Local Governing Bodies

Atlantic Academy Local Governing Body:

Dr Alan Whittle (Chair)

Alan has worked in the scientific industry since graduating University with a PhD in Chemistry. Specialising in chemical synthesis and project management, Alan has worked for many organisations and in different locations both in the UK and abroad. Since retiring, Alan has chosen to support a range of organisations where he feels his skills will be useful, including RHS Rosemoor, the National Trust and the Parish Council. Alan will also be undertaking the role of Health and Safety Governor as well as Chair.

Ben Parnell

Coming soon!

Lynsey Slater (Principal)

Born in Devon, Lynsey studied at Royal Holloway, University of London, achieving a first class honours in Environmental Biology. She completed her teaching qualification in 2004, and went on to successfully gain a Masters in Education in 2013.

Lynsey has taught science at a variety of schools within the Trust, holding a range of positions from Head of Year to Deputy Principal at Launceston College and acting Principal of Egloskerry Primary School during Emma Kerr's maternity leave.

Lynsey's vision for Atlantic Academy as it develops is to create a safe, caring and supportive learning environment that allows for individual differences and learning styles to be celebrated. As Nelson Mandela stated, 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world', Lynsey believes that all young people should have the opportunities and support to become the best that they can be.

Dan Wendon (Director of Teaching and Learning and Vice-Chair)

Dan studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. After working for Mencap,

the learning disability charity, he trained to be a teacher. He has worked as an English teacher in

London and Cornwall, and has always taken a deep satisfaction from supporting students to aspire

to achieve more than they thought possible.

Dan has undertaken a range of subject leadership roles, including as an Advanced Skills Teacher of

English. Dan was awarded the Student Nominated Teacher of the Year Award in 2018 at the

Cornwall Teacher Awards.

After working at Launceston College as Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning, Dan was

appointed as Director of Teaching and Learning across the Trust in 2019, and has worked with

teachers and school leaders to create a Trust pedagogical framework which seeks to develop a

coherent shared narrative for teaching and learning across all of the schools, and support the

development of high-quality teaching. Dan has created and co-created a number of Professional

Development Programmes for teachers and middle and senior leaders.

Dan has led the Trust’s longstanding relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company, through

which many teachers and students in the region have accessed opportunities to train and perform at

a national level.

Dan founded the Aspire Programme at Launceston College, an academic mentoring programme

which has successfully supported many students to gain places at the most prestigious and highly selective universities in the UK.

Catherine Clawley

Catherine is the Lead Science Teacher and Pupil Premium lead at Atlantic Academy and has taught at Atlantic Academy since 2018, joining the governing body in March 2021. She has lived in Devon since 2004 and has taught Science in a variety of educational settings including a private school and a school focusing on emotional and behavioural difficulties, which has given her a deeper insight in the need for education to be focused on the needs of the individual students. Catherine's teaching addresses the content of Key stage 2, 3, 4 and 5 and she uses a variety of techniques to ensure students maintain their curiosity and develop their understanding. As the Pupil Premium lead, she is committed to the ethos that education and support is for all, both students and staff; and that with the correct support everyone can achieve their best regardless of their background or circumstance and her role as governor will help to raise the profile of those students that may fall under the radar.

Dr Janice Haddon

Janice is a local GP, and has worked within the healthcare sector in North Cornwall and North Devon for many years. Previously a governor when her children were at Primary school in Bude, and was part of the Cornwall Schools Governing Council. Janice will be undertaking the Safeguarding Governor role.

Amanda Burden

I have worked in sports and leisure for 18 years first starting as a casual Lifeguard while at college, then offered a fulltime position. Trained as gym instructor and swimming teacher. I was fortunate enough to work with organisations, children, and adults with a range of disabilities, social difficulties, and domestic difficulties, trying to get as many children as possible to access sports within a deprived location. I have undertaken many qualifications to help children with SEN challenges and additional commination methods.

In 2014 I joint the PTA at my children’s local primary school, 2015 became vice chair until 2017. I then joint a local family centre helping residents access information and service they need to improve their own circumstances.

My family relocated to Cornwall in 2020, I am currently setting up my own craft small business.

Zoe Watkins

Bideford College Local Governing Body:

David Humphries (Chair)
Term of office : 01/03/2020 - 01/03/2024
Date of appointment : 01/03/2020
Appointed by : GB/board

David's career began in 1976 as a mathematics teacher at a very large comprehensive school in London. In 1979, he moved to become Head of Mathematics at a comprehensive school in northeast England and was subsequently promoted to become Deputy Head teacher. In 1990, David became Head Teacher of Southfield School in Workington, West Cumbria and led the school successfully through the first round of Ofsted school inspections.

In 1997, David moved to North Devon as Principal of Ilfracombe College. During the following years standards rose markedly, culminating in a Department for Education Achievement Award in 2003 shortly before he left the College to join Ofsted as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI). After gaining substantial experience as a frontline inspector, David became a member of Ofsted’s senior leadership team and in 2009 moved to a key role in the development of national school inspection policy and practice.

Following his retirement, David undertook a range of voluntary work before joining the Governing Body of Bideford College in 2014. When Bideford joined the Trust in March 2016, he was appointed Chair of the Local Governing Body and, in that capacity, is a member of the Trust Board. After a rewarding and successful career in education he is glad that he is still able to put something back into the system!

Gilly Sanders (H&S Governor)
Term of office : 24/03/2020 - 24/03/2024
Date of appointment :
Appointed by : GB/board

Gilly retired in 2010 and moved to North Devon in 2012 following a career in marketing communications; she worked in media planning and buying for over 35 years in a number of advertising agencies in London and, latterly, as a civil servant at COI, the government communications agency. Gilly has been a school governor for over 25 years and served the primary and secondary schools in West London which were attended by her two children.

A Co-opted Governor of Bideford College, Gilly is also Health and Safety Governor, Deputy Safeguarding Governor, a member of the MAT Board and Chair of the MAT Finance and Assets Committee. She finds it very rewarding working alongside fellow governors to support staff and pupils to help our young people be the very best that they can be. In addition to school governor activities, she is Vice Chair of the Fremington Community Group Committee and enjoys volunteering at sporting and charity events, both locally and further afield.

Dr Claire Ankers (Principal)
Term of office : 01/01/2019 - Not recorded.
Date of appointment : 01/0
Appointed by :
Ex-officio by virtue of office as headteacher/principal.

Dr Ankers has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Reading and a PhD in Physical Geography from the University of Exeter. She also completed a PGCE in teaching Secondary Geography at Exeter University and has been awarded the NPQH, the National Practitioner Qualification for Headship. Dr Ankers has taught Geography at Bideford College since 2004 and has held a number of middle and senior leadership positions at the college.

Having grown up and been educated in the North Devon area Dr Ankers is passionate about ensuring that young people living in coastal and rural communities have the same employment and education opportunities as those living elsewhere. She is committed to ensuring that the young people of Bideford have access to the best teaching, curriculum, advice and guidance based on the best practice internationally and latest research.

Outside of college Dr Ankers enjoys spending time in the local area with friends, family and the school dog Orlagh, she also likes to travel having visited many countries in 6 of the 7 continents.

Sheila Bloomfield (Safeguarding Governor) (Vice Chair)
Term of office : 24/03/2020 - 24/03/2024
Date of appointment : 24/03/2020
Appointed by : GB/board

Sheila has lived in Devon since 1973, and in Northam since 1980. Her daughter attended both Northam schools and Bideford College.

She has served as a governor at Bideford College since 1987 when elected as a Parent Governor. Sheila has held various posts, including Chair of Governors and Vice Chair, and has seen many changes such as the construction of the new building and joining the Trust in March 2016. She is currently Vice Chair and Safeguarding Governor.

Sheila has also been a governor at St. George's School since 1995. This experience allowed her to take on the role of Trustee of the Atlantic Coast Co-operative Trust, including the Federation of Northam Schools since 2015. She was a Councilor from 1995 - 2003 and was Deputy Mayor 2002- 2003. Sheila served on the Devon Advisory Committee for JPs from 1999 - 2007.

Sheila was diagnosed with MS in 1978 and later undertook an Open University degree which allowed her to represent disadvantaged students for the South West with the various requirements of support needed.

Sheila values education and understands what it can bring to the lives of children of all ages, helping to widen horizons and see potential achieved. She hopes to contribute to the wider community by continuing to support our local schools.

Mark Gierke (Community Governor)
Term of office : 30/09/2021 - 30/09/2025
Date of appointment :
Appointed by : GB/board

Mark and his family relocated to North Devon over 10 years ago. His three children have attended a number of educational facilities in the area during that time, with his daughter attending the sixth form at Bideford College in recent years. As a parent, he found this to be a positive, inclusive and nurturing experience.

Mark qualified as a registered nurse for adults with a learning disability back in the 1990s and then subsequently worked for 20 years within the NHS in Yorkshire, Cornwall and London. For the last 14 years, he has been employed with Devon County Council as a senior manager within adult social care. He has a lead role in North Devon around all things disability related including practice, process and policy, supporting local health and social care teams to ensure they are operating from a person centered and strength-based approach for each and every disabled individual - changing the perspective to one of positivity and what a person can do for themselves rather than the starting point being about what they can’t do. Mark also has a professional practice lead role for countywide social care Autism and ADHD service.

Mark's related experience is of working alongside families facing different challenges and supporting them towards more positive outcomes. This has included overseeing a smooth transition of young adults with an education, health and social care plan into adult services. His role also includes leading on safeguarding processes when required and signposting to other agencies, services and partner organisations across the wider Devon system, enabling them to achieve their potential.

Mark wants to be a school governor at Bideford College as the ethos of everyone matters and everyone counts has underpinned the whole of his adult working life and feels like a good fit and a mutually beneficial partnership.

Sue Tucker (Community Governor)
Term of office : 30/09/2021 - 30/09/2025
Date of appointment :
Appointed by : GB/board

Sue has spent most of her working life in the health and charitable sectors, gaining a wealth of experience in service provision. Having retired, she moved back to Devon to be close to her family.

Welfare and wellbeing are important to Sue. From her nursing experience, she is very aware of the wider need for support and understanding, particularly in clinical and emotional settings.

Currently Sue holds a governor post at Instow Community Primary and Preschool and has taken an active role in creating the new Preschool building which opens in September. Her other responsibilities have included Finance, Pay & Performance and Community Links. One of her strengths is fundraising and she has raised significant funds from the private, corporate and charitable sectors to fund capital projects including a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit in Bath. This sustainable building encapsulates the ethos of being responsible at the very beginning of the babies’ lives.

Sue considers herself to be a caring person and believes in supporting the local community. She also believes that a good education for children and students is of paramount importance to enable them to achieve to the best of their capabilities - which is why she have volunteered to become a governor at Bideford College.

Elise Powell (Staff Governor)
Term of office : 07/12/2020 - 07/12/2024
Date of appointment :
Appointed by : GB/board

Elise joined Bideford College in January 2008 as a Newly Qualified Teacher and, after more than a decade amongst this incredibly devoted team of teachers and leaders, she was absolutely thrilled to secure a permanent appointment as Head of Modern Foreign Languages in 2018.

Elise was born in France and she studied English, German and French as a foreign language at the University of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean. She qualified with honours and decided to put her newly learnt skills to the test and came over to England as a Languages Assistant for a North Devon school. Elise joined Exeter University to obtain her teaching qualification in 2006. Over the last decade, she has taken on many roles including acting Head of Year and Head of Faculty.

Elise has always been a firm believer in the potential of Bideford College and the community it represents. She has a vision of Bideford College as a national example for others to follow. Elise will work tirelessly to ensure that all students aspire to excel and grow to love and value the education that they are receiving in our lovely part of the country.

Hannah Evans (Parent Governor)
Term of office : 07/12/2020 - 07/12/2024
Date of appointment :
Appointed by :
Parent appointed by GB/board due to no election candidates

Hannah's connection with Bideford College spans many years, generations and even buildings! She attended Bideford Comprehensive school in the 80s, before heading to Petroc for A levels. Hannah then indulged her passion for languages and travel with a BA in French and Italian with European Studies at the University of Bath, before embarking on communication and travel-related jobs in London.

After a brief stint in Brussels working with the European Commission, Hannah worked as a management trainer, based primarily in the Lake District, but delivering leadership and team building programmes world-wide, and mainly in Italy and France. She was incredibly fortunate to find a career which combined her love of all things foreign with the beauty and opportunities offered by the great British outdoors.

Hannah has watched Bideford College progress over the years, with facilities worthy of any university. The College has highly motivated and engaged teachers who care for their pupils and for their education.

Lindsey Rackliff (Parent Governor)
Term of office : 30/09/2021 - 30/09/2025
Date of appointment :
Appointed by : Parent appointed by GB/board due to no election candidates

Lindsey is an experienced Residential Childcare Support Worker. She works in a therapeutic children’s home caring for and helping to rehabilitate children and young people with who have suffered trauma and experience emotional, behavioural disorders. She has received extensive training: CACHE Level 3 Advanced Level Apprenticeship in the Children and Young People’s Workforce (Residential Childcare), Attachment and Trauma and other safeguarding training courses relevant to her role. Lindsey is passionate about her job and is pleased to have seen a shift in the way the college approaches behaviour with the recent introduction of the mentor team, the ‘Hub’ and the amendments to the behaviour policy. She believes the therapeutic approach is more inclusive and meets each individual child’s needs better.

Launceston College Local Governing Body:

Ian Graham (Chair)

Ian is a practising Criminal Barrister following his call to the Bar in 2013. He specialises in general Crime, Fraud and Regulatory Law practicing from Colleton Chambers in Exeter. His current career followed 24 years serving in the Royal Navy, where he trained as a warfare officer reaching the rank of Commander. Career highlights included command of two warships and leading Royal Navy operational sea training; he is an experienced project and risk manager. He is married, lives in Launceston with his family and works in forestry in his spare time.

Theresa Mills (Vice-Chair)

Theresa is passionate about teaching and learning, having had the pleasure of working in Primary Schools in North Cornwall since 1988 and as a senior leader in Launceston since 2008. Theresa believes it is an honour to be vice-chair of the governors of Launceston College as she thinks very highly of the College and her home town of Launceston. With her background as Head of School at St Stephens and her current role as Headteacher of South Petherwin School, she has a keen desire in strengthening links between the College and its feeder Primary Schools to give every student in the community a world class education. Theresa and her sisters were the first generation in her family to go to University (she went to Exeter University, Cambridge University and then completed her M.Ed part-time) and she strongly believes that schools and a positive home/school partnership can make such a difference to student’s lives.

Jenn Burn

Jenn joined Launceston College in September 2009 as Assistant Principal Key Stage 5 and, after more than a decade of successful senior leadership in this role, she secured a permanent appointment as Principal in March 2020.

Born in Scotland, Jenn studied at Glasgow University from 1987-91, achieving an MA in History and Politics. She completed her teaching qualification in secondary education at Jordanhill College of Education, 1991-92, before relocating to Cornwall to start her teaching career at St Austell College in September 1992, teaching A level History, Philosophy and Ethics. Jenn worked her way up to a leadership position in the Further Education sector and after 10 successful years of A level teaching, she made the unusual move across to secondary education, joining Wadebridge School as Head of Sixth Form in June 2003. During her time at Wadebridge she developed a passion for teaching A level Psychology and she welcomed the opportunity to continue to teach Psychology today in her role as Principal.

Jenn's vision for Launceston College as it expands successfully into the 2020’s is to lead a College that inspires and enables everyone, whatever their starting point, to achieve their best and to become the very best version of themselves that they can be. Her vision is to ensure that all students aspire to excellence and appreciate the importance and the value of their education.

Helen Reilly

Helen joined the governing body in November 2015 having taught at the college since 2001. She has lived in Cornwall for over twenty years and has always been proud of the education available in the county. Helen teaches business studies and ICT and hopes that she can pass on to the students the knowledge she gained through working in the ICT industry for over twenty years before moving to Cornwall and retraining as a teacher. As deputy head of the College Sixth Form, she is keen to promote post-16 education at the College and feels that as a governor she can share her insight in this area to help in the governance of the College.

Adam Stockton

Adam has lived on and off in Cornwall for the last 33 years and has recently moved into the Launceston area. His Mum and both younger brothers are teachers and teaching is something he is passionate about having been a technical trainer for seven years of her career. Adam is a career civil servant and has been in many roles at the cutting edge of technology for the past 17 years. He believes in the need to deliver quality training in technology to children to ensure they have the skills for the future work place. He has previously supported a local primary school by delivering after school coding classes to their year 5 and 6 pupils.

Adam has dyspraxia and dyslexia which gives him an insight into learning with learning disorders. He is keen to ensure those with learning disorders are given the help and support they need to succeed alongside their peers. Adam thinks that these disorders have given him a unique perspective on life and has provided just as many advantages as disadvantages due to the different way he approaches problems.

Steve Jolly

Steve Jolly attended Launceston College from 1997 until 2002, having been brought up just outside the town as well as in the Middle East for a few years.  

He studied politics in London and Exeter and then went to work in political campaigning until 2015. He now is a Director in a communications consultancy based in Launceston, specialising in planning and development on projects both in Cornwall and across the UK.

Steve has been an Enterprise Advisor for the College since 2019, helping the College on their careers advice, and has also volunteered for a number of charities advising them on communications and fundraising, as well training political campaigning techniques overseas.

James Gardner

Originally from the North East of England, James has been a local resident for 20 years and lives just outside of South Petherwin, where he has been a Governor at the Primary School since 2016.

James has been in teaching since 1991 and has held a number of positions – first becoming a subject leader of Art at a school in Burmantofts, Leeds. In 1998 James qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher and became involved in coaching and supporting others in the teaching profession locally and across the authority. After to moving to Cornwall, James has been an Expressive Arts Coordinator at Coombe Dean School in Devon and he has been involved in the Plymouth Teaching School Alliance since 2018, when he led the curation of the Art and Design Teachers Conference on behalf of the Plymouth Art Hub.

James is currently developing his curriculum focused role while seconded into the Senior Leadership Team at Coombe Dean School. He is an advocate for the Arts and research informed practice in education and James is keen to invest time in his local community with a role at Launceston College.

Primary Cluster Local Governing Body
(Altarnun Primary, Egloskerry Primary and Launceston Primary):

Carla Barnard (Chair)

Carla is a ‘Lanson’ local having been brought up in and around Launceston all of her life, including attended Launceston College up to and including taking her A levels. Since leaving school she has enjoyed a varied career, mainly in the housing and finance industries within various customer facing and management roles. Following the birth of her daughter in 2007, Carla changed career path and joined a family firm to work in a part time accounting/office role but progressed, invested in and is now a Company Director of, a successful Materials Handling Company based in Launceston. Carla lives with her family at Yeolmbridge, she has two children that attend Egloskerry Primary School and Launceston College and she is proud to be Chair of the Primary Cluster Local Governing Body for our two existing primaries. Carla has been a Governor since 2017 and she is passionate about ensuring our children receive the best well-rounded, broad and balanced education available.

Stefanie Charlwood (Parent Governor)

Stefanie currently has a daughter in Reception at Egloskerry and a son in nursery at Smiley Happy People in Launceston. She and her husband own a local gym and fitness facility, and they have an interest in a healthy lifestyle for both physical and mental wellbeing. Stefanie has been a teacher for 12 years, specialising in various roles e.g., learners who are exceeding, PSHE and assessment. In her current teaching role, she is looking into the transition from EYFS to Year 1. Stefanie also has an interest in child development and continuous provision. She would like to get involved as a parent governor because she would like to ensure that the school provides the best possible experiences and learning opportunities for all children to thrive.

Lucy Huckle (Community Governor)

Lucy is an Early Years Teacher with particular interest in children's social and emotional wellbeing in the Early Years. She has worked in various roles within the Early Years sector for over 15 years at Cornwall Council, the Early Years Alliance, Action for Children and Early Years settings. Lucy is now Director and Early Years Teacher at The Long Garden Early Years Centre situated within the grounds of Launceston College.

Katharine Mansfield (Community Governor)

Katharine was born and educated up until Degree level in Jersey. She attended Seale Hayne part of the University of Plymouth and completed a BSc Hons in Food Quality with Management including an industry placement year. Katharine worked for 13 years in the Chilled Food Industry where she held management positions covering food safety and systems. She has 13 years of internal audit experience and running of an internal audit system. Katharine has three boys who are in Year 2 and Year 6 at Altarnun Primary and Year 8 at Launceston College.

Christina Medland (Staff Governor)

Coming Soon!

Asha Wilton (Staff Governor)

Miss Wilton joined Egloskerry Primary School in September 2017 immediately after graduating from the University of St. Mark and St. John, with a degree in Primary Education. During her training, she was fortunate enough to work in a number of schools in Plymouth and Cornwall, as well as working in a school in London. She is now in her fifth year of teaching at Egloskerry and is the coordinator for Literacy, RE, PSHE, RSE across the three primary schools in our trust. This year, Miss Wilton is undertaking her SENDCo qualification and pursuing her passion of creating inclusive learning environments for all children.

Outside of school, she enjoys exploring Cornwall, London and European cities. She is also currently planning her wedding and hopes to honeymoon in Disney World!”

Angela Restall (Community Governor)

Angela is a recently retired teacher who has has extensive experience in teaching age groups mainly in schools in Cornwall. She has had positions as a senior leader and her last post that she retired from in December 2019 was as a Head of School in a small primary school within the Dartmoor MAT, where she was also an Associate Governor. Angela has also had my own governing body within a school. Angela lives in Tavistock with her husband and and she has a married son who is a doctor. She has lived in Tavistock for 22 years, having moved from the south-east and she trained to be a teacher at St Rumon’s School, in Tavistock. Prior to that she was an analytical chemist based in the pharmaceutical industry and hence has a strong interest in science in schools.

Caroline Stanmore (Community Governor)

Caroline is a Careers professional with over 20 years’ experience of working with both adults and young people to provide careers advice and guidance to support their journey into work or education. Currently she is an Enterprise Coordinator supporting schools across Plymouth and South Hams to meet the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance and specialises within this role to support Special Educational Needs schools as well as mainstream education settings. In her previous role she managed the National Careers Service contract across Devon and Cornwall and prior to that the Work Programme Contract supporting long term unemployed adults.

Becky Crispin (Co-opted Governor)

Becky was involved in Primary and Special Education for thirty years as a teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and Head Teacher. Becky's particular interests were Special Educational Needs (she achieved a Masters Degree in SEN), Religious Education (she worked with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and wrote some national guidelines for the subject) and the creative arts. She very much enjoyed her career. In September 2020, Becky joined Launceston College where she works giving pastoral support to students as part of one of the House teams. She has lived in or close to Launceston for many years. In her spare time, she enjoys making music, stitching and gardening. Becky is really looking forward to being part of the Local Governing Body – she's hoping that her experience and enthusiasm for high quality primary education will be helpful and enable her to carry on making a positive difference for young people in and around Launceston.