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Devonport High School for Girls

Governing body

Welcome to the governors section of Devonport High School for Girls website.

The governing body is made up of parents, staff and members of the local community who contribute a wide range of skills and experience, and provide an independent viewpoint.  All governors want to make a positive contribution to students’ education and to ensure that the school is run to promote student achievement.

The governing body is a corporate team and has 3 key functions.  We work with the school’s senior leadership team to:

  • ensure that the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the school are clearly defined
  • ensure the sound, proper and effective use of the school’s financial resources

In addition the governing body will:

  • hold the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students, and the performance management of staff

The full governing body meets each term. There are also 5 committees:

  • Buildings and Catering
  • Finance and personnel
  • Pay
  • Policies
  • Pupil progress, welfare and evaluation

The Governing Body

Mrs Sarah Adkins 

Date Started: 01/09/2013

Sarah read Jurisprudence at Somerville College, Oxford and has an MA in Environmental Law from De Montfort University.  She is a Legal Director at national law firm Bond Dickinson LLP where she specialises in Planning and Environmental law.  She has been a governor at Bishop Cornish CofE VA Primary School since 2004 (Chair 2008 - 2015) and is a trustee of the China Fleet Trust and Bishop Cornish Education Centre (Chair 2011 - ).  Sarah is an Executive member and Secretary of the Plymouth Area Business Council and a member (former trustee) of the UK Environmental Law Association.  At DHSG Sarah has been on the governing body since September 2013 and is currently the link governor for English, Religious Studies, P.E. and International. 

Mrs Fiona Beckman 

Date Started: 29/06/2014

Having previously served as a parent governor at a local infant school, I joined the DHSG governing body in 2014, when my eldest daughter was in Y7.  I am a communications professional, currently working in the legal sector, but with a background in biotech & pharma.  My spare time is filled with family, Scouts, running, and a passion for photography.

Mr Matthew Bloomfield 

Date Started: 01/01/2016

Hello, my name is Matt Bloomfield and I am pleased and proud to be part of the DHSG Board of Governors. In 2012 I setup Imattination, a design and events company of which I am now the Managing Director of. I am passionate about young people achieving their goals, setting their targets high and never letting their aspirations go, however hard it can be sometimes. I hope my business skills will help me in my support of DHSG through the governing body.

Mrs Jill Dolan 

Date Started: 29/03/2011

I am an ex-pupil and have been a governor for 12 years.  I have had a diverse career which has included being a Councillor for Plymouth City Council, an Office Manager, a Private Secretary, NCO Instructing in Telecommunications for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, a Proprietor of General Store / Health Store and a Tree Warden.

Ms Corinne Farrell

Date Started: 29/06/2016

I was a parent governor at my daughter’s primary school, and am pleased to fulfil the same role at DHSG, now she is a student here. I work in NHS communications, having spent most of my career in reputation management for various public sector organisations.  I love walking and cycling on Dartmoor in my spare time.

Mrs Maria Harrington-Seddon

Date Started: 12/09/2014

I have worked at Devonport High School for Girls for over 20 years, firstly as a classroom assistant and now I’m part of the administrative team.  I have lots of experience having been a staff governor for over 15 years.  I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be a governor as I have always enjoyed this role and will continue to.

Mrs Suzanne Hehir

Date Started: 01/01/2016

I have recently been appointed as a governor - December 2015 - and I have a daughter in Year 12 at the school. I am a teacher working with vulnerable young people in Plymouth and as such I am very interested in issues related to support and welfare. 

Mrs A Hemsi (Head Teacher)

Date Started: 08/03/2011

I have been the Head Teacher of Devonport High School for Girls since 2009 having taught in a mix of single-sex girls schools and mixed comprehensive secondary schools previously, locally at Plymstock School and before that in Surrey and London. 

Mrs Clare Hutton

Date Started: 01/01/2016

I am a mother of 3 children.  My 2 daughters went to DHSG.  I read Languages at Bristol University and then worked for many years in the Wine Trade.  I am now retired and look forward to working with the other Governors and the School over the coming years

Mrs Ann James (Vice Chair)

Date Started: 01/01/2016

Ann James is Chief Executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and has extensive experience in leading at Chief Executive level commissioner and provider services across Devon and Cornwall.  Prior to joining the NHS as a National Management trainee in 1989, Ann worked as a Marketing Manager.  As Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Ann enjoys her role as Health and Medical champion for the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and sits as part of the Plymouth Area Business Council, a member of the Plymouth Growth Board. Ann is a Director of the South West Peninsula Academic Health Science Network, a member of One Plymouth, Board member of Health Education South West and the South West Leadership Academy.  Ann also speaks at conferences on leadership and increasingly women in leadership roles.  In 2014 Ann was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Health by Plymouth University.

Ms Kath Nott 

Date Started: 12/09/2014

I have been a member of staff at Devonport High School for Girls since 2008, teaching KS3, KS4 and KS5 Geography & KS4 Business Studies. I currently hold the role as one of our Heads of House. I have been a staff governor since 2014. 

Mrs Glynis Westcott (Chair) 

 Date Started: 29/03/2011

(Chair WEF 14/09/2015)

I joined the governing body in 2009 .  

My link with DHSG began when I joined as a pupil and continued as my three daughters progressed through the school.  I began my career as a computer programmer with the scientific civil service before moving into adult/further education to teach maths.  I have a keen interest in education and believe that all students deserve the best possible learning experience.

Mrs Shirley Williams 

Date Started: 11/05/2011

Having graduated from St Anne's College, Oxford, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with one of the ‘big four’ firms in London. Post qualification, I specialised in tax, and have continued to work locally, on a part-time basis, since moving to West Devon in 1990. I have also acted as secretary for my husband, who is a consultant radiologist at Derriford, so have a working knowledge of the NHS. For a number of years I was trustee of a National Mental Health Charity.

If you wish to contact the governors, please do so by sending a letter to the school addressed to either The Chair of the Governing Body or The Clerk to the Governing Body.  Alternatively please send by email to:

Governance Members

Mrs Jill Bailey
Mrs Ann James
Ms Nicola Jonas
Mrs Glynis Westcott
Mrs Shirley Williams

Additional Documents