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Westcountry Schools Trust

Westcountry Schools Trust

Westcountry Schools Trust

Find out more about our Trustees

Trustees are strategic in ensuring the objectives are upheld, monitoring the effectiveness of individual schools, ensuring schools are performing to the best of their ability and that they receive the support they require. Trustees oversee financial security and check that the Trust is legally compliant.

 

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.

Business interests - Managing Director Foveo Consultancy Ltd

Date of appointment - 1 September 2011

Appointed by - Members

 Simon Scott

Simon Scott is a Trustee and Chair Stowford School Local Governing Board.

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.

Business interests - None

Date of appointment - 13 December 2018 

Appointed by - Trustees 

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 was previously 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.

Business interests - Advisor to the Police Crime Commissioner

Date of appointment - 1 September 2011

Appointed by - Trustees 

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.

Business interests - Director at Millfield (SW) Plymouth 

Date of appointment - 12 September 2017

Appointed by - Trustees 

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.

Business interests - None

Date of appointment - 4 October 2017

Appointed by - Trustees 

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 WeST).

Pam is a trustee of the Confederation of School Trusts, the national organisation and sector body for the school trusts in England that advocates for, and connects and supports executive and governance leaders in influencing Government educational policy. Pam is also a trustee at Youth Centre Action group in Ivybridge. 

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.

Business interests -

  • Bishop Fleming Investments Ltd - Equity Partner
  • Trustee at Confederation of School Trusts 
  • Trustee at Youth Centre Action Group (Ivybridge) 

Date of appointment - 12 December 2017

Appointed by - Members 

Rebecca Wood 

Rebecca Wood is a Trustee and Chair of Governors and Woodlands Park Primary School. 

Rebecca is a qualified solicitor specialising in criminal law with expertise in advocacy, drafting legal documentation and communicating with a variety of third parties.  Rebecca currently works for as head of the Criminal Litigation Department for Woollcombe Yonge Solicitors LLP in Plymouht. 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. 

Business interests - None 

Date of appointment - 9 October 2018

Appointed by - Trustees                                       

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.

Business interests - Governor at St George's Church of England Primary Academy 

Date of appointment - 9 October 2018

Appointed by - Trustees

Cath Farrin 

Cath Farrin is a Trustee. 

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. 

Business interests - None

Date of appointment - 1 September 2012

Appointed by - Members

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.

Business interests - None

Date of appointment - 3 October 2017

Appointed by - Trustees

Tom Godwin 

Tom Godwin is a Trustee and Chair of the Local Governing Board at Callington Community College.

Tom is currently Director of External Affairs and a member of the leadership team for the charity Citizens Advice Plymouth, it is one of the largest Citizens Advice's in the country. Tom also heads up media relations and communications for all 6 Citizen Advice Devon and he is also a visiting lecturer on the Journalism BA at Plymouth Marjon where he teaches the marketing, communications and PR module. 

Tom is an experienced marketing and communications professional with a history of working in the performing arts, education, politics, music and entertainment industry.

Business interests - None

Date of appointment - 9 October 2018

Appointed by - Trustees

Adam Croney 

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

Adam is presently a Director at Chartered Accountancy firm Thomas Westcott in Plymouth. In this role, he is responsible for delivering a range of accountancy and assurance engagements to clients from large corporates to small charities and non- profits. Adam also leads on all education work performed by the firm. Adam is also a designated Data Protection Officer. Outside of Adam's core employment, he is also a Governor of a local Further Education College and Chair of their Audit Committee. 

Business interests - Governor at City College Plymouth 

Date of appointment - 26 June 2020 

Appointed by - Trustees

 

Martin Pollard 

Martin Pollard is a Trustee and Chair of the newly formed Estates Committee.

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. 

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.

Business interests - None

Date of appointment - 6 December 2017

Appointed by - Members

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.

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.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/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.