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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/carers, 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 three 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 Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students and the performance management of staff

The full Governing Body meets six times annually. There are also four sub committees:

  • Finance & Resources
  • Pupil Progress, Welfare & Evaluation
  • Policies Panel
  • Pay Committee

The Governing Body

Mrs Sarah Adkins 

Date Started: 01/09/2013

I am a Legal Director at transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP specialising in infrastructure planning and environmental law and have been on the governing body at DHSG since September 2013.  I enjoy my roles as link governor for English, Religious Studies and International, and supporting our students wherever possible.  I have been a primary school governor (7 years as Chair) since 2004, am a director of the Diocese of Truro Askel Veur Umbrella Academy Trust and a trustee of the China Fleet Trust. I read Jurisprudence at Somerville College, Oxford, have an MA in Environmental Law from De Montfort University, am a Chartered Waste Manager (MCIWM) and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), and a member of several business and trade bodies.

Mrs Beverley Bell (Acting Head Teacher) 

Date Started: 07/09/2020

I am the acting headteacher covering during Mrs Hemsi's absence. I have worked at DHSG for three years as a member of the Senior Leadership Team responsible for finance, personnel, catering and premises. I have undertaken similar roles in other schools, and also help to set up the Plymouth Learning Partnership and Plymouth Teaching School Alliance.

Mrs Heather Cotton 

Date started: 21/06/2021

Mrs Victoria Frost 

Date Started: 21/06/2021

I am a qualified accountant with over 20 years of experience and currently work for a Financial Services company. I was treasurer of a local primary school parents association for five years and an active member of the committee. I currently coach both girls' cricket and girls' hockey and manage teams at successful local clubs. I believe a healthy body equals a healthy mind and that sport plays a huge part in this. My daughter is at the school and I look forward to working with the teachers and governors to help the students maximise their potential.

Mrs Olivia Grimes

Date Started: 04/05/2021

I am the CEO of the mental health charity Devon Mind and have worked in the charitable sector for seven years. Prior to this, I spent 10 years working on widening participation to HE initiatives in the South West, with a focus on ensuring equality of opportunity for all secondary school children, regardless of background. This role gave me a real insight into the challenges that schools face today in getting the best outcomes for their students. Before moving to Plymouth in 2003, I worked as a petroleum geologist for a number of years, before re-training to work in higher education and mental health. I believe that supporting our young people to develop and sustain good mental health will enable them to thrive and weather many storms as they grow into young adults. I look forward to supporting DHSG and its students in any way I can.

Mrs Maria Harrington

Date Started: 01/11/2011

I have worked at Devonport High School for Girls for over 24 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 19 years. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be a governor as I have always enjoyed this role and will continue to.

Mr Carl Hutchings 

Date Started: 29/06/2018

Hello, my name is Carl Hutchings and both my daughters have attended DHSG. My eldest is now in her second year at the University of Birmingham and my youngest is currently in Year 10. I am a senior manager with a Global Learning and Development provider based in the West Country. I feel strongly that all learning should be challenging but also engaging and as a Parent Governor, I will endeavour to ensure DHSG continue to provide an environment that is not only academically rewarding but also one where all pupils feel actively involved in their learning so that they achieve the very best they can.

Mrs Clare Hutton

Date Started: 01/01/2016

I am a mother of three children. My two 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 CEO of University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and has held this role for six years. Ann has held a Chief Executive roles across all health care sectors, including provider and commissioner roles for the last 18 years. Initially working in the private sector,  Ann stated her NHS career in 1989 as a National Management Trainee and has held roles various around the country.  Focusing on population-based health and service improvement Ann supports city-wide forums including the Growth Board, health and Well Being Board, One Plymouth and working with industry. Committed to raising life chances and addressing inequalities Ann holds various roles including Chair of the South West leadership Academy, lead CEO across the Devon STP for specific areas of transformation. Ann increasingly speaks at Regional and national conferences on leadership and women in leadership. In 2014 Ann was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of health from Plymouth University.

Mrs Tori Webster

Date Started: 16/09/2018

I have been part of the ICT team at Devonport High School for Girls as an ICT Support Manager since 2012. I have previous secondary computing and ICT teaching experience and spent several years in technical roles in the IT private sector prior to moving into education. I hold a Computing and ICT Honours degree and a secondary education PGCE. I have always strongly believed a good education should be accessible to all and hope to support the school in ensuring continued high standards of education are afforded to all students.

Mrs Glynis Westcott (Chair) 

 Date Started: 01/04/2011

(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 mathematics. I have a keen interest in education and believe that all students deserve the best possible learning experience.

Mrs Julie Widdecombe 

Date started: 21/06/21

Mrs Patricia Wilton 

Date Started: 29/06/2018

I am an ex-pupil and my daughter now attends the school. I spent 29 years in banking across a variety of roles and have been involved in the education sector since 2010 when I became a parent governor at my daughter's primary school. I have also worked as an invigilator in a secondary school and college and an administration and compliance officer in an independent school. I look forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge to support DHSG and its pupils.

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 Dolan
Mrs Ann James
Mrs Glynis Westcott
Mrs Shirley Williams
Mrs Elspeth Wiltshire

Additional Documents