Meet Our Academy Councillors



Marion Stewart

Newminster Middle School

I have always worked in education in Northumberland; either as a teacher, senior leader or consultant to the local authority. Currently I am working as an associate lecturer for the University of Northumbria on their School Direct Programme. The Three Rivers Learning Trust have played an integral part in developing this new way of teacher training and indeed many graduates of the programme have progressed into permanent employment within their schools.

I live within the catchment area of Chantry Middle School and my two sons progressed through this three tier system. My two granddaughters are lucky enough to be working their way through schools in the same Three Rivers Learning Trust. I am delighted to be involved with The Three Rivers Learning Trust as an Academy Councillor.

Andrew Tebbutt

Abbeyfields First School

I was born and educated in Bedford, but have lived in Northumberland since 1973, moving to Morpeth in 1985. Married to Joan for 21 years, we have three grown up children between us, all of whom went through the Morpeth schools system. Social Services career 1965 to 1997, both at senior practice level and as Principal Training officer.  I have always been active in the community, locally with Morpeth Pantomime Society & Morpeth District Arts Trust, became a local councillor in 2001. Served on Castle Morpeth Borough Council then Northumberland County Council until May 2017. Executive Member for Corporate Resources for Northumberland County Council 2008 to 2013. Morpeth Town Councillor from 2003 and ongoing – Mayor of Morpeth in 2016/17.  I have been Company Secretary and trustee to Mary Hollon Annuity & Relief in Need Trust since 2010.

I have been an Abbeyfields School Governor since 2003; latterly Vice Chair of Governors. Chaired Buildings Sub Committee on various occasions, and served on both Finance & Staffing Sub Committees. I was appointed Vice Chair of Abbeyfields new Academy Council from May 2017.

Jan Curry

Abbeyfields First School

I have worked at Abbeyfields for over 30 years. I started as a member of Riverbank School which eventually amalgamated with Abbeyfields. I worked in Special Group for 18 years before moving into mainstream education within the school. I have worked in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. I ran the allotment at Abbeyfields along with a colleague which proved to be very successful in both Northumbria in Bloom which we won three times and Morpeth Mayor Competition which we won each year we entered.  I have been a governor for many years and enjoy this role. I enjoy taking the children in Year 4 on their residential visit which I feel is very important for them to experience. I support all events taking place at the school and have recently been part of the very successful musical the children performed in. Abbeyfields is a very important part of my life and hope it continues to be so for many more years to come.

Clare Savage

Abbeyfields First School

Having trained as a History teacher in Leeds I joined The King Edward VI School in 2003 initially as a Year Leader, then Assistant Headteacher.  I am currently Deputy Headteacher and lead the Three Rivers Teaching School Alliance in the delivery of ITT training and CPD across the Alliance and beyond. In this role I have also led the delivery of bespoke support to other schools.

I am committed to giving all students the opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability, exceeding their own expectations and developing a genuine engagement with learning.

My two sons are currently having a great time at Abbeyfields and I look forward to seeing them progress through The Three Rivers and enjoying all the opportunities available to them through the Trust.


Michael Dennis

The King Edward VI School

I completed my training as a Science teacher at Newcastle University in 1993. Since then I have taught at five schools in West Yorkshire, Lancashire and more recently the North East. I have had a number of roles including the running of a large Science department and I am currently the Subject Leader for Physics at KEVI. I live within the school catchment area in Rothbury and have three children. Two of them are currently students at KEVI and one is at Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School.

I thoroughly enjoy the classroom environment and have always strived to make the experience of students stimulating and enjoyable.


Linda Templey - Chair of KEVI Academy Council

The King Edward VI School

I have lived and worked in the North East all my life, the last 17 years in the Morpeth area. Married to John, we have 3 children, 2 sons who both attended KEVI and a daughter who has just started year 12. I worked for 32 years in the NHS in a range of nursing and management positions including at Board level. I have wide experience in governance, human resources, safeguarding and quality. This experience has proved invaluable to me as an Academy Councillor for the last 3 years as I have learned about the many challenges facing the education sector

I am delighted to have recently been appointed Chair of the Academy Council and look forward to working pro-actively with my fellow councillors and staff to ensure every child continues to receive an excellent education and enrichment opportunities whilst at KEVI.

In my spare time I also volunteer for Castle Morpeth Scouts, enjoy walking with our dogs, as well as trying to do yoga and learn French (both with varying success!)

Chris Tedder

Newminster Middle School

I have taught in three schools across Northumberland and North Tyneside  for over 20 years. I studied Chemistry at Newcastle University and teaching chemistry is still the part of my job I enjoy the most! I have been Head of Chemistry/Science and Year Leader (across Years 10-13) and an Assistant Headteacher in my previous schools - I am currently Deputy Head at KEVI where I have enjoyed spending the last 4 1/2 years. I am married with two boys and enjoy spending as much time with them as I can.


Lauren Jones

Abbeyfields First School

I was raised and educated in Morpeth and graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree with honours in 1991. I am now in my 23 year of teaching at Abbeyfields, the school that I love! I have taught throughout the first school, and have been  privileged to work alongside children with severe learning difficulties when Abbeyfields was an integrated mainstream and special school.  

Currently I am a Year 1 class teacher and also the school Subject Leader for Science. I also have a leadership role coordinating playtimes and lunchtimes. A year ago I became a Specialist Leader of Education for The Three Rivers Teaching Schools Alliance and as part of my role I deliver training to Newly Qualified Teachers. It feels great to be able to share my passion and experience with those who are just beginning in the profession.

Abbeyfields has a special place in my heart. It is particularly important to me as I chose this special place to be the starting point for my own two children to begin their education. They are now continuing their journey through the Three Rivers Trust.

Julia Young

Chantry Middle School

I have worked in the NHS since I trained as a nurse in Durham in 1984. I undertake further studies to become a Lecturer-Practitioner and passed a PGDipED in 1998. I have worked in a variety of health care management roles and studied the Virginia Mason Production System in Seattle, USA to understand the change process application to health. I currently work as Director of Quality Development at Newcastle Gateshead CCG.

My husband enjoys playing golf and we support community activities in Longhorsley where we can. Our eldest daughter is at The King Edward VI School and our younger daughter is at St Helens in Longhorsley.

Jon Haines

Newminster Middle School

With two daughters currently in The Three Rivers Learning Trust, I am delighted to have been appointed as an Academy Councillor at Newminster Middle School.

I am Co-Founder & Director of VEO Ltd, an innovative startup company, using video and data to help improve professional development of staff in educational, clinical, commercial and industrial settings, both in the UK and overseas. I am also a teacher trainer at Newcastle University, working with 100+ Secondary and Primary ITT trainees each year as they undertake their PGCE. I have 12 years’ experience of teaching Science and leading the Science department at Longbenton High School (2001-2013) having trained as a Biology teacher at Newcastle University in 2000. My career started as an environmental consultant with Northumbrian Water Group back in 1992 following a degree in Environmental Science at Sheffield University.

I have a genuine interest in the effective use of technology in the classroom to support high quality teaching and learning, value highly the non-academic opportunities that students are offered within the Trust, and look forward to working with the school and its staff to maintain, and build upon, the excellent quality of provision that my own children have experienced.

Michael Bone

Abbeyfields First School

I am a Principal Inspector at the Health and Safety Executive, where I have worked for 17 years. I have a great deal of experience in the practice of inspection, investigation and enforcement of Health and Safety legislation. This has taken place across all different industries, including education and the service sector. Over the last three years I have held a national role overseeing all aspects of cost recovery related to HSE operational activity. Prior to that I worked closely with industry developing policies and procedures with key stakeholders, chairing working groups and committees on a regular basis.

I have effective communication and negotiation skills and have experience of dealing with challenging and difficult situations.

Our family moved to Morpeth almost nine years ago when our eight year old was two weeks old!  She is now just about to step up to Newminster and enjoyed every single moment at Abbeyfields. Our second daughter is just about to start in Year 2 at Abbeyfields. My wife, Helen, is a dentist practicing in Alnwick.  As a family, we enjoy camping, walking, family holidays and generally just being together.

We support Abbeyfields where the educational ethos is of achievement in a nurturing and caring environment. I am very proud to be associated with Abbeyfields and enjoy every minute I spend there. Now that we have joined The Three Rivers I am looking forward to supporting the trust in any way I can.

I have an active interest in several sports and am currently captain of the Fourth team at Morpeth Rugby Club and a member of Morpeth Golf Club.

Alan Bullock

Newminster Middle School

A committed Manchester United fan, I am from Salford originally and have lived in Morpeth for 20 years.

I have had a wide ranging experience in schools throughout my 26 year teaching career. I began as a geography teacher and progressed to be the head of department in a large secondary grammar school in Aylesbury. My family then relocated to the North East and I developed my role as a Head of ICT in Seaton Hirst Middle School in Ashington. Before I retired I was working in a primary classroom as Year 5 class teacher.  

I am Dad to four children. My sons both went through the Morpeth middle school system and now, following University, live in Cambridge and Nottingham. My daughters are both currently attending, and loving, Newminster middle school.

I enjoy cycling and have just completed a City and Guilds Level Two course in Bicycle maintenance and in my spare time I volunteer at Watbike in Ashington, recycling donated bikes and driving and supporting groups on long distance rides. You may also spot me around Morpeth walking our pet dog Ziggy!!


Rachel McBryde

Newminster Middle School

A Chantry Middle and King Edward VI School alumnus, I returned to the North East after several years working as a journalist for BBC Worldwide in London.

I have worked at Newcastle based creative communications agency Gardiner Richardson, where I am an Associate Director, for 12 years. I help local, regional, national and international clients from the public and private sectors tell their brand stories.

During this time I have worked on a number of partnership projects linking education and skills with business, helping equip young people with the credentials they need for employment – an area I have a keen interest in.

I live with my husband and two children on a third generation farm on the edge of Morpeth. My children currently attend Abbeyfields, where they thrive, and I look forward to seeing them continue their educational journey through The Three Rivers system.

Hannah Brown

Abbeyfields First School

I was born in Surrey but came to Newcastle University to study Medicine in 1995. After qualifying to be a doctor in 2000 I worked in hospitals across the North East for four years before deciding to train in General Practice. I have now been a GP since 2006; my specialist clinical interests include child health and development and I am the nominated Lead for Safeguarding Children and Adults for my Practice. I am also actively involved in training doctors who are learning to be GPs.

My work requires me to have excellent communication skills with both children and adults. I have held a senior leadership position within the practice, which requires effective team working skills as well as recognising and developing each colleague’s unique skill-set and expertise. Working in an ever-changing NHS requires a deep understanding of the complex and varied needs of individuals within the community and the need for continual development of services to meet those needs, whilst understanding the challenge of increased demand but with limited resources. I believe these are all attributes which I hope to bring to the role of councillor to serve the children and families of Abbeyfields.

When it came to choosing a place to bring up our family we could think of no better place than Morpeth, and no better school than Abbeyfields for our children. I have one son currently at Abbeyfields and one who, having flourished beyond all expectations due to the team at Abbeyfields, has now moved to Newminster to continue his educational journey within the Three Rivers Trust. I hope, as a councillor, to be able to give back just a little of what the school has given us.


Jill Woolley

The King Edward VI School

I joined The Three Rivers as Subject Leader for the Creative Arts in 2011 and am now an Assistant Headteacher of Newminster Middle School. I have previously worked in several schools and taught from Pre-Reception age to Year 13. I am very interested in how pupils prepare and are prepared for the next stage in their journey through school life.

My main roles at Newminster are Art Teacher,  Pastoral Care for Key Stage 2, Health and Wellbeing, Pupil Premium students, Teaching and Learning and CPD. My main focus is to ensure that every child reaches their potential by feeling happy and secure at school and having access to a wide range of engaging learning and enrichment opportunities.

Both of my daughters attended Morpeth Schools and benefited from the fantastic location and experiences that The Three Rivers have to offer.  


Paul Price

Chantry Middle School

I moved to Morpeth in the summer of 2017 with my wife and two children who are both currently at Chantry in years 5 and 8. I have worked within professional advisory services (audit, tax, consulting) since my graduation with, a Masters degree, from Durham University in 1999 and have been based in London, Leeds and Newcastle in that time. I have always had a passion for the NHS and I currently work as the Head of Commercial for Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT having advised the Trust for many years on many different issues including the development of the emergency care hospital at Cramlington. We, as a family, enjoy getting involved in as many aspects of local life as we can and we are proud to support and enhance local life wherever we can. 

Sylvia Crane

Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School

I have lived in Rothbury most of my life and my two sons were raised and educated here. 

I worked in Dr Thomlinson Church of England Middle School office for over forty years and then spent ten years working in the office of our local member of parliament. 

I am an elder of Rothbury United Reform Church. 

Elisabeth Bainbridge

Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School

I have worked in schools and education throughout my working life; as a Headteacher for over 20 years, a Co-ordinator for Rural Schools in Northumberland, an Advisor for NCC, a Diocese Advisor in Education, a Consultant Leader and a National Assessor for the Quality Mark in basic skills. I have been a governor of four schools and remain a governor for two Morpeth partnership schools. I am also a member of S.A.C.R.E. I am a farmer’s wife and have lived in the area for over 26 years. I am totally committed to working as hard as possible to ensure that there is a quality education for all children.

John Gray

Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School

Graduated from Edinburgh University in 1972 with BSc. Hons. in Agriculture and subsequently obtained a P.G.C.E at Reading College of Technology. After 4 years as Lecturer in Agriculture became a farmer. For the last 40 years have been sheep-farming near Longframlington. Three children, now adults, progressed happily through the 3 tier system (Swarland First to Rothbury Middle and then KEVI). I am fascinated by the politics and processes of Education. My interests are rugby, ballroom and Latin American dancing and speaking Spanish.

Ross Lowrie

Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School

I am a member of Dr Thomlinson Middle School Academy Council. Having studied Zoology and then a Masters in Environmental Law I’m now a Climate Change & Energy specialist for the Environment Agency, where I have worked for 14 years. I bring experience of project management, governance and risk management to the role.

Outside of work I’m a Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador in the North East, supporting delivery of STEM sessions in schools. I also mentor university students, focussing on environmental career and employment advice. I have 10 years of experience of rural funding, and I’m Chairman of the Northumberland Coast & Lowlands LEADER group which makes allocation decisions on a £1.6m rural fund. When I’m not busy with work and voluntary commitments I’m most likely found ferrying my 3 boys to various sporting or music clubs, managing my woodland smallholding or walking our dog in the beautiful Northumberland countryside.

An alumni of Dr Thomlinson and King Edward VI schools, I’m both a passionate advocate for our schools and keen to ensure we offer a great educational journey for the next generation.

Aileen Wright

Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School

I have lived in the Coquet Valley since 1982 and my children attended Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School which prepared them very well for KEVI. I believe that Dr Thomlinson Middle School is a very good school (as endorsed by Ofsted, SIAMS and SATs results) and am proud to support it in my role as Academy Councillor.

I have spent my working life in Education; mainly in teaching, which culminated in being Headteacher at Harbottle C of E First School for 13 years, and more recently mentoring, and inspection roles in the Coquet Valley but also County wide. I believe that the skills and experience I have gained, together with my understanding of the challenges faced by schools in such a rural area will help me support the development and continued improvement of Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School.

I have great interest in teaching and learning and in particular the impact that the school’s core Christian values have on staff, pupils and the ethos of the school.

Ruth Younger

Thropton Village First School

I grew up on my family’s farm near Rothbury, and I’ve returned here to raise my own children. I graduated from Durham University with a degree in Politics and worked for 11 years in various campaigning and communication roles, based between London and the North East. I now run a Bed & Breakfast and enjoy welcoming lots of visitors to this beautiful part of the world.

I have two sons who are currently attending schools within The Three Rivers; the eldest is at Dr Thomlinson’s Middle School and the youngest is at Thropton Village First School. 

I have been a Governor at Thropton since 2016 and have a particular interest in communication, as well as education in rural areas like the Coquet Valley. I’m really pleased to now be an Academy Councillor within the Learning Trust.

Flora Cann (Assistant Head Teacher)

Thropton Village First School

I grew up in Northumberland, attending school in Gosforth and then Alnwick. I went on to do a Sociology degree at Durham University and then did my Primary PGCE at Northumbria University. I taught in Bedlington for 3 years in a first school which then came a primary school, before coming to work at Thropton Village First School as a class teacher and then becoming Assistant headteacher. My particular interests are in educating the whole child and I have enjoyed working on curriculum design at Thropton. I am a Year 2 external moderator for County and enjoy visiting other schools through this work.

Natalie Baldry

Thropton Village First School

Myself, husband and 5 children live in Morpeth, from September I will have 3 children in Newmister Middle School and 2 children in Abbeyfields First School. I recently became a Academy Councillor for Thropton Village First School and I’m really enjoying getting to know the school.

I am currently Managing Director of Clarke Holland Estate Agents. A busy family run business that sees myself and my husband work alongside each other managing their team to sell people’s homes as well as managing their own and other property investors portfolios. My knowledge of property and the Estate Agency industry enables me to be best placed to support others to start their own Estate Agency, this is done via a mentor based franchise. Expanding on my love of property we have recently also bought a Serviced Accommodation business, Shortmove Group Ltd. Women’s Property Network is a monthly property support group that I set up with my partner Michelle after spotting a need for the event for females in property to come together and form lasting friendships. We have recently branched out into Serviced Accommodation and have bought into a national serviced accommodation management company called Shortmove.

Charity and children are subjects that I'm passionate about I’m a also trustee for Hope 4 Kidz and Grandparents plus. I’m also a volunteer for Family Lives and work on 2 of their projects, the first being befriending of kinship carers and helping with funding forms and I’m part of the Parent Child Home Program being trialled in the North East of England after being brought over from the USA.

Judith Carr

Thropton Village First School

My professional background has always been in education. I taught for 36 years, entirely in the secondary sector, in the west end of Newcastle. My principal subject was Physical Education which in later years developed to include Sport Science. I was a Head of Department for 10 years and for my last 8 years before retirement I worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher within my own school and was seconded to the Local Authority for 1 day a week. This work focussed on the development of teaching and learning styles across the curriculum and included outreach work in First, Primary and Middle Schools giving me some experience of all Key Stages including very active involvement in the organisation and delivery of five Summer Schools each involving over 200 children aged between 6 and 10.
Since retirement I have worked occasionally as a Consultant supporting Subject Leaders, most of whom were in the primary sector. I have also worked with a Disability Charity in developing an advice service specifically to support disabled people experiencing a variety of challenges including young people, their parents, friends and carers. 

I have an association with Thropton going back throughout my life and have lived here permanently for 21 years. I am currently a member of the Parish Council and as such I have an interest in all areas of village life however, as a retired teacher, particularly the School. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to serve as an Academy Councillor and look forward to working collaboratively to support the work and development of the whole School and Learning Trust community while continuing to develop my own knowledge and experience of rural education.

Kirsty Mawer

Harbottle C of E First School

I’m a writer, broadcaster and author of children’s books. My novels and chapter books are sold in many languages around the world by publishers such as Scholastic, Chicken House, Andersen, Carlsen and Sourcebooks. My work as an author has taken me into classrooms in schools from Harbottle to Hanoi, and quite a few places in between. I have written children’s plays and pantomimes that have been performed in the UK and North America, and recently I’ve written, produced and presented radio documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service.

I originally trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and enjoyed a varied and rewarding theatrical career acting and producing. I co-founded and ran a successful touring theatre company performing original and classical plays for children, and theatre-in-education. This work gave me a special appreciation of the value of arts in schools and curriculum, vital experience of school liaison, strategizing, marketing and team management and furthered my interest in child development, psychology and mental health.

I was born in Sunderland and spent much of my childhood in rural Northumberland before moving to London to undertake my BA Hons and begin working life. I lived in the USA in Boston, Massachusetts for eight years, where I was frequently a guest author at events in New York and New England … and developed a love of burritos. In 2015, my husband John and I happily moved back to the Coquet Valley with our two children, who are at school within the Three Rivers family.

Sue Burston

Harbottle C of E First School

I am a Northumbrian and a graduate of Durham and Newcastle Universities.

As a Psychiatric Social Worker by profession I worked for Durham County Council and the University of Newcastle, in the Royal Victoria Infirmary as a social worker. Leading from this I have a long history of volunteering, for the WRVS, as a church fundraiser, as a Community Medical Fund Trustee, as an organiser and speaker for Christian Aid and as a Youth Drop In Trustee.

A significant area of my volunteering has been as a Governor of Glendale Middle School Wooler for about 30 years. I was Chair of Governors for many years and I have frequently campaigned for the retention of rural schools in Northumberland.

In retirement I have the delight of being involved with the children of Harbottle School as a volunteer listening to their reading. I have a personal investment in Harbottle School spanning two generations as my children started their school career there and now my two grandchildren are attending.

Marion Farndale

Harbottle C of E First School

I have been a governor of Harbottle School for a number of years, my two younger daughters having attended the school 25 years ago. I have enjoyed seeing the school flourish under its present excellent leadership which has resulted in outstanding inspection reports. I am delighted that it has now become part of 3RLT and very much look forward to exciting developments in the future.

I have wide educational experience, both in the maintained and independent sectors. I have taught in grammar schools and comprehensives and have twenty four years of experience as head of a successful independent school in Newcastle. Before my retirement from this post I also served as an ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspector (regulated by Ofsted). I was chairman of the NE branch of GSA (Girls’ Schools’ Association) and represented the region on the National Council of GSA. I also represented the UK and European heads on the international board of Round Square.

Lynda Hunter

Harbottle C of E First School

My entire working life was spent in the NHS. On achieving Nursing State Registration I choose the specialism Cardiology to further my experience moving to the Freeman Hospital on completion of the new Cardio Thoracic Department.

Following ten fulfilling years nursing there, I decided to expand my horizons, taking the opportunity to fill a new post specifically to provide continuous learning/development for the benefit of all staff not in training posts. This allowed me to create and expand comprehensive programmes of learning opportunities open to staff of all disciplines, in response to their Personal Development Plans.  

During the time I undertook this role, many situations arose whereby I was enabled to develop my own knowledge and skills, both in Management and Leadership (on leaving I had an established department of 16) and in the various topics scheduled in my Training and Development Plan for all staff.

On leaving work, I retired to my roots in Coquetdale, settling into a totally different lifestyle, gradually becoming more involved in the village community. My involvement within Harbottle School came about quite quickly and I started to volunteer on a weekly basis, soon after which I became a Governor. A huge learning curve ensued, as I had no previous experience of children. However, I settled into helping the teachers where I could and began to enjoy observing and learning about life in a First School.  

I have learnt so much and continue to develop my knowledge and skills in a variety of ways. For several years now I have undertaken the role of Safeguarding Governor, which again is creating new opportunities, not only to support the school, but to enhance my own development.

Susan Rogerson - Clerk

Harbottle C of E First School

I was born in the Coquet Valley and have remained here all my life. I attended Netherton First School, Dr Thomlinsons Middle School & KEVI High School leaving there in 1982.  

My first employment was for a company called Sancella UK in Morpeth where I was PA to the Manufacturing Director covering all aspects of duties for him and the Management Team.  

In 1997 I joined the staff of Harbottle C of E First School and I am now the Office Manager of a very busy little office! I have skills in all aspects of finance and business leadership in a school setting.

I became a Foundation Governor in 2009 and have been involved in making many successful strategic decisions as part of this governing body. When we converted to an Academy I was involved in the development of collaboration between schools and highly value this opportunity to extend my role as an Academy Councillor. 

I am also the Clerk of the Rothbury Education Trust and the Upper Coquet Resource Group and I am involved in lots of local community activities.

I look forward to being able to support the Academy Council and the Three Rivers Learning Trust in achieving its vision.

Mike Hodgson - Chair

Harbottle C of E First School

I have been involved in education for most of my working life – in schools, in youth and community work and in outdoor education – working to help people develop as independent lifelong learners. I joined the team of governors at Harbottle School with an interest in ensuring that all pupils receive the best start possible to their learning experience, and wish to continue this work as a member of the new academy council. Recently ‘retired’, I enjoy sailing and climbing with my wife and daughter – and continue to explore new experiences through edX and other activities.

Melanie Thompson-Glen

Thropton Village First School

Having had my three children all attend Thropton Village First School, the youngest still being in year 3 I am delighted to join the Academy Council.

I have lived around Rothbury my entire life and am passionate about keeping vibrant communities in rural areas, including local schools. My current role as Business Development Manager at Gateshead College provides me with a great deal of insight into an Ofsted outstanding College and the importance of offering children as broad a range of experiences as possible from a young age. 

In the past I have worked as a business and export adviser for a range of organisations including the Foreign Office through the Department of International Trade and the local Enterprise Agency. I ran my own consultancy business for six years before joining Gateshead College two years ago. I hope my skills can be used to benefit the continued success of Thropton Village First School.

Canon John Sinclair

Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School and Harbottle C of E First School

John was born on the banks of the River Tyne close to Newcastle Cathedral.  He is married to Gill, they have four children and seven grandchildren with number eight due soon.  John met Gill while they were both at School in Newcastle. John has served on four governing bodies in Newcastle and North Tyneside.  He served the governing body of Newburn Primary School as Chair and has a good understanding of the challenge and responsibility trustees face.  John’s working life in the church has focussed in Newcastle Diocese, working with parishes in every deanery. John lives in one of the most beautiful parts of the country where he works as Rector of Upper Coquetdale which stretches from Rothbury to the Scottish Border.  John loves life and is happiest engaging with people from all backgrounds. John is a member of The General Synod of The Church of England as well as serving the wider church as a member of the Clergy Discipline Commission and as a selector on Bishops Advisory Panels. John puts his sense of humour to good use in his evangelistic ministry and as an after-dinner speaker.  John enjoys his garden, trainset, walking the hills and short breaks in his motorhome when time allows.

Jonathan Hughes

The King Edward VI School

As an alumnus of The King Edward VI School, I am privileged to now be able to serve the school as an Academy Councillor. After KEVI, I studied at Newcastle University, graduating with a Masters of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I am now employed as the Validation Manager at the Offshore Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, where I have worked for over 10 years. Through this time, I have been able to continue providing voluntary support to various engineering and performing arts initiatives in school, and am a true believer in the benefits of wider community engagement to reinforce students' core interpersonal skills.

Mark Robson

I graduated in Modern History from Oxford University and initially trained as an accountant before qualifying as a teacher.  I taught at King Edward’s for over 30 years, becoming Head of History and Politics, Literacy co-ordinator, and Teacher Governor.  When King Edward’s converted into an Academy I was elected Staff director.  Since retiring in August 2019 I have maintained my commitment to education, updating my A Level History textbook and volunteering at Abbeyfields school.  My family have lived in Morpeth for many years and my daughter attended Goosehill, Newminster, and King Edward VI schools.

Hayley Herbertson

Chantry Middle School

I qualified as a teacher of Geography in 2004 and took up my first teaching role at Harton Academy where I taught for 14 years. During my time at Harton I took on the role of Advanced Skills Teacher, Lead Practitioner and was designated as an SLE (a Specialist Leader of Education) in January 2012. As part of these roles I carried out outreach work within the authority as well as providing training and support to many trainee teachers as part of both the PGCE and School Direct programme. I didn’t think that I could find another school that I would love working at as much until I applied for a job at Chantry Middle School. I was delighted to join Chantry in January 2018 and I am very proud to say that I am the Subject Leader for both Humanities and RE at Key Stage 3. As a teacher I am a strong believer in making every lesson a valuable learning experience and I believe that young people should be inspired, enthused and challenged to become lifelong learners and be encouraged to read their full potential. I consider it be a privilege to be part of the Three Rivers Learning Trust and I am delighted to take on the role as an Academy Councillor.

Helen Clegg

Chantry Middle School

My working life has been spent in education as a teacher, headteacher and Director of Primary Academies in a multi academy trust. For thirteen years I was NAHT national executive member for five local authorities in the north east including Northumberland, during which time I was involved in work relating to national education policy and practice. In the role of British Council facilitator I led international education visits for groups of school leaders to the USA and Canada. As headteacher and National Leader of Education, I led one of the first designated Teaching School’s in the country, which gained outstanding judgements at three consecutive Ofsted inspections. The school is featured in the Ofsted publication ‘20 Outstanding Primary Schools; excelling against the odds’.

In the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2010 I was awarded an OBE for services to education.

Having been brought up in Morpeth with family connections to KEVI since 1939 I hope my enthusiasm, experience and expertise will enable me to support Chantry Middle School and The Three Rivers Trust now and into the future.

Lisa Cook

As both an alumnus and an ex teacher of The King Edward VI School, I am delighted to be able to join the team as an Academy Councillor. Having worked in education as a History teacher, Senior Leader and Consultant I bring with me my passion for learning and interest in young people achieving their best possible outcomes. I currently work with the Challenging Learning Team as their Evaluations Manager and deliver training to schools in projects all over the world, we aim to deliver our strapline in as many different settings and countries as possible ‘Stronger Learning for Stronger lives’.

Manjit Perkins

I started my teaching career in high school over 30 years ago and now teach Year 6 in Upper Primary. I am originally from West Yorkshire and moved to Newcastle when I went to University. I studied Religion and History and went to Lancaster to get my teaching qualification. Once I came back and started working in the North East I never left.

I have had a varied teaching career; teaching A-Levels to now working with young people in Year 6. It was always my ambition to be a teacher and I have worked hard to help students fulfill their potential and have the best choices in life they can. I have worked at Newminster Middle School for 16 years and have been privileged to work with some amazing young people, staff, and parents. I look forward to working as part of the Academy Council to keep providing the best education for our children.

I am married and have two sons who love sport; I love to spend time watching them and cheering them on as well as traveling the world and going on new adventures.

Harriette Boyden

The King Edward VI School

I am a parent of three, married and living in the Coquet Valley. We have been here for 12 years and in Northumberland for 20 years. Both our sons have hugely benefitted from a life at KEVI and our youngest is heading up in 2022.  I believe that KEVI provides an outstanding education in a huge variety of ways and succeeds in promoting each individual child’s strengths.  It is because of that, that I feel privileged to be able to support the school, as an Academy Councillor. I have been a Family Mediator since 2013 and work for NFM, in Newcastle and Northumberland.  Previously, I was CEO of Relate (2004-2013) in our region and worked to provide services to couples, individuals, families, children and young people, both living together and apart. I worked with CAFCASS and on Domestic Abuse reviews Nationally at that time. I am currently a volunteer at Citizens Advice Northumberland and enjoy hiking in the hills and sailing at the coast.

Wendy Fail - Vice Chair of KEVI Academy Council

As an alumnus of The King Edward VI School I am extremely excited and privileged to take up the role of Academy Councillor. After leaving KEVI, I attended the University of Dundee where I graduated with BSc (Hons) Environmental Management (First Class). I have worked in the environmental profession for over 20 years and I currently work for Northumberland County Council as the Senior Waste Management Officer, responsible for developing and implementing the Countywide waste minimisation, education and awareness raising programmes. I am passionate about education and providing the best possible opportunities for my learners. I firmly believe in the benefits of life-long learning and obtained a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Huddersfield when I was in my mid-30s, and I am currently studying part-time at the University of Sunderland for a Professional Doctorate in Environmental Education.

In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym, travelling and sailing. I hold a number of sailing qualifications from the Royal Yachting Society and in 2012 I participated in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, sailing over 4000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean in a stripped down racing yacht.

Nicola Simpson

Chantry Middle School

My husband and I moved to Morpeth in August 2011 to fulfil a dream of completing a self-build project which is our forever home.   We have 3 children who are loving life at school and are currently in years 4, 6 and 8.   As a family we really enjoy supporting our local community, we have always been active in school supporting trips and events and organising events for charity

For over 20 years I have worked in various roles within the Financial/Customer Service sector for Barclays and I specialised in Leadership, Development and Wellbeing of others.  My role, as a senior operations leader, allowed me to develop many skills including audit, event management, professional award writing and performance coaching all of which I know will assist me in fulfilling my duties as an Academy Councillor.  One of the key projects that I was involved with that I am proud of, was the Life skills/Digital Eagle and Money skills Programme, which assists our children in the transition through education to finding their career path.

I am passionate about learning and I completed my first degree at the University of Sunderland, a BA Hons in Applied Social Sciences in 1996.  Currently I am studying HR Management, Level 7 with CIPD.   I am also a lead judge for the North East Contact Centre Awards which focuses on excellence in people development and customer service across the contact centre industry and I look forward to working as part of the Three Rivers Trust and supporting Chantry Middle School.

Claire Brind

Newminster Middle School

I have lived and worked in Northumberland all my life and both my children attend schools in Morpeth. I am a Sales Manager for my family owned car dealership. I have been involved with apprenticeships all my working life and enjoy helping them reach their true potential as they develop both professionally and personally. I also ran a dance school for 15 years where it was wonderful to see the children thrive as the gained confidence and ability. I also have previous experience in schools as I was Chair of Governors at Pegswood Primary School for over 10 years. I am also a Rotarian and have been involved with many projects involving schools over the North East. I am looking forward to my time as an Academy Councillor for the Three Rivers Trust.

Ben Henderson

Abbeyfields First School

I have recently joined the Three Rivers Trust as Deputy Headteacher and SENCo at Stobhillgate First School. As well as the Year One class teacher, I work with our more vulnerable children and families to ensure they can reach their potential and be the best they can be. Working collaboratively with parents and carers to open up opportunities and help their children be successful and excited about their learning is a real passion of mine. I have recently completed my Masters studies at Newcastle University which had a final emphasis on teacher development and how we can use peer coaching to improve teaching practice so we have the best possible teachers working with our children. This peer coaching model is one we are developing in my current school.

Prior to joining the Three Rivers Trust, I worked in a primary school in the East End of Newcastle and most recently a large primary school in the West of the city. I have also served as Chair of Governors at a special school in Northumberland. I have a passion for outdoor adventure and have led many overnight camping trips with school classes and also led international projects with schools from across Europe where we worked together on a common theme and we were lucky to take a number of our students abroad for the very first time!

Outside of school, I enjoy the countryside where I like to go camping and hiking. I also enjoy rugby, cycling and trying to train my two cocker spaniels, although I don’t think they really listen to me!