The Academy is part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust which is sponsored by the University of Brighton.

The trust’s Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the educational and financial performance of all of the academies in the trust; the trustees are the statutory governors of each academy and the company directors & charitable trustees of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

Further information about the University of Brighton Academies Trust’s governance arrangements, including its Board of Trustees, Scheme of Delegation, Articles of Association and Funding Agreement, are available on the trust’s website.

A series of committees, including a Local Board for each academy (or group of academies), supports the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its responsibilities.

The Local Board

Local Board members are volunteers representing different aspects of the academy community including parents/carers, staff and local people. The members contribute to the academy’s vision and future strategy, ensuring they complement the trust’s vision and values. They are responsible for keeping the academy at the heart of the community, maintaining strong community links and effective communication with all stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees. Local Board members ensure the celebration of staff, pupils and parents and carers is a priority to the academy. They are also responsible for monitoring pupil wellbeing, admissions, complaints and concerns.

Local Board members can be contacted through email at or in writing c/o the Academy. Local Board meeting minutes are available on request.

Our Local Board

Five co-opted members nominated by the Local Board Andrew Gent - Co-Chair & Safeguarding Link member
Lisa Downs - Co-Chair & SEN and LAC Link member
Bruce Muirhead
Sanjit Saraw
Two parent representatives, elected by the parents of the Academy Diane Garner
Sarah Morris
One staff representative elected by the staff of the Academy Jo Chapman-Cohen
Executive Principal Caroline Thayre
Clerk to the Local Board, UoBAT Trust Clerk Caroline Spender
Bruce Muirhead

I have lived in CRAWLEY since 2006 and joined Pound Hill Infant School as a Parent governor when my son started in early years. I have been a parent governor, link governor, vice chair and chair. It has been great to have worked with and continue to work with a great team in an outstanding school.

Andrew Gent - Co-Chair of the Local Board

A hello to all parents, pupils and supporters of Pound Hill Infants Academy. I am so pleased to have been accepted onto the Local Board for Pound Hill Infant Academy and hope that I can lend my experience to Caroline and the academy as a whole.

I am currently the owner of a local business specialising in workplace investigations, alternative dispute resolution, complaints management and HR services. I spend nearly 40 years in public sector industries, many of which were as a senior police officer in a variety of roles.

I was fortunate to serve as Parent / Governor between 1997 and 2003 at the local primary attended by both of my children. I am proud that during this time the school achieved national recognition for progress in its educational standards and completed a build project for an IT wing. I was able to assist the school with business planning and the introduction of new pay arrangements for staff. I sat on various committees including exclusion, discipline and pupil enrolment.

In relation to my interests, I am a RFU qualified coach and referee, scuba diver, a member of the British Society of Underwater Photographers and an advanced motorcyclist.

I look forward to adding my skills and experience to the team of Local Board members and Staff to assist the academy in maintaining its outstanding rating and continue to develop its reputation as an establishment that has the formative years education and life skills of its pupils at the very heart of its ethos and values.

Lisa Downs - Co-Chair of the Local Board

I live in Pound Hill with my husband and son. In 2017 I set up my own business so that I could have the flexibility I needed to be able to be more around for my son when he started school. As my son has recently started at PHIA, and I wanted to become more involved in the local community, I decided to join the Local Board in 2018. Understanding more about the education and academy environments has been an interesting and enjoyable learning curve so far – and I’m sure it will continue!! If anyone would like to know more about the Local Board, please feel free to grab me at the school gates.

Sanjit Saraw

I am a mother of three children - one soon to leave PHIA, one happily attending and another soon to start. As Treasure for FRIENDS and a parent, my interest in joining the Local Board was to be able to remain involved in assisting education and wellbeing. Professionally, I am a Forensic Psychologist and my work often involves working with children and their best interests both in terms of safeguarding and treatment/rehabilitation towards happier lives.

Sarah Morris

Diane Garner

Jo Chapman-Cohen

I have been working at PHIA for 2 years and love being part of the academy and watching it grow. In my role I see various different aspects into school life and learn how things work in each area. Being part of the Local Board gives me another opportunity to help further develop the school and learn about how others view our school including our external board members and our parents. Having worked in Corporate Finance for a number of years and now having one of my daughter’s also attending PHIA I am more passionate than ever to use my key skills within the Academy and the Local Board.