South Downs Learning Trust

South Downs Learning Trust is a multi-academy trust formed by Ratton School and Ocklynge Junior School.


Ratton School joined with Ocklynge Junior School on the 1st of December 2017 to form the South Downs Learning Trust. The aim of our trust is to provide an outstanding educational experience for all students in both schools.

Our schools have been working closely together for some time and our students have already benefitted from this collaboration and local partnership. We believe that there are a significant range of benefits for our schools including:

  • Extending learning opportunities and activities for students. 
  • Enriching the curriculum through partnership and shared resources.
  • Enabling the sharing of excellent practice in teaching and learning.
  • Enhancing the professional development of teaching and support staff.
  • Securing cost and resource efficiencies through joint commissioning of services.

We want both schools to retain their own unique identity and work closely together to support the learning of everyone in the Trust community. This, in turn, will help develop a sustainable and exciting educational experience that places our students at the centre of what we do.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more.

Paul Murphy

Executive Headteacher


SDLT Members & Trustees

Mr. P Murphy

Executive Headteacher

Paul has a strong successful track record of providing strategic leadership and management in a wide range of educational settings. This includes working for a number of Local Authorities as a Senior School Improvement Advisor. Most recently, at New Line Learning Academy, the progress made was significant, recognised most recently by Ofsted, achieving a ‘Good’ judgement for the first time in its twenty-year history. Paul has been an Ofsted Inspector since 2010, inspecting both primary and secondary phases. More recently, obtained the National Qualification certified by the Association of School Improvement Advisors.

Mrs. C Bradbrook

Trustee and Community Governor

Trustee Board and Chair of RLGC

I am a retired company director whose career spanned 35 years working across various sectors of the leisure industry. I have two grown up sons who both attended Ratton school and it was during their time here that my governance journey began as a parent governor eventually leading to the role of Chair of Governors. Now a Trustee of South Downs Learning Trust and Chair of the Ratton Local Governing Committee, I have a particular responsibility for supporting the strategies, policies and culture of safeguarding across our schools. I passionately believe that all our children and young people deserve a quality educational experience in a safe and nurturing environment with all the support and encouragement needed to help each and every one of them realise their full potential.

Mr. P Lindsey



Peter is a journalist by trade, having edited the Herald and other local papers for more than 20 years. He now jointly manages Ignite PR and Engagement and the Bournefree magazine and news website. Peter is also a soccer referee and Observer and is an active Rotarian. He joined the governing body of Ratton back in 2005 and was chair of governors for several years before becoming chair of the Board of Trustees when the Multi Academy Trust was created.

Mrs. A Wardle


Trustee Board

I am proud to be a trustee of SDLT since 2017 and Chair of Governors at Ocklynge from 2018. I started my teaching career in Coventry and worked in schools in the city until our move to Eastbourne in 1991. I took up a teaching post at Ratton School, where I worked until my retirement as Deputy Head teacher in 2014. I was co-opted as a governor in 2013 and chaired the Wellbeing committee at Ratton School until the MAT was formed and I became a Trustee of SDLT. I live in Eastbourne and I have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren all in primary school in Cornwall and Hertfordshire. I am passionate about education and the transformative role it can play in the lives of our children and young people. I am committed to supporting SDLT and Ocklynge in providing the best opportunities and in achieving the best possible outcomes for all its children and young people.

Mr. C Warner




My governorship journey began in 2014 when Alexandra, my eldest, joined Ratton and I stood to be a parent governor. I hope as well as being a parent that I bring a commercial perspective to the trust as a local business owner/manager – I run my family business in Lewes; we manufacture and pack across the cosmetics, food and pharmaceuticals sectors. My two sons, Finn and Ted, are now at Ratton and all three children went through Ocklynge.

Mr. M Cross


My role as a Trust member is to help oversee the governance of the trust. My background is in finance/banking from which I retired in 2016. I spent the final 20 years in Commercial Banking management dealing with many different types of business which, in turn, gave me a good understanding of the ways in which organisations can operate successfully. Away from work I have also been involved in a number of different voluntary organisations, most notably Rotary. My family has lived in Eastbourne since 1988; we love it and have no plans to leave!

Mrs. R Conroy


Trustee Board & Chair of SDLT

Rebecca has worked in Education for over 25 years in Schools, Universities and latterly in Further Education. She is an accomplished and values-led leader who has had a broad and extensive portfolio ranging from driving curriculum improvements and developments, marketing, and recruitment, commercial, Higher Education and work-based learning. Her passion is in supporting young people and adults with barriers and challenges to engage, build confidence and appreciate their unique abilities and contributions. Rebecca graduated with a BA Hons in History from Sussex University in 1999 and in 2018 achieved a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Brighton University.

Mr. Alex White


Trustee Board & Vice Chair of Trustees


Interim Chair of OLGC


Audit & Risk Committee member

I have worked in sport, education and community development for 15 years and currently work for the Premier League Charitable Fund where I oversee the charity’s governance arrangements and quality assurance of our national school and community programmes. My key areas of responsibility include safeguarding; equality, diversity and inclusion; risk management; and data protection. I am also Chair of Trustees for Street Child United, an international children’s rights charity, and a Trustee of Active Sussex, who are responsible for increasing sport and physical activity participation across the county. As a local resident and parent, I am committed to supporting Ratton School and Ocklynge Junior School to achieve the best learning outcomes for all children.