Governors' Profiles

Co-optative Governors: Dr S B Ansell, Mr N. Arnold, Mr C.M. Clapp (Chairman), Mr N.J. Cryer, Mr N.P. Hall, Mr G L Howe, Mr P.M. Johnson, Mr M J Lovett, Mrs M. MacNeice, Mrs J.M.A. Mannix, Fr R. Maudsley, Rt Rev’d N. McKinnel, Mr I.R.G. Thomas, Mrs J.S. Thomson, Dr M.E. Wood

Representative Governors: Mr R.W. Thane


A General Practitioner and Medical Educationalist. Educated at Sherborne School for Girls, she read Natural Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge before converting to medicine and completing her clinical training at Worcester College, Oxford. After 14 years as a partner in a GP practice in Bedford, she moved to North Devon in 2004 and has a portfolio career as a local practicing GP, GP Appraiser and GP Educationalist. As an Associate Dean for Health Education England, she has responsibility for the training of Primary Care health professionals in the South West. She recently completed a Masters in Clinical Education with a dissertation exploring resilience in doctors in training. Mother of three grown up children, all of whom were educated at Blundell's.

Mr N Arnold BA (Hons), App Dip Crim (Cantab)

After a career in Policing and latterly in Counter Terrorism, he retired as the Chief Constable (acting) of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. He has been a trained Gold Commander for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Attacks and was a member of the international Cadre of Hostage Negotiators working for a time in Washington and Colorado. A former director of Courtenay Associates, advisor to the Ministry of Defence, member of the Department of Health Advisory Group, member of the North and East Devon Advisory Committee (responsible for the appointment and conduct of Magistrates in N&E Devon), a trustee and director of the Plymouth Drake Foundation and of the Devon Community Foundation. He is currently the Chair, director and trustee of Devon Communities Together (formerly the Community Council for Devon).

Mr C M Clapp FCA

Currently Chairman of the Governing Body. Educated at Blundell’s, a Chartered Accountant by profession and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner with Ernst & Young (1966 to 1999) and Senior Partner Baker Tilly, Bristol (2000 to 2006). Since retiring he has acted as a consultant to Veale Wasbrough Vizards Solicitors and served as local Chairman for Clydesdale Bank in Bristol and Duncan Lawrie Private Banking in the south west. He is also a director of Thurlestone Estates Limited, a company that owns hotels in Devon and Cornwall. He is a Vice President of The Old Blundellian Club.

Mr N J Cryer BEng (Hons), MCIBSE

A chartered engineer by profession, with over 30 years’ experience in property and construction. Initially site based in contracting, Nick progressed into consultancy where he led high profile construction projects for some of the world's leading property companies including Canary Wharf Group, Hammerson Plc, Prudential and Lendlease, culminating in a position on the UK Board of WSP Group Plc. In 2002 Nick established a new regional office for global cost and project management consultants EC Harris LLP, leading consulting initiatives throughout the UK and Europe as a senior partner and latterly, in the role of Head of Commercial Development. In 2009 Nick formed the property and construction company Berkeley Place, focussing on the private residential market. In parallel, Nick attracted PE and VC investment to deliver his own development projects including a 135 bed student accommodation building combined with a Sainsbury's store in Plymouth. Nick is a trustee of various charitable institutions supporting their property and investment decision process.

Mr N P Hall MA FCA

Currently Vice Chairman of the Governing Body and Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee. Educated at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in 1980. He joined the fashion retailer The Burton Group PLC in 1984 and undertook a wide variety of financial and general management roles before becoming Finance Director of the company, by now renamed Arcadia Group PLC, in 1997. Following the sale of the company in 2002 he has pursued a portfolio career as a non-executive director of several public and private companies. He is currently a non-executive director of law firm Michelmores LLP. He is married to Jill, has two grown up daughters, and has lived near Butterleigh, Cullompton since 1998.


Educated at Tiverton Grammar School and Blundell`s, Graham qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Following a period with National firm Clark Whitehill in Cheltenham, he and his wife returned to Devon in 1985. A Partner with South West Accountants Bishop Fleming until 2008, he then joined the board of The Pavey Group as Finance Director. Following his retirement, roles include Trustee of the Devon Community Foundation and the Church House Charity. Living in South Devon, Graham has one son, also educated at Blundell`s, and enjoys golf, walking and rugby.

Mr P M Johnson MA FRSA

Currently Chairman of the Education Committee. Retired in September 2008 after 32 years working in independent education. He was a teacher, coach and Housemaster at Radley, Headmaster of Wrekin College (1991-1998) and Headmaster of Millfield (1998-2008). He was educated at Bec Grammar School and Oxford University where he gained an Army Scholarship, following which he spent five years as an officer in the Parachute Brigade. He has been a keen sportsman all his life and played rugby and cricket to a high level. He is a Privilege Member of the Rugby Football Union, an educational advisor to the London Chamber Orchestra, a trustee of Wells Cathedral, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a governor of two other schools. He is passionate about music, wine, gardening and books.

Mr M J Lovett BA (Ed) Hons

A former Headmaster of three preparatory schools including 12 years as Head of Truro Prep, and now an educational consultant and reporting inspector for ISI. He delivers training for prep school teachers in the South West and leads a development programme for future school leaders. Trained as a primary school teacher at Exeter University specialising in the teaching of science, he has also taught Latin, Spanish and physical education in Spain, Kenya and around the UK.

Mrs M MacNeice BCL, LLB, LLM, Barrister, BL

A barrister by profession – practising under her maiden name Martha Maher – with almost 30 years' experience at the chancery commercial bar. She was educated in Ireland at University College, Cork and then at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and the Inns of Court School of Law. She was called to the bar of England and Wales in 1987 and has practised from the Western Circuit with chambers in Bristol. She is a member of the Honourable Society of Inner Temple and the Chancery Bar Association and has reported cases to her credit including leading cases in the spheres of partnership law and company/insolvency law. She has lectured widely on company/commercial law topics including most recently to the Channel Islands Law Societies. She is vice-chair of the Disciplinary Committee of a leading accountancy body. She is married to a lawyer, Rory, and has children at schools in the South West. She is passionate about horses and has the distinction of being the first lady barrister to have won the Bar Point to Point. Her extra-curricular interests also include gardening, poetry and of course, family.

Mrs J M A Mannix MA

Educated at Blundell’s and University of St Andrews achieving an M.A. in French. She has worked for Oxfam, NSPCC, and Wadham College, Oxford in Development Director and fundraising roles and has undertaken further development and fundraising projects for Wadham College, Brasenose College and the Ashmolean Museum. She has lived in both South America and South Africa and is fluent in French and Spanish.

Fr R Maudsley

Associate Priest for St Andrews Tiverton. Working in Church schools in Devon since 2009, he has been involved in many changes and new initiatives as a full-time Education Officer, with responsibility for fifty of the one hundred and thirty church schools in the Diocese of Exeter. He has been Head Teacher of four church schools ranging from Haringey, Hertfordshire, Wiltshire and Barnet. His last headship was of a large community school in North London serving a wide multicultural community; alongside this headship experience he has supervised students and lectured on aspects of primary education at Middlesex University. As an Ofsted trained Inspector and School Improvement Partner, he has tried to balance the demands of academic achievement alongside the development of the whole child. As a trained S.I.A.S. Inspector he has carried out Statutory Inspections of Anglican schools in the London, Chelmsford and Truro Dioceses. He trained for the priesthood later in life and was ordained in St Paul’s Cathedral by the Bishop of London, serving his curacy in North London before moving to Devon in 2009. As a Blundell’s Governor, he has responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Religious Education.

The Right Reverend Nick McKinnel

Studied Law at Cambridge and Theology at Oxford prior to ordination to a London parish in 1980. Subsequently Chaplain at Liverpool University, Rector of Hatherleigh and Rector of St Andrew’s Church, Plymouth. Made Bishop of Crediton in 2012. Bishop of Plymouth since 2015. He has been a school Governor in primary and independent schools for over 25 years, is currently on the Board of Governors at the University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth, and has been a trustee of Allied Schools as well as Medic Malawi and various church charities. He has acted as a Chaplain to the police, RNLI, 29 Commando Regt., ex-services associations and Plymouth College. He is married to Jan and they have four children, six grandchildren and live in Plymouth.

Mr R W Thane BA

Educated at Solihull School and Liverpool University, he gained his PGCE at Downing College, Cambridge. He then spent seventeen years at The King's School, Canterbury where he taught Geography and was a Housemaster of one of the boys' boarding houses. He moved to Blundell's in 1997 as Second Master. During his teaching career he was an Independent Schools Team Inspector, worked with the Boarding Schools' Association as a tutor and regional co-ordinator, and was a member of the HMC Deputy Heads Committee. Since leaving Blundell's in 2012 he has worked as a Quality Assurance Officer with the Independent Schools Teacher Induction Panel visiting schools to support new teachers and their mentors.

Mr I R G Thomas BA (Hons), MCSI

Educated at Universität Düsseldorf and the University of York prior to qualifying as a Chartered Wealth Manager. He has spent most of his career at large financial services companies including AXA, Fidelity Investments and JP Morgan, where he was responsible for the Nordic region and lived in Stockholm. More recently, he co-founded a pension and employee benefit consultancy, which operates primarily in the independent schools sector. He is married to Anna and they have two teenage children.

Mrs J S Thomson BA (QTS), MBA, FRSA

A passionate educationalist who, after graduating from Warwick University, began her career at Repton Prep School as a teacher of English, Head of Girls’ Games and Assistant Housemistress. She then moved to Aiglon College in Switzerland where she spent thirteen years running junior and senior girls’ boarding houses and before becoming Head of Middle School. Returning to the UK in 2008 to become Deputy Head at Christ’s’ Hospital School in Horsham until 2016 when she took on her current role as Head of Clayesmore School in Dorset. A keen sportswoman, she is married to Frank and they have two children, who are both at university.

Dr M E Wood MA

Currently a Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the University of Exeter. He graduated in Chemistry (BA 1986, MA 1989) from the University of Oxford (Balliol College) and subsequently undertook PhD studies in Organic Chemistry at Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Sir Jack Baldwin. After graduating and a short period of postdoctoral research, he was appointed to the position of "GlaxoWellcome Fellow and Tutor in Organic Chemistry", a joint appointment with St Catherine's College (where he served on the Governing Body for six years) and the Dyson Perrins Laboratory, both University of Oxford. In 1996 he joined the former Department of Chemistry at the University of Exeter as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, transferring to the newly formed School of Biosciences in 2005, where he was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer. In addition to teaching, he has maintained active research in synthetic, mechanistic and biological organic chemistry and is a Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC).