Our Members and Trust Board Directors
Mr Rob Edgeler
Director Responsibility: Human Resources
I became Human Resources Director of SMART in December 2015 following a campaign to recruit specific skills to the Trust Board role. I currently work as an HR Business Partner within the NHS in Cornwall, where I’m part of a team managing over 5000 colleagues at a variety of sites across the county. I am a fully qualified member of the CIPD. I have 20+ years experience of managing HR in the private sector, having previously worked for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets.
It’s these things that allow me to bring a different, challenging and valued viewpoint to the Trust Board. Becoming a Director excited me as I was lucky enough to be a student at one of the member schools from 1984-89. If I can do anything from an HR perspective to support my colleagues across the wider MAT to provide as good an experience to students as I had all those years ago, I will consider that my role has added the necessary value for which I was recruited.
Mr David Garland
Director Responsibility: Finance
Visiting Governor: Dobwalls Community Primary School
Until retirement I was a teacher in Cornwall at ‘Saltash School’ for 33 years, during a time of change that eventually saw the school become an academy. I taught Science and ICT and retired as Deputy Headteacher and Business Manager. During my career I contributed to many activities involving other schools across the county, the country and at international level.
Recently I have become involved in a number of voluntary roles. I am a founder member and former director of Plymouth Energy Community and I am currently a director and Chair of the award-winning PEC Renewables, a community benefit organization and the income generation arm of Plymouth Energy Community. I have served on the Independent School Appeals panel in Plymouth and have also been Chair of Governors at a local primary school.
I am a member of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist, interested in all aspects of computing and space science. I enjoy music, surfing and 5-a-side football, on a steadily depreciating basis! I am proud to be able to contribute once more to education in South East Cornwall as part of a Trust that is genuinely community based and which was established by its stakeholders.
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.
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: Chair of Trust Board
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: 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.