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Eastergate Primary

Meet the Governors

Hedda Wells (Chair)

I have been a parent at Eastergate School for a total of 11 years and after my youngest moved to Secondary School in 2015, I joined the Governing Body in September 2015 and became Chair of Governors in 2017. I still see it as a privilege to work with the staff team, parents/carers and the wider school community; always with the children in the centre of any decisions. I am involved in running a Toddler Group and Sunday School at the local church and volunteer with the Aldingbourne Trust. I enjoy outdoor activities, making music, a good book and baking.

Julie Allington (Foundation)

I was appointed as a foundation governor at the end of 2017. Growing up in Chichester, I have lived in Eastergate parish for over 30 years and have attended Eastergate church since moving into the area. For many years I have supported those young people who wish to participate in the family service by playing their musical instruments.

I enjoy reading, knitting, sewing, walking our dog and growing our own vegetables. I have been involved in the girlguiding movement since I was a brownie and am currently the guide leader at Barnham Guides. For most of my career I taught science and maths at a secondary school in Chichester. I retired in 2016 and I am now looking forward to becoming involved in the life of Eastergate School.

Sam Coates (Vice Chair)

I joined the Governing Body in September 2018 and was elected Vice Chair in May 2021.  I have lived locally the majority of my life, bar some time in Germany and Liverpool where I studied Physics and met my wife, who many of the children will know as Mrs Coates the TA.  I have 2 daughters, Eliza who is in year 5, and my Faith who is in year 9 at Ormiston.  

I am currently a Calculations Specialist for a global health and benefits provider, working with and leading people across our international team.  When not working, my hobbies and interests include gaming, digital drawing, reading, attempting to play the ukulele and watching the NFL.  Weekends are quite often spent working or helping with a variety of homework's, with maths and science being my focus. 

Tim Tompkins (Co-opted)

I have lived locally with my wife and two children (Rufus 12 and Clara 6) since November 2017. I taught as a Primary school and SEN teacher for 12 years before moving here to look after my kids. I have recently started work as a Teaching Assistant in a local secondary school focusing in helping children with Speech and Language Difficulties (SPLD). I enjoy music, film and food (in any order) and try to go to gigs and festivals as often as I can. I also love art and photography, so one day hope to return to my first love; painting and drawing. I spend most weekends helping with homework, spending days out with the family whilst trying to keep up to date with the mighty Derby County.

Father Paul (Ex-officio)

I am Fr Paul and I am the Rector of the parish of Aldingbourne, Barnham and Eastergate. I am relatively new to the area having moved from Portsmouth in October 2021. What I have found, is that we, as the church in these villages, are so proud of our partnership with our parish school at Eastergate and we look for every opportunity to celebrate this and to do things together. The young people of our school are our present as well as our future and that is so important to remember. You will find me most weeks either in the hall or the classroom on the days I come into school or, at St George's Church or one of the other churches in the parish. I try to walk everywhere, when it is practical, so please say 'hello' if you see me!

Annette Chapman (Co-opted)

I joined the Governor Team at Eastergate in Sept 2021 after returning to West Sussex from Asia. I have been in education all my working life and in a secondary school in Hong Kong for over 30 years, where I held the posts of Vice Principal and Acting Principal. My main roles were in Safeguarding, leading the Pastoral team and SEND. I also had the opportunity of an Acting Principal role in a Special School who were going through accreditation.  Having returned to the UK I am now becoming more involved with the local community and I am a volunteer for the Aldingbourne Trust. 

Davina Rowe (Co-opted)

My youngest son joined Eastergate in September 2017.  I was the clerk for over 3 years then joined as Associate Governor for 6 months before being co-opted to the Governing Body in September 2022.  My husband and I have lived in Barnham for 18 years having both moved to Sussex from Devon over 20 years ago. I worked for IBM for nearly 20 years in various roles ranging from in Finance & Planning to Business Operations Manager, Global Delivery Education Manager and finally Commercial Delivery Manager. 

I feel privileged to be a governor and support the school in a new way.  I enjoy volunteering and I am on the PTA as well as a PTA Trustee and 1st Barnham Scouts Trustee.  I have 2 older boys who are at St. Philip Howard Catholic School so my main role is supporting my 3 boys.  I love to spend time with my family and we are theme park and Disney enthusiasts.  We enjoy days out, watching football, playing board games and when I’m allowed to, I love to sing!

Emma Denham (Parent)

I joined the Governor team at Eastergate in October 2022, shortly after my daughter, Eva, joined Chaffinch class. I moved to Felpham from Portsmouth in summer 2022 and am enjoying getting to know the local area. I have recently started a role as an Area Manager for a Property Management company, specialising in Retirement living, having previously been a Waitrose Branch Manager for 11 years.

When I'm not working, I love to spend time with my family and friends, take long walks in the South Downs or along the beach, be creative and cook. I am really looking forward to becoming more involved in the life of Eastergate and working with the governing body and staff team. 

Michael Ryan (Parent)

I joined the Governor team at Eastergate in October 2022. Our family moved to the local area in January 2021 and our son joined the Chaffinch Class this year. During his introductory period, it was reassuring to hear Mrs Ward, Headteacher set out the progressive vision for our school, this reflects the positive OFSTED report achieved in 2017.  Good schools are an essential part of a healthy community. As a Governor, my priority is to support the board in maximising pupils academic experience, ensuring effective management of financial resources and pursuit of development opportunities for the school.


I currently operate as the Development Manager for business and transport at a clinical waste solutions company in West Sussex and have recently completed my MBA with Sussex Business School. Prior to this, I worked as the CEO of a Social Enterprise in East Sussex (4 years) and have previously led on Children & Young People strategy at The Football Association (5 years – London & South East).  Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, keeping tabs on all things sport-related and can be frequently found in the Hammersmith End at Craven Cottage watching Fulham Football Club.