Our Trust Board

Elaine Marshall - Chair of the Board of Trustees

Elaine Marshall joined Launceston College as a Governor in 2009, having studied at the school in the 1970’s. In 2015, as Chair of Launceston College Local Governing Board she worked with the Regional Schools Commissioner to create the Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and became the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Initially Bideford College joined the MAT, followed by Atlantic Academy, Egloskerry and Altarnun Primary Schools. A bid to build a Primary School for Launceston is in the works at present with a temporary building for our current pupils.

As a Graduate of Exeter University, in her professional life Elaine was a Police Officer for 31 years, working in uniform and as a detective across the Westcountry and Northern Ireland. Having been involved in many major crime and murder investigations as she went up the ranks, she went on to set up the first anti-corruption investigative unit in Devon and Cornwall. Elaine completed her service with the Police as the first female Commander in charge of Policing for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, a role that she thoroughly enjoyed until the day she left!

On retirement from the Police, Elaine was appointed as a Non-Executive Director for Peninsula Health for 7 years and was involved in the running of the many small hospitals in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This role gave her the insight into inspection processes across another public sector organisation, which has been useful within the educational OFSTED inspections over the past few years.

Elaine remains linked to her previous professions through other voluntary work, as a Trustee for the Police Charity, Kreslu, and is also a judge for the yearly Penna National awards for patient experience in hospitals across the UK.

Elaine is honoured to be the Chair of the Multi Academy Trust and believes that we should be continually improving educational facilities and standards of education across all of our schools.

Claire Penfold - CEO

Claire graduated with a Chemistry degree and trained as a science teacher, she worked in a number of schools in leadership roles including Head of science and fifteen years of senior leadership including seven years as Deputy Principal at Launceston College, with a wide range of responsibilities ranging from timetabling to SENDCo.

In 2015 Claire was seconded to Cornwall Council as a Secondary School Improvement Officer, where she was responsible for holding Headteachers to account for their schools’ performance. Claire has considerable strengths with understanding school data, identifying underachievement and acting to improve the performance of staff and students.

Claire worked across the Launceston College MAT as Director of Standards having oversight of the quality assurance and the curriculum in all of the five schools before being appointed as interim CEO in September 2019.

David Humphries - Chair of Bideford Local Governing Body

David’s varied and rewarding career in education began in 1976 as a mathematics teacher at a large comprehensive school in London. In 1979 he moved to northeast England to take up the post of Head of Mathematics at Bedlington High School , where he was subsequently promoted to Deputy Headteacher. In 1990 he was appointed headteacher of Southfield School in Workington, West Cumbria and led the school successfully through a period of many changes, including the completion of a major building programme, the initial round of Ofsted inspections and increasing financial delegation.

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 of schools and initial teacher training, he became a member of Ofsted’s senior leadership team, responsible for managing complaints about school inspections across the south of England. In 2009, David moved to a key role in the development of school inspection policy and practice, working closely with Ofsted’s Executive Board and government officials.

Following his retirement, he undertook a range of voluntary work on behalf of Healthwatch Devon before joining the Governing Body of Bideford College in 2014. In January 2015, David was elected Chair of Governors and when Bideford joined the Launceston MAT in March 2016 he became a Trustee and member of the MAT Board. After a rewarding and successful career in education he is glad that he is still able to put something back into the system!

Peter Crispin - Trust Non Executive Trustee

Peter has lived in Launceston since 1984. He joined the MAT Board in 2018 having previously been a governor at Launceston College for many years.

Before he retired in 2019, Peter was an independent education consultant, working with primary schools in Plymouth and Cornwall, supporting school improvement.

He was a Senior Primary Adviser in Plymouth for ten years, supporting schools in challenging circumstances. Peter was also the authority’s music adviser for the city’s schools and managed the Plymouth Youth Music Service.

Prior to that he was a primary headteacher in Cornwall for nineteen years, with experience in both small and large schools, which included nursery and specific SEN provision. He has also been Head of Music in an inner-city boys’ secondary school and a class teacher in primary and middle schools.

Peter has a particular interest in arts education and the role of outdoor and adventure learning. He also remains passionate about providing the very best educational opportunities for our students and seek to support this aim across our schools through my role as a trustee.

Ben Mitchell - Trust Non Executive Trustee

Ben attended Launceston College for both Secondary School and Sixth-Form before completing his Law Degree at the University of Portsmouth. After completing his degree he attended the University of the West of England and attained a Distinction in the Legal Practice Course which then entitled him to train as a Solicitor. In 2015, on completing the Legal Practice Course, he joined Parnalls Solicitors in Launceston where he qualified as a Solicitor and specialises in the fields of Commercial Property and Business.

Gilly Sanders - Trust Non Executive Trustee

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.

Ashley Shopland - Trust Non Executive Trustee

Having left Launceston College in 1985 post A-Levels, Ashley joined the then English China Clays (ECC) company as a Finance Trainee. After gaining his professional qualification as an accountant, he then moved through various roles in the company including an 18 month spell in the HQ near London. Today, Ashley is now the General Manager of the company, now Imerys, in the UK responsible for the whole of the china clay and ball clay business globally served from Cornwall and Devon.

With 2 children, and a wife working in a school, Ashley has always followed a keen interest in the education sector and has served as a Governor, including as Chair, at both St Dennis and Carclaze primary schools. Within both of these the schools underwent amalgamations, with Carclaze incorporating a complete new 420-pupil school build in 2010.

Ashley currently also serves as a member of the CBI South West Council and also sits as a Trustee of South West Lakes Ltd. responsible for such locations as Roadford just east of Launceston.

Fenella Wojnarowska - Trust Non Executive Trustee

Fenella was appointed to the Trust Board in 2018. She joined the Launceston Local Governing Body in November 2017 and was appointed vice-chair in November 2018 and served until 2019. She trained as a medical doctor at Somerville College, University of Oxford and later St Mary’s Hospital, London University. She specialised in Dermatology and returned to Oxford as a consultant later becoming Professor of Dermatology at the University of Oxford. Her research included immunological diseases, women’s health, and Evidence Based Medicine, with over 300 papers published in scientific and medical journals. She also enjoyed teaching and mentoring Dermatology trainees in the UK and Europe.

Fenella retired to Cornwall 10 years ago. Since then, she has become very involved in promoting aspiration in Cornish schoolchildren and students. She does this by working in the Launceston College Aspire Programme and within the Cornish Oxford Alumni as bursary secretary giving grants to Oxford students from Cornwall and assisting schoolchildren to attend open days and residential courses there.

Fenella values her involvement in Launceston College and the other schools in the Trust and encouraging aspiration and achievement in all pupils.