An independent board oversees the Hastings Opportunity Area. It brings together talented and committed senior leaders from schools, communities, business and central and local government. These individuals bring experience, insight, and ambition for Hastings and its young people.

Our Chair


Richard Meddings – independent chair

Richard serves on the boards of TSB Bank, Deutsche Bank and Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc. He is a non-executive director of HM Treasury and a trustee at Teach First. From 2002–2014 Richard was a group executive director at Standard Chartered plc and group finance director for 8years. He is an associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has a degree in Modern History from Exeter College, Oxford.

Partnership board members

Carole Dixon: chief executive, Education Futures Trust, a charity working to transform opportunities for students and families in Hastings

Dan Shelley: vice principal, East Sussex College Group

Graham Peters: deputy lieutenant, chair of Team East Sussex and vice-chair of South East Local Enterprise Partnership

Jessica Stubbings: senior manager, Partnerships and Governance, East Sussex County Council

John Smith: head of School of Education, University of Brighton and chief executive, University of Brighton Academies Trust

Kay Tinsley: principal, The St Leonards Academy

Lorraine Clarke: regional director, Ark academies trust

Maria Ludkin: legal director, GMB

Paul Hetherington: CEO, Marshall-Tufflex Ltd

Paul Lewis: Director of Government Relations, The Careers & Enterprise Company

Richard Preece: executive headteacher / CEO, Torfield & Saxon Mount Academy Trust

Richard Watson: Health Inequalities Programme Manager, NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group

Victoria Conheady: Assistant Director, regeneration and culture, Hastings Borough Council

The meetings are also attended by the Dominic Herrington, regional schools commissioner for South-East England and South London, Theodora Brady,  from the Department for Education, and Helen Kay programme director, who provide advice and support to the partnership board.


DfE Head of Delivery – Theodora Brady

DfE Delivery lead – Emma Shaw

Programme Director – Helen Kay

Enrichment Manager – Emile Tambeh

Enrichment Manager – Ian Gillespie

Mental Health & Attendance Project Manager – Laura Beerling

Project officer – Laura Starkin


You can view the outcomes and action points of recent board meetings here in the documents below: