Board of Directors – Committee Membership
Chair: Isabel Cherrett
Foundation Director – End of term 12 April 2020
After three years at the Home Office, Isabel moved to Chichester in West Sussex and worked for the County Fire Officer, supporting a number of national projects. In 1987, she was appointed PA to the Director of the former West Sussex Institute of Higher Education with the role of Clerk to the Governors and Trustees being added in 1995. The institution transferred to a private company limited by guarantee in 2003 when Isabel was appointed Company Secretary, adding the role of Freedom of Information Officer three years later. A Member of the Chartered Management Institute, Isabel has upheld the highest standards of good governance, supporting senior management of what became the University of Chichester in 2005.
She and her husband moved to Devon in 2015 to spend more time with their two daughters and four granddaughters and to enjoy the benefits of retirement. The University of Chichester has a long and successful history of widening participation; the creation of the Link Academy ensures that primary schools can retain and enhance their child-focused approach whilst benefiting from the breadth of staff experience and skills.
Nicky Dunford – CEO
Non Foundation Director – End of term 5 June 2020
Nicky Dunford returned to education after 15 years of running her own highly successful manufacturing business to take up the headship of Hennock Community Primary School in 2006. The school was operating as a ‘satisfactory school’ when she accepted the post, with significant changes made it was subsequently judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2008.
Nicky received the NCSL Regional Primary Head Teacher Award in 2009
In 2010 Nicky was asked to take up the role of acting Head Teacher at Bearnes’ Voluntary Primary as it joined Hennock in Management Partnership; the school had been operating well below DfE Floor Standards for a long period of time at this point and was in danger of closure. Requiring robust and rigorous leadership, including major building changes, alongside considerable development of staff and leadership the school moved to a judgement of ‘good’ in 2012. While she has been leading the school the number of children on roll has increased from below 30 children to in excess of 100 pupils.
Since September 2012 the two schools, together with Hennock Foundation Stage Unit and more recently Bearnes’ Foundation Unit have operated as Newton and Teign Federation with Nicky as the executive Head Teacher. Both schools have (April 29/30th 2015) been judged as ‘good’.
Nicky has a degree in Education, NPQH qualification and many training qualifications associated with the role of Head Teacher. Living on the edge of Dartmoor, Nicky has 2 grown up daughters, 2 horses and a large garden- all of which keeps her busy, alongside the demands of being a Chief Executive Officer.
Foundation Director – End of term 2 May 2020
Fiona Walters is a non practising solicitor who qualified later in life after working in music publishing and property development. She won an RDS Conservation Award 1994-2004 for outstanding building. Although she practised law in Exeter as a criminal defence specialist, she gained distinction in the Law Society final exams in property, private client and family papers. She has lived on Dartmoor for 33 years and as a confirmed Christian has contributed to the local church community by singing in choirs, playing the organ and arranging church flowers. Throughout her life she has worked for a number of charities, notably the British Olympic Appeal and NSPCC Full Stop campaign. She is a Patron of Devon Opera and believes exposure to all the Arts is a vital part of education. She is married with a daughter.
Foundation Director – End of term 2 May 2020
Simon has worked in the public sector for 20 years, the majority in Education including finance, capital strategy, strategic planning, SEN and Admissions/Inclusion. He currently has a leadership role in DEVON County Council and is a parent governor at his son’s school in Torbay with a pupil achievement portfolio.
Simon was asked to join the Link Academy having worked closely with a number of the schools in the MAT over the years and hope’s that his broad range of experience and skills will support the MAT’s future success.
Foundation Director – End of term 9 Oct 2020
Roy became a Civil Servant in 1980 and in his 30-year career, has held many senior Finance Director roles in the Ministry of Defence (MOD), including at the MODs university situated at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manadon, Plymouth. Roy has an excellent depth of knowledge and experience in detailed business administration processes, financial budgeting and project management skills.
Roy is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Roy left the MOD ten years ago to become a CIMA Member in Practice and became the Managing Director and Company Secretary of his own Management Accountancy Practice. Roy has recently achieved an MSc in Strategic Business Management from Manchester Metropolitan University and is also a Member of the Chartered Management Institute.
Roy has been a governor of various schools in the South Hams for the last 34 Years and a governor at Dartington C of E Primary School and Nursery for the past 17 years. He joins the Link Academy Trust as Finance Director.
Non Foundation Director – End of term 1 Oct 2021
Following her career as a Secretary and Personnel Administrator at an international chartered accountants in London, Cheryl moved to Hong Kong to become Human Resources and Administration Manager for an international strategy consulting firm. She then moved on to be Head of HR in Asia for the international law firm, Clyde & Co.
Non Foundation Director – End of term 9 Oct 2022
Clerk to the Trust