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The King's School

The King's School Founded 1545

Achievement for All

Board of Trustees

As an Academy the King's School Trustees are both Charity Trustees and Company Directors. They exercise a strategic role in the running of the school and decide on what they want the school to achieve and agree a framework for getting there. This means:

  • setting suitable aims and objectives
  • agreeing policies, targets and priorities
  • monitoring and reviewing aims, objectives, and whether the policies, targets and priorities are being achieved.

The School Development Plan along with agreed policies generally provides the strategic framework. The Board of Trustees monitors and evaluates progress in the school towards achievement of the aims and objectives set, and regularly reviews the strategic framework for the school in the light of that progress. A summary of the schools achievements, outcomes and finances is contained within the Annual Report and Accounts which is published in December each year.

The "Members" of the Academy Trust as defined in the Trust's Articles of association are:

  • The Chair of Trustees
  • Robin Mitchell
  • Lester Bowker
  • Chris Dyson

The Trustees are currently: 


Mr Ted Bloomfield - Appointed Trustee (Term Ends 21/10/2023) - Link Department: Geography, Post 16

Ted Bloomfield


I live in the school’s catchment area at Aylesbeare having moved from Warwickshire in 2006 to help with grandchildren. A further, recently discovered, link is that a great, great uncle was Clerk of Works on the original school building.  I have served as Vice Chair and Chair of Trustees through the Academy Conversion process. My background has been in education as an adviser and consultant and previously as a comprehensive school deputy head.  My post-graduate qualifications are in Education Industry Liaison and my governor links are therefore to the Post 16 and Work Related Learning areas. 

Register of Interests: Exeter Choral Society

Mrs Sue Cade - Appointed Trustee (Term Ends 13/12/2026) - Link Department: English

Sue Cade


I am an independent PR and copywriter, working for businesses in Devon and London. I enjoy supporting smaller companies as much as working for large organisations including local family business, Otter Garden Centres. I have strong links with local media in Devon.

I have been an appointed trustee since 2012. I am also link governor to the English Department, which has been interesting from the perspective of recent curriculum changes and how well this has been handled by both our students and teaching staff. I am on the Curriculum & Quality and Pay & Performance committees. My two children attended The Kings School until Summer 2018, doing well at creative subjects including dance and music. Being a governor has given me a fascinating insight into the modern education system, very different to when I was a student.

Register of Interests: In the Right Order

Mrs Liz Charles - Appointed Trustee (Term Ends 28/10/2024) - Link Department: Science

Liz Charles


I first became a Trustee as a parent in the 90’s and it has been a privilege to support the school through vast progress and change. Having started a career teaching in Secondary Education, since time out I have taught fitness classes to adults and been involved in various local organisations on a voluntary basis. I was Vice Chair of the governing board for 10 yrs. I am particularly interested in Science Education and value my role as link Trustee to this Department

Register of Interests: None

Mr Steve Ellison (Chair) - Appointed Trustee (Term Ends 29/10/2023) - Link Department: Physical Education

Mr Steve Ellison


I have been a parent governor at The King’s School since 2004 and chair of the Governing Board since Oct 2018. My three boys attended the school through to sixth form. They benefited in their own way from what King’s has to offer - academically, in sport and in their personal development. I have a passion for comprehensive education and believe that trustees hold a key role to support and challenge the school to be as good as it possibly can be for all the secondary aged people in our community.

I have been a geologist, secondary school teacher, Army officer specialising in education and training and a company director. I now run a family management consultancy partnership - working with clients across the UK and in the Middle East.

In my spare time, I like to play, coach and umpire hockey and am currently the Chair of Sidmouth & Ottery Hockey Club. I am a trustee of a charity providing education and training for soldiers in the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the wider Defence community.

Register of Interests: a partner in the family’s consultancy business – Ellison Consulting, a Trustee at the Royal Artillery Centre for Personal Development and Exercise to Music and Pilates instructor (family member).

Mrs Tara Greifenberg - Parent Trustee (Term Ends 28/01/2026) - Link Department: School Parliament / Expressive Arts




Register of Interests: None

Mr Rupert Hill - Parent Trustee (Term Ends 19/11/2024) - Link Department: Mathematics


My son Jonathan started in Year 7 at Kings in September. My family returned to the south-west in 2018 after 15 years in London - my wife is from Woodbury and I graduated from Exeter University before working locally for a decade. I began my career at global information and news company Reuters, where I spent 16 years managing international data and technology projects. Subsequently, I worked as a consultant specialising in business change and improvement, then most recently as Strategy Manager for a financial planning firm in Exeter. Previous voluntary positions held include Vice-Chairman of the Patient Participation Group at my local surgery and building a change management special interest group for the Project Management Association.

I’m excited about the prospect of applying my experience to help Kings improve on its already high standards. Academically, my main interests lie in Maths, Sciences, IT and History and as a Trustee I will focus on ensuring outstanding teaching and facilities continue to be provided for these subjects. My true passion, however, is in preparing students for the workplace. I hope to apply my extensive experience of recruitment to enhance the school’s ability to help students make informed tertiary education and career choices through a network of coaching and support, including building key skills such as presenting and interview technique. As a Trustee, I will provide a link between the school and parents to enable Kings’ students to make the best of their talents not just academically, but far beyond.

Register of Interests: None

Mrs Charlotte Hollingshead - Co-Opted Trustee (Term Ends 11/07/2023) - Link Department: RPE

Charlotte Hollingshead 


I have two children at The King’s School; a son in Year 10 and a daughter in Year 8.  I joined the school as a Parent Trustee in October 2015.  Previously, I was a Foundation Governor at Sidmouth Primary for six years.  Outside of school, my business is involved in magazine publishing where I specialise in print and online advertising sales for national organisations.  Always on the lookout for good local sales people, in 2013, I launched a local jobs website to help the young people of East Devon find their first part time jobs and since then we’ve grown to be able to help other local organisations, including The King’s School, find staff.

Register of Interests: Publishing Matters, Hours4Work, Schools Insight, C&C Properties (SW) Ltd

Lady Lucy Kennaway - Appointed Trustee (Term Ends 13/12/2026) - Link Department: Careers, Safeguarding and Health and Safety

Lucy Kennaway


A long time ago I was a pupil at the school and more recently my 2 daughters also had a very positive and happy education at The King’s School.  I run the business side of Escot Estate along with my husband; this is a multi-facetted rural business which includes a wedding, conference, events and activities venue, and forest schools and outdoor education facilities.

I serve on the resources committee and am the link governor for Geography.
I believe the best type of education is a broad, inclusive and exciting one which helps students to become happy confident and successful adults in whatever they choose to do.

Register of Interests: Escot Estate, MC2, SmartKlub Ltd.

Mr John Lavender - Appointed Trustee (Term Ends 05/02/2025) - Link Department: Design and Technology, Health and Safety

John Lavender


My association with the school dates back to 1976 when I joined the teaching staff. In a thirty one year career within the school, until my retirement in 2007, I held a number of posts including Head of Mathematics, Senior Teacher and Assistant Headteacher.

Experience of school governance was gained by spending eight years on the governing body at Ottery Primary school. I joined The King’s School governing body in 2009 and currently a member of the resources committee as well as being the link trustee for Design and Technology. I am also treasurer of the Foundation and Jubilee Trust.

Register of Interests: Kilmington Playing Fields Committee (Trustee) 

Mrs Alina Paul - Parent Trustee (Term Ends 19/11/2024) - Link Department: MFL


My daughter started Year 7 at Kings and the positive experience we have had to date encouraged me to put myself forward as a Trustee. I hope my project management and advocacy experience will support the school. I have worked in academic research, public relations and communications for over 20 years. After reading Human Sciences at New College, Oxford, I worked on child and adolescent medical and social research . I then moved into public relations and communication and hope this experience will be useful as a Trustee. Over the last 15 years, I have worked in different countries in Asia and Africa for several NGOs and international research institutes. 

I am keen to support curriculum quality to continue building Kings' excellent reputation. Aside from its academic strengths, Kings has a unique holistic and pastoral approach which helps students of different abilities to thrive. I hope to support the staff team to further develop this integrated ethos.

Register of Interests: None

Mr Tim Penberthy - Staff Trustee (Term Ends 13/12/2025) 


Register of Interests: Non

Mr Ben Rowland - Parent Trustee (Term Ends 15/12/2026) - Link Department: ViBE

I currently have two children at The King’s School, one each in Y10 and Y11. I also have another child in Y5 at Ottery Primary. I work for EDF Energy running a team who provide business analysis for the IT systems & processes required on the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. I also have a strong finance background having worked for Lloyds Banking Group for 16 years before my current role. I believe that trustees hold a key role in supporting and challenging the school to be as good as it possibly can be for the all young people in our community.

I also volunteer as a Cub Scout leader here in Ottery and as a youth rugby coach at Sidmouth RFC. 

Register of Interests: Nil

Ms Lisa Tomkins - Parent Trustee (Term Ends 15/12/2026) - Link Department: Pastoral


My son started at Kings in 2021 and thoroughly enjoys his time at school.  I have been impressed with how nurturing Kings has been and am very happy to have this opportunity to offer my support to the school as a Trustee.

I have worked in the education field for the past 30 years, within the public, private and voluntary sectors. Currently I am Education Outreach Partner for the Met Office, directly prior to which I worked as Operational Hub Lead for the Heart of the Southwest Careers Hub.  For the last few years my work has focused largely on evidence-based impact in education. As part of this, I work closely with school teachers, careers leaders, students and senior leadership to determine the support they require and help develop provision to meet this need.  To this end, in 2022, I took on the voluntary role of Enterprise Adviser for The King’s School, supporting Fiona Hogan in her work as Careers Coordinator to best prepare all students for their career pathways. From 2011-2016 I was first governor and then elected Chair of governors at South Devon College, and more recently I held the position of parent governor at Ottery St Mary Primary School, from 2019-2021.

As a Parent Trustee at Kings, I am particularly keen to help provide fair access to opportunities for all young people, raising aspirations and improving life chances, while ensuring necessary support is provided for those young people experiencing additional challenges.

Register of Interests: TBC

Miss Nikki Wilkes - Staff Trustee (Term Ends 21/10/2024) - Link Department: n/a


I have taught English and Drama at The King's School since 2017 and I am currently the Head of Expressive Arts. Since completing my Drama degree at the University of Exeter, I completed my part-time MA in Education specialising in Language and Literacy whilst teaching here at King's. Having been previously responsible for mentoring trainee English teachers here at King's, I care deeply about high quality teacher training. As Head of Expressive Arts, I have also directed, vocal-coached, and collaboratively choreographed the King's school's recent production of 'The Addams Family'. As an alumna of the National Youth Theatre, I am a keen performer, taking part in many local operettas and musicals.

It is a pleasure to be a staff trustee for The King's School, who continue to demonstrate the validity and importance of teaching staff presence on school governing bodies. 

Register of Interests: Sing Inside

Mrs Helena Wilson - Parent Trustee (Term Ends 15/12/2026) - Link Department: SEN


The King’s School has a visibly positive ethos, warm relations between staff and students and a breadth of opportunities that gives students freedom to thrive; I am seeing this through my three daughters fortunate enough to be here. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to support the school in nurturing happy and successful young people. My background -working in the NHS for 25 years- has equipped me with experience and skills that I hope I can put to good use in my role as a Parent Trustee.

I have been an ENT/Thyroid Consultant Surgeon since 2011. For several years I was Departmental Lead, a managerial role in my Trust, alongside clinical duties. I teach undergraduates and have been an examiner and interviewer for Exeter Medical School. In addition, I train postgraduates and have held the post of Chair of the South West Higher Surgical Training Committee for my specialty. During my career I also undertook a higher degree through a period of original research, as a Wellcome Fellow, at the University of Oxford.

Register of Interests: Director of Exeter Plastic Surgery Ltd and Trustee of the South West Laryngological Association

Mr Rob Gammon - Headteacher (Term Ends n/a)

Rob Gammon


Register of Interests: None

Mr Rob Tait - Company Secretary / Clerk (Term Ends n/a)

Rob Tait


I joined The King’s School in 2023 having previously worked in several large organisations, including Exeter University, Debenhams, and South West Water.

After studying Accounting & Finance at University I was desperate to see the world so I travelled and worked for a couple of years living in Italy, Australia and New Zealand. To make ends meet I taught English as Foreign Language. I enjoyed this role and experience so much that I decided to set up an English Language School which I ran for 6 years with my wife before reverting back to my accounting education and becoming a fully qualified Chartered Certified Accountant.

The education sector, in one form or another, has often been present in my career as I have always been passionate about learning and sharing knowledge wherever I have worked.

I feel privileged to be working at one of the best schools in the South West and my ambition and challenge within this role is to positively influence the outcomes of the pupils whilst working in a ‘back-office’ function. However, I am positive, with the fantastic team around me, that this is absolutely possible!

I am married and have 3 children, each with their own unique personality and abilities, keeping me busy outside of work.  

Register of Interests: None