Meet Our


The Board of Governors is made up of people from the community who have business, management or education experience, alongside staff and parents.


The main responsibilities of the UTC Board of Governors are:

1. To act within the formal powers and rules as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

2. To determine the educational character and mission of the UTC and to exercise oversight of its activities.

3. To approve the quality improvement strategy for the institution.

4. To ensure the effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the UTC and to safeguard its assets.

5. To act in the best interests of the UTC.

6. To be fully informed about the operation of the UTC.

7. To ensure decisions are always taken for the benefit of the UTC, its students, staff and other users and with a view of safeguarding public funds.

8. To act as individuals and not bound by mandates from other bodies.

9. To attend UTC events, such as student awards presentations and open days, in order to gain an appreciation of and support the work of the UTC.

The Board of Governors meets regularly to review the work of the UTC and discuss any future developments in line with the above powers and responsibilities.

UTC Plymouth Governor Training Record 2021 onwards

UTC Plymouth Governor Meeting Attendance Record 2022 23

UTC Plymouth Governor Records 2022 23

Governance Handbook

UTC Plymouth Local Governing Body Meeting dates 2023-24

· Monday 30 October 2024

Minutes can be requested from the Clerk - Lindsey.johnson@reachsouth.org

· Monday 26 February 2024

· Monday 17 June 2024

Meet Our Governors

Tony Bent - Employer Sponsor - Appointed by the Trust Board: Quality of 6th Form Provision

Term: 21.09.20 - 20.09.24

Responsibility: Quality of 6th Form Provision

Attendance 2023-24: 2/2

Registered Interests: None

Tony has an Engineering background and was Principle Mechanical Engineer for Toshiba Consumer products in Plymouth, where he worked for 17 years before joining Rittal CSM Ltd. as Senior Supply Chain Engineer and later Supply Chain Engineering Manager. He has worked for Rittal for 20 years now and is currently Supply Chain Director and one of the members of the Senior Management team at the Roborough based factory. During his time there, he has taken on wider responsibilities in the Supply Chain Department including: Sourcing and Procurement, Supplier Quality, Logistics and Warehousing. Tony started his working life with an Engineering Apprenticeship, which was a great launch pad for a successful career in manufacturing. He is therefore really keen to support the success of Plymouth UTC, in providing similar foundations and opportunities for STEM stars of the future.

Nick Buckland OBE – Chair - Co-opted governor - Appointed by the Local Governing Body : Leadership and Management

Term: 01.10.18 - 01.10.26 (2nd Term)

Responsibility : Leadership and Management and Behaviour and Attitudes

Attendance 2023-24: 2/2

Registered Interests:

Joint owner of Ditchen Farm ( 1989), Chair of Parnall Group (2019), Trelonk Ltd (2020), Parnall Aircraft Company (2020), Riverford Organic Trust (2018), Plymouth Waterfront Partnership (2018), St Petroc’s School Trust (2017), SA Certification (2016), HRC College (2021), Shebbear College (2010) and Director of TWSW Ltd. Trustee of PML (2016), Karst (2014) and Future First (2023). Chair of Governors of UTC Plymouth (2016), Millbay Academy & High Street Primary LGB (2022), Stoke Damerel Primary School LGB (2018) and Thomas hall (2023). Fellow of IMA, RSA, IET, BCS and CMI. Member of IoD and RI

Eur Ing Nick Buckland OBE is a very experienced Governor and is currently the Chair of the Local Governing Bodies for Millbay & High Street, UTC Plymouth and Stoke Damerel Primary and the Chair of the Improvement Board for Thomas Hall School. In these roles he provides leadership, expertise, challenge, mentoring of new Governor colleagues, and a wealth of Governor knowledge.

Originally a mathematician, he spent many years in the IT industry working on high performance computers, the early years of virtual reality and the internet. From the mid 1990’s he has had a portfolio career as a Chair and Director of organisations in private, public and voluntary sectors. Nick has been a strong advocate of STEM and its importance for the UK economy and is passionate about ensuring young people are given the opportunities to gain a good education that will ensure they can take up exciting, well paid jobs and careers. He was appointed OBE for services to Innovation and Technology in the 2009 New Year Honours List and is a Chartered Engineer, Information Technology Practitioner and Manager. He is also a Fellow of a number of professional bodies.

Ian Crews - Vice Chair - Employer Sponsor - Appointed by the Trust Board: Quality of Education and Personal Development

Term: 09.11.20 - 08.11.24

Responsibility : Quality of Education and Personal Development

Attendance 2023-24: 2/2

Registered Interests: Training Programme Manager for Babcock

Ian Crews is Training Programme Manager for Shore Support Engineering for Babcock International at Devonport Royal Dockyard. He has also worked at BAE Systems in Portsmouth as a Lead Training Solutions Engineer. Across these two roles his predominant responsibilities have been focussed around the scoping for and designing of training for the engineers who repair the complex systems used on the surface and sub-surface fleet in the Royal Navy.

Prior to joining BAE Systems Ian was the inaugural Principal of South Devon UTC. He took this from the build phase into its first 3 years. As a former Principal Ian brings a real understanding of the UTC movement and the importance of employer engagement to UTC Plymouth. Ian has also been a governor of UTC Portsmouth while he worked for BAE Systems. Prior to his career in education Ian served in the Royal Navy as an aircraft technician and engineer.

Gavin Douglas – University Sponsor – Appointed by the Trust Board: Quality of 6th Form Provision

Term: 16.02.22 – 15.02.26

Responsibility: Quality of 6th Form Provision

Attendance 2023-24: 0/2

Registered Interests : None

I’m a graduate of Durham University (German) and the Open University (MBA). I’ve worked in education for most of my career, initially as a teacher overseas and in the UK, then in management in further education, and for the last 20 years in higher education leadership including senior roles at Robert Gordon University, the University of Sheffield and the University of Edinburgh.

At the start of January 2022 I moved to take up the role of University Registrar and Secretary at the University of Plymouth. I am responsible as Registrar for a wide range of professional services within the University, and as Secretary for the effective operation of the University’s governance structures, including the Board of Governors.

My professional interests and experiences include leadership, change management, student services and support, and marketing and communications.

I am married with one (grown-up) daughter. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, gardening, playing the piano and trying (with varying degrees of success) to stay fit.

Esther Knight – Staff Governor – Elected by Staff

Responsibility: Staff Governor

Attendance 2023-24: 1/2

Registered Interests: None

Working at the UTC has given me great pleasure and sense of achievement. It's wonderful to still feel like this after twenty years working in education across various Primary and Secondary Schools in the UK alongside some incredible opportunities working abroad. I am now a busy working mum and can very much relate to the importance of sending my son off to his school trusting that they will give him a good education and keep him safe. This has been the biggest gratification of working at the UTC knowing that the staff work hard to achieve this for our students every day. I like to keep fit by going to the gym, it's been an important part of my life for a long time alongside yoga and trying new healthy foods. I like to travel and I'm planning that with the pandemic being more under control that I will be able to visit new countries again. I hope that my experiences to date will benefit the Governing Body and support shaping the UTC further in this very exciting time of rapid expansion.

Warren O'Riley – Staff Governor – Elected by Staff

Responsibility: Staff Governor

Attendance 2023-24: 0/2

Registered Interests: None

A teacher of mathematics who has made a positive impact on both the school and its pupils. I am currently taking a lead in understanding dyscalculia, how the UTC maths department can improve their teaching of these pupils, how other departments are affected by this condition, and to help develop a whole school strategy for teaching dyscalculic pupils.

I have extensive experience in school governance including 6 years as a parent governor of Prince Rock Primary where I was Chair of Finance, lead on mathematics, and pupil premium governor. I was also a founding director and trustee of The Learning Academy Trust where, during my 3-year tenure, I helped the trust grow from 1 primary school to 8. I have previous experience in leadership, management, and strategic planning, having gone through the S&N Plc management programme and then managed many businesses in the licensed leisure industry.

Currently studying for a masters degree in Educational Leadership where I am focussing on barriers and perceptions that prevent teachers from moving into leadership positions.

I see being a governor as the perfect opportunity to make a real contribution to the running and management of the school whilst always acting in the best interests of UTC, its staff, and most importantly the children. In particular, I am keen to ensure that all pupils, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are given every opportunity to succeed.'

Rachel Summers - Co-opted Governor - Safeguarding and SEN

Term 01.08.22 – 31.07.26

Responsibility: Safeguarding and SEN

Attendance 2023-24: 2/2

Registered interests: None

I qualified as a primary teacher back in 1995 and have been a class teacher in several schools across Plymouth. In my nearly 30 years teaching career, I have taught all primary age groups, from Reception to Year 6. In 1999, I became a Lead Maths teacher for the local education authority and coached other teachers across Plymouth schools for the LA. In 2001, I was seconded to Plymouth Education Action Zone, and was their Maths teacher, supporting teachers and teaching assistants in the PEAZ schools, both in primary and secondary.

I joined Marlborough Primary Academy, Devonport, in April 2006, as the Deputy Headteacher and in 2014 became the Headteacher. I have been privileged to have been in this position, wanting the very best for all the children, their families and the local community. I left Marlborough as head teacher in July 2022, to take up a new role as SEND, Inclusion and Attendance Lead across all the Reach South Trust schools, starting in September 2022.

I have been on UTC Plymouth's Local Governing Body as Governor for Safeguarding, SEND and Inclusion since September 2022. In my role as Headteacher, I had many years of experience of Safeguarding in the Designated Safeguarding Lead role. In July 2022, I qualified as a STORM training facilitator and see this role as vital to ensure all school are equipped to support some of the most vulnerable pupils.

I have 3 children of my own, 2 boys in Year 10 and 1 girl in Year 12 at secondary, so have a busy life in and out of school.

Jo Ware - Executive Headteacher UTC Plymouth and Millbay Academy

Term - 01.05.21

Attendance 2023-24: 2/2

Registered interests: None

Peter Towell OBE MA MBA CEng FIMarEST – Employer Sponsor – Appointed by the Trust Board: Quality of Education and Finance

Term: 07.07.22 – 06.07.26

Responsibility: Quality of Education and Personal Finance

Attendance 2023-24: 1/2

Registered Interests:

Parochial Church Council Member - Parish of St Mary’s and St John’s Plymstock and Hooe and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology

Peter is a marine engineer who served in the Royal Navy for 36 years. Having initially served a Navy engineering apprenticeship he enjoyed a richly varied career, in the front line at sea and ashore in engineering and support, in many UK and worldwide locations. He also worked in several training roles and in strategic HR managing the engineering branch of the Royal Navy. He attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course and also Cranfield University Business School, and in his penultimate role was the Navy’s Chief Engineer in Portsmouth Dockyard. His final appointment was the Commanding Officer of HMS SULTAN, the Royal Navy’s School of Air and Marine Engineering which was part of the Royal Navy’s outstanding OFSTED apprenticeship accreditation.

After leaving the Royal Navy he joined the Civil Service to continue his work in defence, taking a role within HM Naval Base Devonport as the Head of Estates where he is responsible for the Naval Base infrastructure. Peter is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, and lives in Plymouth.

Martin Stephens – Parent Governor

Term: 06.12.22 – 05.12.26

Attendance 2023-24: 1/2

Registered Interests: Director of Park Pavilion Cafe Devonport Ltd (2010), Director of Park Pavilion Cafe Victoria Park Ltd 2017, Director of Park Pavilion Cafe Freedom Fields Ltd (2020) and Director of Plymouth Pie Club CIC (Social Care) (2020). Spouse is also a Director of the companies noted.

Martin served in the Royal Navy from 1993 to 2005 as a Petty Officer in the Supply Branch. On leaving the Royal Navy he undertook an Engineering Apprenticeship with Babcock Marine from 2006 to 2010. In 2006 Martin was elected by the community of Devonport to the Devonport Regeneration Board, which was responsible for investing £49 million pounds of New Deals for Community money into the regeneration of Devonport. In 2010 Martin and his wife Shelley opened up The Park Pavilion Cafe in Devonport Park. This was followed by The Park Pavilion Cafe Victoria Park in 2016, The Park Pavilion Cafe Freedom Fields in 2020 and Rosie Leighs in Marlborough Street in 2024.

During the Covid pandemic Martin & Shelley utilised their food businesses and formed Plymouth PIE Club CIC (Parklifers in Exile). In the first 6 months there food businesses provided over 18000 free meals to the vulnerable members of the community. Plymouth PIE Club still operates today providing befriending, meals and assistance to the community.

Martin hobbies are running, having completed The London Marathon in 2022 & 2023. In 2024 Martin will run The London Marathon in April, The Great South Run in Portsmouth in September and The Great North Run in Newcastle in October for Brain Research UK.

Governors of the previous 12 months

Janice Jenner – Parent Governor 14.02.22 -19.07.23

Henrik Koornhof - Employer Sponsor Governor 01.10.18 – 30.08.23

Craig Hampton-Stone – Co-opted Governor 11.11.19 – 31.07.23

How to contact the Board of Governors

To find out more about Reach South Academy Trust governance, click on the following link:


If you wish to contact any member of the Board of Governors you will need to do so via the Clerk to the Board:

Lindsey Johnson
Clerk to the UTC Board of Governors

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