Our Members and Trust Board Directors
Mr Kevin George
Director Responsibility: Safeguarding
Visiting Governor: Landulph Primary School
I have always lived in South East Cornwall. I qualified as a Solicitor in November 1991 and have practiced mainly in Cornwall since qualifying. I have been based in Liskeard since 2002. I am a member of the Country Landowners Association and the Cornwall Law Society. I was previously a trustee on the Board of the Caradon Citizen Advice Bureau and was part of the merger process into one Bureau within Cornwall.
I have been a community governor since 2000 at Landulph Primary School and was involved in the formation of the Multi Academy Trust and became a Director of SMART in January 2014. I was Chair of the Audit Committee in the MAT until I became Chair of the Local Governing Committee at Landulph Primary School in September 2015.
I am looking forward to the continued expansion of the Trust and the opportunities and benefits it will give to all the children in South East Cornwall.
Mrs Sue Brownlow
Director Responsibility: HR
Visiting Governor: Liskeard Community School and College
My three children have attended local schools which are now part of SMART, and I first got involved in 2008 as a parent governor at Liskeard School. I have lived in Cornwall since 2002, initially working in Plymouth for the Regional Development Agency then becoming the Director of the Combined Universities in Cornwall between 2009 and 2013.
I am now also a Governor of Plymouth Marjon University and Plymouth College of Art, and I am chair of the body that leads on standards and church school academies for the Diocese of Truro. With my husband I own and run Looe Valley Vineyard just outside St Keyne.
Before moving to Cornwall I worked in Bristol as human resources director for a large regional law firm and for a national further education body where I led on leadership development and teacher training for Colleges.
I want SMART to be a place where every child and young person whatever their background can flourish and develop to their full potential, and where our schools work closely with supportive local communities to achieve this.
Mr James Kitson
Director Responsibility: Audit
Visiting Governor: Trewidland Primary and Pre-School
I have lived all my life in S E Cornwall and over the years have held a number of public and charity offices, including as an independent Cornwall County Councillor from 1978-1986 where I was a governor of various schools including Looe Secondary Modern, Liskeard Comprehensive and several primary schools.
In addition to being a director of SMART, amongst other offices I am currently a trustee of Peninsular Medical Foundation and Broadreach House, two very worthwhile locally based charities.
I am senior partner of a local firm of chartered accountants practicing just outside Looe. I have always been interested in education and doing what l can to help prepare our successors for their lives ahead.
My vision for SMART therefore is for it to be the leading multi academy trust in Cornwall providing the very best in education for all its pupils so that they can take full advantage of the life time opportunities that lie before them.
Mrs Kate Waghorn
Member and Director
Director Responsibility: Vice Chair
Visiting Governor: saltash.net community school
I originally trained as a secondary school teacher but went to work in industry as a buyer for a food company. I now work with James, my husband since 1987, in a consultancy partnership which provides strategic advice and support to businesses in the South West. I was appointed a magistrate in 1994 and serve as a bench chairman in both the adult and family courts in Plymouth.
I have been a school governor since 1998 having both primary and secondary experience. I was a governor at Landulph Primary School for eight years, the last four as Chair of Governors. In November 2002 I joined the governing body at saltash.net and became Chair of Governors in December 2006. Both my children attended the school, my youngest leaving in July 2010.
I have a lifelong interest in education and initially became a governor of saltash.net because I wanted to be more connected with my children’s lives in Saltash. I have been the Trust Board Chair since the inception of SMART and am very proud of the collaborative expansion of SMART to six schools. In my spare time I enjoy all aspects of horticulture and have a passion for growing vegetables.
Mr Keith Johnson
Director Responsibility: Community
Visiting Governor: Liskeard School and Community College
It was when my children began their education in 1997 that I decided to become a primary school parent governor; I also chaired the premises committee, and was an active member on the PTA raising extra funds for the school. I went on to be elected as the school governor representative and member of the education scrutiny committee for the unitary authority of Southend-On-Sea, and additionally sat on the admissions and education forums. I have lectured plumbing, heating, gas and renewable technologies at various FE colleges across the UK and more recently freelance assessing and IQA work. Previously I was elected by the staff at Thurrock and Basildon College to represent teaching staff as their governor.
I am passionate about education and strongly believe that regardless of one’s economic or social background that all children and young adults should receive an equal chance to succeed, and that they are offered a full range of educational opportunities, it’s essential that support is given to those who are in need, and that we equally challenge our brightest minds. Throughout my life I have always cared about the community that I’ve lived in, knowing it’s only by making a positive contribution that we can enrich all our lives.
I moved to Downderry in 2013 and feel privileged and blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world, I enjoy fishing, boating, and developing property; I’m also a volunteer youth instructor with the sea cadets at HMS Raleigh.
Mr Richard Newton Chance
Director Responsibility: Chair of Trust Board and Curriculum, Standards and Assessment
Visiting Governor: Looe Community Academy
My parents moved to St Cleer in 1965, from where I attended Liskeard Grammar School. Having decided that a career in the Fleet Air Arm was not for me, I completed a B Ed (Hons) at the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth.
I started teaching English in 1978 at Efford Secondary School. In 1984 I moved to Lipson Community College to take charge of Information Technology and in 1995 I became Vice Principal. I successfully led the bid to become a specialist Arts College in 1998. In 2000 I became Principal at Queen Elizabeth’s Community College in Crediton until early retirement in 2014. QE is a large, split site 11-18 school with the only state boarding provision in Devon. During my time there we became a High Performing Specialist School and, in 2011, an academy. I also chaired the Devon Association of Secondary Heads for two years.
In 2014 – 15 I was the Association of School and College Leader’s funding specialist. I am also a council member of Learnus, a group involved in educational neuroscience.
I became a Director of SMART because I still want to contribute to making our education system as effective and enjoyable as it can be both for those who experience it and those who work in it.
Mr Brian Cook
Director Responsibility: Finance
After a career in commercial and corporate finance in a number of locations around England and Wales, I returned in 2011 to Devon, where I had been fortunate enough to work for a number of years and where my son was born. I now live on the edge of Dartmoor in Lydford.
As well as continuing to pursue part-time financial consultancy for my professional institute, I am chair of our local parish council, a governor at Milton Abbot School and a director/trustee at Exeter Learning Academy M.A.T
I am delighted to be part of the SMART organisation where I see my key role as helping to ensure that we make the optimum use of our scarce financial resources to maximise the educational opportunities for our students. I believe that my experience of working in large multi-functional business organisations and my advisory role to smaller businesses will help me to add to the skills and effectiveness across the Trust’s governing body.
When I find time away from these activities I enjoy time in the countryside with my two dogs and do my best to help my wife keep the garden under control!
Mr Peter Robinson
Director Responsibility: Learning – Curriculum, Standards and Assessments
Education has been and still is close to my heart, since graduating from my engineering degree I have been lucky to have a very successful career firmly rooted in education.
Teaching started for me by completing my PGCE in Design and Technology at the College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth and then onto my first teaching post as a qualified teacher at Teign School, Devon.
In 2003 I moved to Notre Dame RC school to lead on Design Technology, whilst working there I held various other posts such as Gifted and Able coordinator and Head of Year and in my later years of the school I was lucky to be given roles working for Plymouth LEA as a consultant working on a part time basis supporting Design and Technology teaching across Plymouth schools as well as leading on curriculum developments. In 2010 I moved to Devonport High School for Boys to join the Extended Senior Leadership Team leading on their Engineering Specialism, then in 2013 I secured the post of founding Vice Principal at UTC Plymouth, during my time in this role I was responsible for curriculum, school ethos, data and assessment, before moving on in 2016 I finished my tenure there as Acting Principal.
Now working as an independent educational consultant I work regionally, nationally and internationally, supporting teachers in the subject area of Design Technology and school improvement as well as working as a course leader for Trainee Teachers for South West Teacher Training.
I have made the decision to volunteer my time to join SMART as a director because I want to give something back to the community which has supported, and will continue to support my three children. I believe my background and skills will help challenge and nurture the excellent work and collaboration the trust is capable of.