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Plympton Academy


The TSAT Governance Model is different to the way a governing body in a non-academy or traditional school undertakes governance.
Essentially, there are two elements to the governance of the TSAT academies – local governance which is delivered via the Academy Advisory Board (AAB) and regional governance, delivered via the Regional
Governing Bodies (RGB).

There is an Academy Advisory Board for each school and each Regional Governing Body is linked to a
Director or Education a covers a cluster of academies; The Board of Directors is the final decision-making body which sits above the Regional Governing Bodies.

Local Governance - Academy Advisory Board (AAB)

The AAB consists of a group of people made up of Parents, Staff and Community members, with a minimum of 6 and maximum of 9 in addition to the Headteacher. A member of each AAB will be invited to sit on the Regional Governing Body.

The TSAT Board has established five key roles for the Academy Advisory Board:

  • To advise/act as a critical friend to the Headteacher

  • To advise the Regional Governing Body about local issues they need to consider that affect the academy

  • Represent the interest of the Academy community in the running of the Academy

  • Represent the Academy in its community

  • Provide support to the Principal in undertaking appropriate day to day procedures that are essential to the life of the Academy

The main purpose of these roles is to enable AABs to be able to express and act on local views and issues – views of parents and the community etc.

The five roles translate specifically into the following tasks that the AAB undertakes:

  • it acts as a key link between the academy, parents and local community

  • it supports the work of the academy in the community

  • it supports the Principal and Academy Leadership Team in the development and implementation of the Academy Development Plan and other relevant plans, ensuring that the TSAT ethos remains at the heart of the academy community

  • it helps on the ground with the implementation of certain academy policies

  • it offers challenging but positive and proactive support to the Principal

  • it regularly reviews the academy's performance in relation to the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Introduction from Paul Hutchings (Chair of AAB)

January 2022 has been a significant month for Plympton Academy as we joined TSAT [Thinking Schools Academy Trust]. After a period of consultation, the governors approved moving into this multi-academy trust as TSAT closely aligns with our values and ambitions for the academy moving forwards.

The Academy has seen the development of the site over the last few years: with the new school teaching block and the Michael Morpurgo Performing Arts Centre, we are providing an environment supporting students to become resilient, independent and confident in their learning. Throughout this time the Governing Body has worked alongside staff, students and parents to give students the best opportunities we can, allowing students to reach their own potential.

During the COVID pandemic there have been challenges. The Academy has embraced different ways of ensuring our students have access to virtual learning on-line, which is still being accessed today as the pandemic is still affecting teaching access and provision and flexibility of learning is key.

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.

“As chair of the AAB [Academy Advisory Board] 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. If you would like to find out more about being a parent governor in the future please get in touch.”

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

AAB Members 

Role Member
Principal Lisa Boorman
Chair Paul Hutchings
Community member Tina Blagdon
Parent member Steve Wallers
Co-opted member David Arthur
Co-opted member Sue Dann
Co-opted member Janina Villalta
Teaching Staff Kirsty Harvey
Support Staff Louise Macauley

Paul Hutchings (Chair)

I have been a governor at Plympton Academy since 1994. I have sat on many of the governance committees and panels over the years and have seen the Academy develop itself to the current high standard of education and pupil well-being it provides today.

I worked in the gas industry for many years and through all of the development changes that took place. I was a Network Maintenance Manager for the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset area. I became the Project Manager for the project to provide a High-Pressure Gas supply to the Plymouth Power Station from the Network at Yeovil in Somerset.

Having now retired from the gas industry I can offer a little more of my time to the governance process of the Plympton Academy Advisory Board and the Regional Governing Body. I am enthusiastic about the educational aims and philosophy of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust.

As well as being Chair of Governors I am the Safeguarding link governor working with the Plympton Academy Safeguarding Team.

Tina Blagdon (Community member)

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 member / Vice Chair)

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.


David Arthur (Co-opted member)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.

Sue Dann (Co-opted member)

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


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 member or the appointment process you can speak to our Clerk of Governors

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


Regional Governance - Regional Governing Body RGB

The South West Regional Governing Body governs Plympton Academy. For information on the role of the RGB and its members please follow the link here.


The Board of Directors

For information on the role of the Board of Directors, members and minutes please follow the link here.