Bethan Jones
Posted on 14 Sep 2016

Head to Head with Nicky Dunford of The Link Academy

Your current title / role

CEO - The Link Academy. Executive HT of Newton & Teign Hub.

Brief career background 

Trained at Exeter University, I started teaching at Estover Primary in 1978, leaving after 6 years to bring up my family. I started a manufacturing business during this time which employed over 25 personnel producing a range of giftware, cards and wrapping papers. 

I returned to teaching and school leadership in 1994 at Woodlands Park Primary, from which I took up the headship at Hennock Primary in 2004. Newton and Teign Federation was formed in 2010- when Bearnes Voluntary Primary joined forces with Hennock and I was the Executive Head Teacher.

In April of this year N&T joined with the schools of the Totnes Federation to form The Link Academy, of which I am the CEO.

What does a typical working day look like?

I start the day by cleaning out stables and feeding 2 horses, then on to school. Usually I work from either Bearnes or Landscove Office - initially dealing with issues of the day then focusing on areas of strategic management that need to be dealt with. Meetings across the Academy form a part of most days as does liaising with various organisations and management staff.

What did you have for dinner last night?

Fish pie, my favourite!

What was the last piece of music you listened to?

CD on the way home - George Ezra

What was your favourite and most hated subject when you were at school?

Loved art, hated music!

What is the best thing about your job?

The people and the variety.

If you could change one thing about the current education system what would it be?

The pressure of Ofsted - feeling that you cannot show all aspects of your establishments well enough in 1 day!

If you're interested in taking part in our Head to Head feature please get in touch with Rosie Phillips at or 01392 687774

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