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Westcountry Schools Trust

Westcountry Schools Trust

Westcountry Schools Trust

Trustees

 

Iain Grafton MBE 

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

Declared - Family member employed at a WeST school

Appointed by - Members

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. Carl 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) Ltd Plymouth 

Date of appointment - 12 September 2017

Appointed by - Trustees 

Andrew Flay 

Andrew was a School Governor for 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 

Adam Croney  

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. 

Business interests - Governor at City College Plymouth 

Date of appointment - 26 June 2020 

Declared - Family member employed at a WeST school

Appointed by - Trustees

Dr Jenny Blunden OBE
 

Dr Jenny Blunden OBE was appointed Chief Executive of Truro and Penwith Academy Trust in September 2015 and previously had been a member of the Teaching School Council for the South West region while employed as the Director of Teaching School with Truro and Penwith College. Jenny has a PhD in Education for Sustainable Development and has been a teacher and leader in schools and colleges since 2002, more recently working as a senior leader with a remit for professional development.

Ofsted published a MAT summary evaluation of the Trust in 2019 and recognised that as CEO, Jenny “provides inspirational and dedicated strategic leadership.” Ofsted recognise that as a Trust “its work is firmly grounded in sustainable improvement.”

Jenny chairs the Cornwall Operational Group which has the remit to commission and track school improvement support and CPD provision in Cornwall while actively working in the region as an elected member of the South West Advisory Board and part of the Regional MAT Development Group, chairing a MAT Learning Set currently evaluating a pilot trust peer review model in Devon and Cornwall.

Business interests

  • Director of Leading Schools South West - Director
  • Ambitions Institute - Advisor

Date of appointment - 28 April 2022

Appointed by - Members

Zoe Briant-Evans 

Zoe is the mum of two very energetic primary school aged boys. She has a wealth of experience in governance at a variety of different settings including sitting as the Chair of an early years education charity, and holding Chair roles within both the maintained and academy sectors; having chaired a 5 school federation and co-chaired a local board within West Country Schools Trust. She has also governed as a trustee of a local Trust Port and Harbour Authority.

Zoe’s background in strategic leadership and management follows a 17-year career as an officer in the Royal Navy.  During which time she held a variety of posts including command of her own warship, teaching at post graduate level, and serving on operations in the Middle East. Her final role in the navy saw her responsible for the training and education of future leaders at Britannia Royal Naval College.  Following her military career, she has worked as a governance advisor with Devon Education Services, supporting schools across Devon and beyond in all governance matters and delivering training for governors and trustees.

As a trustee Zoe is passionate about improving the outcomes for all children in our schools, but particularly those with disabilities and less advantaged. In her spare time she enjoys being out on the water and keeping the peace on the family boat.

Business interests: Employee at Devon Education Services

Date of appointment - 1 January 2023

Appointed by - Members

Sally Timmins  

Sally is an auditor and serving National Leader of Governance, who has experience of governance covering over 15 years.

She is a trustee as Torquay Girls Grammar School in Torquay, and a Member of Ivy Education in Teignmouth.

She has worked with the DfE and ESFA to deliver training to schools around the country, and undertakes external reviews elsewhere, bringing that experience of primary and secondary education to add to our board’s skill base.

Sally is passionate about governance and committed to supporting all schools to raise standards.

Business interests

  • NGA National leader of governance (consultant)
  • Employee at Bishop Fleming
  • Trustee at Torquay girls grammar school until 31 Aug 23.

Date of appointment - 27 March 2023

Appointed by - Members

Hilary Dunlop
 

Hilary Dunlop is the Clerk to the Trust Board and our Governance Officer.

Hilary started her working life in the Civil Service working with the MoD. After a period of time living abroad she returned to her hometown of Plymouth where her children attended Yealmpton and Ivybridge Community College. She returned to work with Tesco, progressing through their Options programme and becoming a Duty Manager. She has worked in schools as an MTA, TA and after graduating with a teaching degree worked in the South Hams. Prior to being appointed as Clerk to the Trust Board she worked at the University Of Plymouth working within their compliance structures.