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Plympton Academy


Introduction from the Chair of Governors, Sue Dann

This is the 3rd year that Sue Dann has been Chair of Plympton Academy Governors. During the last year Plympton Academy  has appointed new governors and set up a new governance programme to make sure that the governors have the planning and processes to  monitor the learning that takes place and the governance of the Academy. 

The governing body supports the academy to ensure that it is community focussed and supports every child to achieve their potential. In order for the Academy and the students to thrive, the governors work to ensure that there is a focus on quality teaching,  encouraging positive attitudes and behaviour of the pupils, ensuring that we have equality of provision and sound safeguarding practices. The Academy is also part of a partnership, the STEP Learning Alliance, with three other secondary schools to share good practice to improve the standard of teaching and learning which will lead to a better experience for our students.

The Academy is currently undergoing an exciting redevelopment of part of the site which is due to be finished in 2020, and together with the Michael Morpurgo Performing Arts Centre the Academy will be providing an environment to support the students to become resilient, independent and confident learners.

“As chair of governors, I am proud to be part of  a team of governors, teaching staff and business support staff that work hard to provide opportunities for young people to thrive and grow. We are always looking for new parent governors to join the Academy, so if you would like to find out more about being a parent governor please get in touch.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about being a parent governor please email

Governors Narratives

Sue Dann - Chair of Governors

I was a lecturer in Further Education for over 20 years in Hospitality and Catering delivering courses in basic foundation GNVQ to young disaffected 14-16 years olds up to Foundation Degree students.

I worked in welfare to work for 8 years  at a regional and national level, engaging with employers, developing skills based training courses, managing teams, implementing and managing contracts. I have been a local Plymouth City Councillor for over 11 years, this has included holding cabinet posts, I am currently the Cabinet member for Street Scene and the Environment. I have supported many voluntary projects and development trusts .

I have a range of skills that support the the governance of the school including an understanding of the Plymouth Education landscape, managing contracts , team management and building , HR  experience, monitoring budgets, I am a ambassador for the school.

Tina Blagdon - Member-appointed Governor

I have lived in Plymouth all my life and in Plympton for the last 13 years. I have worked in financial services since 1986 and am now the Business Manager for a local firm of independent financial advisors. I am keen to add value to the Academy by using my experience in managing budgets, human resources, project, team and business management.

Being a Governor allows me to contribute to the ambitious goals of the Academy and help it to achieve the success and opportunities all our pupils deserve.


Steve Wallers - Parent Governor / Vice Chair of Governors

Steve oversees all careers related employer engagement activity at the University of Exeter which includes student work placements (UK & International), employer focused events including careers fairs, a hugely successful mentoring scheme as well managing a suite of sector specific training programmes. With over 8 years experience at both Exeter and prior to that at Plymouth University, Steve is regularly asked to attend national careers events to speak about the work his team deliver and is a member of various sector working groups.

In the 15 years prior to working in Higher Education, Steve had a varied career working in Recruitment Consultancy as well as management roles in both Human Resources and Retail for various national companies. Steve's skills lie in developing mutually beneficial relationships, events management, managing budgets and developing people."


Ed Atter - Co-opted Governor

I have lived in Plympton for 10 years and the wider Plymouth area since going to Plymouth University in 1993.  

The majority of my career has been spent in the Welfare to Work sector managing government contracts to support unemployed and disadvantage people into paid work.  

I have managed large teams across the South West and nationally and have developed skills in financial management, people management, project management as well as strategic planning and cultural change programmes.  

I am keen to put my skills to use in my local community and try to support Plympton Academy and its students to achieve their aspirations.

Paul Hutchings - Member- appointed Governor

I have been a governor at Plympton Academy since the 1994/1995 school year. I have sat on most committees and panels including the Headteacher interview panel that selected the current Headteacher.

I became a Plymouth City Councillor in 2003 but 5 years was enough for me.

I took a break from being a governor for a few years due to work commitments but have now retired from the Gas Industry. I re-joined Plympton Academy Governing Body in 2010.

Retirement is interesting, as well as being a governor, I have become Show Secretary with Plympton Gardeners Association, develop properties with my son and occasionally undertake consultancy work for the gas industry.

Margaret Turner - Co-opted Governor

I was an Early Years KS1 teacher for 30years.  I am qualified in SpLD dyslexia. I was also an assistant SENCo.  I served also as a Teacher Governor.

I was also on numerous committees:  Toddler Group - Chair, Pre-school - Chair, First School PTA, High school PTA - Chair, Neighbourhood committee - Chair, Junior Football Club - Chair, Plymouth Hartley WI - President (Current).

I am naturally a problem solver.  I consider myself to be approachable, open and friendly.  I am a good listener. I like to ‘get alongside’ people.

I have previously carried out performance management and appraisals for teaching assistants and teaching training students.  I have also been a mentor for students and colleagues.

Sarah Fear - Co-opted Governor

I am a co-opted Governor, but also have a child at the school, so it will be interesting from a parents perspective feeding into the Governing body. I understand that the school plays a big part in the community and will be intrigued to see how this develops.

With a Project Management role at the University of Plymouth and working in the Education sector since 2001, I have extensive knowledge of financial planning and forecasting, Ofsted, data analysis, risk assessment, project management, funding models and regulations. 

I have a Degree in Business and Finance, PRINCE 2 project management, L4 Management and Award in Education qualifications. 

I am also a Governor at a local Primary school and have been 7 years gaining knowledge and experience of the role and responsibilities needed to be effective and a valuable part of the school.

David Arthur (co-opted governor)David Arthur

I joined Plympton Academy governing body in 2019. I am a Chemistry graduate and after 12 years working as a chemist in the plastics industry, I retrained as a teacher. I taught for almost 30 years in the secondary sector, in the UK and finally in The Netherlands. During that time I had a variety of roles including pastoral, middle management, curriculum, training and governance. I enjoyed my time as a teacher and want to put my experience to use in the community after recently retiring and moving to Plympton. I am taking an active role in the community being also a member of the Plymouth Mental Health Act Governance Group plus other roles in this sector. I want to take an active role in the community as well as pursuing my interests of travel and photography.

I’m interested in getting involved. How do I find out more?

If you would like to know more about the role of parent or co-opted Governor or the appointment process you can speak to our Clerk of Governors

Or, if you know someone who would be a brilliant governor, please pass our details on, as we are currently looking for people with commitment and enthusiasm to contribute to our academy.