Robertsbridge Community College

Interim Executive Board

Introduction to Governance at the College

Governance at the school is being provided by an Interim Executive Board (IEB). The IEB took up its duties on the 22 November 2023 and more information will be provided shortly, including arrangements for meeting the IEB. The letter sent to all parents and carers can be downloaded below. Email contact details for the Chair (Stephen Long) and  Jessica Stubbings (covering the role of Chair during January 2024) can be found in their entries below.

About our IEB members

Stephen Long - Chair 


Stephen has worked in education for the last 35 years, he qualified as a teacher of art and design in 1988 and since then his career has included working in the secondary sector in London and the south-east, as a senior lecturer in a university school of education and as a Senior HMI with Ofsted.  In 2018 Stephen was appointed as Assistant Regional Director for Ofsted, taking responsibility for the operational delivery of all school, early years, social care and post-16 inspections in the south-east of England. Since retiring in 2023 Stephen carries out inspection work as a contracted Ofsted Inspector, alongside a range of consultancy and voluntary work connected with education. 

Paul Ferrie 

Paul gained a degree in Maths and Philosophy at Exeter then undertook a PGCE at King's College London and has taught maths for the past 36 years in schools in London. He has also been involved in Senior Leadership for over 20 years, including 5 years as a Head. In his final role, his school was a founder member of a small MAT (initially 2 and then 3 schools) and he also oversaw  all operational aspects of the school. including the site, IT, HR, Health and Safety and Risk, alongside line management of two core department areas.

Paul retired in August 2022 and relocated to East Sussex where he is currently working as a volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust (walking dogs for elderly or ill people) and the Guide Dogs, playing tennis and exploring new surroundings alongside Gertie the cockapoo.

Anna Lawrence 

Anna is an experienced and successful educational leader. With a career spanning almost three decades, Anna has dedicated herself to raising standards in non-selective secondary schools within areas of high disadvantage. She has a proven track record in school leadership, curriculum development, and safeguarding. Her work is driven by a commitment to inclusivity, quality education, and the holistic development of both students and staff. Anna has also been a HMI with Ofsted, undertaking inspections across the South East.

Jessica Stubbings (Head of Education: Participation and Planning at East Sussex County Council)


Jessica has been a senior manager within the school improvement service at East Sussex County Council for the last 15 years, over this time her role has included: the implementation of the Raising of the Participation Age, leading and managing Governor Services and lead responsibility for school organisation. 

Jessica was a member of the Hastings Opportunity Area Board between 2017 – 2021, a Department for Education funded programme to deliver improvements in educational outcomes and is currently a member of the Priority Education Investment Area Board in Hastings.

Janet Bowen (Lead Human Resources Consultant - Schools at East Sussex County Council) - Associate Member

Janet has worked with governing bodies, school leaders and senior Children’s Services representatives to support personnel management across the schools’ workforce in East Sussex since 1995. Janet is member of the Human Resources and Organisational Development Advisory management team for East Sussex County Council and has extensive experience in employee relations, managing change, TUPE, recruitment and managing complex HR issues. Janet is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development (MCIPD).

Claire Cotter (Schools Finance Team Lead at East Sussex County Council) - Associate Member 

Claire is a Principal Finance Officer with experience of working within local authority-maintained schools as a business manager since 2001. Claire now works within the Schools Finance contact team supporting schools and governors with their finance systems and finance information. Claire has previous experience of being an Associate Member of an IEB.

Clerk to IEB

Gaynor Newnham


Link Governor Roles

Health & Safety: Stephen Long

GDPR: Jessica Stubbings

Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing (staff): Paul Ferrie

Safeguarding: Stephen Long

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND): Anna Lawrence 

Barry Blakelock - Aquinas CE Education Trust - Education Director  

Barry Blakelock is a qualified teacher, holds a master's degree in education leadership and management as well as the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL). Barry has extensive leadership experience across both primary and secondary phases. He is currently an Education Director for a multi-academy trust in the Southeast of England and an Ofsted Inspector. Barry has served as headteacher in primary, secondary and studio schools developing expertise in school improvement and leadership in challenging contexts.