Christ Church CE Primary and Nursery Academy

An EXCELLENT Church School in all areas. OUTSTANDING Early Years provision.

Learning to live together, together living to learn. “Learn from Me.” (Matthew 11:29)

For every child to reach their God-given potential in a positive, caring and aspirational environment.


About the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust

Christ Church CE Primary & Nursery Academy is part of the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust (DCAT).


Further information about DCAT, including its Members and Directors and statutory information can be found on the following website:


The Trust's financial and governance statements can be viewed using the following link:


Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust
Church House, 211 New Church Road, 
Hove, East Sussex, 

   Tel: 01273 425001

Find Out About Our Governors 


An introduction to the governors

Governance Academies are government funded schools that are granted the freedom to govern independently. However, all are still accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. To allow them to share resources and best practice, many are part of a multi-academy trust which is a network of schools under one legal body.


Christ Church CE Primary and Nursery Academy is part of the Diocese of Chichester Academies Trust (DCAT), a leading local education charity that includes other primary schools in Hastings as well as others within the diocese. DCAT does not make any profit from running its schools. Christ Church’s relationship with the Secretary of State is set out in the DCAT master funding agreement. There are also additional funding agreements for each individual school in the network. Every school in the DCAT network is the legal responsibility of the DCAT Board. The board focuses on statutory duties and delegates most day-to-day responsibilities to each school’s individual Local Governing Body (LGB).


This means that Christ Church’s governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter to the school – educational strategy, school outcomes, aspiration and Christian ethos and values.


The Christ Church LGB is made up as follows:

Five to ten members appointed by DCAT, to include the Chair – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area.

Co-Head teachers of the school. DCAT aims to create a balanced group that will have the right skills, connections and dynamic for the LGB to work well and support the school in achieving exceptional performance:

Good insight into the specific challenges at the school and the general challenges of operating top quality schools

Excellent community links

Specific skills as needed by /relevant to the school

A link to the senior executive team of DCAT. The LGB meets up to six times a year.


Contacting the governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Charles Shaw ( Governors can be contacted through the clerk or through the school office. If you are interested in becoming a governor or have any governance-related queries, please contact the clerk to Governors.




Vanessa Tomlinson

Chair of Governors

Having spent 30 years working in Primary schools and another 14 years in Teacher Training, I retired at the end of August 2020. My career has spanned the roles of Class Teacher, Headteacher, Ofsted Inspector, School Improvement Partner and PGCE and SDS Tutor and Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University College London. I therefore have a broad overview of how the education system works and evolves and hope to put this to good use as Chair of Governors at Christ Church.

Throughout my years I have been passionate about providing Primary school children with high quality and enjoyable education, to enable them to develop and flourish throughout their time in school and on into their adult life. I am looking forward to continuing my passion for education by supporting the Governing Body of Christ Church CE Primary and Nursery Academy.









Diane Van Eygen

Foundation Governor

Diane’s children attended Christ Church School when they were younger and the school served them well. Throughout her career, she has built up knowledge and skills regarding Special Needs and Safeguarding in Adult Social Care, managed small and large services and is currently a Market Support Officer for E.S.C.C. This background knowledge and experience will support her in her role as the Safeguarding Link. Diane is very proud to be a member of the Christ Church LGB as a Church lead.








Georgina Knight

Foundation Governor

Having worked all of her career in Human Resources, Georgina is now retired, although she volunteers at Hastings Magistrates Court where she supports witnesses when they come into Court.  She is also a Restorative Justice Facilitator with Victim Support.  Georgina was appointed to the Christ Church Academy LGB in February 2019 and she is the link Governor for Attendance, Behaviour and HR.








Susan Rayner

Foundation Governor

Susan is a musician who enjoys a freelance career teaching the oboe and piano and performing regularly on the oboe.

She is passionate about passing on the love of music to children.

Susan has had four children, three still attend Christ Church School, and she feels the school has supported all of them wonderfully.

Susan is one of our two Parent Governors and is the link governor for Music, Art and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.




William Baker

Foundation Governor


William is a solicitor, currently specialising in commercial law. He trained in a local authority where he gained valuable experience in public and administrative legal matters. Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, William worked as a foreign language teacher in Shenzhen, China. 


He now hopes to use that experience to assist the Governing Board and the School in ensuring that the School helps the children discover and fulfil their potential in primary education. 



Father Thomas Crowley

Foundation Governor


Susannah Singh


Governor by virtue of her role within the Academy











Russell Thorne


Governor by virtue of his role within the Academy













Charles Shaw


My name is Charles Shaw and I am the Part-time Governance Officer for three of the DCAT Primary schools in Hastings, including Christ Church. I also perform a similar role for several other non-DCAT schools. Prior to this, I was Human Resources Director and Company Secretary for a national charity for 13 years. My main governance role is to work with the Head Teacher, the LGB Chair and Governors to ensure that governor meetings are scheduled, that an agenda is drawn up that reflects the school and DCAT's priorities and legal requirements, that it is minuted and actions are followed up. I also support other ad hoc Governor activities.


The number of Formal Complaints received between 2017 – 2018 was 2.

The number of Formal Complaints received between 2018 – 2019 was 0.

The number of Formal Complaints received between 2019 – 2020 was 1.

The number of Formal Complaints received between 2020 – 2021 was 0.

The number of Formal Complaints received between 2021 - 2022 was 1.

The number of Formal Complaints received 2022 - 2023 is currently 0.


Our Ethos and Worship Working Group



Within our caring Christian community, the school aims to provide a broad, balanced and creative curriculum, which gives everyone the opportunity to learn to be independent, resilient, life-long learners. Our core Christian values are at the heart of this and our Ethos and Worship Committee allows our Governors to strategically monitor how we’re doing. The work that this committee does also feeds into our statutory responsibilities under Ofsted and SIAMS.