Staff and Governors
Plymouth College

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Last updated: 04.01.21

Staff and Governors

We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of staff here at Plymouth College, both those that teach as well as the large number of staff we have to support everything we are able to achieve in the classroom and beyond.  Click on the link below to view the current staff list. 

Plymouth College Staff List 2020/2021

Governing Body

Governors are responsible for overseeing the management side of a school: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing. They enable the school to run as effectively as possible, working alongside the senior leadership team and supporting teachers to provide excellent education to our pupils. Plymouth College governors bring a wide range of skills and expertise from their professional lives to the governing board and we benefit greatly from working with them.

Richard Light

Chair of the Board

Education Committee

Richard is the Director of Primary School Improvement at a local academy trust. Prior to this position he was a Senior Her Majesty’s Inspectors (SHMI) working for Ofsted. During that time he conducted a range of early years, primary, secondary, initial teacher training (ITE) and further education and skills (FES) inspections. He was responsible for ITE and FES in the South West. Before joining Ofsted Richard worked as a school improvement partner, a local leader of education and a research associate for the National College of School Leadership. He was a headteacher in Plymouth for 12 years.

Richard has a son at Plymouth College and is a former student of the school himself, representing the OPM’s rugby team on many occasions. 

Dr Penny Atkinson

Vice-Chair of the Board

Education Committee

Safeguarding Governor

Medical Governor

Penny Atkinson is a GP partner in South East Cornwall and Clinical Director of East Cornwall Primary Care Network. She graduated from the University of Wales College of Medicine in 1995 and served as a medical officer in the Royal Navy for ten years, seeing active service in Iraq in 2002 in HMS Ocean. She has an interest in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a GP Trainer.

Penny has also worked extensively in sports medicine in the past, as the team doctor for the Royal Navy Rugby team, Plymouth Albion, Devon RFU and, more recently, as the Chief Medical Officer GB Wheelchair Rugby at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

Penny is a passionate OPM and also a parent of two children at the school.

Chris Morton

Chair of the Estates Committee

Finance Committee

A former boarding OPM who has been Chairman of the London Section, Chris qualified as a Charted Surveyor and has worked in commercial property and, more latterly, the charity sector within GB and abroad, particularly in viewing property as an asset & liability from the occupier’s point of view.  Chris follows Plymouth Argyle but, more seriously, Leicester Tigers on the rugby front and he got as far as Touch Judge for the First XV under Roly Jones!  With close family connections in the Tamar Valley and a bolt hole on The Rame Peninsula Chris is a frequent visitor to Plymouth and Cornwall.

Sam Coutinho

Chair of the Finance Committee

Estates Committee

Governance and Nominations Committee

Sam qualified as an accountant in the corporate sector in 1996 and has specialised in the charity and independent school sector. She provided audit and advisory services for over 20 years with a focus now on just advisory work. She also qualified as a risk professional and holds the International Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management.

Sam accepted her first trusteeship in 2007 at Orley Farm School Trust where she was a governor and Chair of the Finance & General Purpose Committee for almost 12 years. She is a governor of St Ignatius College, a voluntary aided Jesuit school and part of a multi academy trust. She is Chair of the Nightingale Cancer Support Centre, a local charity helping the local community live through cancer. Through these roles she has gained tremendous insight into the practical challenges facing trustees and governors regarding compliance, adopting best practice and just running a successful organisation in an increasingly difficult environment.

Sam’s interest in financial governance risk has developed over many years. She regularly writes on the topic and has spoken at conferences for the Charity Finance Group, the Independent Schools Bursars’ Association, AGBIS and Civil Society. She believes that schools must be thinking beyond ticking boxes and they must ensure financial governance is robust and risk management is effective.

Richard Chubb

Finance Committee

Estates Committee

Richard Chubb is a parent of two boys, both of whom currently attend Plymouth College. He is currently Chief Finance Officer at The Sure Chill Company, a small business developing sustainable cooling technology.

Richard is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying in 2001 with PwC London. Richard subsequently took on commercial roles in the power sector, initially in London, but then in Egypt and Tanzania. In 2010, Richard took on his first CFO position with International SOS, a leading global medical services company. This took him initially to Jakarta and then to Dubai. After 13 years overseas, the Chubb family returned to the UK, moving to Plymouth in 2017.

Richard holds a BA in Arabic from the University of Durham and an MBA from Warwick Business School. In addition to his role at Sure Chill, Richard is currently mentoring the CEO of a social enterprise providing career skills to Kenyan schoolchildren.

Alison Morton

Education Committee

Estates Committee

Health and Safety Governor

Boarding Governor

Alison qualified as a chartered physiotherapist in 1984 from Leeds University. In her professional career she has worked for both the NHS and the MOD and for the last 27 years has been lead physiotherapist in private practice. Her medical specialty is musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine working in elite sports including Professional rugby and elite swimming. She is an external tutor at Plymouth medical school and has recently applied to become an honorary fellow and has provided physiotherapy services to Plymouth College for over 20 years.

Alison has been involved in the charity sector in the past with King George Fund for Sailors (now Seafarers UK) and for six years was a trustee and then Chair of Trustees at Margaret McMillan Nursery where she gained experience in understanding both the educational and charity sector.

Bill Duncan

Chair of Governance and Nominations Committee

Bill left Sevenoaks School in 1972 and then spent eight months teaching at a small village school in Kenya.  He read law at Bristol University and on graduating from university Bill worked at Stephenson Harwood and then Nabarro Nathanson in London. 

Bill moved to Plymouth in 1982, working at Bond Pearce until 1987 when he became the litigation partner at Rundle McDonald and Rendle before moving to Wolferstans as senior litigation partner.  In 2012 Bill moved to Michelmores Solicitors in Exeter until his retirement in June 2020.

Nikki and Bill married in 1978 and their three children attended Plymouth College Prep before moving onto the Senior School (1989 to 2008).

Bill’s legal experience was in conducting a wide range of disputes for commercial and private clients, including contract claims, building disputes, professional negligence, and property issues.  

Bill has been both treasurer and a churchwarden at St Andrew’s Church in Plymouth and he has been nominated to the Board of Plymouth College by the Rector of St Andrews.

Dr Andrew Williams

Chair of the Education Committee

Boarding Governor

Andrew was a Reader / Senior Lecturer and Department Manager at the University of Plymouth and has over 40 years’ experience in higher education. 

He served on various university committees associated with teaching and learning; acted both as an external examiner at graduate and undergraduate level and as an external advisor in regard to curriculum and student experience.  Andrew is a consultant in water management and a Research Fellow at the University of Georgia, USA. Andrew served as a governor, vice-Chair and Chairman at a large comprehensive for 20 years.

He is a licensed Lay Minister in the Diocese of Exeter and was nominated by the Bishop of Exeter as governor at Plymouth College.

Lesley Clark

Education Committee

Lesley qualified as a teacher in 1973 and had 24 years teaching Religious Education and other Humanities subjects plus Special Needs in state comprehensive schools in Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Devon and London.  She was Head of RE in two schools and Head of Humanities in London and was a marker of GCSE scripts for 10 years.

Lesley has 20 years teaching in the independent sector in Plymouth.  At St Dunstan’s Abbey School, she was Head of RE, Examinations officer, Director of Studies and Timetabler and qualified as an Independent schools’ inspector in 2004.  With the merger with Plymouth College in 2004, she became Senior Teacher on the Senior Leadership Team assisting the Director of Studies with the curriculum and timetabling.  Lesley continued to teach RE throughout the school with some History and English at Key Stage 3 and introduced Critical Thinking and the Extended Project in the Sixth Form.

Lesley is passionate about teaching and was in charge of mentoring the Initial Teacher Training students and Newly Qualified teachers for 20 years. Since retiring in 2017, Lesley has also become a governor of a state school in Plymouth.

Stephen Plant

Education Committee

Governance and Nominations Committee

Stephen has over 20 years of experience in Higher Education administration, providing leadership in planning, organising and managing student administration at a variety of institutions in both the public and private sectors.

Stephen is currently the University Secretary & Registrar at Plymouth Marjon University and was previously employed as Academic Registrar at Hult International Business School, in London, where he had responsibility for delivering high quality, customer-focused services that were positioned to meet changing student expectations. Prior to this Stephen served in professional governance, policy and student record keeping roles for the University of London, the British Museum, the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge. 

Stephen is a nominee of the Plymouth Marjon University for the board.

Phil Nunnerley

Finance Committee

Estates Committee

Phil joined Lloyds Bank in 1969 after leaving the University of Kent with a degree in Economics.  He retired from the bank in 2006, concluding a carer which took him around much of the UK.  When Lloyds Bank merged with TSB he had responsibility for the combined branch network and retired as Deputy Managing Director for all the distribution channels.

In retirement, he has sought to give back to the community and has been chairman of a local hospice, vice chairman of another; chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance and, from 2005 until 2016, a governor of Wellington School, having been chair from 2010 until 2016.  Currently, Phil is chair of Endurance GB, an equestrian sport governing body and a Business Mentor for the Prince's Trust.  His involvement in banking continues as he chairs Cynergy Bank and sits on 4 Deutsche Bank boards.  Phil comes to us with extensive experience of governance as well as expertise in finance and a commitment to the education and development of young people.