Trustees & Governors

Trustees

Angela Pedder OBE

Chair of Trustee

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.

Peter Burroughs

Trustee

Peter is a qualified accountant with 45 years’ experience in the National Health Service having served 25 years at senior executive/Board level as finance director and capital investment and strategic development director.

Peter has served as a Trustee of the Academy since January 2007. He is also Treasurer of the Charitable Company, advising on the financial management of the Academy and directing the redevelopment project.

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 and Governor

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 at Warwick University.

Tony Collyer

Trustee, Honorary Treasurer and Governor

Tony is a Chartered Accountant and is currently non-executive chairman of Gfinity plc having previously been finance director of three other public companies. He has acted as transaction director for a number of significant corporate transactions.

Tony is a Trustee of North Devon Biosphere Foundation and has been a member of the finance committee of Kings College, London since 2010.

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 and is currently non-executive chairman of Gfinity plc having previously been finance director of three other public companies. He has acted as transaction director for a number of significant corporate transactions.

Tony is a Trustee of North Devon Biosphere Foundation and has been a member of the finance committee of Kings College, London since 2010.

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!).

Janet Harvey

Trustee and Governor

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 at Warwick University.

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 two Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads. He is a member of the Care & Safeguarding Standards Committee.