Register of Governors

Simon Sanger-Anderson
Chair of the Governing Body

I have been a governor since the early days of Clyst Vale becoming an Academy. Both my children came here and my wife and I chose CVC because of its clear expression of a caring ethos and shaping young people to be well rounded, in addition to achieving the best they were capable of academically. I think those core values have become even more apparent in recent times and have enabled us to do our very best for students in the difficult years of 2020 and 2021. As a governor it has been an honour to be a small part of shaping that ethos.

Kevin Bawn
Principal/Ex Officio

Originally from Dorset, I completed a BA and a PhD in History at Reading University, before gaining my PGCE at Oxford.  Eight schools later, including a Deputy Headship at Exmouth and a Headship in Leicestershire, I became Principal at Clyst Vale in 2001. This is therefore my 24th year of being a Governor or Trustee.  All three of my children attended Devon comprehensive schools, and are  respectively completing a doctorate, working in digital copywriting and working in a university.  I remain passionate about education and the potential of young people, and continue to teach.  Out of College, my interests include History, reading, travel (when possible!), sport in general and watching theatre – I like musicals!

Clyst Vale is a fantastic College with a boundless ‘human’ ethos.  I have been very proud of our successes in Rights Respecting Schools and promoting human rights in general. We have had our ups and downs since I started here in 2001, but have maintained that ethos throughout, while striving to achieve the best outcomes possible for our students.

Paul Colin
Member Appointed Governor/ Trustee

As a long-standing member of teaching staff, now retired, and former Staff Governor, Clyst Vale has been a big part of my life and I am delighted to now return as a co-opted Governor. After a period working in cancer research I started my teaching career in Hertfordshire and then moved to Clyst Vale in 1990. I was second in Science and then Head of Science at Clyst Vale before becoming the College timetabler and latterly Assistant Principal. I hope to be able use my knowledge of the College, the curriculum and wider College life to make a positive contribution to the work of the Governing Body.

David Edmondson
Parent Governor

I have worked in education for 20+ years.  I worked in a secondary school for 12 years as teacher, tutor, Head of House, teacher coach and SENCo and for the last 6 years I have been working in education for the local authority.  I am passionate about the opportunities that a quality, broad and engaging education provides for children and young people and would like to support CVCC in continuing to work towards this goal.  When I was Head of House, our house mission statement was Promote Participation, Nurture Potential, Celebrate Success, and this continues to be my vision.

Rebekah Kyffin
Parent Governor

I am a parent just starting my journey at Clyst Vale, as my son started in September.   

 I bring over 10 years’ experience in social care working with children, 3 years as Chair of the PTA at Brampford Speke Primary School, and 5 years as a self-employed Maker.  I would love to support the Senior Leadership team to nurture wholesome, creative environments for all children to learn, and have equal opportunities to get the most out of their time at school. 

Sophy Norris
Parent Governor

I became a Parent Governor of Clyst Vale December 2017.  I have one child at the school already and one soon to join.  I am a full time working mother, with a job that involves a lot of travel, so I thought hard about the commitments of becoming a Governor before putting myself forward.  The opportunity however, to become involved in the development of Clyst Vale, a school I have been overwhelmingly impressed with since my daughter joined, was an opportunity I simply had to take.

I believe in a level and fair playing field for all children whilst they are at school, a place where each child is treated as an individual and is encouraged to be the best they can be. This quality shines through at Clyst Vale, I see it my own child, in my child’s friends and I have witnessed it in the teachers and staff at the school.  Clyst Vale is a strong community school, with a strong community heartbeat.  It is this sense of shared community that I look forward to learning more about, encouraging and fostering over the coming months and years.

I read English Literature at Manchester University which I followed with an MA in English Literature at Vanderbilt University in the USA. Since I graduated I have been involved in marketing and communications.  I moved to Devon with my family about 12 years ago, but continue to work mainly in London, focusing on national and international awareness campaigns for a range of clients – from travel businesses to political causes.    I specialise in helping organisations strategically plan their future communications plans and help them better articulate their messages and values to their relevant audiences.  I hope to bring some of these skills to Clyst Vale.

Kate Offord
Parent Governor

My son started in Y7 in 2021 as the 3rd generation of his family to go to the school and I love how supportive the College environment is. I went to a very similar comprehensive school myself in Hampshire before moving to Devon to do a BA Hons in English and Medieval Studies at the University of Exeter. I then worked in a number of different roles in the University before starting at Arts Council England. I’ve been at Arts Council England as the South West lead for Literature for over 20 years now working on arts development and funding. My work includes supporting organisations with strategic and business planning, advising on and assessing funding applications and reviewing quarterly financial reports and board minutes. In my role at ACE I have had extensive experience of working with a variety of different boards and governance models in the arts and cultural sector including charitable, local authority, HEI and with Music Education Hubs directly funded by the Department for Education. I aim to bring this experience to my role as Parent Governor. Children and young people are a key part of arts and culture and I’ve previously helped to develop a national initiative supporting creative writing in schools, while closer to home I was involved with Exeter’s successful bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature. I’m passionate about the positive impact of creativity in schools and am very impressed by Clyst Vale’s track record with school plays and musicals and look forward to seeing many more! 

Dorf Ruscoe
Member Appointed Governor/Trustee

I joined the Governing Board in 2016 although my initial involvement with the College began many years previously whilst helping in a backstage capacity, with the performing arts events.   It was during this time I gained real insight into the how the College functioned, but most significantly, I became aware of the overall culture and ethos of the College. I observed a truly caring community which has been even more evident during the current Covid pandemic.

My own professional career has been mainly focused on Primary Care Nursing and Higher Education, working strategically both internationally and nationally.  Prior to my retirement in 2012 I led the General Practice Unit at Plymouth University where I still retain an Honorary Associate Professorship. I also continue in my role as an Accreditation Assessor of Educational Programmes for the Royal College of General Practitioners.

 My husband and I have lived in East Devon for the past 30 years and I am very committed to helping the College in any way I can during these very challenging and changing times for education. My eldest grandson has just joined the College in Year 7!    

Peter Skelton OBE
Vice Chair of Board/Parent Governor/Trustee

I had a lengthy international career in senior management in the British Council, including developing bilateral educational links between countries around the globe and the UK; and helping to strengthen education systems in developing countries through partnership with the very best that UK education can offer. Having sat on international school boards overseas and as a recent governor at a local primary school, I appreciate the importance of effective management/staff/parent partnership, underpinned by enlightened strategic direction, support and encouragement from the governing body. 

CVCC offers a well-rounded education for students of all abilities delivered by a committed principal and staff. It bases its educational vision on a solid community-centred ethos, with which I strongly identify. My son has greatly enjoyed, and benefited from, his time at the college and is now studying for his A-levels in the Post-16 Centre. As for so many of our students, the dedicated staff at CVCC will have given him the confidence to face the challenges that life will bring. 

I took a degree in Modern Arabic Studies at Durham University and did a PGCE in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language at UCNW, Bangor, earning my stripes briefly as a teacher in Qatar. In 1997 I was awarded an OBE for my work with the British Council in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. 

I was appointed Parent Governor at CVCC in 2019 and elected Vice Chair in 2021. There continues to be a lot to learn, and we have faced many challenges, especially in these Covid–laden times, but I am honoured to be part of the team that is driving the college forward to new heights of achievement. 

Will Tipper
Parent Governor

After studying law and specialising in environmental law I’ve worked on environmental policy issues including dispute resolution and the introduction and implementation of new legislation and government guidance. I have two daughters, one in year 7 and one in her final year at university who previously studied at Clyst Vale. I’m keen to combine my experience of having children at Clyst Vale and the skills I’ve developed during my career to help the school to adapt to future opportunities and challenges and ensure that students’ time at the school builds pride and confidence in their potential.

Dave Walter
Co-Opted Governor/Trustee/Safeguarding Governor

I grew up as a dairy farmer’s son in Shillingford, opposite side of the city and attended Alphington Primary and St Thomas High.  

I have been practicing and teaching martial arts, karate, since 1985 and have represented England at numerous tournaments.  I competed in the 1998 Gladiators TV show, winning the series and then returning for the final Champion of Champions show which I also won.  I have been a response police officer for over 20 years before taking up the role of Police Youth Intervention Officer for Exeter in 2020. 

Both my children have attended Clyst Vale with my eldest finishing at the 6th form and my youngest who is currently in year 11. 

 I joined the governing body in 2017 as I wanted to be able to provide a parent’s voice and ideas when it came to the direction of the school and policies etc.