Local Board members

Rose Durban, Chair

I live locally and want to contribute to making a difference locally and can’t think of a better way than to help contribute to changing young people’s learning and life-chances across The St Leonards Academy and The Hastings Academy.  I come with experience of working on behalf of vulnerable children and young people and their families within and across the education, health and voluntary sectors which complements the wealth of skills, expertise and support other Local Board members bring.  

Our job is to champion student’s well-being, learning and achievement in each of our schools.

In my experience, what children and families say they need is simple and powerful:


  • I tell my story once
  • Support and services join up around me
  • People do what they say
  • I feel better, safer, able to learn and achieve

I believe that every student at each of our academies has the right to be safe and cared for, succeed in learning, thrive and mature into adulthood, able to contribute to the economy and their community in a positive way.  I’ve been hugely impressed on at the passion and commitment from everyone who works at The Hastings Academy and The St Leonards Academy to make this a daily reality for students.

We should think big for young people, believe in them, and work together so that their rights are realised, their views shape decisions made about their lives and they respect the rights of others.  Together, as a Local Board we can and want to contribute to helping school leaders in their work to make sure young people are safe, happy and healthy, learning and achieving well and with a bright future.

I am pleased and proud to be chair of our federated Local Board.  Please do get in touch via any of the academies if you want to contact me.

Rose Durban

Andy Davy, Vice Chair

Andy was born in London and raised in Eastbourne. He has 40 years experience of change management in retail and shopping centres with a strong ethos of people leadership. Roles have ranged through store, area and regional management. Has recently taken early retirement from shopping centre management taking up a volunteer role as lifeboat operations manager at Hastings RNLI.Also chairs the Maidstone Town Centre management company.

Lives in St Leonards with Cathy and their two mad dogs.

Interests include boating, sea fishing and motorsport.

Nathan Russell, Staff Member

Nathan has worked as a Maths Teacher at The Hastings Academy since 2016 and was appointed to the Local board in 2017. He studied Mathematics at Cardiff University, graduating in 2009, worked for ESCC within Disability Services for a number of years before finding his passion for Teaching

Hilary Morawska, Principal of The Hastings Academy

I am delighted to be the Principal of what is known and respected, within the Hastings and Rother communities as a Good school. I joined The Hastings Academy as Vice Principal in April 2016 and worked alongside its Principal, staff, parents and students to create the successful ethos and culture evidenced today. I have been in leadership roles since 2004 and bring a wealth of experience. Having developed excellent relationships with colleagues within our Trust and East Sussex County Council, alongside the exceptional work of our Hastings Academy staff, we are well placed to build on the outstanding results of our recent Ofsted and GCSE results. It will be a pleasure to ensure that we continue to provide the best education, outcomes and future, for all our stakeholders.

The Hastings Academy Principal, Hilary Morawska

Jon Francies, Lead Principal of The St Leonards Academy

Since May 2021 It has been a pleasure to lead across the amazing St Leonards and Burgess Hill Academies.  I have been at Burgess Hill Since 2016. I am incredibly proud of students as staff as the school has grown from 750 to 1100. I have worked in The Trust since it began and I was a Vice Principal and Principal at The St Leonards Academy. It has been great to return! I began my career in London as a drama teacher moving into a head of year role and then into senior leadership. 

Leopold Sutton

Leopold was a Science Teacher at The St. Leonards Academy between 2015 and 2017 as part of the Teach First programme, he was then appointed to the local board in May 2020. Since 2017 he has worked as a Management Consultant for Deloitte focusing on enterprise technology and performance in the private sector. He holds a Diploma in Management Accounting, as well as an M.A. in Transformational Leadership from Canterbury Christ Church University, and has contributed to European Educational Leadership: Contemporary Issues.

Pauline Edwards

I work at St Leonards Academy as the Safeguarding Manager/Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and wanted to contribute to the Board as an extension of my role. I have over 20 years experience working with young people and families and have always had a duty of care within Safeguarding as part of my roles.

Jessica Snyder

I have a background in Secondary School teaching and in recent years have worked as a Keyworker, supporting local families. I have just moved to a new job working with home school families.  My five children have attended the St Leonard's Academy.  As a Parent Local Board member and Looked After Children (LAC) designated link member, I believe in supporting local schools and families. 

Ian Marsh

I’m Ian Marsh.  After practicing law for many years I have spent the last 15 years or so specialising in family dynamics and communication; studying why it is we find it so hard to talk about the things that matter most to us and helping families to have those conversations.  
I moved to Hastings when I stopped working for a living at the end of 2018 and was keen to do something to support the local community.

I joined the Federated Local Board of the Hastings and St Leonards Academies in September 2020 and am the Link Member of the Board for Community Engagement.  For us “community” includes the school community as well as the local community it serves, so I’m also concerned with staff and student wellbeing.