Plym Academy Trust Members
I am JOHN GILDING a Devon lad originally from Kingsteignton moving to Lucas Lane, Plympton some 46 years ago to further my career as a mechanical engineer. I have been married to Margaret for 46 years, we have a daughter Judith a son Mark, daughter-in law Samantha and 2 grandchildren Jessica and Thomas, all still living locally. Over the years I have always been involved in community youth organisations getting tremendous satisfaction from seeing young people develop into adults. In my earlier days I was a Sunday school teacher and youth club leader and I obtained the bronze lifesaving award to assist in running swimming sessions at Boringdon primary school. I was a member of the Plympton tennis club for 10 years, enjoying a spell as match secretary. I was a local football referee for 22 years, during this period (with my son joining the cubs) I refereed the local district scout 5 a-side tournaments, eventually this led to me taking up a leadership role in the local scout group. I have been the 1st Plympton Group scout leader for 12 years and assist on the district appointments committee; I also represent the scout movement on the community council. I am Vice Chair of the Plympton gardener’s association and over the past 5 years have enjoyed judging the Plymouth in bloom competition. I represent Lucas Lane allotments and for many years Boringdon school classes have visited my plot as part of their curriculum. I have continually been involved in key roles within the Church, namely treasurer for 30 years at Laira United Church and most recently as property chairperson at Woodford Methodist Church. It has been a pleasure representing a wide range of groups within the local community over the past 48 years. My wife and I consider Plympton to have been an excellent area to have lived and it would be a great delight and honour for the whole family to be Stannator for Plympton.
I have worked in education for over 30 years, initially as a primary school teacher and more recently in training primary school teachers at the University of St Mark & St John. I started my teaching career in Ivybridge and then moved to take up a deputy headship in East Devon, following a year's secondment as a primary advisory teacher there. I then returned to teach for eight years at Yealmpstone Farm Primary in Plympton, four of those as deputy head, before joining Marjon in 2004 where I have worked since then. I currently lead the BEd Primary Education undergraduate programmes at the university and have worked with all the primary schools in Plympton in my role at Marjon, visiting student teachers and working with teachers and headteachers. My particular interests lie in literacy and I am passionate about children learning to read and write. As a university with a strong history in supporting schools and teachers, we are delighted to be working with the Plym Academy Trust.
After completing a four year honours degree in education, at the College of St mark and St John, I started my career at Bishopshalt School in the London Borough of Hillingdon where I was fortunate to have the opportunity of taking up a Head of Faculty leadership position, shortly after joining the school. Following eight years in one of the most heavily oversubscribed schools in London I took the opportunity of a similar role at Lipson Community College before gaining promotion as the Head of Post 16 and later, Vice Principal.
As the Headteacher of Ridgeway School from 2003 I enjoyed twelve years working to secure the best possible educational opportunities and outcomes for children across our community and beyond. In this role I worked closely with all of the Plympton Primary schools and their respective Headteachers through a strong and mutually supportive Academic council.
As a local resident since 1989 I am passionate about our community and with other Headteachers have been committed to making sure schools in Plympton deliver the very best possible outcomes, so that every parent has the choice of an excellent school close to their home. Now that I have retired from a highly successful Ridgeway School (now Plympton Academy) I am looking forward to supporting the development of educational excellence in Plympton through the Multi Academy Trust in a voluntary, but no less important capacity. As a governor I hope to be able to support the Trust by utilising my specialist skills in school improvement, educational management and leadership.
John Agnew - Chair of Trust Board
Born in Scotland in 1967, I moved around the country with my MOD parents until eventually settling in Plymouth in 1977. I attended Plympton Grammar School and, after “A” Levels, moved to Bristol to study Accountancy & Finance at what is now the University of the West of England in 1985. After successfully achieving a BA Hons 2.1 in 1988, I opted for a career in Practice and joined Touche Ross Chartered Accountants in Bristol. Passing my professional accountancy qualifications in 1990 (ACA), I became an Audit Manager and spent time on secondment to the Adelaide, Australia office of Touche Ross. On returning from Australia, I moved into Industry and became Financial Controller of Wincanton Distribution, a part of Unigate in late 1993. The seed of travel had however been sown and in 1996, my wife and I travelled around the world for 12 months, returning to Plymouth in 1997. The opportunity arose to join my fathers’ Financial Advisor firm shortly after returning from our travel. On his passing, I took control of the business and converted to a limited company – Future First Financial Solutions Ltd in 2004. I have run this local Plympton based business ever since. In 2007 I became a Parent Governor at Boringdon Primary School and in 2012 became Chair of Governors at the School. I became Chair of the Plym Academy Trust on its creation in June 2016. I remain Chair of the Local Advisory Board to date and look forward to helping in any way I can with guide the School through conversion to a Multi Academy Trust and beyond. My experience in finance and on the Governing Body since 2007 have given me a good knowledge of the School, how it is run and where it is going.