Meet our Members

Tarka Learning Partnership’s Members have ultimate control over the Academy Trust and hold the Board of Directors to account. Their role is largely strategic, with the responsibility to guard and support the Trust’s vision. We are pleased to introduce you to our Members below:

Paula Stein, Member

My connections with North Devon go back many generations with family working on the Railway in Barnstaple. I have fond memories of many happy family holidays in the area visiting Grandparents and enjoying the wonderful beaches and the surrounding countryside. I grabbed an opportunity in 2000 to relocate, with my husband, from London to take up a managerial role with a local Bank, from which I have since retired. This enabled us to establish our own roots in this beautiful county.  

While in London I had opportunity to be a Governor in an Adult College and on moving to Devon was invited onto the Board of Petroc College; a role I enjoyed for many years. I was also, until taking up this new role with Tarka Learning Partnership, a Governor at Eden Park Academy (formerly Forches Cross Primary School).  

My husband and I are members of a local church and my retirement also allows me some time to follow my interests in patchwork, quilting and gardening.  

I wish to continue to support children to achieve their full potential, to have aspirations for their future and achieve their dreams. To help create an environment where this is possible and to see education in North Devon grow into a seamless educational journey from 2 to 19. For North Devon to have a voice in the national education debate and development of education for our children.

Peter Blyth, Member

I am originally from Kingsbridge in South Devon and attended Kingsbridge Community College before moving to Plymouth College of Further Education to embark on a career in Electronics. I graduated from Plymouth College of Further Education (Plymouth Polytechnique) in 1991 with an HND in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering and in 1992 I joined AWE Aldermaston (near Reading) on a 2-year Trainee Engineer scheme.   On completion of this I worked as an Electronics Engineer until I joined Media Products Ltd as Principle Engineer in 1996.  In 1997 I moved to my current employer, XP Power.

I have been at XP Power for over 22 years and started out as an Applications Engineer before moving into sales in 1998. In 2002 I moved to the USA to become the Medical Sales Director and moved in back to the UK in 2009.  In 2011 I become Executive Vice President European Sales and in November 2017, I changed rolls to become the Executive Vice President of Global Products and Marketing.  Outside of work I am married with 4 wonderful children and love living in North Devon. I love most sports and have played Rugby and Cricket for a variety of teams in South Devon, Reading, California (USA) and North Devon.   I am also a committed Christian and an active member of our local church.

Jane Hanson, Member

I am currently Vice Principal for Quality Curriculum and Learners and am the Designated Safeguarding Lead at Petroc College of Further and Higher Education.

I originally trained as a teacher and have wide experience in working in the primary, secondary and higher education sectors. I have since developed significant senior leadership and management experience in the further education sector, working in many colleges throughout the UK to improve organisational performance and to develop excellence and growth in provision.  I am passionate about the power of education to enable children and adults to fulfil their potential.

Marie Mock, Member

I have lived, studied and worked in North Devon all my life and am now married with two teenage sons. I am very committed to raising the aspirations of young people in this area, through learning, and ensuring they have the support and opportunity to be the very best that they can be.

My career has been fairly diverse, starting in travel and tourism, then moving into revenue management, advertising and strategic planning. For the last 10 years, I have been self-employed as a proofreader, nutritional therapist and holistic therapist, enabling me to work from home and be flexible around my boys’ school and sporting commitments.

I have over a decade’s experience working on a voluntary basis for community and sports organisations, and as a school governor. I have chaired committees, been a Trustee, been responsible for the performance management of head teachers and assisted with the recruitment of many staff (including senior leadership/head teacher). I have experience with strategic planning, decision-making, school data, finance, curriculum, safeguarding and external inspections.

I strive to ensure that young people have the opportunity to thrive and grow throughout their education to become confident, resilient individuals who feel empowered to raise their own aspirations and carry forward a will-do attitude to learning and life. I will work hard to ensure that the Tarka Learning Partnership upholds its vision and values to ‘empower young people in North Devon through learning’.

Victoria Nel, Member

I have a background in education as a teacher of Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level. I currently lecture at Petroc. I am  a trustee of Sol Language School in Barnstaple. I am also a qualified solicitor and practise in a North Devon firm.

As Chair of Governors of Newport, I was part of the team responsible for establishing the setting up of the Tarka Learning Partnership. I was appointed as a Local of Leader of Governance in February 2019 and my current role within the TLP is Chair of Members. I am also a Barnstaple Town Councillor.