Senior Staff

“Better never stops.”

Sir Clive Woodward, England’s Rugby World Cup winning coach


Executive Headteacher

Mr Neil Small

As Executive Headteacher I support Sophie Gosden and the wider team at The Mill in helping steer the direction towards continual improvement. I am passionate about what we do and why we do it. The children we have at the Mill are capable of so many things and I have the overall responsibility to make sure every one of them achieves all that they want and hopefully achieve above and beyond what they thought they could do! I came to teaching after studying Law at University in London and have worked in various jobs before turning to teaching. I have worked in Barclays bank; as a cleaner in IBM; in advertising for a publishing company; as a waiter at TGI Fridays and even for a short stint as a chef, among other things. I have worked in Eastbourne, Brighton and Hastings in my teaching career so far. In my role for TKAT I visit other schools in the Academy chain to support and challenge (hopefully in equal measure). That complements my occasional inspecting for Ofsted and I feel very lucky to have a role where I can see so many schools in action (bringing all the best ideas back in to action at the Mill) helping us towards becoming a centre of good practice for education.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Gail Devers, a three-time Olympic champion in track-and-field



Mrs Sophie Gosden

“Inclusive education is really about fostering an education system that is accessible to children of all ability levels and embraces the participation of the whole community in the education process.”

Nathaniel Stewart, Peace Corps Volunteer



Ms Julie Whitington

I am very pleased to be part of the thriving, active and dedicated team at the Mill Primary. I have had lots of different roles in education – teaching in Adult, Secondary and Primary education.  My background is in EAL (English as an Additional  Language) , EFL (English as a Foreign Language), and SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities).   I have been  lucky enough to spend time living – both teaching and learning,  in Canada, Italy and the UK. I have  a PGCE in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) , and a Masters in French/Italian as well as in Applied Linguistics.
” If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original”

Sir Ken Robinson

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

Albert Einstein, scientist


Senior Teacher

Mr Chris Clarke

Working in schools for the past 16 years, I have been fortunate to have gained experience working with children from Year 1 to Post 16 –  qualifying as a secondary teacher in 2001, and transferring to primary in 2009.  My background experiences also cover a range of leadership posts in secondary and primary, which includes becoming a qualified SENCo.  This array of experience allows me to see the ‘Big Picture’ of your child’s education, so that I can advise, equip and support each individual to be prepared for life after primary.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

JPFH151075Business Manager

Mrs Chris Lane

 Following a break to be a full time Mum, I started working in education as a Midday Meals Supervisor in 1995. During the last 20 years I have seen many changes since I joined Ifield First School working in a number of different roles.  These include Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant, full time Teaching Assistant, Office Administrator and my current role as School Business Manager after gaining my Certificate of School Business Management Qualification. Being a School Business Manager is a challenging, varied role that I find very rewarding. I am proud to be part of The Mill at this exciting time of renovations and improvements. The school is going from strength to strength.
Teaching Staff

“If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it”

Francess Hodgson Burnett – Author


Mrs Clio Jones

“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.”

Agatha Christie



Miss Stephanie Parkinson

I grew up and went to school in Bradford, West Yorkshire, and was inspired to become a teacher by those who supported me throughout my education. I then completed a degree in Early Years and Education Studies in Leeds, which further enhanced my motivation to teach. Following graduation, I worked in a nursery which allowed me to develop my understanding of the EYFS and enabled me to reflect on the knowledge gained at university. Having just completed a PGCE 3-7 years at Brighton University, I am excited to be part of The Mill community. I want to support and inspire all pupils, ensuring that they enjoy their own individual learning journeys. When I’m not in school I enjoy reading, cooking or snuggling up on the sofa to watch a Disney film!



“Just to go out there and give it a go. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re capable of until you do it and realise it for yourself.”

Gordon Reid – Para-Olympian


Senior Teacher

Year 2 Lead

Mrs Cheryl Walsh

I grew up in South East London and this is where that my teaching career started. After four years of teaching there I relocated to Crawley and started to teach in West Sussex. I have been teaching for over eleven years now and have taught all year groups from reception to year six. I believe every child can achieve and love helping them towards their next step. I hope to teach each child to be resilient and to have the courage to try new challenges.

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

BB King – Musician


Teacher & RWI Lead

Miss Grace Dearle

I have always wanted to become a primary teacher so I decided to study for three years at Kingston University where I received a BA Honours in Primary Education. I have worked with many different year groups but I have spent the most time in key stage one. This will be my first year as a qualified teacher at The Mill and I feel incredibly lucky to be working at such an amazing school with such lovely children, parents and staff. I want the children in my class to come into school with a big smile on their face every day knowing that they will have a wonderful day full of learning and fun at the same time.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Author



Miss Abbie Stiller

When I was younger, I always wanted to make a difference to society so that I am remembered as some that made an impact. Making an impact on children’s lives quickly became the most important way to do that. I was born and raised in Crawley, but I have spent the last 4 years living in various places in Hampshire, completing my degree in Primary Education at Winchester. My love of music and socialising will make my classroom a very lively place to be!
 “Dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them”

Josie Bissett, American Actress



Miss Nicky Jones

My first steps into teaching began in Thailand where I taught adults and children English.   After an incredible year of experiencing life in a totally different culture I decided to become a Primary school teacher studying at the UEA in Norwich. I’ve been a teacher at The Mill since 2013 and have learnt so much from all the children I have taught. For every child that I teach I hope that I provide them with the skills to become confident, independent and enthusiastic learners who strive hard to challenge themselves to be the best that they can be!
“Teachers who love teaching, teach children who love learning”

Robert John Meehan – Art Director and Production Designer


Teacher & Maths Mastery lead

Miss Sam Slydel

I went to a primary school in Brighton and was inspired to be a teacher from a young age. I loved the thought of learning and being able to have fun at the same time. I went on to take an Early Childhood Studies degree in Staffordshire and then completed my PGCE at Chichester University. I have experience in both key stages and chose to work in key stage one. It is my first year at the Mill Primary Academy and I am teaching in Year 2. I particularly enjoy teaching art and music as I feel very passionate about these subjects. My aim in teaching is to ensure that children gain a love of learning through a fun and engaging atmosphere. I am a massive Disney fan and have been to Disneyland in America four times.

“Feed the fire in students’ minds and a love of learning will burn in them forever.”

Author unknown


Senior Teacher

Reading Lead

Miss Laura Brady

I completed my teaching degree at the University of Chester and after graduating I moved back home to Stafford which is in the middle of England. I taught year 3 for 2 years and then decided to make the move down South! I am really enjoying my time so far at The Mill and get excited about coming to work in the morning! I love the arts and like to bring this love into my teaching.  In my spare time I love being active, playing tennis and going for runs. I also love to travel and experience different cultures around the world.



“Winners never quit and quitters never win”

Vince Lombardi



Mr Matt Eagle

Ever since leaving school I have always worked with children. Starting off as a children’s football coach until I joined The Mill initially as a sports teaching assistant. I have completed my training and am now pleased to say I am a fully qualified teacher. I have taught in every year group from Reception-Year 6 and enjoy working with children of all ages. I have a huge passion for developing children’s love for learning. Outside of work I am a big sports fan and a Liverpool FC supporter.

“The problem is not the problem: the problem is your attitude to the problem”

Captain Jack Sparrow


Mrs Victoria Tso

Whilst studying my first degree in Archaeology and forensic science at the university of Exeter I was nominated to take part in a leadership in schools scheme. The scheme gave me lots of time in primary schools in Somerset and inspired me to train as a teacher. I achieved my PGCE in Exeter and then moved to Bournemouth where I taught in Year 3 and Year 5 respectively. I also found a passion for supporting new teacher as they entered the profession and undertook training to be an Newly Qualified Teacher mentor. My passion for innovative and research led teaching led me to apply to the Mill Primary when my husband and I moved to West Sussex. I am excited to be a part of the team and continue to support new teachers at the Mill.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

C S Lewis



“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it”

Michael Jordan, American basketball player


Senior Teacher

Mr Laurence Holmes

Growing up I was always involved in some kind of coaching or teaching. I could often be found learning on the riverbank, the golf course or cutting my mums tray labels!  The reason…two over exuberant teaching parents! Both my mum and dad were teachers – Dad taught P.E. and Mum was a primary teacher. So I think it was probably inevitable that I’d end up in a classroom. However my first classrooms were the sports fields as once I graduated, I spent over a decade coaching and teaching P.E. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and teach in many places and have even met some famous faces along the way! I’ve also worked in both mainstream and special schools as well as secondary. All these experiences have been invaluable in developing a sound pedagogy and desire to want to make a difference.  I hear you asking though, what brought me to the Mill! My family and I relocated to Crawley and The Mill was the perfect fit! I hope to grow with the school and impact on the learning of all those I teach.

“Dream, believe, aspire, achieve.”

Mark DIxon – Entrepreneur



Mr Matt Malone

I live in Horsham with my wife and two boys and enjoy reading, running and getting outside as much as possible. I began my journey into education as a teaching assistant at a Special Needs school in Sussex. Discovering a love of teaching I decided to pursue a degree in Primary Education  at Roehampton University. Since Graduating in 2014 I have taught Reception for two years in Epsom and have most recently moved from a role teaching Special Needs which allowed me experience with a wide range of age and ability. I believe very strongly that the classroom is a place where children should feel safe to explore the boundaries of what they know, and that children should feel as confident asking questions as they do answering them.

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of becoming.”





Higher Ability lead

Mr Andy Fenton

Though born in Sussex, I grew up in Staffordshire. After leaving school, I completed a degree in Mathematics at the University of Leicester. Following a spell as a teaching assistant, I then did a PGCE at the University of Wolverhampton, moving after a year of teaching to a school in Basildon, Essex, where I was Maths Leader for over a decade. Sussex proved to be a magnet, though, and I joined the Mill as Maths Leader in 2008. This year I shall be taking charge of providing for our Gifted and Talented children, as well as helping our Year 6 children to achieve as highly as possible and prepare them for the next stage in their education. Out of school, I enjoy exploring historic buildings and the peace and quiet of the countryside.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

Nelson Mandela


Forest school & PPA Cover Teacher
Mrs Sarah Webb

I was born and raised in Sussex, and despite a decade away that involved a degree from UEA, living in Australia and then teaching in London, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to come back and have been delighted to have been working at the Mill for nearly 6 years now. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. For me teaching is all about inspiring children to develop a love of learning.  Outside of work I enjoy spending time outside in the forests next to our house with my family, and trying new Great British Bake off-inspired recipes.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela



Pupil Champion

Mrs Emma Gordon

Hello, my name is Emma Gordon and I joined The Mill Primary Academy in September 2015. I have been teaching both full and part time for the last 18 years at a Primary School in East Sussex, as a Key Stage 2 class teacher. For the last 5 years, I have been in a successful job share in Year 3. I have also taught as a music teacher at a Private school called Great Walstead, in West Sussex. Music is one of my passions and I thoroughly enjoy teaching classroom music to all children. It makes me smile to watch the children shine and come alive during these lessons. I love to sing. I have led many singing assemblies, choirs and school productions, which I do with much enthusiasm. I have now moved out of the classroom and have a new role as EAL co-ordinator (for those students and families who have English as an Additional Language) at The Mill.

“Whoever wants to understand much must play much.”

Gottfried Benn, German poet



Mrs Laura Dawson

I grew up and went to school in Singapore before completing my first degree in Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia. After graduating I began working in a nursery and then moved on to Southgate Children and Family Centre, this sparked my passion for working with children and their families and led me to complete my PGCE at Brighton University. This really has been the best decision I have ever made as I cannot think of any other job that gives as much job satisfaction. Especially when you see the look of pride on a child’s face that has just read or written their first words by themselves! In my spare time and at the weekends I provide respite care for a girl with autism who loves to swim. When I am not in the pool I love going on long walks with my husband in the beautiful Sussex country side or curling up with a good book.

“Everyday you, we’ve got to do something physical. It’s mind, body and soul.”

Ray Lewis

Office Team  


Premises Team alex-2016  hugo-2016

Mr Alex Chalmers      Mr Hugo L’Eveque

Premises Manager