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Our Staff

Senior Leadership Team


Miss Nicole Essex, Headteacher


It is truly a privilege to be the head teacher of The Meads Primary School. I believe that everything we do should be centred around the children who attend here and that they are the heart of the school. I have undertaken many different roles in my teaching career and worked in a variety of school settings across Sussex.

The school is a friendly and welcoming place to be, with pupils who work hard and staff who are committed to excellence for all pupils. We are very excited for the future of the school and aspire to become outstanding.

I try to be on the playground or Key Stage/Reception entrance as much as possible at the beginning and end of the day so please do come and say hello or speak to me if you need to.


Nicole Essex



Mrs Charlotte Brain, Assistant Headteacher



I have worked at The Meads Primary School since 2006, starting my career here as an Early Years teacher. During my time at The Meads, I have worked predominantly in Early Years and Key Stage One. I am the Maths Lead for the school and have covered the role of Inclusion Manager in the past. Having studied Modern Foreign Languages at Exeter University and worked in an International Sales role, I changed career and gained a PGCE from Brighton University. The Meads is a great place to teach and I look forward to continuing to deliver an exciting and inclusive curriculum for all children. Outside of school hours, I can often be spotted walking my dog in the beautiful Sussex countryside!


Mrs Stephanie Bowen, Assistant Headteacher


Following my childhood ambition, I began my teaching career twenty three years ago in a middle school in Crawley, teaching children across the whole age range and leading Physical Education. I spent my final two years at the school teaching year seven ensuring the children were well-prepared and confident for the next step of their learning journey at secondary school. In 2001, I joined The Meads, ready for a new challenge, which is where I have happily remained. I have taught across Key Stage Two and had the roles of Team Leader, Science Lead and now English Lead. It has been a pleasure to be a part of The Meads community for so long; I have enjoyed teaching the many children that have been in my class and meeting the families that have been through the school. My role, as Key Stage Two leader, allows me to work closely with our dedicated and enthusiastic teachers and experience all the successes of our amazing children. Outside of The Meads, I am a proud mum to a sixteen-year-old daughter and Bichon cross!


Mrs Emily Deadman, Inclusion Manager


I started working as Inclusion Manager at The Meads Primary School in September 2017. I really enjoy working with the children at The Meads and I am very proud of how inclusive our school is. I started my teaching career whist carrying out my first degree in Geography and French. As part of this I spent a year living in France, teaching English to French primary school pupils. I then completed a PGCE specialising in Modern Foreign Languages. Once qualified, I taught at a school in Crawley for 7 years. There I taught across a variety of year groups, mainly in Key Stage 2. I was also PE Coordinator and Phase Leader. Whilst there, I also completed a Masters Degree in Education, focussing my research on parental engagement and pupils with additional needs.


Miss Shelley Cootes, Business Manager


I am really excited to be working at The Meads Primary school as your new School Business Manager. I am    enjoying the community feel of the school and how the staff work as team. I have worked in a primary school in  Crawley and Ashington, so I do bring lots of experience with me. I am looking forward to working alongside the    team to make positive changes for the future of the school. Outside of school I am a mum to my son aged 19 and my daughter aged 15 and enjoy swimming regularly


Mrs Jessica Humphrey, English Lead


I have worked at The Meads Primary School since 2005 and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of the school community. Before my teaching degree, I went to Art College which is what led me to being The Arts Lead in school for a number of years. I am now the English Lead and I am passionate about providing an inspiring and creative curriculum for all children. During my time at the Meads, I have worked in all year groups across the school and have been responsible for leading Year Group and Key Stage teams.

When I am not teaching, I love being outside enjoying the fresh air with my daughter or on rainy days being in the kitchen baking and decorating cakes. 



Mrs Kate Bryant, Maths Lead


I decided that I wanted to work with children after spending a year in Italy as an Au Pair.  On returning to the UK, I studied English with History at St. Marys University College in Twickenham.  I then completed a PGCE in Primary Education, working at placements in Bexley and qualified as a teacher in July 2000.  

I worked in schools in the London boroughs of Sutton and Kingston-Upon-Thames, before moving to West Sussex when I got married.  I spent a number of years teaching in Crawley,and as a supply teacher in local schools and across the age groups.

I have been teaching at The Meads primary school since 2014.  I started in Reception class, and have since taught across key stage 2.  During this time I have also been the Librarian at the school, and for the last few years have been the lead for Physical Education.

I am the proud mummy to a 14 year old daughter who is starting her GCSE’s, and a 9 year old son.  In my spare time, I love to go for family walks with our Labrador.

Early Years Team

Year 1/2 Team

Year 3/4 Team

Year 5/6 Team

PPA Teaching and Higher Level Teaching Assistants

Administration and Premises Team