The Local Governing Body of the Sir John Colfox Academy

Hilary Cunningham Chair

Prior to her recent retirement, Hilary Cunningham BDS MSc LDS RCS(Eng) was a career dental officer in the Defence Medical Services in the rank of Colonel.  She was an enhanced practitioner and latterly in a senior clinical management role. Here she developed and lead clinical teams providing both primary medical and dental care in UK for military personnel from all three armed service and in Germany which also included looking after the spouses and families of military personnel and MOD civil servants and their families.  Working in the Armed Forces which was reducing in size gave numerous management challenges especially change management, in personnel and budgetary areas together with the expectation of providing a first class clinical provision both at home and foreign bases and on deployments to war zones. 

Although not local she has had associations with the area for over 40 years.  She is now an Education Volunteer with the RNLI and this obviously involves giving presentations for school children mainly regarding beach safety. 

 

Charlotte Chandler Vice Chair

Prior to joining KPMG in 1998 Charlotte worked at Ernst & Young and also had her own company providing consultancy event advice to different organisations such as Amex and Allen & Overy.  Charlotte has many years’ experience of events and hospitality and since joining KPMG, has been focussing on "corporate relations", which in a nutshell, is ensuring KPMG meet and build sustainable strong relationships with key work influencers; the "good and the great" within the business community; Government; the "City" and other relevant organisations within UK Plc.  In addition to the above, Charlotte has overall responsibility for the senior client entertaining programme.  Over the last two years Charlotte has been very involved in launching Number Twenty, KPMG’s new client building in the West End of which she is hugely proud!  Charlotte’s family have lived near Bridport for a couple of hundred years and now her husband, Simon, and her live in Uploders

Ursula Bayer

Ursula has had a long association with the Sir John Colfox Academy having had three children and two grandsons attend the school. Her three children all graduated to various universities. Her eldest grandson left Colfox last year and is now studying Astrophysics at Durham University. Her younger grandchild is currently in the Upper Sixth FormFor 25 years Ursula was a director and partner in a national food company based in Poole and now has business interests in South West France in a large hotel and restaurant complex.

Ursula was born and educated in Germany but moved to the UK in 1967. She has lived in the Bride Valley for over 35 years. She was a governor at Thorners VA Primary School in Litton Cheney and a governor at The Sir John Colfox Language School for several years.

 

 

Suzanne Dampney

Suzanne Dampney is a parent governor, joining the Sir John Colfox Governing Body in 2016 and was previously Chair of Governors at Burton Bradstock Primary School. Sue has been a long term supporter of the school, having had children at Colfox since 2007 and will continue to do so until 2022! Her interest in joining the governing body is to support the school to continue to meet the needs of - and play a key role in - a diverse and vibrant community.
 
With an MA in Geography and a background in countryside management, Sue works for the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Team and Botanic Gardens Education Network. Sue has a particular interest in outdoor education and, through project work and training, has been successful in making connections between schools and their local landscapes and outdoor spaces.

 

Terri Davies

Terri Davies has worked at The Sir John Colfox Academy since 2015 as an Administrative Assistant in the busy school office. She interacts on a daily basis with students, parents, teachers and the other schools in the academy trust and understands very well how the school community functions. Her admin work involves organisation of Taster Days for Y5 children, the transition from Y6 to Y7, parents’ evenings and pupil progress reports.

A conscientious and highly flexible member of staff, Terri is taking over the important role of Exams Officer in September 2019, a position she is very much looking forward to. Terri has lived in Bridport for 7 years and has two daughters who currently attend The Sir John Colfox Academy.  

 

Ruth Mackay

Ruth is a qualified science teacher who has been working in science communication and public engagement for 18 years. After completing a degree in neuroscience at the University of Glasgow and a PGCE at the University of Bristol she worked in science centres and other informal learning environments, developing and delivering workshops and teacher resources. In her current role as an education advisor and project coordinator for a small public engagement consultancy company she advises schools, academics and science professionals to increase engagement and participation in STEM subjects. She has experience of researching and communicating a range of science topics, leading outreach events, coordinating residential programs, recruiting academic and professional experts and developing web content for educational websites. 

 

David Powell

David Powell lives in Burton Bradstock. He has two daughters, Elisabeth and Josie who live and work in Bristol and Bournemouth. David has been the Headteacher of three schools, the first in High Wycombe and the others in Dorset. In the last five years in education he was Dorset’s Senior and then Principal Primary Advisor, responsible for developing creative approaches to leadership, teaching and learning. David was an accredited School Improvement Partner supporting schools in England, Spain and Mumbai. David has helped develop and has promoted the Rights-Respecting School award. He is qualified to train and accredit schools at both levels of this nationally recognised award. David also writes and performs songs in his spare time, and has just discovered the joys of becoming a grandparent. He is Chair of Bridport Primary School.

Samantha Wakely


Samantha lives in Bridport and has a daughter at The Sir John Colfox Academy.  Samantha works in Bridport at her husband’s family business which has been established since 1897 and has a long standing family history with Bridport.  Prior to joining the family business, Samantha worked in Finance for nearly twenty years at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan where she was fortunate to help international institutional asset management clients achieve their investment objectives.  During her time at JPMorgan, Samantha became a Govern of the JPMorgan UK Pension Fund representing the UK employees. 

John Wright


John lives in Bothenhampton and has two children at The Sir John Colfox Academy. Over the last thirty years, John has held senior managerial positions in local government and the housing sector. John has  significant experience in governance, finance and operational management.

John has degrees in political theory and institutions and business administration.

Lucy Wright

Lucy Wright is Head of English at The Sir John Colfox Academy, where she has been a valued member of the teaching staff for 20 years. As well as leading a happy English Department, Lucy has also been Head of Year and was one of the four original Heads of House (Fleur de Lys). Lucy has a degree in Psychology and Education and a PGCE in English and Special Needs.  She worked as a Teaching Assistant and as a Traveller Support Worker before training to become a teacher, so has an understanding of what it is like to be supporting in lessons as well as the different needs of children.  Lucy has contributed significantly to staff well-being both formally through her work on the staff committee and informally through numerous lunches, gatherings and fabulous cakes.  She is a keen cyclist and a member of a local choir.

 

Adam Shelley Headteacher

Adam has worked in education for more than 20 years in many different roles, most recently as Acting Head in another local school. Before this his roles have included Deputy Dead, Assistant Head, Head of Department and a Maths and Computer Science teacher. During his time in teaching Adam has always been happy to teach subjects outside his specialism and has taught A level Psychology and Philosophy as well develop Citizenship and the PSHE curriculum. In 2005 Adam published a resource book for Maths teachers called “ICT links – Maths”. He has also had articles published in computer teaching magazines as well as creating teaching resources for various companies including the National grid.

Adam first moved to Dorset in 2001 where he became part of the National Strategy consultant team for Dorset County Council working with secondary schools including The Sir John Colfox Academy to develop their ICT curriculum.

Adam achieved a Masters of Education (MEd) in 2015 at the University of Exeter where his dissertation focused on metacognition and motivation of students. He gained a postgraduate National Professional Qualification in Headship in 2007.

Adam’s main focus is improving the quality of education for all students in Bridport and giving everyone the best opportunities possible for them to succeed in the future.  Adam lives in Bridport with his wife and two children