Who’s who? Pen portraits.

Chair of Governors: Robert Atwill



Clerk to the Governing Body: Ann Inman


My husband and I moved down to West Devon in 2004 to be closer to our family and, ostensibly, to retire. My brother, who, at that time, was a governor at Horrabridge Primary School, asked me a few months after we arrived whether I’d care to do “a bit of administrative work for the school’s governing body”. Having been brought up with a very strong work ethic, I am programmed never to say “no”, and this occasion was no exception.  I subsequently did clerking work for several other local schools, including Tavistock College, where I played a very small part in its emergence from Special Measures I retired (again!) in July 2012, but then an offer came to join the West Dartmoor Federation, which I did in February 2013. My strengths are good communication skills, an attention to detail and the determination to improve continuously the quality of the service that I provide to my governing body. If asked, my governors would probably say that I was a benevolent dictator, but I’d take that as a sign that I’m doing a good job! The traditional view of a clerk is someone who takes notes at meetings and writes up the minutes. However, the remit of a governing body has increased enormously, and at a truly frightening speed, since I started working as a clerk. My job is now much more than writing the minutes. I need to ensure that my governors are kept well informed, receive the training they need and, as a governing body, are able to provide the strategic direction for the schools in the Federation. We would all do well to remember that the 365,000 governors around the country give of their time voluntarily.

Foundation Governor Revd Preb Nick Shutt

Hello! I am the “ex officio” governor. That means I am appointed as a governor by virtue of my office as the Rector of the West Dartmoor Mission Community. You will often find me in both schools. I conduct Collective Worship every other week as well as coming into both schools to meet staff, parents and talk with the children. I am the lead governor on Personnel issues. This is a demanding portfolio to look after and involves constantly looking at the staffing resources across the Federation in discussion with the Executive Head Teacher, Chair of Governors and the Full Governing Body. We are very fortunate in having very dedicated teaching and support staff all of whom are hard-working and have the best interests of all the children as their number one priority. I am also the lead governor on safeguarding and liaise with the staff, who have been trained in these roles in the Federation. Up till 2008 I worked as a solicitor in the local area but retired from that role to take up my current full time position within the church. As the Rector of the West Dartmoor Mission Community I am responsible for looking after seven churches across six parishes, sharing people’s joys and sorrows in my work as a priest. It is a privilege to be able to share my faith in Jesus Christ with those among whom I live and work. My interests include photography, music and singing (the children can attest to my strumming on the guitar), dog-walking (one mad Springer Spaniel) as well as being an occasional cook!

Foundation Governor: Sarah Shutt

I have been appointed as a new Foundation Governor for a year now and becoming more involved in the workings of a governing body. I am now the Safeguarding Portfolio holder of the Governing Body and have been involved in updating Safeguarding policies. It has been a great opportunity to understand how the Federation runs on a strategic and operational level.

I am a mother of 3 young children with my eldest, Alex, attending Lady Modiford\’s, alongside Charlotte who will start in the Autumn Term. I am the Chairperson of Walkhampton Preschool. I work as a senior physiotherapist, part-time at Derriford Hospital. I have lived in Walkhampton since 2005 and I am a regular attendee of church services throughout the West Dartmoor Mission Community. I am planning on starting a Sunday school twice a month in the newly refurnished St Mary’s. I am also a member of the benefice choir. In my spare time I enjoy
baking, getting creative, exploring the outdoors and singing.

I believe passionately that children across the Federation receive a broad and balanced curriculum in a safe and caring environment where all are valued and nurtured.

Parent Governor: Justine Branfield

photo justine small

I became a member of the Federation Governing Body in May 2013 as the Parent Governor for Lady Modifords. I have one daughter, Amelia, who started the school in Foundation in 2011.
Having had a long nursing career in the NHS, most recently as Ward Manager of the Critical Care Unit at Derriford Hospital, I have many transferable skills that I can contribute to the FGB. In 2012 I decided to leave my full time position to spend more time with my family, but continue to nurse on an ad hoc basis as family commitments allow. This enables me to be a very active member of the Federation. As well as my role on the FGB as Lead for Finance, I am treasurer for the Out of School Club Committee and support the Walkhampton PTA.
I am dedicated to ensure that all children within the federation reach their own potential whilst enjoying a happy and fulfilling education in a safe and caring environment.