I was appointed as Principal of Tavistock College in March 2015 following 12 years as Vice Principal in an inner-city academy Plymouth. I started my career in education in 1989 in Penzance and since that time have worked in a range of secondary school settings in Devon and Cornwall. I have held leadership positions since 1993 and senior leadership positions since 2003, for the last 9 years in co-operative schools.
I am a University Approved Tutor for the University of St Mark and St John (2004 to current) and I am a founding member of the Schools Co-operative Society.
Derrick Brett | Principal of Okehampton College
Derrick Brett is Principal of Okehampton College. Derrick joined the College as Vice Principal in September 2006 and became Head Teacher in 2016. He has worked in Education since 1990, in Kent, Hertfordshire and Devon and has held senior positions since 2000. Derrick has a BSc Hons degree from Durham and an MEd from Cambridge. Prior to teaching he worked as a conservation Zoologist in Indonesia.
Andrew Sweeney | Headteacher Holsworthy Community College
Andrew was appointed as Head of School at Holsworthy Community College in September 2018 and then to Headteacher in January 2019. He served for many years on the Senior Leadership Team at Okehampton College where he also taught History. Andrew is passionate about developing Teaching and Learning to support students in achieving to their highest potential to allow them to pursue their life goals after they leave secondary school. Andrew has led and delivered a number of Teaching, Learning and Leadership training courses in recent years and has also been involved in a number of school to school peer review programmes across Devon.
Phil Whittley | Executive Head Teacher for the Dartmoor Federation Primaries
Phil has been Primary Executive Head Teacher for the Dartmoor Federation since February 2017 and is currently responsible for the leadership of six primary schools in the Dartmoor Federation cluster.In 2016, he was head-hunted by the Local Authority to assist a struggling school due to his track record of rapid school improvement in a previous role as Acting Head Teacher.Prior to that, he was Deputy Head Teacher for a period of seven years serving a catchment with a very high percentage of pupil premium families. He is passionate that all children are given the opportunity to achieve their potential and that families are supported to work in collaboration with schools. He enjoys building capacity in aspiring leaders and delivers leadership programmes for Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance as well as facilitating the Church Schools Network and the DMAT Science Curriculum group.
Lisa Paton | Executive Headteacher for the Holsworthy Cluster
Lisa has taught in Devon Schools since 2000 and held different leadership positions before joining The Dartmoor Federation as a Head of School in 2015. She was then seconded to The Holsworthy Federation in 2017 to take up the role of Executive Headteacher. Lisa feels very privileged to serve small, rural schools with close knit communities and a ‘family feel’. Lisa has recently achieved NPQEL ( National Profession Qualification in Executive Leadership).
Elizabeth Underwood |Executive Head Teacher Three Hares Primary Cluster
Elizabeth was appointed in summer 2019 as Executive Headteacher of The Three Hares Primaries: North Tawton, South Tawton and Chagford CE Primary Schools. Previously, Elizabeth was Headteacher of an outstanding three-form entry Church of England academy in Buckinghamshire, before relocating to Devon. Her aim is to maximise the opportunities for collaboration between the children and staff of the Three Hares Primaries in order to drive school improvement. Elizabeth has a passion for enrichment as a means to help children identify their talents during a memorable learning journey and in doing so push the boundaries of their potential across the curriculum.
Sarah Godbeer | Headteacher of Okehampton Primary School
Sarah Godbeer was appointed Headteacher at Okehampton Primary School in September 2018. Previously she has been Head of School and Deputy head teacher at this large three form entry primary school for three years. Sarah has always taught in Devon, starting her career in Tavistock and has been based at Okehampton since 2006 – having taught through both KS1 & 2 and held a range of leadership roles. Sarah is passionate about the entire Okehampton Primary School community and ensuring all its pupils reach their full potential.
Sunita Chauhan | Head of School North Tawton Primary
After completing her B.Ed.(Hons) Sunita Chauhan worked in and around Birmingham for a few years, before relocating to Devon nearly 20 years ago. She has worked in a range of schools, both large and very small and has taught across the age range. She successfully led her school out of Special Measures and secured promotion as Deputy Headteacher at North Tawton CP School. During her career she has completed the NPQH and is now looking forward to embarking on her new role as Head Of School.
Sarah Marvin|Head of School South Tawton Primary
Sarah started teaching in Buckinghamshire in 1996. She moved to Devon with her husband in 2000 and took some time off from teaching to raise a family. She has two children now studying at Okehampton College. Sarah taught years 5 and 6 at North Tawton Primary School for 6 years where she was science and P.E. coordinator before spending two years teaching in the Chulmleigh Academy Trust. In 2015, she returned to the Okehampton area and took up the post of literacy coordinator and year 6 teacher at South Tawton Primary School. Sarah is now Head of School at South Tawton.
Tara Penny|Head of School Chagford C of E Primary
Tara Penny has worked in schools in London and Surrey, most recently as an Associate Principal of a primary in Waterloo. She is excited to bring her skills and enthusiasm to Chagford, an area she has visited many times.
Adam Hill|Head of School Exbourne C of E & Acting Head of School Bridestowe Primary
Adam was appointed as Head of School at Exbourne C of E Primary in January 2018 as the school converted to academy status. In February 2019 Adam took on the role of Acting Head of School at Bridestowe Primary. Adam has been teaching since 2008 when he graduated from Bangor University with a BEd. Since then Adam has worked in inner city schools in Liverpool, has had experience in education systems in China, Germany, Austria and Finland before returning to Devon where he has worked in rural schools in the local area. Adam is passionate about providing enriching opportunities for children to develop and become global citizens of the 21st century.
Deirdre Petersen|Head of School Boasley Cross & Acting Head of School Lydford Primary
I am committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum, my career in education has enabled me to foster creativity and instill a love of learning in children. As Head of School, I aim to find a balance between academic research and effective school leadership. I offer transferable skills from my previous career in the creative sector, running my own photography business and managing a marketing team for a PR company, to take forward into educational leadership. My route into Teaching and Learning has been through a PGCE and Masters in Education at Exeter University and, more recently, Outstanding Leadership in Education and Aspiring Headship courses (DTSA).
Janine Cook|Head of School Northlew and Ashbury CofE Primary
I was appointed the Head of school at Northlew C of E Primary in January 2018. Having qualified as a teacher over 20 years ago, my career has provided me with the opportunity to work in a range of schools in London as well as teaching overseas in South Africa, before settling down in Devon. My passion for developing reading and writing lead me to become an English subject leader, and in my previous role I lead a small group of schools developing early reading and phonics. I am passionate about providing all children with an enriched and engaging curriculum to enable them to access opportunities that support the development of the whole child; promoting ability and resilience, as well as strategies for physical and mental well-being
Suzie Stevens | Headteacher St James C of E Primary
Suzie Stevens is Headteacher at St James C of E Primary and Nursery School, a brand new school in Okehampton. When the school opened in September 2018, Suzie was appointed as Head of School and became Headteacher in February 2020. Suzie has worked in education since 1995 in Bedfordshire, Somerset and Devon and has previously been an Early Years Consultant for Devon County Council. Suzie has completed her NPQH and has held two Acting Headteacher roles before leading at St James. Suzie is passionate about providing the best outcomes for all children, starting with our very youngest and building up our new school within the local community.