The Board of TRUSTEES

The board of trustees meets formally three times a year and is chaired by Peter Midwinter. The Board is responsible for, and oversee, the management and administration of the Trust and the academies run by the Trust. The Board of Trustees is able to exercise all of the powers of Cavendish Education Trust and is responsible for its performance. 

Rita Skinner is Clerk to Trustees -


Peter Midwinter

Chair of Trustees

I am passionate about Cavendish School and its place within the Eastbourne community.  Having been a Deputy Headteacher at the school and until quite recently, living close to the school, I know both it and the community it serves well.

In 2018 I retired, after 40 years in education and I hope that I am able to draw upon my experiences, where appropriate, to ensure Cavendish Education Trust is able to make a difference to young people’s life chances both now and in the future.

Patrick Hole


I am an experienced corporate and business lawyer having served as a partner in private practice and held a number of senior in-house general counsel and company secretarial roles in industry. 

I trained with a leading City law firm and then went on to spend a considerable amount of time living and working in French, German and Spanish speaking jurisdictions before settling back in the Eastbourne area. My most recent role was Group General Counsel & Company Secretary of McCarthy & Stone, where I was an executive director with responsibility for all legal and company secretarial affairs relating to the group.

I have strong links with the local community coming from a family that has farmed in the area for a number of generations. I have a young son and am passionate about using my skills and experience to help improve educational outcomes for all children so that they can reach their full potential.   

Sarah Bailey 


I am Sarah Bailey, mother to 2 young children who keep me very active outside of my long-standing Education career. I’ve worked in and with schools for 20+ years including as an ex East Sussex Primary school Headteacher, Secondary school senior leader and special school-teacher. I have worked for the last 4.5 years as Head of service in inclusion and Access to education in Croydon Local Authority. Deeply passionate about raising standards for all in every school community, particularly in championing the needs of our most vulnerable and ensuring outstanding safeguarding. 

Tom Lawson

Tom Lawson


Tom is a lifelong teacher, first at Winchester College from 1998 until 2013, teaching A-level Economics and history, literature, arts and culture through the school’s non-examined humanities course.  From Winchester Tom and his wife Jessica moved to Christ’s Hospital school in Horsham where Tom was Deputy Head. He became Headmaster of Eastbourne College in 2016.

Tom is a governor of Marlborough House school and Willingdon Community School.  Previous roles include being on the board of a putative free school, Rivendale School Trust, an intern for the Small Business Committee of the US House of Representatives, researcher for the Social Market Foundation, Westminster, and for the Institute of Community Studies, Tower Hamlets where he conducted research which was the genesis for Tower Hamlet’s Summer University, now ‘Futureversity.’

Anne Challinor


Anne joined the MAT Board in September 2022 after retiring from her role as Executive Director at NHS Professionals after seventeen years. NHS Professionals is a wholly owned Department of Health organisation specialising in delivering workforce solutions to the NHS. Her experience covers change, transformation, growth and workforce initiatives in the ever changing and dynamic area of healthcare.  Anne is also a Non-Executive at CW Medicines a newly formed subsidiary company of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to develop and grow pharmacy service delivery across West London. Anne is delighted to bring her skills and experience to support the Cavendish MAT.

Tom Needham


Tom is a chartered certified accountant working in the local area. Tom grew up, went to school and attended college in Eastbourne.  His outside interests are his young family, motorcycles and keeping fit.  Tom is Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

Christopher Bean


Christopher is the Senior Partner of Janet Sinden & Co solicitors of Hastings and Hailsham.

Christopher studied Law at Southampton University before attending the College of Law in Guildford and qualified as a Solicitor in 1995. He went on to be a Partner at Hart Reade Solicitors and one of the Senior Partners at Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors. He acquired Janet Sinden & Co in 2022.

Christopher has been very involved in the local community, working with the Hospice, Dementia Action Alliance and local schools. He is a past President of the Eastbourne Law Society and member of the Hastings Law Society. He sat on the Executive Committee of the Law Society Property Section in Chancery Lane, London, and was a founding member of the Conveyancing Association. He also sat on the Land Registry Advisory Council and the Mortgage Fraud Forum.

Christopher is Chairman of the Let’s Do Business Group and a non-executive Director of the Hydro Hotel (Eastbourne) plc.

Peter Marchant

Executive Headteacher