Handcross Primary School

Safe, Happy and Aiming High

Headteacher: Mrs Sharon Bondonno


Behind the scenes, there is a hardworking team of Governors committed to making Handcross Primary School as good as possible. Many of them are parents who are often available at the beginning and end of the day. If you have any concerns, you are very welcome to make an appointment to meet with a Governor at any time. Our Governing Body operates with 4 committees and consists of 10 members as follows:

Dominic Moorhouse   Caroline Ikin    Lin Stockwell
Lt Col Dominic Moorhouse
Co-opted - Chair of Governors

I was co-opted onto the Governing Body of Handcross Primary School in July 2018 and became Chair at the same time.  Whilst I am also a parent of a child at the School, I have volunteered as a co-opted Governor as I am committed to supporting Handcross Primary for the long term.  I hope that I have a lot to offer! I’m a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and served for 20 years as a regular army officer in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.  I still have a part time commitment as a REME Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves; and I am a Health & Safety Consultant.  Following Army service I joined Metrobus as the Engineering Director, before retraining as a secondary science (physics) teacher - I taught for 5 years in a local specialist school for disadvantaged boys near Horsham.   I am committed to ensuring that our children have the best learning experience possible during their time at Handcross Primary, so as to be as fully prepared for their future as possible.  The school is in a great place, primed and ready to progress to the next level of excellence - working together hopefully we can help it continue to grow and prosper.   

Caroline Ikin
Co-opted - Vice Chair of Governors

‘I took up my role as Parent Governor in 2012 when my children were in Reception.  They have now moved on to secondary school and I have continued on the governing body as a Co-opted Governor, chairing the Curriculum and Learning Committee and working on the school’s Travel Plan.  Following a MA in History of Art and English at the University of Aberdeen, I trained as a museum curator and worked in national and local authority museums in Edinburgh and Liverpool before taking up a role with the National Trust in Yorkshire.  I was lured south to work for the NT first at Polesden Lacey then at Ham House, where I was House and Collections Manager.  During this time, I studied part-time for a MA in Garden History at Birkbeck College, which led me into a career as a freelance writer after my children were born, publishing three books on nineteenth-century gardens, lecturing, and writing articles and reviews.  I then took up a part-time position with the Gardens Trust, working to protect historic designed landscapes, before being awarded a Vice Chancellor’s scholarship to study for a PhD in English Literature.  I have lived in Handcross for twelve years and in this time have seen the school grow in size and reputation.  It is a privilege to be part of the school community, sharing in the challenges and successes, and striving to enhance the learning experiences of each and every child.

Lin Stockwell
LA Governor

‘In 2015 I was elected as a Councillor in High Weald ward for Mid Sussex District Council. Here I am Chairman of the Leader, Resources and Economic Growth scrutiny committee and also serve on the Audit committee. Additionally I am the Armed Forces Community Covenant Champion for Mid Sussex. Before retirement I worked for Lloyds Banking Group in Credit Risk Finance, specialising in bad debt on the unsecured lending book. I live in Scaynes Hill and have one adult son who is an accountant. After my election I asked if I could become a Local Authority School Governor and was offered a number of school to which I could apply. I very much liked Handcross Primary School and, following a visit, submitted my application. Luckily for me I was accepted and now serve on the Finance Committee and the Children and Learning committee. While I have no previous experience of being a governor I hope I bring a wealth of other skills that will enable me to make a success of this role and serve the school to the best of my ability.’

Stephen Laing   Elaine Duarte   G Parker - Parent Governor
Stephen Laing
Co-Opted Governor

‘I was appointed a co-opted Governor for the school in July 2015, and am a member of the finance and premises subcommittees with particular oversight of health and safety. My back ground was originally in international insurance, and now I run a software company in Sussex working closely with school administrators in the field of asset registers, and accredited by the National Association of School Business Management. My interests include classical music, wine, wood working, travelling in Asia, and supporting Newcastle United Football Club. I moved to Cuckfield in 1988 and now live near Warninglid. It is very gratifying to be associated with Handcross and the high standard of care it provides to all children in the school.’

Elaine Duarte
Co-Opted Governor

‘When I retired from teaching I wanted to stay in touch with education in some way, so I found Handcross Primary through a volunteering website. I was delighted that the school co-opted me as a governor and am part of the Finance and Staffing as well as Children and Learning Committees. I have watched the school grow over the last eight years, and feel very proud of what they have achieved. Most of all I enjoy coming in to watch occasional lessons or to talk to some children.  My qualifications include an MA in Education and NPQH, I speak French and Spanish and am enjoying travelling and lifelong learning in my retirement.’

Gareth Parker
Parent Governor

‘My name is Gareth Parker and I am the father of Florence Parker in Caterpillars. I became a Parent Governor last academic year although I have been a teacher for 10 years and I am currently an Associate Headteacher for GLF Schools, a large Multi-Academy Trust based in the South East.  My job allows me a clear insight into the strategic planning needed to both maintain and drive forward to high standards in the primary sector. I have also been a Teacher Governor at previous schools and this combined with my experience as a senior leader in many primary schools allows me contribute to our governing body with a clear strategic vision. Whilst my experience as a teacher is important and clearly useful, my main motivation is to ensure that Handcross Primary School is a fantastic place for our children to go to each day. Nothing is more important to me than my daughter and I will continue to work hard to ensure that Handcross remains a safe, happy and supportive place where children who try their best are celebrated, where talent is nurtured and where life-long friendships are formed.’

Kevin Gordon        
Kevin Gordon
Parent Governor

'I was elected as a Parent Governor for the second time in December 2017. My son Joseph is in Kestrels and I was previously a governor from 2008 to 2012 when my older son Elliot first started at the school. I have lived in Pease Pottage for over 20 years and before that in Crawley for most of my life. I am married to Rachel, a psychiatric nurse. I am a trustee of Broadfield Community Centre and Broadfield Christian Fellowship and heavily involved in the running of both. I also volunteer with the Easter Team, which supports homeless and disadvantaged people in Crawley. Following my graduation from Loughborough University I worked in IT in London for many years and now have a small business specialising in website hosting and design and computer maintenance. I love music and enjoy singing and playing the guitar. I am keen to play a part in helping to maintain and improve standards at this excellent school.'

Co-opted Governor

Please contact the school if you are interested in this role.


Staff Governor - Mrs Charlotte Stone

Head Teacher - Mrs Sharon Bondonno

Clerk to the Governors - Mel Vallance


The main responsibility of the school’s Governing Body is to support and challenge the head teacher to improve the education of the children.

At Handcross, the Governing Body is composed of 10 people. They are:

The functions of the Governing Body are:

The Governing Body meets its statutory duties through a series of meetings and visits to the school. The formal meetings are of both the full Governing body,  which meets at least 4 times a year, once at the start of each school year and at the end of each term, and of the committees which also meet at least once per term. Governors are required to sign a Code of Conduct which sets out the expectations and duties required from Governors. An Annual Statement/Report is prepared each year summarising the previous academic years’s achievements.

Governor’s Details and Register of Interests (pro-forma): 

Instrument of Government

Committee Structure

Governor Statement/Annual Report 2017-18

You are welcome to contact our Chair of Governors, Dominic Moorhouse, via Mrs Mel Vallance our Clerk to Governors at the School:

The Governing Body of Handcross Primary School (Confidential)
FAO Dominic Moorhouse (Chair)
Handcross Primary School
London Road, Handcross
Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6HB
email: office@handcross.w-sussex.sch.uk
Tel: 01444 400291
Copyright © 2019 Handcross Primary School