The Academy is part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust which is sponsored by the University of Brighton.

The trust’s Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the educational and financial performance of all of the academies in the trust; the trustees are the statutory governors of each academy and the company directors & charitable trustees of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

Further information about the University of Brighton Academies Trust’s governance arrangements, including its Board of Trustees, Scheme of Delegation, Articles of Association and Funding Agreement, are available on the trust’s website.

A series of committees, including a Local Board for each academy (or group of academies), supports the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its responsibilities.

The Federated Local Board of The Hastings and St. Leonards Academy

Local Board members are volunteers representing different aspects of the academy community including parents/carers, staff and local people. The members contribute to the academy’s vision and future strategy, ensuring they complement the trust’s vision and values. They are responsible for keeping the academy at the heart of the community, maintaining strong community links and effective communication with all stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees. Local Board members ensure the celebration of staff, pupils and parents and carers is a priority to the academy. They are also responsible for monitoring pupil wellbeing, admissions, complaints and concerns.

Local Board members can be contacted through email at or in writing c/o the Academy. Local Board meeting minutes are available on request.

Five co-opted members nominated by the Local Board: David Towsey - Chair of the Local Board
Sandi Buttrey – Safeguarding Link
Bernadette Huggins
Suzie Stanley – Behaviour and Attendance Link
Two parent representatives, elected by the parents of each Academy: The Hastings Academy - Anita Pope, Parent & Community Engagement Link member
St. Leonards Academy - Jessica Snyder, Parent & Behaviour & Attendance Link member
Two staff representatives elected by the staff of each Academy: The Hastings Academy - Nathan Russell - SEN Link member
St. Leonards Academy - Vacancy
Academy Principals: The Hastings Academy - Hilary Morawska
St. Leonards Academy - Neil Moir
Clerk to the Local Board: Caroline Spender
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David Towsey

Chair of the Local Board, Co-opted member

Mr. Towsey is a Co-Opted member and Chair of the Federated Hastings and St. Leonards Academy’s Local Board. He has a number of years of experience in the education sector, both as a senior A-Level examiner and in his current role as Head of Sixth Form at an East Sussex school.

Sandi Buttrey

Co-opted member


My name is Sandi Buttrey and I am a co-opted member on the Local Board for St Leonards Academy and The Hastings Academy. I joined the Local Board in January 2019. I live locally and have family in education in the town.

I have a background in social work and I am a registered social worker. I was the school safeguarding officer for East Sussex Children Services during 2015 and 2017 working with schools across the county. This strengthened my interest in the role of schools in not only providing for a child’s education but also to safeguard and support children both in school and in the community. Since taking an early retirement I have continued to work with schools as an independent safeguarding consultant and trainer and I bring this knowledge and skills to my role as link Local Board member for Safeguarding.

In the short time I have been a Local Board member I have found staff to be pupil focussed and to actively welcome the involvement of parents with the school and also very importantly to be open to the ongoing development, support and scrutiny provided by the Local Board governing body.

Suzie Standley

Co-opted member

Bernadette Huggins

Co-opted member

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

Jessica Snyder

Parent member

Neil Moir

Principal of The St Leonards Academy

I feel very honoured to lead the staff and students of The St Leonards Academy and to be part of the ambitious and talented University of Brighton Academies Trust, working to the strong belief that “education transforms live and futures”. Together we can remove the barriers to success by ensuring we raise standards for all by putting social mobility and equality of opportunity at the heart of our policies.

Throughout my career I have gained extensive leadership experience in a range of schools demonstrating a track record of substantial and sustained school improvement. This has enabled me to share best practice as a National Trainer, influencing wider school improvement, as well as chairing a National CPD Board. I strongly believe in the power of collaborative working across all phases of education and as a community to ensure a coordinated, inclusive approach that instils confidence at all levels.

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.