The Senior Leadership Teams

 

ACE Schools

 

Ruth Westwood - Executive Headteacher

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Ruth was born in Leicestershire but her family moved every couple of years so she experienced a variety of schools in the UK and abroad. Ruth qualified as a Systems Engineer at Warwick and worked in the food production and tyre manufacturing industries for several years working on quality assurance, process development and production planning and management. After a break Ruth completed a PGCE in maths and taught in a range of secondary schools in the southwest before moving into alternative education. During her time at ACE Ruth has had a variety of middle and senior leadership roles before leading the school to a Good Ofsted Judgement in February 2019 as Acting Head.

As well as her role as Head Teacher of ACE Schools, Ruth leads on safeguarding for the trust and chairs the Safeguarding in Education Reference Group for the Plymouth Safeguarding Children Partnership and is a member of the Partnership Board.

Tim Mathias - ACE Schools Deputy Headteacher

Originally from Weston-Super Mare, Tim moved to Plymouth to study sports management at University.  This was Tims first steps into education, providing PE lessons for primary schools and the special schools within the city.

Tim first started working for ACE in 2009 as a teaching assistant and has grown with the organisation starting the pastoral career path, where he worked closely with multi agency partners, mainstream schools in the city and developed his skills in safeguarding and behaviour management. Tim joined the leadership team in 2016 as a senior leader responsible for behaviour and attendance and has since moved into a new role as Assistant Head responsible for Behaviour and Attitudes.

Tim completed his NPQSL in 2019 and is working long term on completing a Master’s qualification in professional practice. Tim represents ACE on several multi agency meetings including the operational child exploitation group and the secondary placements panel.

Rachel Crozier - ACE Schools Assistant Head & SENco

Having grown up in Birmingham, Rachel initially moved to Leicester to study Geography, later staying in the city to firstly work as a teaching assistant, and then completing a Secondary PGCE and teaching at a number of mainstream schools. Whilst working in mainstream, Rachel oversaw health across the curriculum, completed her Certificate in PSHE (personal, social and health education) with a specialism in relationships and sex education, and worked as a head of year, including overseeing links with our primary cluster schools at the time. Rachel moved to Plymouth in 2009 and has been at ACE ever since, currently as Assistant Head & SENCo as part of the leadership team, overseeing the provision and support for students with additional or complex needs across all bases. As part of this responsibility Rachel has completed her NASENCo and Trauma Informed Diploma and also oversees mental health, wellbeing and trauma informed practice. Rachel represents ACE on a number of multi-agency panels and groups within the city linked to these areas.

Christine McNamara - Assistant Headteacher

I grew up in the North West near a seaside town called Southport. My one and only aspiration in life was to work within education and become a teacher.

Studying a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and Maths at Plymouth Marjon University gave me a small ‘taste’ of life in the South West. I started my teaching career at a secondary comprehensive school in Cornwall and a few years later, returned back to teach in Plymouth.

I continued my professional development in Plymouth, have a Masters in Education (MEd) and hold the NASENCo Award.

I am driven by a strong belief that every child should have access to a high-quality education. Education changes lives and children should not be denied the transformative power of a great education.

Outside of school, I enjoy the outdoors. I like to travel, camp and swim in the ocean. I am a firm believer that a healthy body can sustain a healthy mind and will happily participate in anything active! 

Courtlands School

 

Mark Ruffett - Executive Headteacher

Mark joined Transforming Futures Trust in April 2024 as Executive Headteacher of Courtlands and Mount Tamar Schools. He originally trained as a primary teacher and after 9 years working up to a deputy headteacher position in the primary mainstream sector he moved into the specialist sector. Mark worked as deputy headteacher, headteacher and executive headteacher in a special school for 10 years. Within this role he has also held responsibility for Inclusion across the multi-academy trust mainstream settings.

During his time working in education Mark has consistently championed collaboration between schools and has worked with Somerset special schools to establish a school-led improvement community. He also represented specialist settings in Somerset LA forums including their Covid response and the local area action plan. Mark is passionate about improving outcomes for disadvantaged students and those with additional needs.

Outside of school Mark enjoys spending time with his family who love visiting anywhere with animals. He plays golf off single figures and finds peace and relaxation in his garden.

Sam Maguire - Head of School

Information coming soon.

Annabel Comer - Assistant Headteacher

Information coming soon. 

ACE Tiverton

Hannah Smart - Executive Headteacher

Hannah began teaching over twenty years ago and is a secondary English teacher by specialism. Over the course of Hannah's career, she has held a variety of roles across mainstream and special school settings, including Whole School Literacy Leader,  Head of Year, Assistant and Deputy Headteacher.  Hannah is a committed lifelong learner and models this approach to continually learn and develop her knowledge and skills. Hannah holds her NPQH and also further post graduate qualifications in leadership and innovation in education.

Across all my career, Hannah has held system leadership roles, including SSAT Ambassador, Peer Mentor and Chair of Governors. Currently, Hannah is a Specialist Leader of Education and have held this role across the South West region since 2017, facilitating training, mentoring and coaching in the areas of Social, Emotional and Mental Health in school, Positive Relationship Strategies and Teaching and Learning with a specific focus on supporting students with additional needs.

Julie Chatterton - Head of School

Julie began her teaching career over twenty years ago and is an English and Drama specialist. She has held a variety of roles in a wide range of settings, including Lead Drama teacher, Inclusion Manager, Key Stage 3 outreach teacher, Nurture Teacher, SENDCO and Lead Teacher in a WRAP provision. Julie is committed to educational access for all and inclusion in the best possible way that ensures equity of provision.

Within the different provisions that she has worked, Julie has led on developing Nurture Provision, implementing systems to ensure an accurate and responsive annual review process was in place, developing community and charity links (most notably with the Caudwell Children’s Charity based in Stoke-on-Trent) and achieving the prestigious IQM Centre of Excellence award with an inner-city primary school. Julie’s focus throughout her education career has always been on supporting those students who have found school to be a challenging and tricky environment. 

Stacy Fagg - Assistant Headteacher

Stacy Fagg joined ACE Tiverton in September 2019 as a Lead Administrator and a member of Senior Leadership Team.

In March 2022 took on the role of Assistant Headteacher: Student & Family Support for an interim period and was successfully appointed as Assistant Headteacher: Student & Family Support in March 2023 and also the role of Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL).

Rhys Davies - Assistant Headteacher

Originally from Swansea, Rhys moved to Exeter to complete a PGCE following a career in professional rugby. Rhys’s first experience in a school came as a TA supporting students with additional learning needs. This was Rhys’ first steps into education and inspired him to train as teacher.

Having completed 5 years in primary education, Rhys made the move to a specialist setting in 2016 where he became part of the leadership team as Head of Middle School and Lead English teacher. Rhys then moved across to ACE Tiverton where he joined the leadership team in 2021 as an Assistant Headteacher responsible for Teaching, Learning and Curriculum.

Rhys completed his NPQML in 2020 and is working alongside SWALLS to complete his Leadership in Special Schools course. He also represents ACE Tiverton as part of the Autism Education Trust developing Good Autism Practice for MATS.

Kevin Morgan - Assistant Headteacher

After a career in Sport Development, which included working for the Local Authority Newham in the build up to, and during the 2012 Olympic Games, Kevin embarked upon a career in teaching. His first role in education was a Physical Education teacher in a Pupil Referral Unit in West London. Kevin worked closely with students that had been fixed term or permanently excluded from mainstream settings, helping them develop the knowledge and skills that enabled them to sustain healthy relationships, become gainfully employed and lead enriched lives.

Kevin relocated to Devon, and he was recruited as one of the first teachers at ACE Tiverton in 2019. Kevin holds a National Professional Qualification for Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC). He is also the quality assurance lead for all portfolio-based qualifications at ACE Tiverton. Kevin Joined the Senior Leadership Team at the beginning of the 23/24 academic year and he will oversee Teaching, Learning and Curriculum.

Mount Tamar

 

Mark Ruffett, Executive Headteacher

Mark joined Transforming Futures Trust in April 2024 as Executive Headteacher of Courtlands and Mount Tamar Schools. He originally trained as a primary teacher and after 9 years working up to a deputy headteacher position in the primary mainstream sector he moved into the specialist sector. Mark worked as deputy headteacher, headteacher and executive headteacher in a special school for 10 years. Within this role he has also held responsibility for Inclusion across the multi-academy trust mainstream settings.

During his time working in education Mark has consistently championed collaboration between schools and has worked with Somerset special schools to establish a school-led improvement community. He also represented specialist settings in Somerset LA forums including their Covid response and the local area action plan. Mark is passionate about improving outcomes for disadvantaged students and those with additional needs.

Outside of school Mark enjoys spending time with his family who love visiting anywhere with animals. He plays golf off single figures and finds peace and relaxation in his garden.

Ben Loughran - Head of School

Information coming soon.