St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School

Governor Profiles

Nigel Feast (Chair)

I joined the school as an associate governor in October 2016 and currently chair the School Governing Board.

Having attended Essex and Keele Universities I believe in the power of teaching to change lives and in education to enhance opportunities in life -- which all begins in primary school

My work experience is in senior posts in both social services and the NHS  which I believe  can  be used  for the benefit of  the school  both in  supporting staff and as a ' critical friend' in dealing with the issues  we  face in the future

Nabil Zakher (LA Governoring & Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee)

I have been a local authority governor since December 2013.

I am a qualified retired accountant with over 30 experiences mainly in NHS financial management and control. I am passionate about ensuring good use of public resources, I am always looking for ways to maximise value for money and ensure transparency and accountability for the public resources that we have been trusted with.

I have lived in Bexhill for some 25 years; I am married with 3 children who have all attended St Mary Magdalene’s Catholic school and St Richards Catholic college. I feel privileged that my children received such high quality education and Christian spiritual enrichment. I hope the same valuable education opportunities can be offered to many more children.

Clare Paine (Foundation Governor)

I was appointed as a foundation governor in November 2015. I am a member of the strategic organisation committee, my monitoring role is linked with teaching learning and assessment and my subject link is English. 

My family have a long history with St. Mary Magdalene’s. My grandmother was one of the evacuees who attended the school when it was situated at the church in Magdalene Road. Since then my father and myself have attended the school and currently my 3 children are now in reception class, year 1 and year 5.

Being a governor of St Mary Magdalene’s school is my way of giving something back to the school for the many years of education, love and support it has given my family. In the past I worked as a financial controller for a company in Polegate but after some time I came to realise that accountancy was not my passion. I am now the manager of a florist shop in Bexhill. Outside of work I am on the committee for our Lady of the Rosary church.  I enjoy spending time with my family, I love to read and when I get the chance I like to sing.

Fr Simon Dray (Associate Member)

Bishop Richard appointed me as Parish Priest of the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Bexhill-on-Sea (comprising St Mary Magdalene, Town Centre & St Martha’s, Little Common) on 28th August 2018. My role is to assist the Head teacher and RE leader to deliver the Catholicity of the school and to foster good links between School and Parish. I am also an associate governor at St Richard’s Catholic College where I represent the clergy of the wider Deanery of Eastbourne & St Leonards. This is my second time in Bexhill. I was the assistant Parish Priest between 2013 and 2015.

David Kelly (Foundation Governor)

I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in 2018.

Originally from Scotland I moved to East Sussex in 1987 to take up an international role with a pharmaceutical company - focussed mainly on organisational development. In 2005 I set up my own business consultancy as an Executive Coach.

Both of my children attended St Mary Magdalene's and then St Richard's Catholic College where I was a Governor for 7 years and where my wife worked for over 20 years!

Having worked in a senior role in a multicultural environment I feel I can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to assist and support the school's staff and pupils in the ever-changing education environment.

Parent Governor


Parent Governor


Paul Saxby (Vice Chair) (Foundation Governor)

I became a foundation governor on April 2021. 

I have many years of experience as a business consultant, working with a variety of businesses across different industries. Through my consulting work, I've provided valuable insights into business strategy, operations, and management.

In addition to my consulting work, I also run a successful trade association, where I am responsible for leading and supporting members of the association, training and education, advocating for their interests, and promoting industry best practices.

Drawing from my vast professional experience, I am able to dedicate and invest time as a school governor, actively contributing to the development and improvement of the school. I have a keen understanding of the importance of a high-quality education and am committed to ensuring that students receive the best possible education whilst being apart of a wonderful thriving school community.

Natalie Sadlier (Foundation Governor)

I was appointed as a Foundation Governor at St Mary Magdalene’s in April 2022.

I grew up in Hastings and Bexhill, attending Sacred Heart Primary school, before moving to London after completing university in 2004. During my 12 years in London, I worked as Publicity Manager at ITV, supporting the public relations and publicity of the channels’ breakfast programmes, both reactively and proactively.

In 2015, we moved back to Bexhill as a family of four, wanting to raise our children next to the sea and the calmer, quieter life of Bexhill. I am now PR Manager for a financial services company.

Both my son’s attend St Mary Magdalene with my eldest moving onto St Richard’s this year, and as a family, we are an active part of both the school and parish life.

I look forward to supporting the Governing body, contributing both my communication skills and experience as well offering a parent perspective to the school community and Governing Board.

Sarah Surman (Foundation Governor)

I am a retired teacher with many years experience in Mainstream and Special Education across the age range. I hold degrees in Drama and English ( Bristol) and Religious Education Studies ( Brighton), the post Graduate Certificate of Education, the Catholic Teacher's Certificate, and the RSA Diploma in Teaching Pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties. At Parish level I have been a Catechist on most Sacramental programmes including First Holy Communion Preparation and the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) . I regularly lead the  Children's Liturgy in our Parish.

I love to use Drama , Singing and Story Telling in my continuing work with children, especially to encourage reluctant readers and writers.

My five now adult children all attended St Richard's Catholic College. I have grandchildren who attend St Mary Magdalene's with more in the offing. I feel privileged to be a Foundation Governor at this  thriving Catholic school, and am particularly interested in three aspects of the school's effectiveness: the Teaching and Learning of Literacy, the support for children with Specific Educational Needs, and Religious Education in the Catholic context.