Chair of Trustees
I moved to Torquay from London in 1988 and joined the Torquay Boys’ Grammar School Parents Association. I became Chair of the Association leaving in in 1991.
I became a governor at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School in 1991 and a trustee when the Multi-Academy Trust was formed. I was previously Vice-Chair of the Trust before being selected as Chair in 2020.
In 1995 I became Chair of the newly formed TBGS Charitable Trust; this trust is dedicated to overseeing fundraising for Capitol development.
In 1999 I was elected as a Torbay Councillor and held the Portfolio for Education later adding the one for Tourism. I held both of these before becoming Mayoress in 2003/2004.
I have had a lifelong interest in education and child welfare and, before retiring, was the Manager of Relate South Devon; a service dedicated to community and family support.
Born and educated locally followed by a Foundation course at Art College and distance learning at Hereford College for various Hotel and Catering courses. The Vice Chair of Torquay Academy Governing Body and Chair of the HR and Safeguarding committee taking a special interest in Safeguarding and looked after children. From 1999 I was employed as a Project Officer by Devon County Council representing the client, working in the Built Environment team. Before my retirement, my work was directly associated with the delivery of major capital school projects including new primary, special schools and the new Cranbrook community school provision in East Devon. I have worked with school stakeholders, local authorities, technical design and construction team members. Prior to this I was employed within the catering service for schools, covering the whole of Devon. I am also a governor on the Torbay’s Virtual School Governing Body which looks in detail at the education provision for children who are looked after. Passionate about the importance of the highest quality of education in the growth and development of all our young people.
Born and raised in Torquay, I was previously a Director of the Specialist Leisure Group and former Managing Director of Shearings Hotels Ltd. After leaving school I completed an Ordinary National Diploma in Business Studies at South Devon College, followed by a Higher National Certificate in Business Studies at Exeter College. I then completed a Diploma in Management Studies course at Plymouth Polytechnic, all while training as a manager at a local holiday business.
I have forty years’ experience working full time in the holiday leisure sector. My first ever job was at Beesons Holiday Centre, which was located in Kingskerswell Road in Torquay.
When the Ladbroke Group acquired Beesons Holiday Centre in 1981, it opened up a number of new career opportunities for me. I spent the next eight years managing various holiday villages and catering concessions, including those located at Kew Gardens and the Tower of London. In 1990 I joined the Specialist Leisure Group.
During my career, I worked my way up through the ranks to become the Managing Director of Shearings Hotels Ltd, part of the Specialist Leisure Group. I am passionate about the area and greatly enjoyed being part of that industry for so long. As Managing Director at Shearings Hotels, I provided comprehensive oversight of the hotel operations for the 50 hotels located all around the UK, which had a turnover of circa £68M and employing over 1,600 staff. I retired from this role in 2018.
Having spent ten years on the Board of Governors at South Devon College where I was the Chair up until July 2010, I became the Chair of the Board of Governors at Torquay Academy in January 2010. I also became a Trustee of the TBGS Multi-Academy Trust in 2013 when the school joined our new partners, Torquay Boys’ Grammar School.
I was educated at Audley Park, now known as Torquay Academy, and have a very long connection with the school. I am passionate about the need to provide the best possible education for all the young people in our community, whatever their backgrounds, and am determined to make a positive difference, wherever I can.
In addition to my roles at the schools I am also the Chair of the Torquay Economic Development Company Ltd; a not-for-profit company, owned by Torbay Council and responsible for amongst other things the regeneration of Torbay.
I am also a Non-Executive Director of TorVista Homes Ltd, a new social housing company, set up by Torbay Council, to provide good quality affordable homes for the people in Torbay to rent.
In February 2020 I was also appointed Chair of the Torquay Town Deal Board, which has recently successfully secured £22 million towards the regeneration of Torquay Town Centre.
In November 2020, I was delighted to have been appointed as the new Chair of Young Devon, who support so many young people across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. They have been finding new and different ways to help young people thrive for 70 years and are passionate about putting young people at the heart of Devon.
I also joined the Board of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership in December 2020. At the start of 2021, I became the Chair of Visit Devon, a leading destination management organisation representing over 600 businesses from the visitor economy across the county. I am still working hard, listening, learning, evolving and developing my skills to try and make a difference to the community and organisations that I serve.
I have worked for Dartmoor National Park Authority for over 30 years, currently in the role of Head of Organisational Development with responsibilities including human resources, health and safety, performance management and volunteering. I am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.
I sit on the advisory group that supports the Mindful Employer initiative run by Devon Partnership NHS Trust providing employers with easy access to professional workplace mental health training, information and advice.
I was appointed a parent governor at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School in 2018 where I now chair the Personnel Committee and became a trustee of the Multi-Academy Trust in 2019.
I enjoy most sports, play snooker in a local league and follow Torquay United through thick and thin. Having spent six years as a volunteer youth football coach, I can still be found ‘running the line’ on a Sunday morning as well as being a volunteer cricket coach in the summer months.
I have lived in Torquay for almost 30 years, having previously lived and worked as an Architect in London. I became interested in education when my sons attended Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, becoming first Chairman of the Parents’ Association, and then a Governor of the school with special responsibility for Land and Buildings, helping to oversee a comprehensive building programme during the last 20 years.
My career took a new path 15 years ago and, for the next 10 years, I worked as an Educational Support Assistant for special needs teenagers at Torbay Pupil Referral Unit, where I became aware of the wide disparity of educational opportunities for youngsters in our community.
I have now been retired for 5 years but my interest in education continues and I have been pleased to be involved with TBGS and TA as a Trustee of the Academy Trust, and to witness the continuing successes of both schools.
Vice Chair of Trustees
I grew up in the local area attending Torquay Boys’ Grammar School in the late 90’s before reading Law at Kingston University and completing my Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Plymouth University. I returned to Devon in January 2010 upon qualification as a solicitor.
I am a partner at Wollens Solicitors. I am a Full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. I am involved in the training and mentoring of young lawyers and am very keen to encourage others into the profession. I work with local education providers to provide guidance and advice to those interested in a career in law. I am passionate ensuring that young people, whatever their backgrounds are provided with the tools to achieve their goals.
I became a community governor at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School in 2017, am a past chair of both the Personnel and Finance committees and in 2020 was appointed Vice-Chair of governors. I became a trustee of the Multi-Academy Trust in 2018 and in 2020 was appointed Vice-Chair. I am a trustee for the Torbay Medical Research Fund, which funds research into local medical projects, and I am also the present Honorary Secretary of the Torquay Old Grammarians Society.
I am a member of the Executive Committee of Torbay Business Forum and the League Liaison for Torbay Hockey Club.
In my spare time, I enjoy time with my young family in and around the beautiful county of Devon, classical music, musical theatre, raising money for local charities and watching sports, particularly cricket and American Football.
I have worked in Public Sector Finance for nearly 20 years and am currently employed as a Business Manager for the local NHS Trust. A Chartered Management Accountant by trade, my duties currently involve managing a small team of Accountants and providing high level support to the leadership team of my Integrated Service Unit. In 2020 I joined TGBS, first as a school Governor and then as Head of the Finance Committee. I later joined the Multi-Academy Trust as a Trustee and currently sit on the audit committee. I’m a keen advocate of continuing professional development and am a member of the Future Focussed Finance initiative. In my spare time I enjoy watching the latest releases at the cinema, as well as reading and socialising.
MAT Accounting Officer
I grew up in the Midlands and came to the South West in 1985 to study Mathematics at Exeter University where I stayed to complete a PGCE in 1989. I started my teaching career at TBGS, teaching there for five years before leaving to broaden my experience and becoming a Head of Department, teaching in three comprehensives in Devon before moving to teach and live in Jersey. It was from Jersey that I returned to TBGS in 2001. Since then I have been a Head of House, an Assistant Head and then Pastoral Deputy Head before taking over as Headteacher in January 2014. I am a keen sportsman, an Exeter Chiefs season ticket holder, and still play 5-a-side football every Sunday evening, though I regret it every Monday morning!
I grew up in Torquay and was educated at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School before heading off to university in New York and then Nottingham. I started my teaching career in London before coming back to Torquay to lead the Business, Economics and Enterprise Department at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. After six years at TBGS, where I also became Head of Davys House, I was appointed as Deputy Headteacher at Devonport High School for Boys. In January 2014 I joined Torquay Academy as Principal.
I live in Torquay with my wife and two sons. I enjoy spending time with my family and playing water polo.
Chief Financial Officer
Company Secretary MAT
Finance Director TA
I moved to Torquay to join TBGS as the Chief Financial Officer for the MAT, based at Torquay Academy. I have worked in schools for over 20 years starting in a primary school and have since overseen my previous secondary school become an academy and am now enjoying the multi-faceted role of working at Torquay Academy with financial oversight of the multi academy trust.
During my time in schools I have been seconded to the Local Authority in Reading to help implement a new computer system across the authority schools and in 2013 was part of an EFA working party updating the Acacdemies Financial Handbook.
Prior to moving to Torquay I lived in Reading for 24 years. After over five years in Torquay I am still enjoying my dream to live by the sea. I have two grown up children who visit regularly as they always feel on holiday here.
In my spare time I love walking both on Dartmoor and the coastal paths and have recently taken up golf.
Clerk to Trustees MAT
Clerk to Governors TA
Having been born and educated in the North of England, I spent most of my working life in the banking industry before taking a career break to move to Torbay in 2011. I have experience of governance having served for 5 years as a Chair of Governors at a Church of England Primary School in Torbay. I became Clerk to Governors at Torquay Academy in November 2014, and in June 2018, I also took on the role as Clerk to Trustees for Torquay Boys’ Grammar School Multi Academy Trust. I am married with two children and live in Churston Ferrers. In my spare time, I like to play golf and I am a member of Churston Golf Club.