Our Trustees

The Board of Trustees is the Governing Body for the organisation and remains accountable in law and to OFSTED for the exercise of its functions. It is the accountable body for the performance of all Academies within the Trust and has four key functions:

  • Ensures clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holds the CEO to account for educational performance and the performance management of staf
  • Oversees the financial performance of the Trust, ensuring financial probity and value for money
  • Holds the Local Stakeholder Boards to account

The Trust board meets at least termly and has a number of committees which meet at least termly. Trustees have decision making powers described fully in the Scheme of Delegation and are both company directors and charity trustees as academies have the legal status of both company and charitable trust.

To support the work of schools and the Trustees, Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust ensures the local stakeholder voice is represented and heard through our Primary Advocates and Secondary Local Stakeholder Boards. They provide a local level of access and accountability for our parents and carers, framed within a cooperative structure to build and deepen partnership and connection. This is the place where the individual pupil and parent voice is heard and understood; where the lived experience of our provision and offer is felt and triangulated.

Information about our Trustees, and the various committees and their terms of Reference can be found below:

  • Tania Skeaping Chair of Trustees

    Tania worked at Sotheby’s in London as a valuation manager with an extensive international portfolio. Tania sought a new challenge in 2002, taking a PGCE in Art (Secondary) at Exeter University and subsequently worked at Okehampton College. When her first child was born, Tania returned to her former career as a valuation manager, working with an internet start-up, a job she does today alongside working as a professional artist. Tania is married with two stepsons and two sons

  • Peter Elliott Vice Chair of Trustees

    Peter has been working in school leadership for over 20 years. In 2012 he co-founded the Bridgwater and Taunton College Multi-Academy Trust which has a proven track record of removing schools from ‘inadequate’ and making them ‘Good’. He chooses to focus his work in the more disadvantaged parts of the region and has been instrumental in leading the Opportunity Area in West Somerset.

    As a passionate believer in social-justice Peter is an advocate of education being the spring board for social-mobility and doesn’t subscribe to the view that where you live should determine your future life chances and well-being. Peter has a background and expertise in all-through education and is responsible for learners aged 2-19. As such he has a comprehensive understanding of child development and education across all stages of the National Curriculum. Peter has held various positions of governance in and beyond our sector, including two terms of office for a housing association based in Somerset.

  • Philip Sanders

    Philip studied Agriculture at Nottingham University, and then started his early career in hotel management. Philip has worked in the NHS as a Trust Board Director. He now runs his own Health Care Consultancy business part time.

    Philip ran a youth club for many years and is still actively involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme assessing at Bronze, Silver and Gold Award levels. He has also been a Voluntary Warden with the Dartmoor National Park for almost 40 years and regularly walks and help maintain a network of paths on Dartmoor.

    Philip is currently a Town Councillor on Tavistock Town Council and is also the Mayor this year. Philip has been a Governor of Tavistock College since 2009 and has chaired the Resources Committee for a number of years.

  • Rebecca Ledger

    Rebecca has worked in education for over 20 years within corporate, charitable and public sector organisations. In her current role at the Department for Education, she works with academy trusts nationally. Rebecca is a founding trustee of Dartmoor Multi Academy and returns to the role after a short break. She is committed to providing all students with access to the very best education.

  • Emma Neath

    After studying law at university, Emma went on to become a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor. She has worked in a number of accountancy practices in the South West, both international and regional, including 16 years at Ernst & Young in Exeter where she specialised in company tax. She had a wide variety of clients from PLCs, owner-managed businesses, farmers and charities. For a couple of years, she was also an exam marker at Exeter University, marking the tax papers for the Accountancy Degree course.

    Emma became a parent governor 8 years ago at South Tawton Primary school when her son was there, she then joined the Three Hares governing body when the DMAT was formed. She has, therefore, seen many changes in her time as a governor. She has been the Resources Lead and, for the last 3 years, Chair. Emma has enjoyed being involved with the three Primary schools that make up the Three Hares; South Tawton, North Tawton and Chagford and helping to develop the identity of the Three Hares.

    Emma has also been the Treasurer for the South Zeal Scout group for the past ten years.

    She is looking forward to taking on her new role as Trustee and sitting on the Resources, Estates and Digital Committee.

  • Tracy O'Kennedy

    Tracy started her career as an apprentice groom, gaining her British Horse Society Assistant Instructor qualification in 1990, enjoying teaching both horse and rider for many years. In her early 20’s she returned to education as an adult learner, and achieved Chartered Fellow status of the CIPD. She has since held senior HR roles for almost 30 years; her most recent position being Employee Experience Director for a high growth national healthcare provider, employing 12,000+ people. Her HR and People Leadership experience spans many sectors from automotive, to manufacturing and sales, with a strong focus on people development, creating and developing innovative apprenticeships and impactful learning opportunities for all.

    Tracy lives in West Devon, and now runs her consultancy practice from home, allowing her time to pursue her lifelong love of dressage, competing locally at affiliated level. In addition to her Dartmoor MAT Trustee role, she is Governance Chair of a high growth End Point Assessment Organisation within the healthcare sector.

  • Beth Warwick

    Beth has been working in education for over 20 years. After qualifying as a teacher, she has worked across a range of primary and secondary settings as well as at a specialist SEMH setting. Since taking on the SENCo role in 2014, she has specialised in this area and gained her National Award for SEN Co-ordination in 2016. She currently works as the Director of SEND for the Uffculme Academy Trust who serve a range of communities in Devon and Somerset.

    Beth has also held various governance positions as both a staff and parent governor and has extensive experience working within the Guide and Scout Associations. She is married with 2 children, who are currently both at secondary school, and regularly attends her local Baptist Church as well as being an active member of her local Arts Association.

    Beth is passionate about improving outcomes for children with SEND and ensuring there are able to thrive in a truly inclusive environment.

  • James Lamb

    James has worked in education for over 20 years and been part of senior leadership teams since 2011.  James secured his first Headship in 2018 and is currently the Headteacher at The Castle School Taunton.  He is committed to ensuring there is equity within his schools and ensuring the most disadvantaged students have the best possible life chances through a high-quality education.

    James believes education should empower young people, giving them the knowledge to make sense of the world and grow into citizens who make a difference.  His values underpin every decision he makes as a school leader and Trustee.  Children have one opportunity to a quality education, and we need to get it right first time.  He is passionate about school leadership and strives to create environments where colleagues feel able and have the opportunity to take on leadership roles in order to grow the leaders of tomorrow.  James has experience of working with other organisations, and is facilitator of the National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) for Leading Schools South West (LSSW) as well as having experience of two years of working with the Somerset Schools Forum.

  • Dan Polak

    Dan is the Director of Education at TEAM Multi Academy Trust and prior to this role, has been a Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) as well as a governor in various settings for the last ten years.

    Starting his career in secondary education as an English teacher, Dan moved to primary schooling and specialised in mathematics, becoming a Mastery Specialist and Headteacher Advocate, supporting clusters of schools to improve the quality of their mathematics instruction. Through SLE support work and Mastery Specialist support, Dan has worked with other 40 schools to improve their quality of education.

    Dan’s current role is to support Headteachers and provide interim headship for schools without headteachers. He also works with the University of Exeter to lead the Initial Teacher Education School Direct course in North Devon.

    From Devon himself, Dan is committed to ensuring all children in Devon get the opportunities they deserve.

  • Marc Kastner

    Marc has worked within inclusion for many years, initially teaching literacy, numeracy and basic skills to Post 16 students on remand, then moving to the Careers Service where he worked in Exeter Prison, Youth Justice Team and providing careers advice in schools. In 2008 he joined Devon County Council and was Strategic Lead for Inclusion and Wellbeing managing a range of teams and services and lead for Youth Justice and Mental Health. Marc retired from DCC in August 2023 and is currently am currently an ordinand in the Church of England and studying with SWMTC in Plymouth.

Our committees of the board

  • Audit Risk & Assurance Committee

    Monitors the integrity of the MAT’s financial statements, financial performance, internal financial controls, internal control and risk management, along with reviewing the effectiveness of the internal audit function.

  • Resources, Estates and Digital Committee

    Accountable for managing financial resources, operations (estates) and digital resources to achieve maximum effectiveness and best value. Ensure the Trust is financially secure and compliant with statutory financial reporting, the Trust Handbook and Accounts Direction.

  • Quality Education Committee

    Ensure that the overall curriculum provision for cohorts, groups and phases of children meets the standards and expectations of the Trust and the entitlement for each community.

  • Remuneration Committee

    To agree pay policies for staff and CEO.

  • Resolutions Committee

    To deal with panel hearings for exclusion or other panel hearing meetings.​

  • Nominations Committee

    To act on behalf of the Board of Trustees to approve candidates for membership of Local Stakeholder boards and to act on behalf of the board to review and recommend Board member candidates to the Trust Board.

  • ​Admissions Committee

    ​To annually review the impact of all aspects of school admission arrangements and practice. The Committee will consider all Admission Round applications and all In Year applications for admission in accordance with the current admissions arrangements.

  • Primary Advocacy Board

    Advocates are there to provide assurance that the strategic vision of Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust is enacted and stakeholders are listened to.

  • Secondary Stakeholder Board

    Stakeholders are there to provide assurance that the strategic vision of Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust is enacted and stakeholders are listened to.

  • Promise Review Board

    The Promise Review Board are responsible for ensuring that the children of the school receive a quality education.

If you would like to make contact with the Trust Board with feedback or concerns please email the Governance Team via

Academic year 2023-24

Trust Chair: Tania Skeaping

Vice Trust Chair: Peter Elliott

Safeguarding Lead Trustee: Philip Sanders

Whistleblowing Trustee: Tracy O’Kennedy

SEND Lead Trustee: Beth Warwick

Chair of Audit Risk & Assurance: Rebecca Ledger

Chair of Resources Estates & Digital: Emma Neath