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Our Swale Family


Swale Academies Trust is one of the South East’s leading Multi Academy Trusts with six secondary schools and ten primary schools.  Having joined the Trust in September 2018, Shinewater Primary School considers itself fortunate to be part of such a thriving and innovative Trust who place pupils at the heart.

Swale Academies Trust spans across the regions of London, Kent and East Sussex.  The Trust has a strong track record in transformational school change as a result of its successful school improvement service and focus on the development of high quality leadership.


The Primary Improvement Team is a group of experienced Headteachers with proven track records in school improvement.  They work across Swale schools challenging, developing and supporting leaders to ensure our schools are safe, innovative centres of excellence where rapid progress is made and sustained.

The team is led by Mike Wilson, Director of Primary, who has considerable experience of working across local authorities as a Headteacher, School Improvement Partner and National Leader of Education.

Executive Headteacher Julie Prentice is responsible for primary improvement across all Eastbourne Swale Primaries.  She has extensive leadership experience as a Headteacher across contrasting ‘good’ and ‘outstanding schools.’ In addition, she worked as a Local Authority Teaching and Learning Consultant as well as an Improving Schools Consultant.  She has worked across East Sussex schools to provide support in Leadership Development, Subject Leadership Development, English, Mathematics, Science, Curriculum Design, Assessment, Quality First Teaching, Assessment for Learning, SEND and Pupil Premium. 

Claire Wood

Claire Wood

Karen Mirams

Karen Mirams

Michelle Aldred

Michelle Aldred

Jeannine Olivier

Jeannine Olivier

Louise Hopkins

Louise Hopkins

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson

Julie Prentice

Julie Prentice

Mr Mark Dawson, Computing Specialist Tea


Swale Academies Trust presently have four primary academies and two secondary schools in Eastbourne:  Langney Primary Academy, Shinewater Primary School, Parkland Infant School, Parkland Junior School, The Eastbourne Academy and Causeway School (soon to be the Turing Specialist Mathematics School). By being part of an Academy and working together - each school, every child and their family benefit from an enhanced range of provision, services and support.


The Swale ‘Family’ of Primaries is led by Executive Headteacher Julie Prentice.  The term ‘family’ is used because of the positive culture that has been developed where schools work collaboratively at all levels, providing support and challenge to each other.

Collaboration opportunities are facilitated at all levels including Heads, Deputy / Assistant Heads, SENCos, Pastoral Teams, Subject Leaders, Designated Safeguarding Leads, Attendance Teams, Office Managers and Site Teams.  Staff meet regularly to share good practice and develop their roles further. 
In addition, pupils work collaboratively across the schools at Scholars, subject and performance events.

There have been many successes to date across our Eastbourne primaries, some of which include:

  • improved end of key stage results across our schools resulting in Langney Primary Academy and Parkland Junior School being two of the top performing schools in Eastbourne (2019);

  • a refined approach  across our schools in the teaching of Maths Mastery, Reading and Writing;

  • working in partnership with our Swale secondary schools to develop a unique Scholars Programme for more able primary pupils across our schools who are on track to achieve a Greater Depth Standard at the end of Key Stage 2 and gain a Grade 7,8 or 9 at GCSE;

  • development of a rich and broad curriculum in each school which is bespoke to its local context;

  • heavy investment in Computing resulting in a Computing Specialist teacher and installation of a Computing Suite in each of our primary schools

  • improved attendance and behaviour;

  • development of strong inclusion systems and pastoral support teams;

  • enhanced physical health and well-being;

  • improved learning facilities. 

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"Together our Swale school leaders and teachers draw on each other's experiences, combine knowledge and formulate strategic approaches to ensure swift and  sustained school improvement.'

"Swale is a unique academy trust founded by experts in the field of education.  Through a supportive and consultative approach, schools make transformational change."

Mrs J Prentice

Executive Headteacher

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“Shinewater is a school where all children are valued.“

“Staff work hard to help every child reach their potential.”

Nicki Kaufman

Co Headteacher

Michelle Burbidge

Co Headteacher

Shinewater Primary School is a large school with pupils ranging from ages 2-11 years. It  joined the Academy Trust in September 2017 which has resulted in revolutionary change since. Shinewater Primary is known best for its rapidly improving standards, stunning learning environment, creative curriculum and inclusivity.  The exciting school curriculum places emphasis on the arts, computing and outdoors education.  

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“Langney Primary Academy is a school of choice.”


“Healthy living is fully promoted to support physical and mental well being.”

Mr B Bowles

Head of School

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Langney Primary Academy joined Swale Academies Trust in September 2018.  It is a large, popular and over-subscribed primary school with pupils ranging from ages 2-11 years.   

Langney is known best for being at the forefront of education, its creativity and high quality teaching in every subject. Its advanced Computing curriculum and investment in technology prepares its pupils for the ever-increasing digital world.  With more than 30 extra-curricular clubs on offer each week, the school helps children to discover and nurture their talents and interests.  There is a strong focus on the development of physical and mental health for all children, staff and families.



I have been the Lead Computing Teacher for Langney Primary School since 2014, and have nearly ten years of experience as an ICT coordinator prior to this.  During my time as a Lead Computing Teacher, I have focused on transforming the primary computing curriculum and the way in which digital technology can enhance teaching and learning.  I have championed using G Suite in Education, the use of one-to one tablets to enhance engagement and have provided training for staff across several schools in using digital tools.  The digital vision developed at Langney Primary has led to the school achieving both the ICT Mark Accreditation and the 360 E-Safety Mark Accreditation.   

With the skills and knowledge gained through my experiences, I have consulted on a number of digital projects to include digital resourcing, improving electronic safety, facilitating G Suite setups, promoting the capture of pupils' work in digital form and coaching staff on using digital tools. 

 I have embedded a bespoke Computing Curriculum in three primary schools from Reception to Year 6 and now oversee a team of Computing Teachers.  As part of my role I have run several Computing Scholars Days as well as organised and initiated a school hub-wide Digital Leader program for pupils.

To improve transition from KS2 to KS3, I am currently working on expanding our Computing curriculum to include Years 7 and 8. 


“Aim High, Work Hard, Dream Big! "

There is a deep and abiding respect between all members of the school community.”

Sally Simpson

Head of Schools

The Parkland Federation consists of Parkland Infant School and Parkland Junior School with pupils ranging from ages 4-11.  Jumping Beans Pre-School is a private nursery on the school site, and accommodates children from the age of 2 to 5 years old.

The Parkland Federation joined the Academy Trust in September 2017 which has resulted in Parkland Junior School becoming one of the most improved schools in the county.  The Federation is known best for its high expectations, creativity and focus on raising pupil aspirations.  Emphasis is placed on Global Citizenship and sporting  opportunities.

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Our schools work in partnership with each other to raise standards and operate more efficiently.  To do this, we have a number of outstanding practitioners who work with the Executive Headteacher to provide regular support across our Eastbourne Swale Primaries.  Not only does this method have a positive impact on school standards, but it also enables our school staff to flourish on their journey to becoming tomorrow’s school leaders.  

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My whole career has been as a teacher in primary education. I began my career as a class teacher at Junior Schools in Peacehaven and Brighton. During this time I was a year group leader in Upper Key Stage 2 and Mathematics Leader across the school. 

After returning from maternity leave in 2011, I was lucky enough to train as a Numbers Count Teacher. This meant I was given specialist training in how to teach Maths to children who needed to make accelerated progress to catch up with their peers. After moving to Eastbourne in 2016, I took on a new role as a Lead Maths Teacher in the local Education Improvement Parntership (EIP). This involved me working across a range of schools in Eastbourne and Hailsham to improve standards in Maths teaching and learning. 

I have worked for the Swale Academy Trust for the past 18 months. I work across the hub of Eastbourne schools providing training and support in Maths. I also work as the Year 6 Maths intervention teacher at Parkland Junior School.


I have been the Maths Lead at Langney since joining the school in 2014. Having loved my own experiences of learning Maths at both Primary and Secondary School, I was eager to take on the leadership of this subject to pass on my enthusiasm and ignite a lifelong love of Maths and problem solving in as many children as possible!

In 2017, I was given the incredible opportunity of deepening and developing my own knowledge and understanding of Maths by training as a Primary Maths Mastery Specialist with the NCETM. The year I spent receiving this training was invaluable and invigorated my own passion for helping children take their learning to a greater conceptual depth. Working alongside Maths Leads from across the country; participating in workshops led by Debbie Morgan CBE and actually seeing Maths mastery in action in a Camden Primary School, I couldn't wait to develop and then embed the teaching for mastery approach at Langney - which is exactly what I spent the following three years doing, with the help of the incredible Langney team. In more recent years, I have worked alongside the Maths Leads across our Eastbourne hub of Primary Schools, supporting them with their own Mastery journey. 

Now, in my new role as Assistant Head of School, I continue to work closely with many Primary Schools across the Swale Trust, supporting and helping the development of Maths Mastery. As I spend half of my week teaching in years 2 and 6, I am able to continue to reflect on my own Maths teaching, trial new initiatives and model this practice to colleagues from across the Trust. 


I have over-seen and managed the Pupil Premium for Langney Primary Academy since 2015.  Previously working as the Pupil Premium Lead in a large mixed secondary school in Crowborough, I have a wide range of experiences with disadvantaged children from 4 - 18 years old.  For the past 3 years I have also been running a working party for the South Downs Alliance focused on diminishing the difference and visiting local schools providing school-to-school support and conducting Pupil Premium Reviews.

I am now working across the Eastbourne SWALE schools focusing on each school's pupil premium strategies, supporting with data analysis and sharing ideas of current best practice initiatives that I have seen being used successfully in a range of other schools

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Having previously worked with several City-based banks and investment companies, I entered education in 2009. During those first two years, I worked with pupils with a diverse range of complex needs in special schools, colleges and a Pupil Referral Unit, gaining extremely valuable experience, whilst also completing a BA in English with The University of Greenwich. 

In early 2011, the teaching agency I worked for asked if I would spend three days working as a Teaching Assistant at South Borough Primary School, in Maidstone. I had initial reservations about taking-up this position, as my experience hitherto was with primarily with much older students and I was, at that stage, hoping to develop a career in secondary or further education. However, I was persuaded to take the job, and the rest is history…

I absolutely loved the school and was delighted when the Headteacher asked if I would stay longer. In fact, three days quickly turned into eight years! Once my degree was completed, I moved into a graduate teacher position (gaining QTS), and soon after, South Borough Primary became a member of Swale Academies Trust. I was given tremendous opportunities to develop my practice and provided with fantastic support, allowing me to progress, through various leadership roles, to the position of Trust Deputy Headteacher, still working at South Borough, but also with Westlands and Istead Rise Primary Schools.

More recently, I have spent six terms as Head of Westlands Primary School and Nursery, and am currently Trust Head of School, supporting Swale Academies Trust schools across Kent and East Sussex.

I believe myself very fortunate to have worked with skilled and supportive senior leaders within our trust, who have shown faith in me and allowed me to gain such a broad range of experience across many schools, developing my own skills and knowledge along the way. I work with many talented colleagues, whom I continue to learn from every day.

There are many transferable skills which those from outside of education can bring to the profession, I myself have found it useful draw on my previous experiences of problem solving, organisational planning and people management, as well as a long background of communicating with many different people from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds. I would encourage anybody thinking of a change of career direction consider the many opportunities teaching may offer them.  Moving into this profession was certainly the best move I could have made; teaching provides a limitless range of different experiences and offers many genuinely fulfilling moments. Swale Academies Trust have provided me with much opportunity and reward, and I would strongly recommend that anybody considering joining the profession to consider our Schools Direct Programme.


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