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LAB member profiles

Thomas McMorrin


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

I am delighted to be a LAB member at City Academy Whitehawk. I’m new to Brighton, having moved here with my daughter and husband in 2021, and it’s been wonderful to see the school providing a culture of excellence that children are thriving in.

Originally from near Manchester, I’ve spent the last decade leading national and international programmes to empower children and young people to achieve their potential. I’m currently the Director of Programmes at national charity Education and Employers, who connect schools with work-place role models helping inspire children to discover their future and be more motivated in their learning. I’ve also worked in international development at VSO and prior to that I spent a decade in the business world working as an accountant with large organisations such as EY and HSBC. Since moving here, I’ve joined the Brighton and Hove Women’s Running Club and am enjoying the outdoor lifestyle the city offers.

Graham Kennedy

Co-opted LAB member

Graham Kennedy is currently an Assistant Head at Brighton College and Head of Lower School (year 7s and 8s). He has lived in Brighton with his wife Susie for the past 8 years and has two daughters, Ayla (6) and Annie (4). He is a maths teacher and is passionate about music, running, cycling and sea swimming



Maggie Mansell

Co-opted 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 most recently worked in Year 6 as a teaching assistant (TA); on top of that, I was a midday supervisor.  I now 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 enjoyed when working as TA was covering in the absence of the class teacher because I got to see, first hand, all the amazing work that our children can accomplish!


Michelle Mainwaring

Parent LAB member

I am honoured to be part of the City Academy Whitehawk LAB team as a parent LAB member. I am originally from Shropshire and have lived in the Brighton area for the past nine years. I am currently training to become a registered nurse in the adult field and am based at the University of Brighton, with varying nursing placements within the East Sussex NHS Trust. My previous career was within the fine arts industry which included the acquisition and sale of arts and antiques as a Gallery Manager in London and Los Angeles, and the overseeing of commercial heritage projects. Prior to that, I spent a decade working as a professional sailor, a passion that has continued throughout my life with a love for all things maritime and the outdoors.

Mikaela Middleton

Parent LAB member

Hi, I'm Mikaela and I'm a parent LAB member. I am thrilled to be part of the LAB as my child currently attends here and I live and work locally - most will know me from the pharmacy at Wellsbourne, or from being a parent at the school for the last 7 years with many more to go. My personal interests in the school are the early years and the special educational needs side, specifically ASC . I moved to Whitehawk in 2015 and have 5 children age range 3 all the way up to 21. I am currently training to be a pharmacy technician and accuracy checker which will open up more responsibilities at work and more opportunities. I'm looking forward to being part of the LAB for as long as possible.

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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