About Us

SchoolsCompany South and West Devon Academy is an alternative provision academy that is sponsored by the SchoolsCompany Trust. We work with young people who are experiencing difficulty accessing mainstream education as a result of their mental or physical health, permanent exclusion or because they have special educational needs and are undergoing assessment or awaiting a place in specialist provision. The academy also offers a traded service to schools for students who are at risk of exclusion or who are school phobic.

The academy operates from three sites in South and West Devon: our main site in Dartington; and also satellite sites in Marldon and Tavistock.

Referrals to the academy can be made by schools, the Local Education Authority or Education Welfare Officers. All referrals are considered at a weekly panel meeting and if the referral is accepted a placement meeting is arranged with the young person and their parent / carer. At the meeting an appropriate personalised education programme is agreed and may include one of the following options:

  • Support from SchoolsCompany South and West Devon Academy in school
  • A part or full time programme at one of our sites
  • Teaching in a venue local to the young person’s home, such as a library or community centre
  • Teaching in the young person’s home (when the young person is too unwell to leave their home)


SchoolsCompany Devon Executive Principal: Sarah Acland

South and West Devon Academies is one of four academies in Devon sponsored by the SchoolsCompany Trust.

In January 2016, I was appointed as Executive Principal of the SchoolsCompany Devon Alternative Provision Academies. Previously I was Principal of South and West Devon Academy and worked for many years in alternative educational provision with young people who have experienced difficulties in mainstream education.

I began my teaching career as an English teacher in the North East of England before moving to Devon to take up a teaching post in Torquay. I then was appointed to a lecturer position at Exeter College working with post-16 students and adult learners. Subsequently I managed an Alternative Provision service in Exeter and East Devon working with young people who had medical needs; complex additional needs; and young people who had been permanently excluded from school.

I am totally committed to ensuring that every young person has access to an exceptional education that enables them to succeed academically and lead fulfilling lives. I am privileged to work with dedicated and talented staff teams across the SchoolsCompany Devon academies who share this belief.