed to be writing to you now as Headteacher. I adore the school and its community and couldn’t be more proud to be here.


I remember writing in 2017 that it was a privilege to have been welcomed to the Whitehawk community as your Deputy Headteacher. I was thrilled to support Mr. Church and the team in my role, adopting the responsibilities for Teaching and Learning, Assessment and Behaviour; I am enormously proud of our achievements in these areas over the past two and a half years. Now, as your Headteacher, I am excited to enter the school’s next phase of development. It is my responsibility to ensure that we are the very best school that we can possibly be and I look forward to achieving this, working alongside you, the children and my colleagues within school and across the Trust.


It remains my ambition for CAW to become a hub for exceptional teaching and learning. We’re incredibly proud of the quality of education we provide, day in day out, and we mentor and coach staff especially well to ensure that they are well supported to deliver the best possible learning opportunities. We’ve enjoyed developing the school’s curriculum over the past two years and our newly appointed Assistant Headteachers will be working closely with our curriculum leaders and teaching staff so that everything is in place for our children to make as much progress as possible, achieving personal excellence.


Richard Benton-Stace - co-opted LAB member

I am really pleased to be a member of the governing body of City Academy Whitehawk. I became involved in visiting the school through my work as a tutor at Brighton University supervising trainees wanting to be teachers. I have been coming into the school regularly since 2013 and have been so impressed with the ways in which the school has developed into the fantastic place it is today. The school is always so welcoming to everyone and so committed to the development of everyone that works and learns there.

I originally moved to Brighton as a student in the 70s and have worked in the area for most of the time since. I started as a teacher in London but moved back to Brighton as soon as I could and have worked in schools ever since, having been a head teacher in three primary schools. I gained a Masters Degree at Sussex University and have always loved being involved in education.


My two daughters were educated in Brighton primary and secondary schools and so I know what it is to be like on both sides of the desk, as a parent and a teacher. I believe I can contribute positively to the ongoing journey of City Academy as it strives to be not only good, but outstanding.


Laurie Fry - Co-opted LAB member

Laurie Fry is a semi retired businessman. He spent much of his career working abroad, mainly in Russia and eastern Europe. He has links with Brighton going back 40 years, although originally from south Wales. He is now involved in a number of educational projects, with a particular interest in languages and music. With two young granddaughters he has a personal interest in early years education.


Katy Hampshire - Co-opted LAB member

Coming soon...


Maggie Mansell - Staff LAB member

I have worked at City Academy Whitehawk for many years, too many to mention. I have had many roles within the school over the years but currently work in Year 6 as a teaching assistant; on top of that, I am a midday supervisor and help run the breakfast club on a daily basis. Working in breakfast club is great because I get to meet children from all across the school. One thing that particularly enjoy is covering in the absence of the class teacher because I get to see, first hand, all the amazing work that our children can accomplish!


Richard Merrick - Co-opted LAB member


I moved into Whitehawk 8 years ago when we came as part of the team to help grow St Cuthmans Church.  We chose CAW for our 3 children as we were so impressed with the vision the school had for giving the children of our community the best possible education and opportunities in life. I am delighted to now play a small part in supporting the staff and children continue with the vision.

I previously worked in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Manager for Freedom Leisure and teacher of new instructors for YMCAfit.  I decided to retrain to become a Vicar and am currently the curate at St Cuthman’s.  When I am not running around after my 3 children, I love to run in the Downs with Rufus our very excitable Airedale Terrier.


Mikaela Middleton - Parent LAB member

Coming soon...


Janis Taylor - LAB chair

I have worked in the field of Primary Education for over 40 years. I remain passionate about every child’s right to access a high quality and stimulating education in order to ensure they get the very best possible chances in life.  I have had a long, varied and satisfying career and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges I’ve met, and the variety of posts I’ve held, over the years.


I started my career as a teacher at what was then, Whitehawk Junior School. Following ten years at the school I went to Somerhill Junior School (now Brunswick Primary in Hove) as deputy head. I then moved to Middle Street Primary School as headteacher and had two further headships, one of which was as acting head in a school judged as requiring special measures.  I moved to West Sussex to work as an adviser to schools for the next ten years and then returned to headship at Hove Junior School in 2007.


Following my retirement in 2015 I have worked as an independent consultant with a range of schools across Brighton and Hove and East and West Sussex.


Having started my career at Whitehawk Junior School over 40 years ago I am thrilled to be involved, once again, with the school and community as chair of the Local Academy Board.

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