Board of Directors

Governance

Board of Directors
                                                                                                                                                                         
 
For enquiries for the Plymouth CAST Board of Directors please email asktheboard@plymouthcast.org.uk
 
For general enquiries please mail admin@plymouthcast.org.uk
 
For enquiries related to specific schools please contact the school directly.
 
                                                                                                                                                                         
Mrs Ruth O'Donovan

Chair of the Board

Ruth joined the Board in February 2021. She graduated from Bristol Medical School in 1979, worked in Barnstaple, Bristol, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Manchester before returning to Barnstaple in 1986. She passed exams to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and took a substantive post in Anaesthetics at North Devon District Hospital. She developed and chaired a group for senior doctors working in the hospital and the community, supporting their career development and working terms and conditions. She became chair to the committee negotiating application of contracts and policies for all grades of medical staff in NDDH. Ruth trained as an appraiser for medical staff, and continued with this role for the last 15 years of her career. She also took on Educational Supervisor, teaching and mentoring roles for trainee doctors.
Ruth was Chair of Governors of Our Lady's Catholic Primary School for over 12 years until 2005. She is an active member of St Mary’s Catholic Church as safeguarding rep, reader and was chair of the Pastoral Parish Council until the start of the pandemic. She is very happily married to Nick, has four adult children and keeps busy with a walking group, two book groups, piano lessons, exercise classes and cooking for friends.

Mr Andy Nicholls

Vice-Chair of the Board

Andy joined the CAST Board in March 2017 and is Chair of the Finance Committee. Andy’s career was in the Defence industry, mainly in the Naval Marine sector, initially with MoD then with DML and for the last 8 years of his career with Babcock International Group before retiring in July 2016. Andy held a number of Director level appointments with responsibility for various business operations at different locations including Devonport Royal Dockyard, Bristol and Canada. He has an engineering degree from Liverpool University and an MSC from University College London. Andy was a Foundation Governor at St. Boniface’s College for 14 years up to 2008, including 7 years as Chair of Governors. He is married with 3 grown up children and lives in Plymouth.

Mrs Ann Harris

Director

Ann joined the CAST Board in September 2018. After graduating from La Sainte Union College of Education, Southampton in 1966, Ann spent her working life in education, following a varied path which included being a teacher, headteacher, an adviser and inspector working for Berkshire Education Authority and running her own Consultancy Company. Finally, returning to the headship of a school in challenging circumstances, in her mid-fifties. Throughout her career Ann worked at both local and national level, including representing primary phase on the National Curriculum working party for Physical Education, being a member of the British Broadcasting Corporation Primary Programmes Committee, contributing to television programmes for schools and writing materials for use by teachers. In 2005, she received an OBE for services to education.
Since retiring, Ann has been Chair of Governors at three schools: Manorside Primary, Bearwood Primary and Nursery and, more recently, St Mary’s RC School in Poole. Recognised as a National Leader of Governance she became the Advocate for Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth in 2016. In this role she became a member of the steering group establishing education provision across the new authority of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.
Ann is a practising Catholic and plays an active role in her local Parish of St Catherine’s, Wimborne. In 2012, she joined the Board of the St Vincent de Paul Society as National Vice President. Returning for a second term in 2017, as Board lead on membership training.
Ann is married with three adult children and eight grandchildren.
In her spare time she enjoys painting, gardening, walking and taking holidays with her husband Paul.

Mr Sandy Anderson

Director

Sandy has been on the CAST Board since December 2013 and was appointed Chair of the Trust in November 2016 , a position he held until July 2018. Sandy’s career was in the management of electronic power supply companies having been MD of Coutant Electronics Ilfracombe, MD of Weir Electronics in Bognor Regis, President of the Lambda Group for Europe, Main board member for Lambda a major manufacturer of Power Supplies around the globe and his responsibilities included operations as far afield as New Zealand, China, Japan, USA, Mexico and Europe. He has a Masters degree in metallurgy and management. He retired but was then asked to recover a company from bankruptcy in Belgium where he spent three years. He is now retired (again) is married and has 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

Mr Graham Briscoe

Director

Graham is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Information Technology Professional, a Certified Management Consultant; a Fellow of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management and the Institute of Administrative Management; and a medallist of the World Productivity Congress. He has worked in many management services roles throughout his thirty-five year career with Royal Sun Alliance in Bristol, London, Horsham and Liverpool, along with positions in the USA, Mexico and South Africa, encompassing many roles – project and change management, information technology, quality and customer service management, HR and Talent Management, facilities management, continuous improvement, transformational change, due diligence and office relocations associated with company mergers and acquisitions. Since retirement he has built up a portfolio of University, Further Education and Awarding Body Governorships along with NED and Trustee roles with Housing Associations, University Student Unions and various Charities. Graham also covers Change Management and Facilities Management pro-bono support to Charity, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations in South-West England and South-East Wales.

Deacon Nicholas Johnson

Director

Deacon Nick joined the Board in December 2021. Nick was ordained for the Permeant Diaconate on the 6th November 2010. Although he has had a career in social care covering children, disabled people and older people in public, private and voluntary organisations, his founding motivation was built on relationships with older neighbours in his street and being in a family of ten children. Nick was a registered Social Worker until the end of 2020, when he retired from paid professional work. His roles have been operational and managerial, where he has learnt to do the ‘science’ of business. Nick continues to consider his perception of service to be simple and humane, focused on the individual he is trying to work with. Nick thinks that is where the ‘art’ of business happens, and the best measure of our service quality is the interaction between the persons we employ and the persons we serve.
Nick is a Governor at St Edwards School in Poole and Chair of the Business and Premises Committee. He is a member of Caritas Plymouth Management Committee, the Chair of Prama Foundation and a Trustee of Keychange Charity, where he is the Chair of the Quality and Safety Working Group
Nick is inspired by new ideas and trying to see round corners to the next big thing (or problem!) but is fundamentally committed to supporting all of the people we meet in the best way possible and ensuring we do what is needed to stay in business and to be outstanding.

Mrs Alison Nettleship

Director

Alison was born and raised in Plymouth, and has a background in business and finance, having worked in international banking prior to a career in teaching.

After moving back to Plymouth to start a family, Alison trained as a teacher, with a specialism in Early Years and Maths and began working at Calstock School. During this time, she completed her NPQH (Headship training) and five years later was appointed as a non-teaching Deputy at North Prospect Community Primary School. Alison took up her headship at Weston Mill after two years and moved the school forward in many areas, but in particular on standards.

Alison has trained as an Ofsted Inspector (Primary and Early Years) and continues to work with other trust’s and Plymouth Local Authority in developing collaborative approaches to support children and families. This has led to the development of a city-wide nurture provision to support vulnerable and at-risk children.

As Chief Executive Officer/Executive Headteacher of Discovery Multi Academy Trust, Alison works to improve outcomes and opportunities for all of the Trust's children, by leading school improvement across each of the academies. Developing links and working collaboratively across the city is also important to Alison.
In her spare time, Alison enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.

Mr Steve Hole

Director

Steve joined the CAST Board in June 2022. He had served as a Devon County Councillor and had been on the Education Committee. He was a School Governor for over 40 years in RC schools and is a parishioner at St Pauls RC Church.
Steve has a background in engineering, management, project management, staff development and health & safety, retiring from Babcock International in 2019. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (CFIOSH) and a Member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Managers (MIIRSM).
Steve was appointed to the Board of the Plymouth Charity Trust in 1983 and became the Chair of the Board in 2008. The Charity provides sheltered independent living accommodation for those over 60 years of age in need. The charity is 400 years old and is run by 9 unpaid trustees, and three members of staff.
He also supports a large academy with careers, interview and CV techniques, as well as delivering lectures on engineering and health and safety to approximately 300 students. Steve believes this interaction really makes a positive difference. As one student recently commented to him, “there is no chance of falling asleep during one of your lectures”! Steve took this as a compliment.
Steve looks after his elderly parents, and they live with him. In his spare time, he has a great circle of friends who he sees regularly and loves going for a walk with his dog.

Mr Adrian Cojocaru

Director

Director information to follow soon

Mrs Polly Montague

Director

Polly joined the Board in July 2023. Polly began her career as a police officer, where she remained as an operational officer for 17 years. During this time Polly spent time working on response, local policing and the criminal investigation unit (CID), working in the Family Protection Unit (FPU) as a specialist child witness interviewer. Alongside her day-to-day policing role Polly volunteered as a Wildlife Crime Officer (WCO) and was the nominated specialist officer for her division. Upon leaving the police, Polly completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and secured her first post as a key stage two teacher in her local catholic primary school. Polly undertook the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) and prepared children to receive the Sacraments, in addition to undertaking the Masters' level national qualification for Special Educational Need and Disability coordination (SENDCo), a role she undertook across several schools. Polly went on to become an Assistant Head Teacher for SEND and Inclusion and was instrumental in introducing a new behaviour and relationships policy and trauma informed practice. Polly is a qualified Trauma Informed School Practitioner (TiSUK), Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) and Nurture Group Practitioner and set up nurture provision across several schools. Polly has also acted as Mental Health Lead and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL). Polly currently works for the local authority in the Vulnerable Pupils Team.
In her spare time Polly enjoys spending time at the coast and exploring the national park. Polly has previously served as a school governor and as a Parish Councillor in her local community. Polly is a practising Catholic; she is married with two grown up children.

Plymouth CAST Members Information 2022-23
 

Full Name

Appointing Body

Date of Appointment

Business Interests

Other Trusteeships

Related Parties

 Canon Mark O’Keeffe

Plymouth RC Diocese 

26/09/2019 

 None

Trustee of Plymouth RC Diocese, Governor at The Cathedral School, Plymouth 

None 

Canon John Deeny

Plymouth RC Diocese

21/01/2020

None

Trustee of Plymouth RC Diocese

None

Canon Kristian Paver

Plymouth RC Diocese

22/11/2021

None

Trustee of Plymouth RC Diocese, Governor at St John's School, Tiverton

None

Abbot David Charlesworth Plymouth RC Diocese 22/11/2021 None Trustee of Plymouth RC Diocese None

Members who have resigned or retired in the past 12 months

Full Name

Appointing Body

Date of Departure

Business Interests

Other Trusteeships

Related Parties

Bishop Mark O’Toole 

Plymouth RC Diocese 

 20/06/2022

None 

Trustee of; Plymouth RC Diocese, Venerable English College Rome, Royal English College Valladolid and Catholic Trust for England and Wales 

None 

Plymouth CAST Director Information 2022-23

Full Name Director Type Appointing Body Date of Current Appointment End of Current Term Meeting Attendance 2022-23 Business Interests Other Governorships
Alison Nettleship Co-opted Board 20/05/2022 19/05/2023
 83%
10 of 12
None
Plymouth Learning Partnership
 
Life Chance Trust
Deacon Nick Johnson Foundation Diocese of Plymouth 16/12/2021 15/12/2026 78% 7 of 9 Wife is employee at CAST school
Foundation Governor at St Edward's, Poole
 
Andy Nicholls  Foundation Diocese of Plymouth 15/03/2021 14/03/2025
 
100% 13 of 13
None None
Sandy Anderson Foundation Diocese of Plymouth 07/11/2020 06/11/2024
82% 9 of 11
None None
Ann Harris Foundation Trust Board
14/09/2022
13/09/2026
 
91% 10 of 11
National Lead Governor
None
Ruth O'Donovan (Chair)  Foundation  Diocese of Plymouth  17/02/2021  16/02/2025
 
77% 10 of 13
Chair of Trustees for W.O.R.K
 None
Graham Briscoe Co-opted Trust Board 11/03/2023 10/03/2024
 
89% 8 of 9
None
St Christopher’s MAT

Dartmoor MAT

Bath & Wells Diocesan Education Board

St Mary Redcliff Parish Charity

Marjon University Students’ Union

Christchurch University Students’ Union
Zoe Batten Accounting Officer and CEO Trust Board and Diocese of Plymouth Ex-officio N/A
85% 17 of 20
Caritas Committee Member Member at Discovery MAT
Steve Hole Foundation Diocese of Plymouth 15/09/2022 14/09/2026
100% 9 of 9
Chair of Plymouth Charity Trust
 
Director Plymouth Hoe C.P Ltd
 
Chartership Institute of Occupational Safety & Health
None
Adrian Cojocaru  Co-opted  Board of Directors  10/03/2023  09/03/2024  50% 2 of 4
Tabernam Skinner Ltd
 
Prospect Gosport CIC
 
GFM Education Support
GFM Education Gosport
 
Search Education London
 Polly Montague  Foundation  Diocese of Plymouth  21/07/2023  20/07/2027  100% 1 of 1  Torbay Council employee  None

Plymouth CAST Directors who have left the Trust

in the last 12 months

Full Name Director Type Appointing Body Date of Current Appointment End of Appointment Meeting Attendance Business Interests Other Governorships
 Jacqui Vaughan  Foundation  Diocese of Plymouth  14/09/2022  21/07/2023
 37.5%
 3/8 meetings attended
Place2Be Mental Health Charity  None
 Sandy Brown  Co-opted   Board of Directors  09/12/2022  21/07/2023
 100% 
5/5 meetings attended
Devon Education Services
 
Lower Warnicombe Court
 
Nation Leader of Education
 None
Plymouth Cast
Catholic Education Service