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Westcountry Schools Trust

Westcountry Schools Trust

Westcountry Schools Trust




Iain Grafton 

Iain Grafton (MBE) is the Chair of Westcountry Schools Trust.

Iain retired as Detective Superintendent in the Police Force after completing thirty years' service. He is now the director of a company providing leadership and governance training and support services to schools, colleges and local academies.

Iain brings an extensive experience, developed over twenty years as a governor in educational institutions, at both primary and secondary levels.  Iain brings a detailed understanding of the responsibilities of governance at both school and multi academy trust levels, and he is accredited by the Department for Education as a National Leader of Governance.

Pecuniary interests - Managing Director Foveo Consultancy Ltd

 Simon Scott

Simon Scott is a Trustee and Chair Stowford School Local Governing Board, he has been a governor since 2016.  As a father of four, all in local education, he has a vested interest in the future of the Trust and its development of children.

With a background in retail management and leadership, Simon's current role within Co-op links in well with its values, ethical strategy and community based work.  He has a strong interest in ensuring decisions are made based on the future learning and development with the development of children in mind.

Pecuniary Interests - None

Mike Saltern

Michael Saltern is a Trustee at Ivybridge Community College also Chair of the HR Committee.

Michael served as a Higher Executive Officer in the MOD and has now retired from the Civil Service. He has been a District Councillor for 18 years and held major portfolios on the Council’s Executive. Michael is currently chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel. Michael has been a Director and Chair within the DCH Group. He is currently an advisor to the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Michael brings a wealth of strategic leadership and governance experience from the public and private sector.

Pecuniary interests - South Hams Councillor and advisor to the Police Crime Commissioner.

Carl Atkinson

Carl Atkinson is both a Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee.  Carl is a practising holistic independent financial planner and has operated since 1988.  He is Director of a limited company providing financial advice to private and corporate clientele together with Trusts and Charities. 

Carl brings a wealth of experience in governance having initially been Chair of the Finance Committee for Hele's School for seven years followed by then Chairing the Local Governing Board since 2010 which is continuing.  Carl also Chairs the Finance Committee for WeST.  Carls' knowledge and experience in governance is complimented with his strategic leadership and financial acumen within the private sector.





Pecuniary interests - Director Millfield (SW) Plymouth - no business dealings with WeST

Andrew Flay

Andrew Flay is both a Trustee and Chair of the Community Governing Board at Yealmpton Primary.

Andrew has been a School Governor for the past five years.  He currently has three sons at Ivybridge Community College, two of whom had attended Yealmpton Primary School.

Andrew has over 25 years' experience in Finance and is currently working for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs as a Senior Accountant, so uses this experience in supporting the WeST Board and Finance Committee with strategic decisions looking for the maximum benefit to all schools within the Trust.


Pecuniary interests- none

Pam Tuckett

Pam Tuckett is a Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee

Pam started her career as an accountant at a ‘Big 4” accountancy firm (Plymouth), before joining Bishop Fleming in 2001. She is a key member of the firm’s specialist team serving charities and not-for-profit organisations, many of whom are education clients (not IAT).

Pam is committed to effective and autonomous local governance. Her extensive experience in advising boards of governance matters and providing governor training ensures they are kept up to date on relevant topics.


Pecuniary interests: Bishop Fleming Investments Ltd - Equity Partner

Rebecca Wood

Rebecca Wood is a Trustee and Chair of Governors and Woodlands Park Primary School.  Rebecca is a qualified solicitor with expertise in advocacy, drafting legal documentation and communicating with a variety of third parties.  She has joined the Trust with ambitions to ensure that every child within the Trust matters.  Having children in education at Woodlands Park Primary School, Rebecca has a vested interest in the future of the Trust.

Pecuniary interests - none                                                                                                       

Anne Newall


Anne Newall is a Trustee and Chair of Governors of Oreston Primary School.  Anne has extensive experience of working in education, as a Teacher, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher in Plymouth schools, and throughout her teaching career was committed to improving the educational experiences of children and young people.  Anne trained as an Ofsted Inspector in 2007 and was seconded to Ofsted for a year from 2008-09.  Subsequently, she continued to inspect schools across the Southwest whilst working as a Headteacher in a local school.  Upon retiring from Headship in July 2012, Anne continued to work as a Lead inspector for Ofsted until July 2015, when personal commitments and a desire to spend more time travelling led to complete retirement.  However, she maintains a strong interest in ensuring that our schools provide children and young people with the best possible opportunities.

Pecuniary interests - none

Cath Farrin

Cath Farrin is a Trustee and Chair of the Governing Board for Sherford Vale School.

Cath has been involved in school governance for over 10 years with experience of being Chair at both a primary and secondary school. 

Cath has been a police officer with Devon and Cornwall police since 1991 and has lived in the South Hams and worked in Plymouth since 2006. She is currently the Chief Inspector with responsibility for local policing and partnership working in Plymouth.

Cath maintains her up to date knowledge with professional curiosity, and as she lives and works in the area she maintains good connections with the local communities. 

Pecuniary interests - none

Sheila Jenkins

Sheila Jenkins is a Trustee and Co-Chair of the Local Governing Board at Wembury Primary School. 

Sheila has retired after a career in secondary education, and remains passionate about young people's learning.  She taught German and Russian, and was Head of Sixth Form and then Deputy Headteacher.  This role included responsibility for pupils in Key Stage 3, staff development and teacher training, all involving liaison with other schools and education providers and engaging with changes and developments in education nationally.  With three other Plymouth schools, she set up a Training School Consortium, developing the quality of teacher training in school placements and in higher education.

Sheila has been a governor at Wembury Primary School since 2011 and is the Pupil Premium Director for Primary Schools in WeST.  She strongly supports the provision of a wide range of opportunities for all children to learn and develop personally, including music and outdoor learning.  She also volunteers as a committee member of Plymouth Music Accord and for RNIB.

Pecuniary interests - None

Tom Godwin

Tom Godwin is a Trustee and Chair of the Local Governing Board at Callington Community College.  He is an experienced marketing and communications professional with a history of working in the performing arts, education, politics, music and entertainment industry.

Pecuniary interests - none

Sandra Billinghay

Sandra Billinghay is the Clerk to the Trust Board.

Sandra originally trained as a secretary, but then developed her career in finance, working in both the public and private sectors. She has over ten years' experience as Clerk to school Local Governing Boards.

Sandra brings all her organisational, governance and secretarial experience to the role, and is committed to supporting the smooth and ordered running of the Trust.


Martin Pollard

Martin moved to Plymouth from Oxfordshire over 16 years ago and both of his children studied at Hele’s School. He has been a school governor for over 20 years, 10 of those being at Hele’s where latterly he fulfilled the role of Chair of Premises and Health & Safety. He is now a Trustee and Chair of the newly formed Estates Committee.

An engineer and commercial project director by profession Martin currently works for Local Partnerships, owned jointly by the Treasury, Welsh Government and the Local Government Association, where he is a Programme Director supporting public sector organisations on waste infrastructure projects and contracts. He has previously worked for local government in Devon and helped deliver major infrastructure projects including the Plymouth Schools PFI and the Energy from Waste PFI.

Away from work Martin enjoys travelling abroad and has a small touring caravan, which the family use to explore our neighbouring counties.

Pecuniary interests - Spouse employee of WeST, Programme Director - Local Partnerships LLP

Adam Croney


Adam Croney is a Trustee and Chair of Governors at Coombe Dean School.





Guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards, and advice on the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be effective can be found below in the Governance Handbook.

These guides are for:

  • governing bodies in local-authority-maintained schools
  • boards of trustees in academies
  • others involved in school governance, such as sponsors, foundations and dioceses
  • organisations that help governing boards be more effective, such as governance training providers

The ‘Governance handbook’ explains:

  • governing boards’ roles and functions
  • their legal duties
  • where they can find support
  • the main features of effective governance

The ‘Competency framework for governance’ sets out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that school and academy governing boards need to be effective.