Meet our Governors

Who are the Holbrook Academy Governors?

We have sought out a broad range of experiences, skills and talents to create a governing body which we feel best supports Holbrook’s mission and vision.

Dina Bedwell 

Dina is a Community Governor and member of the Finance and Personnel Committee. She has two children who attended Holbrook Academy and two grown-up step-children. She worked as a Teacher at Ranelagh Primary, where she taught all the children that arrived into the school with English as an Additional Language and those with Special Educational Needs. For a number of years, Dina was also a Mentor for some of the children who were going through various forms of emotional difficulties or found social integration challenging. She has since moved into Local Government, and she is a CiLCA qualified Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer for the Shotley, Debenham and Brundish Parish Councils.

Originally from Madeira, Dina lived in Jersey for a number of years before moving to Shotley, where she has lived since 2001 with her family. Dina has a Degree in Teaching and a CPE (English Language and Literature) from the University of Cambridge. She is also Certified in Offshore Administration (Channel Islands), has post-graduate diplomas in Retail Management and Accountancy and is a member of the Society of Local Council Clerks.

Helen Butler

Helen is a parent governor and Chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee. She has two children who currently attend Holbrook Academy and one still at primary school. Prior to becoming a governor at Holbrook, she served as a governor at an outstanding primary school as Chair of Quality and Monitoring Committee.

Helen moved to Suffolk over 20 year ago from Manchester to start her career as a graduate with BT and loved the area so much that she settled here with her family.  Helen currently works for Openreach as a Business Transformation Manager, specialising in Technical Release Management, Change Control and Financial Management. Helen also has extensive experience in Business Change Management, Contention Management and Annual Financial Planning.

Helen has a degree in Geography and professional qualifications in Project and Programme Management. In her spare time Helen loves to read, socialise with friends and go to the beach


Helen Caston
Helen is a Community Governor. She lives in Woolverstone and has three daughters, all of whom attended Holbrook Academy. Helen has been a Primary School teacher for 25 years. She is currently the Special Educational Needs Coordinator and Deputy Headteacher at Handford Hall Primary School in Ipswich. Prior to this, Helen worked as a Parental Community Partnership Teacher in North London, supporting newly-arrived ethnic minority, refugee and asylum-seeking families to access the UK education system. Helen has considerable experience in the field of inclusion in education and regularly contributes to Local Authority training for teachers on the National SENCo Award. She also works with colleagues across the county through the ‘School to School’ support programme. Helen is a member of the National Association of Special Educational Needs and has an additional qualification in Autism Studies. She joined the Governing Body in January 2016.

Louise Cullen, Chair of Governors
Louise Cullen has three daughters, all of whom attended Holbrook Academy. Previously she served as a Community Governor at Chelmondiston Primary School for eight years, and was Chair of Governors during their Ofsted inspection in 2013 receiving ‘outstanding’ for governance. Prior to that she served for four years at Chair of Chelmondiston Playgroup, also awarded an outstanding rating from Ofsted during this time. Louise has considerable experience in senior management and communications as head of communications at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, and previously as head of communications at Ormiston and at the National Union of Students. Her current portfolio of work includes presenting the latest research assessing the impact of policies on education and social mobility to policy makers and opinion formers in the world of education. Louise is also an award-winning journalist and editor, and has written for many national publications including the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Independent. She was a commissioning editor at Marie Claire in the 1990s and still writes reviews in her spare time. Louise has a degree in History of Art and History from UCL. She is also a trustee of the Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust.

Dr Lucill Curtis 

Lucill has lived in Holbrook for more than 18 years and has a son at Holbrook Academy. She works as a lecturer in marketing, course director and associate director of admissions at Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia (UEA). Lucill has expertise in digital marketing, specifically social media management, within the B2B sector. She has several journal and conference publications and has written a book chapter focusing on business school strategy and social media management. Prior to working in academia, Lucill enjoyed a successful career in marketing communications, where she achieved seven awards relating to excellence in PR, marketing and management. Lucill has a degree in English Literature, post-graduate diplomas in journalism, PR and education, as well as an MBA with distinction. She has most recently completed a PhD in management studies (digital marketing) at the University of Essex. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a member of the Chartered Management Institute.

Lianne Nunn

Lianne lives in Holbrook and has two children, one attends the school and one will hopefully be joining soon. She is a Qualified Mental Health nurse with extensive experience working within children and young people and mental health services. Lianne’s current role is an Associate Director of Nursing for Children and young people, Mental Health, SEND and Learning Disabilities and Autism for Suffolk and North East Essex within the local NHS Clinical Commissioning group. She has completed a Masters degree in Healthcare leadership through Birmingham University and also completed her Nurse training through the University of Suffolk.  Lianne has a strong interest and passion for good emotional and mental health for children and young people.

Marek Pawlewski, Chair of Quality and Monitoring Committee/Vice Chair of Governors

Marek is the Holbrook Academy Link Governor for the local Primary Schools.  He has two sons, one at Holbrook Academy and the other, a former student from Holbrook Academy, now studying Medicine at Queen’s University, Belfast. Marek works as a Strategy Analyst for BT Group developing and implementing commercial mathematical models. Prior to working in Strategy, he worked in BT’s Research Department as a Principal Scientist. Marek has expertise in computerised speech recognition, biometrics, computer vision, statistical modelling and identity security. He has several journal and conference publications spanning a range of technology fields and is the registered inventor of nine patents. He has supervised numerous PhD students and has delivered guest lectures for MSc courses at UCL and The University of Kent. Prior to joining BT, Marek worked in the North Sea oil industry specialising in sub-sea navigation.  He holds degrees in Theoretical Physics, Offshore Engineering and Software Engineering.  In his spare time he enjoys sailing with his family.

Martin Slattery

Martin is a Community Governor. He is now retired after a professional career spanning some 40 years in teaching and education in schools and colleges in Liverpool, Essex & Suffolk, culminating in 11 years as Principal of Bilborough Sixth Form College in Nottingham and two years as Director of High Pavement SFC in the City centre. Martin knows Suffolk well as Director of the Federated Sixth Form in Felixstowe in the 1980s, and more recently as Strategy Manager for the County’s 14-19 programme in the period 2007 – 2010. This post involved developing the County’s 14-19 curriculum with its 35 secondary schools and 4 FE colleges and creating the two new post-16 institutions in Suffolk – Suffolk One in Ipswich and the Sixth Form college in Lowestoft – to raise attainment and aspiration across the county. Martin is married with two children, two step children and five grandchildren, one of whom attended Holbrook Academy. He is currently completing a substantive publication on Ageing in the 21st Century and travelling with his wife, (outside the school holidays) to such faraway places as Vietnam, Cambodia and, hopefully, South America.

Dan Thomas                                                                                                                       

Dan is originally from Capel St Mary, and moved to London to study (BA Graphic Design from Middlesex University) and start a career in graphic design; first with Getty Images, then for ten years as an Associate at Conran & Partners (Sir Terence Conran’s architecture and design practice). There he worked on branding for many projects including the opening of the Bluebird ‘gastrodrome’ in Chelsea; the re-opening of the Great Eastern Hotel, at Liverpool Street Station; Roppongi Hills development in Tokyo; and the launch of Uniqlo in the UK. He moved back to Suffolk, to Holbrook, in 2005 where he and his wife, Lisa, an art director, established their own graphic design studio, Come Hither Design, in 2008. Their extensive client list includes Nespresso, PizzaExpress, The Galley Woodbridge, and Ipswich’s SPILL festival of performance. Come Hither Design have also helped with the marketing of The Alton Water Run. They have two children, one of whom attends the Academy. When the children were at Holbrook Primary School, Dan was Chair of the school’s PSA for over three years where he built the infamous Gunge Gallows and hosted numerous pub quizzes to raise funds for the school. He and Lisa are both season ticket holders at Ipswich Town and in his spare time he enjoys building props and costumes for his children and playing Ultimate Frisbee at Holbrook Sports Centre on Thursday nights.


The Holbrook Academy Staff Representatives are:

Julie Crabtree, Andrew Clarke and Matt Le Marrec.