How TAST is Organised

TAST’s Board of Directors is responsible (and accountable to the Department for Education) for the management of TAST and those primary and secondary academies in the Newton Abbot and Teign Valley/Kingsteignton learning communities that have joined TAST, namely (at the present time).

  • Christow Community School
  • Coombeshead Academy
  • Rydon Primary School
  • Teign School

TAST employs the staff and owns or leases the properties of the TAST academies.

The Board exercises an essentially strategic ‘governance’ role, setting the direction and framework for the management of TAST, defining the ethos (Mission and Vision) of TAST, setting strategic objectives, setting TAST-wide policies, setting objectives and targets for the individual academies and exercising financial control. However it fulfils many of its responsibilities by delegating tasks to specific TAST executives and to Board Committees and Local Governing Bodies, holding them to account for the tasks that are delegated to them.


The Board itself is accountable to the Members of TAST (as well as the DfE). The Members are the governors of all the academies in TAST. They hold a General Meeting at least once each year to review the performance of the Board and the effectiveness of TAST in meeting the educational needs of the Newton Abbot and Teign Valley learning communities.

Trust Leadership Team

Peter Di Giuseppe

Peter was one of the first directors of the Trust and has been Chairman since March 2011. Peter was re-appointed in September 2014. A chartered accountant, and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, he has been involved in school governance for almost 20 years.

Peter is a non-executive Director of the Trust.

Matthew Shanks
Executive Headteacher

The Board delegates to the Executive Head Secondary the implementation of TAST strategy and the handling of relations with external organisations and the overall collective management of Teign School and Coombeshead Academy. Currently Matthew also oversees Christow Community School.

Matthew has been a Headteacher since 2010 and Executive Headteacher since 2013. He is an executive Director of the Trust.

Nick Banwell

The Board has delegated the management of Rydon directly to Nick who is responsible for the day to day management of Rydon Primary School.

Nick has been a headteacher of three schools over the last 11 years. He is an executive Director of the Trust.

Local Governing Bodies

The Local Governing Bodies of Teign, Coombeshead and Rydon exercise certain ‘governance’ functions that have been delegated to them by the Board in relation to their academies. These functions include challenging and supporting the Head of School/Headteacher, deciding academy policies, evaluating pupil outcomes and taking decisions about academy personnel management.

Each Local Governing Body has up to seven Parent Governors (elected by parents), three Staff Governors (elected by staff) and the Head of School/Headteacher/Executive Headteacher. These governors may elect a further nine Co-opted Governors drawn typically from the local community.

Christow has special arrangements for the time being, having a Local Advisory Board, two of whose members sit on the Teign Local Governing Body.

Central Functions

So that those individuals and governing bodies mentioned above can concentrate on the core purpose of TAST, namely teaching and learning and the personal development of pupils as indicated in the Mission Statement above, the Board has delegated the ‘central’ functions of TAST such as finance, human resources, premises, ICT networks and catering to the TAST Director of Resources who, working closely with the above-mentioned, is responsible for these matters and for the staff across TAST who deal with them.


Most of the Directors of TAST are chosen by the members of the Local Governing Bodies, taking into account the skills and experience required by the Board. The governors of Teign, Coombeshead and Rydon each appoint up to four Directors, of whom one is their chair of governors and at least one is a parent governor. The Executive Head Secondary and the Headteacher of Rydon are also TAST Directors. Regardless of how they are appointed, the Directors must act in the best interests of TAST as a whole.

The current Directors of TAST* are as follows:

Mr P. Di Giuseppe
(TAST Chair)
Mr L. Yelland
(Chair of Coombeshead LGB)
Mr M. Shanks
(Executive Head TAST)
Mr N. Banwell
(Headteacher, Rydon & Executive Headteacher, Christow)
Mr J. Clark
(Chair of Christow LGB)
Mr J. Pike
(Co-opted Governor, Coombeshead LGB)
Mr G. Austin
(Parent Governor, Coombeshead LGB)
Mr A. Hines
(Chair of Rydon LGB)
Mr P. Jordan
(Co-opted Governor, Rydon LGB)
Mrs H. Smith
(Parent Governor, Rydon LGB)
Mr D. Potter
(Chair of Teign LGB)
Mr S. Chakrabovty
(Co-opted Governor, Teign LGB)
Mrs S. Cude
(Co-opted Governor, Teign LGB)


The Trust Board has three committees to oversee the operation of core areas:

Finance Committee
Oversees the Trust's financial arrangements and activity, monitoring budgets and procurement and sets the Board's Financial Regulations.
Personnel Committee
Oversees policies affecting the employment of staff and volunteers.
Audit Committee
Oversees the risks which can affect the Trust and monitors systems to ensure the Trust runs efficiently and safely.

All Trust committees are made up of directors and members of the local governing bodies who have an interest in a particular aspect of the Trust's operation. Each committee nominates one director as Chair and will elect a Vice Chair from their members.

* No Trust director has any business interest in suppliers to the Trust.