Meet Our Academy Councillors



Ian Rowe

Chantry Middle School

I am married to Ruth, live in Morpeth and father of three boys who, from September, will all be part of The Three Rivers. I have 25 years experience in sales and marketing in the Pharmaceutical and, more recently, Education sectors. I have experience in school assessments, school self-evaluation and stakeholder evaluation. From leading multiple sales teams, I am driven to constantly look for ways to improve and drive performance. These skills are transferable and I am keen to use them to help improve the outcomes for every child within The Three Rivers Learning Trust.

Marion Stewart

Chantry 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.

Mark Welfare

The King Edward VI School

I am a father with one son currently at KEVI and one at Chantry. I work for Northumbria Healthcare Trust and Newcastle University with roles in clinical medicine, teaching, course development, staff development and quality improvement as well as leadership. Work projects have included patient safety, patient experience, improving the reporting culture, reducing unnecessary and wasteful administration, research into effective teaching and learning (in a Post-18 system) and leading staff in a new academic institution. I have been involved with other activities in our community, principally the rugby club and am a strong believer in well rounded opportunities for our children, in academic learning, sport and activity and the arts. I am committed to equality of education for all and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. I have outside interests in nature, especially birdwatching and photography and have recently raised £100,000 for a specific charitable project.


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.

Patricia Thorne

Newminster Middle School

I am 45 years old and have been married to Kevin for 22 years; we live in Morpeth and have two children aged 15 and 11. They both attend schools within The Three Rivers Learning Trust.  I work as a Teaching Assistant at a primary school in Blyth, supporting children with the development of their literacy and numeracy skills. I have been a Teaching Assistant for nearly 10 years working in various schools across Northumberland.

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading books (but not e-books), visiting the theatre and watching live music. I don’t enjoy getting up too early in the morning, seeing or hearing bad manners and being called Pat.

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.


Edward Hall

The King Edward VI School

I am a proud alumnus of Chantry and The King Edward VI School, where I met my wife, Jennifer. We moved back to Morpeth with our two young sons and two cats in 2016.

I have been involved in coaching rugby since finishing my A Levels at KEVI in 2003. Subsequently, I completed various degrees and related qualifications in sports and coaching, culminating in a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. I have also been fortunate in that time to coach in local authority, club, university, governing body, county, regional, national development, and more recently in premiership and international contexts, with a broad spectrum of performers including male and female athletes, and from novices to World Cup winners.

I am now Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching at Northumbria University, a consultant and I serve as a member of the UK Coaching Talent Research Hub and UK Participatory Research Network. My research pursues a critical sociology of sports coaching, with a particular focus on how relationships shape pedagogy and learning at the elite level. I am delighted to join Three Rivers Learning Trust as an Academy Councillor for KEVI.


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.


Lorraine Sykes

Chantry Middle School

I qualified as a teacher in 2000 with a First Class Honours Degree. My first job was at Regent Farm First School and I stayed there for just under 10 years. I didn’t think that I could find another school that I would love working at as much as Regent Farm until I applied for a job at Abbeyfields. I have been at Abbeyfields since 2010 and I can honestly say I am in my dream job. I am very proud to say that I am Key Stage 1 Leader, Maths Subject Leader, Year 2 Teacher and Moderator. I am passionate about teaching and making every child’s experience at school memorable, exciting and giving them the best possible learning opportunities and skills that will enable them to become lifelong learners.

When I started working at Abbeyfields my eldest daughter was in Year 2 and my son was in Reception and my youngest child was just a baby. I feel incredibly lucky now to see my eldest child go through Chantry and now she is about to embark on a new challenge at KEVI in September. My son has moved through Abbeyfields and is now in Newminster in Year 6 and my youngest is in Year 2 with me. Abbeyfields, Newminster and Chantry have all been amazing for my children and for me. I am so excited to be part of The Three Rivers Learning Trust and become an Academy Councillor.

Susan Brown

The King Edward VI School

My love of languages led me into a career in teaching. Immediately after graduating from Durham University with a joint honours degree in French and German, I completed my PGCE at York. I took up my first post at Woodham School in Newton Aycliffe in 1989, moving to St Edmund Campion R.C. School in Gateshead in 1994. My career has spanned a wide range of roles including Assistant Head of House, Subject Leader for MFL, Teaching and Learning co-ordinator, Assistant Headteacher and Local Authority Consultant.

I have been teaching languages at Chantry Middle School since 2011. I remain as passionate and interested as ever in the development of pedagogy and have a whole school responsibility for developing teaching and learning and as well as co-ordinating the Primary School Direct teacher training programme.

I am proud to say that I am the mother of two children, who have progressed through Chantry Middle School and The King Edward VI High School.

Danielle McDonnell

Chantry Middle School

My passion for the written and spoken word led me to study English Literature at Northumbria University, where I further enhanced my fascination with, and expertise in, the subject through Master's and Doctoral studies. I discovered my love for teaching during my time working at Northumbria University, when I taught on undergraduate English Literature degree courses, participated in conferences aimed at non-specialist audiences, and became involved in partnership work developing resources for use in exhibitions and online projects. Following this, I decided to ‘follow my heart’ and train as an English teacher. I aspire to share my love of literature and language with children, empowering students to reach their full potential as confident communicators, readers, writers and critics, and to become lifelong learners who enrich the lives of those around them.

I was delighted to join Chantry Middle School in 2016. As a Morpeth resident, I am also fortunate that my son is able to progress through The Three Rivers Learning Trust system.

Jane Sampson

Newminster Middle School

I am a member of the Academy Council for Newminster and also Subject Leader for English. Before moving to Newminster in 2004, I began my career at Heaton Manor School in Newcastle and then spent 17 years at what was Hirst High School in Ashington. I have three children who all went to Morpeth All Saints then Chantry and The King Edward VI School. As the youngest has just completed his A Levels, we are now done with compulsory education but all of them had a very happy and successful time within The Three Rivers.

Linda Templey

The King Edward VI School

I have always lived and worked in the North East, the last 13 years in Hepscott. Married to John, we have three children, two boys who attended Chantry and KEVI and a daughter who starts at KEVI in September. I worked for 32 years in the NHS, in many nursing and management positions including at Board level. I have wide ranging experience in governance, human resources, quality, patient experience and staffing. I believe that this experience will help me deliver my role as Academy Councillor at KEVI.

Since leaving the NHS I am now a landlord, exam invigilator and volunteer for Castle Morpeth District Scouts in a number of administrative roles as well as helping at Cub and Scout meetings.

Louise Duffy

The King Edward VI School

I am an Academy Councillor at The King Edward VI School.  I am a solicitor and partner at Muckle LLP which is a commercial law firm based in Newcastle upon Tyne.  I am also involved in the firm in a number of projects around standards and improvements in our business.  I am a parent of a student at KEVI and am interested in playing my part and using my skills in helping the school continue to develop, improve and achieve its vision.


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

Abbyefields 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!!


Nicola Clarke

Chantry Middle School

I graduated from Leeds University Medical School in 1998 with an Honours Degree in Medicine and went on to complete my junior doctor and specialist registrar training in hospitals across Yorkshire, as well as a Diploma in Medical Law with Northumbria University.  I returned to the North East in 2007 after accepting a Consultant Physician post with Northumbria NHS Trust. I have developed a sub-speciality interest in orthogeriatrics and in particular hip fracture care and work as part of the HIPQIP team that has been recognised in several national awards.  More recently I have worked as part of a team based at the Northumbria Hospital developing enhanced pathways of care for the frail elderly. I am involved in both the clinical and educational supervision of Foundation doctors, GP trainees, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

I live in Morpeth with my husband and two children - our eldest is currently at Chantry Middle School and our youngest will be starting in 2018. I hope my experience and skills will help to support the Academy Council and the wider school in developing and achieving it's vision.

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

Abbeyfields First 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.