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The current directors of the First Federation Trust are:


Alex Walmsley - EDEN Foundation Director - Chair of Directors and of the Strategic & Audit Committee - Lead director for Finance (appointed on 01/06/2017 for four years by EDEN)

Alex is a chartered accountant and economics graduate and was for many years managing partner of a local accountancy practice. An experienced non-executive director, his background is in audit and business advice and support.

Alex is a director and Chief Finance Officer of Ted Wragg MAT (an Exeter based multi academy trust). He is chairman of Devon Association of Governors (DAG) and represents primary academies at Devon Education Forum and DAG at Devon Schools Finance Group. He has worked with a range of schools and academies on governance related matters.

He joined the board of directors of the First Federation because he wanted to build on his interest in supporting education after his retirement from full time work. His role is to chair the board and to support and hold to account the CEO, most particularly in his role as Accounting Officer, and the COO.


Ian Thomas – Co-opted Director - Vice-Chair of Directors and the Strategic & Audit Committee - Lead Director for Business (appointed on 25/09/2017 for four years by foundation directors)

Ian has a wide range of expertise within the business sector. He is a member of his firm’s Executive Team and has responsibility for the management, recruitment and development of the Reserving Team. He also is also responsible for designing and implementing the calculations for Technical Provisions and Reserve Risk for Solvency II requirements and Long-Term-Pricing quarterly reviews. These key analyses were presented to the Directors to inform pricing and business planning decision.

Previously he has had responsibility for Actuarial strategy – reserving and pricing. He had an integral role in supporting the finance function, developing the knowledge of the insurance accounting team and development of checks and controls for the claims items in the P&L and on the balance sheet. He brings a wealth of experience within the corporate business world.



Paul Walker - Chief Executive Officer – Member of the Strategic & Audit Committee (appointed on 01/09/2017 by board of directors)

Paul was the deputy CEO of the First Federation Trust and CEO of Genesis Academy Trust. He now is the CEO of the First Federation Trust. 


Ann Denner - Coopted Director - Member of the Strategic & Audit committee (appointed on 01/05/2017 for four years by foundation directors)

Ann has been a school governor for 15 years, starting out as a parent governor at an Infant school, and currently serving at both primary and secondary level. During that time Ann has been part of governing bodies working towards an amalgamation of schools, forming a federation and converting to Multi Academy Trust status.

After graduating with a degree in History & Politics, Ann spent 15 years working as an Insurance Broker specialising in Domestic & Export Trade Credit and Political Risk cover, working with a wide variety of UK and multi national clients and Underwriters.

Currently, Ann works for a group of schools in East Devon, providing administrative support for a number of areas of collaboration, as well as assisting her husband with their kitchen design and fitting business.



Andrea Gosling - Salisbury DBE Foundation Director - Member of the Strategic & Audit Committee (appointed on 31/08/2018 for four years by SDBE)

Andrea first became a parent governor when her son was at All Saints Infants School (now Sidmouth Primary School Vicarage Road site) and appreciated seeing the workings of the school from both sides. She was on the governing body when three schools amalgamated to form Sidmouth Primary School, and then federated first with Musbury and then Hawkchurch Primary Schools. With an Honours Degree in Biology, Food Science & Nutrition and a postgraduate diploma in Dietetics Andrea spent her early working life as a Registered Dietitian in the NHS specialising in Paediatrics. Joining the family business in 1998 Andrea is now Managing Partner and has a Foundation Degree in Tourism Park Management. Her roles and responsibilities include HR, finance, PR and marketing, and customer relations. Her varied day job means that she can appreciate the role of a Foundation Director.


Rev Paul Wimsett - EDEN Foundation Director - Lead director for Christian Distinctiveness and Ethos (appointed on 01/12/2015 for four years by EDEN)


Paul has a B.Sc (Econ) 2.1 Honours Degree in Economics & Politics at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and a M.A. in Theology with distinction in Theological Understanding of Industrial Society, University of Hull. He provides the spiritual guidance for the Directors. He is the Vicar of Chudleigh, Chudleigh Knighton & Trusham, has been a member of the First Federation Governing Body since 2006 and involved in Church Schools for 30 years. Since 2006 he has gained a good insight into the organisational running and development of federations.




Carolyn Bromfield - Co-opted Director - SEN and Pupil Premium lead director (appointed on 18/07/2017 for four years by foundation directors)

Carolyn has recently retired from the position of Principal Lecturer in Inclusive Education Studies and Director of the MA Education Programmes at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Previously worked on the MEd programme at the University of Plymouth. Her professional commitments involved writing, supporting and tutoring classroom management and behaviour modules on the Postgraduate Professional Development Programme for teachers/educators in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and other partnership Local Authorities and schools. This also included consultancy work such as whole school in-service, contributing to school development plans on behaviour issues and working with individual teachers. Involved in NQT training in several counties with a particular remit for behaviour management and supervision of the NQT Professional Portfolios. Carolyn also contributed to the undergraduate programme and delivered modules on classroom organisation, SEN and PSHE for the BA ITE degree course, Joint Honours and PGCE Programmes. She was regional co-ordinator for the Behaviour4Learning Initial teacher Training Professional Resource Network. Carolyn was a successful bid writer enabling the Education Faculty at UWE to facilitate SENCO training programmes and initiate a new Masters Programme: The Masters for Teaching and Learning (MTL).

Carolyn has lectured nationally on the subject of behaviour management and regularly contributed at NASEN Special Needs conferences in London and the rest of the UK. Also lectured internationally with annually visits to Denmark (Jelling Teacher Training College) and the University of Lapland to deliver lectures to the undergraduate students. Books published in the area of PSHE and the use of Circle-time in Primary Schools. Published research includes issues linked with inclusive education, the impact of ICT on teaching and learning, and target setting. Doctoral research entitled: Behaviour for Learning: An analysis of trainee teachers’ concerns.


Chris Frankland - EDEN Foundation Director - Lead director for Safeguarding (appointed on 01/02/2018 for four years by EDEN)

Chris is a lecturer at Exeter College. More information to follow. 

Register of business and pecuniary interests

Directors are asked to fill in a register of business interests form when they are appointed, which is then updated annually. Directors are invited to declare any relevant interest at the start of each meeting so any conflict of interest can be managed appropriately.

Directors and senior staff are asked to fill in a 'related parties' form to declare any connection with any business who has provided services for the Trust annually as part of the audit process to support the annual report / financial statements.

A summary of the directors' relevant business interests is included below. The full register can be viewed at the First Federation office.

Meeting attendance

Directors are invited to send their apologies ahead of meetings they cannot attend. Their attendance at meetings is monitored and included in the annual report for the Trust. 

A summary of the directors' attendance at meetings during the previous and current academic year can be found below. 


Contacting the directors:

The directors, including the Chair, and the Company Secretary, can be contacted:

  • through any of the First Federation Trust schools,
  • by using the First Federation website contact page: click here, 
  • by emailing them to: ,
  • by writing to them at: The First Federation Trust, Blackpool CE Primary School, Liverton, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6JB.