Academy Trust

Exmouth Community College

Achievement for All

Jill Elson                               Chair of Governors


I have been a Devon County Council appointed Governor for over 20 years. I believe Exmouth Community College should be a centre of education for all, including adults, in academic and vocational subjects. I am an elected Academy representative on the Devon Education Forum.


I qualified as a Residential Care Worker for children and young people with Barnardo’s  - worked in care homes, an assessment unit and a secure unit.  For family reasons I returned to Exmouth and worked at Clarks. I am now retired from full time employment.


I have been an East Devon District Councillor for over 25 years representing Exmouth Halsdon Ward. During this time I have been Chairman of several committees and am currently EDDC Cabinet Member for Sustainable Homes and Communities. This portfolio comprises of all Housing related services with a budget of over £21 million. It includes the liaison with voluntary groups and other statutory agencies that are all part of the ‘community’.


I am founder and Chairman of Exmouth and District Community Transport Group, a local charity that provides a door to door transport service, using 3 tail-lift minibuses, for the area covering Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and the surrounding villages. This service is for people who are unable to access public transport to go shopping, meet friends, go on trips etc. It employs 6 people, has several volunteers and has to raise over £150,000 per year. It has just celebrated its 25 years of service to the community.


I am a voluntary Driver for Exmouth Lympstone Hospiscare.  I am a member of the WEB Consortium Reference Group (This is the GP Practices Group set up under the NHS and covers the same area as the Community College and has members from across all the voluntary and statutory health services within this area).


My website is www.jillelson.co.uk


Lesley Miszewska                Vice Chair of Governors


I have been a Governor for over 13 years at ECC. I was brought up in the area and went to Exmouth School from 11-18 years of age, leaving to train as a Radiographer at Westminster Hospital, London. I also worked and lived abroad, returning to set up an engineering business, AnTech Ltd, with my husband when our children reached school age. Both children also went to ECC and thoroughly enjoyed the College, leaving to become engineers.

I feel running my own business and being a governor of an academy are mutually beneficial. I have experience in all aspects of business including employment, marketing and finance having run a business for over 20 years. Although initially I was sceptical of the government’s policy to introduce academies, I have seen the benefits academy status can bring and I am completely behind the type of academy we have at Exmouth.  I believe, due to the efficient running of ECC as an academy, that more money is spent on the students and their education.

I am linked to Business Studies, Media and Technology Departments, the lead governor for Safeguarding, Vice Chair of the Governing Board and Vice Chair of the HR Committee.


Ray Davison


Ray Davison will have completed 30 years of service on the Governing Body at the end of 2015. He was originally a Local Authority appointment but is now part of the Academy Trust.  Ray has undertaken a variety of important duties over the years: he has served as Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Principal’s Performance Related Pay Committee, Vice-Chair of the Governing Body and of the Human Resources committee. He is also the link governor for Art, Dance, Drama and for Classical Studies.  For several years he was our Communication Tsar responsible for liaison with parents and carers.  

In his professional life, Ray was a University Teacher at Exeter in the French Department where he lectured in French Thought and Literature and he retired as Head of Department in 2005. He is now an independent member of East Devon District Council’s Standards Committee.

Ray has a passion for politics and is fully committed to the principles of comprehensive education for all. Ray has served under three difference Principals. However, he has seen the College progress significantly under the present Principal and leadership and is confident that with proper provision and financial support, the College, in combination with the Governors, will continue to raise standards and give the students and community in the Exmouth area the education they all deserve. All three of Ray’s daughters were students at the College.

Clare Babbage


I am a Parent Governor and have been a member of the Governing Board since November 2011. I am Link Governor for Physics and have two children at Exmouth Community College and two pre-school age children.


I attended The Maynard School, Exeter age 7-16, before going to Exeter College where I gained A Levels in Economics, History of Art and English Literature.


My gap year became permanent and following a spell in Catering Management, I worked in Sales and Promotion for Campbell Distillers, developing the company’s core brands. Post children, I have largely worked in a sales environment, and am currently owner/director of an Exeter based finance operation. Good communication lies at the core of my job, combined with the ability to nurture sound working relationships, understanding individual requirements and responding accordingly.


My own educational experience and working life have led me to feel very passionate about comprehensive education and the benefits it offers to both the individual and wider society. My experience as a Governor to date has shown me just how committed Exmouth Community College is to inclusive education.


Margaret Turgoose


I have been a Parent Governor at Exmouth Community College since January 2010. I was also a Governor at Lympstone Church of England Primary School from 2006 until August 2015 and was Chair from 2012.

I went to a fairly large comprehensive school in Newquay in Cornwall and graduated from Southampton University with a degree in Business Economics and Accounting in 1985. I worked for over 20 years in the public sector, primarily for The Post Office, where I was fortunate to have the opportunity to experience a wide range of management roles. Amongst other things, I managed teams of people, was responsible for several million pound budgets, headed up customer service for Post Office Counters Ltd and led a number of major change programmes. I have also done a lot of work in recruitment, training and performance management. More recently, I worked in a management consultancy which had contracts with Local Authorities in different parts of the country and for the past two years I have worked with my husband in our own small management consultancy business.

In my role as Governor, I am Chair of the Human Resources Committee, the Pay Committee and the Principal’s Performance Management Committee. I also sit on the Curriculum Committee and the Risk Management Committee. Currently, I act as the link Governor for Maths and English.

I have two children in the school and have been extremely impressed by the Community College; both academically and in terms of pastoral care, coupled with the high standards of teaching and support that the staff provide and in particular the wide range of opportunities available to all students. I was keen to become a Governor in order to provide whatever support I could to help the College continue to thrive within the community. I am currently self-employed, working only occasionally, so am fortunate enough to have the capacity and time available that the role of Governor demands.


Robert Mitchell


I am a Staff Governor, and have been a member of the Governing Body since September 2010.  I was a pupil at Exmouth School in the 1970’s; I left at fifteen and trained for a career in industry.  Having gained qualifications at Exeter Technical College and completed an apprenticeship, I worked locally in motor engineering for about twenty years rising to managerial level. I then started a motor and marine engineering business in Exmouth which I worked at for ten years. After study with the Open University I gained employment at Exmouth Community College; I am currently the Chief Science Technician at the school.


Within my governor role at the college I have been linked to Y9, Work Related Learning and libraries.  I am proud of the achievements of the staff and pupils at ECC in education, sport and all of the many activities in which they are involved. I am a believer in inclusive comprehensive education and think that a strong school should be at the heart of the local community providing education and development for all.


Roger Lawrence


I have been a Governor at Exmouth Community College since 2002. My children attended ECC and now two of my grandchildren do. I trained as a primary teacher in Nottingham and taught in Devon from 1965 to 2002. I was a Headteacher for twenty nine years and subsequently became an Ofsted Inspector. I have also served as an external examiner at Exeter University.


I have experienced an enormous change in education in my forty years in the profession at both local, county and national levels from the abolition of corporal punishment, to the introduction of the National Curriculum and Local Management of Schools to the development of Academies. I have witnessed these changes as a teacher and also as a member of various Governing Bodies since 1969!!!


I am totally committed to Comprehensive Education and in the development of the whole child ensuring that each one develops his/her full potential and enjoys their life. My specific responsibilities at ECC are as Governor for Religious Education, Psychology and Law.


Ruth Jones


I joined the Governing Body in 2005 when my eldest son was starting in Year 7 on his education path through GCSE’s and A levels with the College.

I am full of confidence that Exmouth Community College is set to continue to provide an effective learning environment for all the young people in our community.   


I am keen to continue to contribute to the long-term development of the College where pupils are motivated to achieve to the best of their ability. With a keen interest in many sports I really enjoy my link to the PE department.

I am able to offer administrative and business skills to the Board of Governors as a Chartered Accountant and Director of a company based locally. The important issues in respect of employment, finance and marketing are all tackled in my daily work load. I am Chair of the Admissions Committee and Vice Chair of the Finance and Premises Committees.


Vivien Duval Steer


I have been a Governor with Exmouth Community College for a year., I am also a Governor of a local Primary School.  The experience I am gaining from both is invaluable seeing education working in the two different environments.


My background is in finance and customer service which I think enables me to bring an extra dimension in respect of seeing things from a completely different perspective as opposed to coming from within the education system.


Having been a councillor for six years I understand that financial constraints from both sides and its obvious consequences.  I am finding my role in both schools truly rewarding and feel proud to be associated with our wonderful young people.


Kim Johnson


My start date as a governor was September 2012.  I attended a Grammar School that became a Comprehensive during my Year 9.  It was, instantly, a better school and my commitment to inclusive education has been strengthened by teaching in this type of school for thirty years, sixteen of them as Deputy Head of a 1500 student, 13-18, High School.  The following four and a half years were spent as an Assistant Director of Education, Head of Planning and Resources.


I have extensive experience of strategic planning, budgeting, curricular and personnel issues, appointment processes, analysis and synthesis of new ideas.  I hope that this experience can be useful to Exmouth Community college.  


Personal interests include most sports, theatre, reading and observing the fascinating development of three young grandchildren.  I hope all three will attend Exmouth Community College in due course.  That expresses confidence in the College I am getting know now and my commitment to try to help maintain and, where possible, improve the quality of provision for the future.


Andrew Gelling


I am a teacher Governor at the College and I am link Governor for History. I sit on the Premises and Curriculum committees. I have been teaching Science at the College for over fifteen years with nearly eleven years as Head of Chemistry. I have been a tutor to all age groups from seven to eleven and to Post 16 students for the last eight years.  I am currently involved with the setting up of the College biodiesel production plant as part of the post 16 Chemistry course.


I came into teaching after doing my degree and post graduate studies in Kent and then after a brief time in industry spending four years doing Chemical research at Exeter University with Exmouth being the only school I have taught in since qualifying.  


I believe in comprehensive education, offering students the widest range of opportunities possible and so I have been proud to be able to help students to achieve their full potential in Science and Chemistry: many of them going on to study at degree level. I have also accompanied groups of our students on residential trips including Berlin and will be part of the expedition to do conservation research in South Africa.


Marianne Skinner


This is my first year as a Teacher Governor. I have taught Food and Textiles Technology at Exmouth Community College for sixteen years. I have been the Head of Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education since 2004.


I went to a variety of different schools, as a child of a serving Naval Officer, in different parts of the world, but largely in later years in Cornwall. I went on to study a Food and Education degree at Bath College of Higher Education. Following my graduation I have worked in comprehensive schools in Cornwall and Somerset. I am a fully trained caseworker for the NASUWT teaching organisation where I specialise in health and safety issues.


My daughter attended this College and I have always been proud to work here; I enjoy teaching the entire range of students and am pleased to be part of the opportunities that the College can offer to all of its students. I am pleased to have the opportunity to be a Teacher Governor to represent the staff on the Governing Board and to give something back to a College that has given me so much.


Ian Macqueen


I retired from mainstream corporate life some 5 years ago coming to Exmouth in 2010. My last appointment was as Group Managing Director for Fiskars UK Brands Ltd where I was responsible for Wilkinson Sword, Kitchen Devils, Richard Sankey & Sons and Fiskars Craft Orange Handled Scissors. Prior to this I have held Directorships with a number of national companies including Great Mills DIY Ltd, Bensons for Beds Ltd, Meyer International plc and Vanquish Industries Ltd.


Currently I am a Director and Founder of www.bigfire.co.uk an online Distributor and Retailer of outdoor/indoor wood fired products with a showroom at the shops at Dartington. I am also Chair of EDP Drug & Alcohol Services Ltd an Exeter based Charity that helps in the rehabilitation of clients with drug and/or alcohol dependency including those within HM Prisons.


I have been Chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Commerce for the past 4 years and am pleased that the Chamber of Commerce has been able to collaborate with Exmouth Community College Business Department in sponsoring various initiatives as well as assisting in the development and work experience of a number of students. I am looking forward to furthering the Chamber’s business connection with the College as well as becoming part of such a hugely successful and vibrant hot house of learning and development where I hope to learn a lot as well as being of some use.


I am married to Sandy, have two grown up children as well as two grandchildren and last but not least, two very opinionated terriers!


Clair McColl


I have lived in Exmouth for 17 years, and my son has been a student at ECC for 4 years. I have a background in education support roles, having worked as a manager within the administration of QE Community College as well as my current post with the Devon Music Service, lead organisation for the Devon Music Education Hub.


I am keen to contribute to the running of ECC through the role as parent governor in order to support the excellent educational opportunities on offer to our young people and to provide support to the teaching and administration professionals.


I would welcome the chance to contribute to the College in their work to equip young people to make healthy choices and find their own success. I will bring my experience and enthusiasm for education issues and commitment to what I feel is an important role within the community.


Lyn Edwardson


Although I am new to the role of Governor at Exmouth Community College, I was a governor at my previous school for a number of years during a very challenging time. I have been a Head of Year at ECC since I joined the College in 2007. The role of Head of Year has given me the opportunity to make many links between staff, students and parents and I feel privileged to be in that position.


One of the things that has always made me so proud of the College is the strong sense of community and ownership that everyone – from students to staff to other linked partners - have for the place; there’s something about being a part of this community that gets under your skin. I now understand why so many staff have stayed here for so long!


I feel passionately about the students, the College and their future and look forward to being able to take an active role in ensuring the best provision for the whole of our community during my term as a governor.


Anna Stimson


Hello, my name is Anna Stimson and I have been a parent governor at two Devon primary schools previously.  However, as my own children are now moving onto secondary school, I am happy to be able to become a parent governor at ECC.


My eldest daughter Helena is currently in Year 8 and my son Fraser will be joining the school in September, while my youngest daughter will be moving into Year 6.  I have always been keen to be involved with my children’s schools, and I have seen some very different styles and ideas about what makes a good school, and how to make the best use of increasingly limited resources to support teaching staff in providing the best possible education for our children.  I hope my experience will allow me to be a useful member of the governing body at ECC and provide informed input in developing the Academy’s strategic focus going forward.


I work part time in the child health research group at Exeter University Medical School; we look at a wide range of conditions from those which cause severe physical difficulties across the board to learning difficulties such as autism and ADHD.  This experience, and the fact that my own 3 children have very different abilities and personalities, makes me particularly supportive of the comprehensive ideal.  I am a strong supporter of inclusive education, which does not mean “one size fits all” but that every child is treated as an individual, and each and every child is valued and appreciated for what they can bring to the wider school community.  


Phil Wales


I am a parent governor, becoming a member of the Governing Board in July 2016. I attended a reasonably large comprehensive school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and left after completing my A levels there. I later trained as a Registered Mental Nurse in Northampton. Early in my career I moved to the South West and instantly felt at home. I’ve now lived and worked in here for almost 30 years. During this time I’ve held a number of clinical and managerial roles in mental health services in Devon and Somerset. I later moved into monitoring and inspection of mental health services and most recently I have been responsible for supporting the learning and development of healthcare regulators.


I have three children who have all attended local schools in either Exeter or Exmouth. Both my daughter and youngest son have attended ECC. I have been impressed by the range of opportunities on offer to help students realise their full potential whatever their particular talents and skills. I see the college as being an extremely important part of the community it serves. It has great links with businesses and other partner organisations to enrich students experience and their growth as citizens. I’m very pleased to be able to join the Governing body at this important time in the college’s life. I hope that my many years of experience in the health service will be an asset to the school and its students.


Malcolm McDonough


I am a newly elected governor taking up the position from March 2017. Born and bred in Devon and living in Exeter my youngest son is in Year 10 at the College.  I have two other grown sons (one an officer in the Royal Navy, the other a mental health nurse).


My working life has been spent in both the commercial world (31 years with BT) followed by the last eleven years in the public sector with Devon & Cornwall police. My commercial experience focussed on public facing services in the UK and across Europe. I am an experienced and fully qualified project manager with extensive knowledge in governing large change programmes covering finance, procurement, customer services and estates with a focus on delivering business benefits. I am also keen to ensure that all stakeholders involved in change are fully consulted and involved in the process.


As I am new to the role I shall be listening to more experienced voices to build up my understanding of the educational environment and its challenges but I am committed to applying my earlier knowledge in my role as a parent governor to support the future direction of the College, providing the students with best possible environment and opportunities.


Image pending

Vicky Raven


I am a newly elected parent Governor taking up the position in March 2017.  I grew up in Hertfordshire and attended a reasonably sized comprehensive school.  I lived and worked in London, Sydney Australia and then settled down in Devon, for the past 9 years living in Exmouth.  My daughter started in year 7 at the College this year.


I have worked in a wide variety of companies ranging from management consultancy, finance and Insurance industries and construction.  More recently I worked as an Executive Assistant at the RD&E Hospital in Exeter and have for the past five years worked as project manager at the Met Office, Exeter within the Property Management department.  I have worked on a variety of projects – my current project involves working/study environments changing the Met Office work space into a great place for people to work.


I don’t have any experience of working as a Governor and am looking forward to learning about the role and contributing in the role of parent governor.  I am a firm believer that our education system should be about giving everyone the best possible opportunity to succeed in whatever they want to do.


Image pending


Biographies