Trustees & Governors

Trustees

Angela Pedder OBE

Chair of Trustees

Dame Angela Pedder OBE has joined the Academy’s Governing Body after retiring from full time work following nearly 20 years as Chief Executive of the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and over 40 years in the NHS.

She has significant experience of acute, community, mental health and learning disability service provision plus health and local authority commissioning and has worked at a national and regional level in many senior advisory roles. Amongst many other roles she was a founding member of the board and Vice Chair of the South West Peninsula Academic Health Science Network.

The valuable skills Angela brings to the Governing Body include strategic leadership, partnership and system working, complex change management, engagement and consultation, corporate and clinical governance and operational performance improvement.

As an experienced mentor and coach Angela has an interest in supporting newly appointed chief executives and those in particularly challenging roles. She is supporting the Executive Senior Leadership Team in this capacity.

Tony Alexander

Trustee and Chair of the Governing Body

Tony is a graduate of Birmingham University where he studied English Literature.

He was a teacher for 48 years; 26 of these as a headmaster at three schools; two of which were inner city. Each of the schools required considerable improvement to their reputation; management and leadership; pupil achievement and financial stability. This gave Tony a valuable insight into the practical issues involved in improving school performance.

Rhodri Davey

Trustee

 Rhodri is one of the Managing Partners in regional law firm Kitsons LLP. He has specialised in employment law since qualifying as a solicitor in 1999, and has a broad portfolio of clients which includes a significant practice in the education sector, advising schools on Human Resources and Employment Law related issues.

Rhodri is a Trust Board Director at the Plym Academy Trust in Plympton, a five primary, multi-academy trust. He has also been an active member of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team (Tavistock) for over 20 years and is currently the Chairman and one of the team’s trained Search Managers.

Alistair Dewhirst

Trustee and Governor

After a 30-year career as an international fashion agent, Alistair became a director of the family Touring Caravan Park business in 2008. In 2010 he was elected Liberal Democrat Member for Ipplepen on Teignbridge District Council and was elected to Devon County Council in 2013. He is Deputy Group Leader on Teignbridge and Chair of Scrutiny at Devon County.

Alistair is also a member of Devon County’s Corporate Parenting Board and is the Corporate Parent Visitor to the Atkinson Unit, a secure children’s home.

Charles Hampton II

Trustee

Charles is a qualified tutor who has taught Sign Language for over 20 years at Durham University, Sussex University, City Lit Centre for Deaf People (Deaf Refugees), and Portsmouth University, as well as a number of Adult Education Centres. Charles has delivered Sign Language courses with high pass rates at Bristol University for more than 10 years.

 Charles is also a celebrated professional Deaf Entertainer and has done many Sign Song Performances with tours all over the UK and Europe including some TV appearances. He has also been involved with Disability Cabaret and has delivered a professional storytelling tour of Scotland.

Janet Harvey

Trustee

Janet was appointed in 2014. Her professional background is in education. She has been a teacher, headteacher, university lecturer and education consultant. Currently she is working freelance in quality assurance and supporting research projects.

Tony Collyer

Trustee, Honorary Treasurer and Governor

Tony is a Chartered Accountant who has been a director of four listed companies and a number of privately owned companies, in the retail, entertainment and service sectors. He has acted as transaction director and adviser to management delivering significant corporate and private equity transactions.

Tony is a Trustee of North Devon Biosphere Foundation and was a member of the finance committee of Kings College, London for nine years.

Bob Spencer

Trustee

After a successful career in policing based in Liverpool and Devon, Bob established an international business. He was a volunteer Magistrate in Devon and is a Trustee of the Clare Milne Trust. Bob Chaired Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards in both Devon and Torbay. He is a strong advocate of ensuring all people in our society are given the best opportunities to achieve their full potential. 

Bob enjoys fishing, watching rugby and football, he owns a very old wooden fishing boat which constantly needs attention and an equally time consuming Labrador.

David Robertson, BA FCA

Trustee

David was, until 31 March 2011, the Finance Director of the waste management company Viridor Limited, which was then a subsidiary of the Exeter based Pennon Group PLC. He joined Pennon in 1991 as Group Auditor. Prior to that he worked for KPMG, a firm of Chartered Accountants.

David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a graduate in Business Studies.

He was also a non-executive director of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust from 2010 to 2017.

He is currently a trustee for three other charities in addition to his role at the Deaf Academy.

Governing Body

Tony Alexander

Trustee and Chair of the Governing Body

Tony is a graduate of Birmingham University where he studied English Literature.

He was a teacher for 48 years; 26 of these as a headmaster at three schools; two of which were inner-city. Each of the schools required considerable improvement to their reputation; management and leadership; pupil achievement and financial stability. This gave Tony a valuable insight into the practical issues involved in improving school performance.

Sylvan Dewing

Principal and Ex-Officio Governor

 Sylvan has over 15 years’ experience of successfully managing educational provision in inner city areas. Previous employers have included Hackney Community College, College of North East London and Haringey council, specialising in inclusion, safeguarding, behaviour management and post-16 provision. Sylvan has worked at the Deaf Academy since 2017.

Simon Allchurch

Governor

Simon is a Building Surveyor with over 18 years’ experience in the south west, in the public and private sector, including educational premises. Simon has extensive knowledge of construction projects, repairs and maintenance, statutory compliance, and facilities management, and is the Academy’s link governor for Health and Safety.

Debbie Bowden

Governor

Debbie’s son attends the Deaf Academy. She has worked as a nurse for many years, working with adults which has cemented her supporting, listening and communication skills. She is also a longstanding member of Girlguiding, running a very active Brownie unit and until recently acting as a local commissioner and county trustee. Debbie states “I hope to bring my friendly, approachable manner to the Board of Governors’.

Tony Collyer

Governor

Tony is a Chartered Accountant who has been a director of four listed companies and a number of privately owned companies, in the retail, entertainment and service sectors. He has acted as transaction director and adviser to management delivering significant corporate and private equity transactions.

Tony is a Trustee of North Devon Biosphere Foundation and was a member of the finance committee of Kings College, London for nine years.

Alistair Dewhirst

Trustee and Governor

After a 30-year career as an international fashion agent, Alistair became a director of the family Touring Caravan Park business in 2008. In 2010 he was elected Liberal Democrat Member for Ipplepen on Teignbridge District Council and was elected to Devon County Council in 2013. He is Deputy Group Leader on Teignbridge and Chair of Scrutiny at Devon County.

Alistair is also a member of Devon County’s Corporate Parenting Board and is the Corporate Parent Visitor to the Atkinson Unit, a secure children’s home.

Allison Foster

Governor

Allison has had a variety of employment experiences starting off working for Lloyds Bank PLC, then for Ministry of Defence as an Air Traffic Controller in the RAF. She is now semi-retired after 15 years of teaching Philosophy and Ethics at KS3, 4 and 5 and is self-employed in horticulture (gardening!).

Matt Jenkins

Staff Governor

Matt Jenkins is Lead British Sign Language (BSL) Teacher at the Deaf Academy; his work has concentrated on BSL and communication across all areas of the Academy over the past six years. Before this, he was a BSL Teacher at the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol.

Matt is currently working toward qualifying as a Teacher of the Deaf and is also a member of BATOD (the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf). Matt is also involved in social events and organisations for the hard of hearing and Deaf communities, drawing a wide variety of diverse members who use different sign dialects.

Matt is motivated by keeping the Academy’s communication and access up to date for all who attend and visit us, and promoting positive Deaf mental health and wellbeing, ensuring where possible everyone is Deaf Aware and ethically informed.

Mark Peel

Staff Governor

Mark is the Senior Safeguarding Caseworker at the Academy, and one of three Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads. He is a member of the Care & Safeguarding Standards Committee. He is a qualified registered social worker with over 20 years of experience working with a huge array of different needs. Throughout his time as a social worker, he has dedicated his career to supporting the needs of deaf young people and children with learning disabilities. 

Jill Elson MBE

Governor

I was very pleased when the Governors accepted my application to be a Governor of the Deaf Academy. I was member of the team that campaigned for the Rolle College site to be kept as a place for Education. I believe all young people must be given the opportunity to fulfil their individual potential. It is for education to give them the ‘tools’ they will need with advice and guidance to achieve their aims.

I was an East Devon District Councillor representing a ward of Exmouth for 36 years. During that time I chaired a number of committees and was Cabinet member for Sustainable Homes and Communities for several years. I enjoyed representing the people of Exmouth and East Devon and was honoured to be made a Hon.Alderman last year. Over the years I learnt a great deal, which helps me now, in the work I still do for the community.

I am the founder and Chairman of the Exmouth and District Community Transport Group (local charity) which celebrated 30 years this November. We provide transport for those who are unable to use public transport because they have a mobility problem. We have 2 8 seat minibuses with passenger lifts and a wheelchair accessible car.

I have been a Governor of Exmouth Community College since 1995 and am currently Chairman of the Resources Committee and a past chairman.

Jack Watts

Governor

Jack studied a BSc in Mathematics with Proficiency in British Sign Language at the University of Exeter, where he also served as a trustee and non-executive director of the University of Exeter Students’ Guild. Since 2019, Jack has worked at Exeter City Community Trust, Exeter’s leading health and wellbeing charity. In his current role as Operations Manager, he works to develop the charity’s governance and processes, identify and secure new opportunities, and support the Chief Executive.

Pam Robinson

Governor

Pam is a qualified teacher of the deaf and specialist teacher for children who are deafblind/multi-sensory impaired who has worked in the field of deaf education since graduating in 1985. A member of BATOD, she has worked in a peripatetic role, was Head Teacher of a special primary school for deaf children and worked for a short time with the National Deaf Children’s Society as an Appeals and Disputes officer. Now semi-retired, she enjoys doing consultancy work and continues to support trainee Teachers of the Deaf. 

Pam is committed to supporting quality education for deaf and multi-sensory impaired pupils and seeks to support young people to see the best in themselves and achieve the best possible outcomes relevant to their ability. 

Rachel Noar

Governor

Rachel was appointed as a Governor at the Deaf Academy in December 2020.  She brings a wealth of experience to the Governing Body having sat on various boards including the Disability Consultant Group for the East Midlands Arts Council, the South West Disability Art Organisation (Equata), and, currently, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.  Rachel is a strong advocate for the Academy’s student cohort, being Deaf herself, and mother to a Deaf son.

The Deaf Academy Trustees and Governors 2020-21

NameType of Governor or TrusteeAppointed byOfficeTerm of OfficeEnd dateCommittee membershipAttendance at meeting 2019-20Registered interest
Mr Anthony AlexanderTrustee and LA GovernorTrustees, GovernorsChair of Governing Body, Chair of Education Standards Committee10.04.19 – 09.04.23

 

 

Education Standards22 of 25Governor at Marpool Primary School and Drakes School.
Mr Simon AllchurchCo-opted GovernorGovernors02.07.18 – 01.07.21Finance & Resources7 of 12
Ms Debbie BowdenParent GovernorParent election27.06.18 – 26.06.22Care & Safeguarding Standards11 of 11
Mr Peter BurroughsTrusteeTrusteesChair of Trustees07.09.18 – 06.09.2231.10.2013 of 13
Mr Anthony CollyerTrustee GovernorTrusteesChair of Finance & Resources, Honorary Treasurer, ViceChair of Governing Body03.07.20 – 02.07.24

 

 

Finance and resources15 of 15
Mr Rhodri DaveyTrusteeTrustees05.10.17 – 04.10.2111 of 13
Mr Alistair DewhirstTrustee GovernorTrusteesChair of Care & Safeguarding Standards, Chair of Children’s Home Management Committee12.12.20 – 11.12.24Care & Safeguarding Standards, Children’s Home Management25 of 26Elected member of Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council
Mr Sylvan DewingPrincipalEx-officio01.02.17 –

 

 

Finance & Resources, Care & Safeguarding Standards, Education Standards, Children’s Home Management19 of 23Principal at the Deaf Academy
Ms Jill Elson MBECo-opted GovernorGovernors

 

 

10.12.20 – 09.12.24

 

 

Finance & Resources

 

 

Governor of Exmouth Community College. Sister is an Exmouth Town Councillor.
Ms Allison FosterCo-opted GovernorGovernors29.01.21 – 28.01.25Education Standards6 of 11
Mr Charles Hampton IITrusteeTrustees07.09.18 – 06.09.2210 of 13
Ms Janet HarveyTrusteeTrusteesVice-Chair of Trustees, ViceChair of Finance & Resources01.12.18 – 30.11.22Finance & Resources25 of 25Self-employed Education Consultant
Mr Matt JenkinsStaff GovernorStaff election11.10.18 – 10.10.22Education Standards9 of 12Teacher at the Deaf Academy
Dame Angela Pedder OBETrusteeTrusteesChair of Trustees11.06.20 – 31.08.2411 of 13
Mr Mark PeelStaff GovernorStaff election

 

 

17.12.18 – 16.12.22

 

 

Care & Safeguarding standards11 of 11Senior Safeguarding Case Worker at the Deaf Academy. Trustee of Devon Deaf Charity
Ms Rachel NoarCo-opted GovernorGovernors10.12.20 – 09.12.24Care & Safeguarding StandardsVolunteer at Living Options
Mr David RobertsonTrusteeTrustees05.11.20 – 04.11.24Finance & Resources, Children’s Home Management Committee
Ms Pam RobinsonCo-opted GovernorGovernors10.12.20 – 09.12.24Education StandardsSelf-employed Educational Consultant.
Mr Robert SpencerTrusteeTrustees05.11.20 – 04.11.24Care & Safeguarding StandardsTrustee of the Clare Milne Trust
Mr Jack WattsCo-opted GovernorGovernors10.12.20  – 09.12.24Finance & Resources

Governors and Trustees who left during the 2019-20 academic year

Mr Darren BeattieCo-opted GovernorGovernorsVice-Chair of Care & Safeguarding Standards29.01.18 – 28.01.2115.07.20Care & Safeguarding Standards3 of 11Devon County Council employee
Ms Trudy ChappellCo-PrincipalEx-officio23.01.18 –30.04.20Education Standards, Finance & Resources4 of 7Co-Principal at the Deaf Academy
Ms Katy DashCo-opted GovernorGovernorsVice-Chair of Education Standards02.07.18 – 01.07.2013.01.20Education Standards4 of 5Director of Paddleboat Theatre C.I.C.
Ms Jenny Sealey MBETrustee

Trustees 

18.06.18 – 17.06.2201.06.200 of 9