Skip to content ↓
The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute



Nick Appleby - (The Learning institute Director)

Louise Clements - (Chair and Co-opted Governor)

Paul Northcott - (Co-opted Governor)

Anne Petherick-Davies - (Staff Governor)

Michelle Roberts - (Staff Governor)

Dr. Pinky Jain - (Co-opted Governor)

Suzanne Horton - (Associate Governor)

Amber Jones - Student representative

Hayley Briant - Student representative


Mrs Sandra Billinghay - (Clerk) -


The Chair of the Local Governing Board can be contacted either via the Learning Institute office or email:

Meetings scheduled for 2021-2022

5th October 2021, 7th January 2022, 14th June 2022


Nick Appleby: The Learning Institute Director

Appointed By WeST Trust Board

Term: 12.11.21 – 4 years

Registered Interests: None

Louise Clements: Co-opted Governor

Appointed By WeST Trust Board

Term: 11.07.19 – 10.07.23

Registered Interests: Independent Advisor to Devon & Cornwall Police

Panel Member of Youth Justice Board Plymouth

For 38 years, Louise owned and operated a public relations consultancy service in the south-west for businesses, organisations, consumers and government & charity businesses.

At board level, Louise was involved with managing change for staff, clients, customers and suppliers, whilst also completing several public consultations for property developers and opponents of proposed new developments.  

Magistrate for nearly 20 years, she sat on the Bar Standards Tribunals and Adjudication Service at the Inns of Court in London as well as being a member of their Strategic Advisory Board. 

Louise has built up a keen interest in education throughout her career; previously serving as school governor at both primary and higher education.

Paul Northcott: Co-opted Governor

Appointed By WeST Trust Board

Term: 21.03.19 – 20.01.23

Registered Interests: Director of Paul Northcott Consultancy Ltd

Paul is a governor with TLI with a specific responsibility for safeguarding. He is a highly experienced leader with a background of working in all fields of child and adult safeguarding, which he gained within the police. He also has extensive experience of working at a senior level within strategic partnerships, chairing meetings and delivering outcomes that meet national inspection frameworks and standards. Paul is a consultant who currently specialises in undertaking safeguarding reviews and delivering organisational change in the public and private sector. He also delivers training in safeguarding to a level 5 standard.

Anne Petherick-Davies: Staff Governor

Appointed by WeST Trust Board

Term: 12.11.17 – 11.11.21 reappointed for a further 4 years 11.11.25

Registered Interests: Husband is an employee of Westcountry Schools Trust Ltd

Anne has over 30 years working in education. Anne has been based in Devon and Cornwall for all of her working life where she started out as a secondary mathematics teacher. She moved on to leading secondary initial teacher training with responsibility for QTS and PGCE.

A key aspect of Anne’s current role as Deputy Director of the Learning Institute is the responsibility for the development of new programmes of study both within higher education and apprenticeships. Within higher education the focus is currently on those practitioners with roles within early years practice, education and mental health and wellbeing of children and young people as well as those training to teach.

Anne’s current interests include:

· the further development of blended learning pedagogies as they apply to further and higher education,

· the development of the Natural Schooling agenda. Here she is involved in an Erasmus project with local partners and international partners from 3 other European nations.

Michelle Roberts: Staff Governor

Appointed by WeST Trust Board

Term: 12.11.17 – 11.11.21 reappointed for a further 4 years 11.11.25

Registered Interests: Bloomsbury Publishing

Michelle is a Governor of the Learning Institute and is currently the Director of the Arena Sports Partnership and the Strategic lead for the Dartmoor Sports Partnership. Michelle reports to the Board on all areas of this work. 

Michelle's Governor experience comes from her role as Chair of Governors at Coads Green Primary School and has specific responsibilities for data, maths and curriculum development.  As part of her role she carries out learning walks, takes part in pupil conferencing and meet subject leaders and the Head Teacher on a regular basis.  Michelle is a qualified primary school teacher and in her current role works with many schools across Devon and Cornwall in an advisory capacity.

Michelle has a passion for PE and Outdoor learning and strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to access a high quality education and the opportunity to lead a healthy active lifestyle.

Dr. Pinky Jain: Co-opted Governor

Appointed by WeST Trust Board

Term: 15.12.21 – 14.12.25

Registered Interests: None

Pinky Jain is Head of Teacher Education in the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University. She has research interests in trainee teachers, exploring how they can be developed and supported to attain criticality, to be reflective and to become research-informed practitioners.

Pinky taught in a range of schools and HEIs all over the world before joining the University in 2021 where she leads an enthusiastic, dedicated and committed team within the Department for Teacher Education. She also works on international development in the field school improvement governance and development of policy and practise.

Piers Von Berg: Co-opted Governor

Appointed By WeST Trust Board

Term: 21.10.20 – 20.10.24

Registered Interests: Works for Plymouth University

Piers is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Plymouth. His research interests are in citizenship education and youth justice. He is completing a Doctorate in Education at University College London. Piers previously practised at the Bar from 2010-2017 and worked in international development programmes in the Caucasus and Central Asia from 2000-2006

Amber Jones - student representative

Registered Interests:

Hayley Briant - student representative

Registered Interests:

Hayley is currently in her final year of studying a Degree in Learning and Education.  Her professional role is a TA, within Primary education, and she hopes to achieve qualified Teacher status.

Hayley is a student rep, Ambassador, and part of the Governing board for TLI.      

She has a passion for the Safety and welfare of children and staff and truly believes we are in a Pandemic for Mental health, and we need everyone on board to make our children grow up in a world where every individual is a valued member to society.

Her current areas of interests and personnel development are the ACE'S (adverse childhood experiences) project and the Natural schooling project- both are in collaboration with the TLI.