Our Governance

Meet our Trustees

Find out more about our current Trustees

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Simon Taylor
CEO of the Three Rivers Learning Trust & Trustee

I am privileged to lead the Three Rivers Learning Trust, through a period of growth and development, since its formation in 2011. I have worked in education since 1985, initially as a history teacher, and then in senior leadership positions across three very different secondary schools. In 2007 I was appointed Headteacher at The King Edward VI School, Morpeth, one of the founding schools of the trust, and became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in September 2018. As a National Leader of Education (NLE) I also work with a number of schools across the region, to support school improvement.

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Paul Carvin
Trustee (with responsibility for SEND)

I've worked in and around schools for many years in such varied roles as geography teacher, school inspector and head of education for a local authority. I have been a trustee for over 8 years and was chair of the board for 6 of them. Both my children went through the Morpeth school system and it won't be long until my grandchildren start.

It is partly for their and everyone else's future that I have taken on the role of climate champion for the Learning Trust. This role challenges me to make sure that climate change remains at the forefront of our collective consciousness. Lots has already been achieved but there's still a long way to go.

Beyond this role with the Learning Trust, I have a passion for the outdoors; be it working on our allotment, walking our dog through the fields and woods around Morpeth or exploring further afield. I also love upcycling things - it's amazing what you can make from a discarded pallet!

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Peter Allan

I have been a resident of Morpeth for 30 years, and during that time I have brought up two children with my wife, Kay. My children have been through Goosehill, Newminster and KEVI schools and one is now working and the other training to be a teacher.

I am a chartered civil engineer specialising in offshore geotechnical engineering for both renewable and oil and gas projects. I have started and grown two engineering companies, both of which have been purchased by offshore survey contractors and their successors are still based in the North East.

I hope that my engineering background and commercial experience will be of benefit to the schools and help further enhance the experience and employability of the students as they move on from school.

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Andrew Lister

I am an accountant working for Newcastle City Council. I currently report on housing capital and revenue budgets of over £100 million. In a previous role I advised school Headteachers and Governors in Newcastle to assist them in preparing and managing school budgets. I have lived in Longhorsley for 17 years. I am the father of two boys who currently attend Chantry Middle School. I help coach with Longhorsley Junior Football Club and Morpeth under 10’s rugby teams.

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Rev Simon White

I have been Rector of Morpeth since 2013 . I have been an Anglican minister for over 19 years previously being the Vicar of Felton and Longframlington as well as Diocesan Youth Officer for over seven years, where I was responsible for leading and developing youth work within the Anglican parishes from Morpeth to Berwick. I have extensive knowledge and experience of youth work and have in the past been Chair of Governors for a first school in Northumberland.

Before my ministry in the church I was the joint managing director of a large design consultancy based in Newcastle and London, designing pubs and nightclubs for the leisure industry as well as work in hospitals and hotels throughout the UK, Europe and Asia.

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Amy Chaudhuri

I moved to the North East for my University Education and have lived in the Newcastle/Gateshead area ever since. I have a Master’s degree in Management from Durham University and in Human Resources from Northumbrian University. I am a chartered member of the CIPD and I am currently working as a senior HR professional in the region.

My p​re​vious HR experience has primarily been in the Retail sector where I moved on to run Human Resource & Learning departments working across the UK, Europe & the Far East. I am currently working as a Head of HR for an NHS organisation in the North East supporting the Trust with workforce planning, organisational design and strategy development & implementation. Given my experience my focus is directed towards our colleagues working within the Trust and how to enhance their experience while at work.

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Colin Pearson
Member and Chair of the Board of Trustees

I was born in Morpeth and have lived here most of my life. I have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. I am retired. My professional background was within the Civil Service for 35 years where I managed large numbers of staff and IT equipment. My own three children and our long-term foster child completed their school years within the Morpeth Partnership of Schools.

I was a Governor at Abbeyfields First School from the mid 1980’s to 2017 including 15 years as Chair. I was also a Governor for several years at Newminster Middle School. In addition to being Chair of the Board, I am Chair of the Northumberland Schools’ Forum – a statutory body with a consultative role in relation to the local distribution of school funding.

Along with everyone who respects and values state education, I strive to ensure that in the Three Rivers Learning Trust and the wider Morpeth Partnership of schools we maintain high ambitions to promote the development of future citizens who possess intellectual capacity, social awareness and emotional intelligence in equal measure.

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Tom Burston

I live in the Upper Coquet Valley, having returned to Northumberland in 2010 following an early career in the overseas development sector. I am now Director of Policy and Research at the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission. We work to influence change across the farming and food sectors and in our rural communities, in order to find ways to solve our current economic, health, climate and nature crises.

I am married to Pennie and we have two small daughters who are in our local school. I hope my global perspective and local interests can make a useful contribution to the work of the Trust.

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Deb Ions

I am a marketing professional with over 25 years’ experience in both the public and private sector - with a large proportion of that time being spent working with local, national and international Higher Education institutions mainly covering the North East, London, India and South East Asia. I am currently a Marketing Director for a Law Firm.

I am passionate about education and all things marketing – in particular reputation management and brand storytelling.

I am delighted to be a Trustee for The Three Rivers Learning Trust, where I am able to advise on their communications strategy and help to promote all of the great achievements coming out of the schools. My children attend schools within the trust and I have seen first hand the wonderful and varied education that they are receiving.

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Yvonne Rutherford
Trustee (with responsibility for Safeguarding)

I have lived in the Morpeth area for a number of years and have two children both attending Morpeth schools. My chosen profession is in the field of nursing, working for the NHS based at a hospital in vulnerable people. During that time I have successfully attained a BSc Honours degree in Practice Nurse Development.

It is an honour to be a Trustee within The Three Rivers Learning Trust and I hope that my skills and experience will have a positive influence on the opportunities and education we provide to our young people whilst supporting the community.

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Stephanie Gibson

I have been involved in Higher Education for over 20 years with leadership roles in Business Planning & Governance, International Accreditation & Partnerships, Global Rankings and Research Management.

I am excited to join The Three Rivers Learning Trust and will hopefully have a positive influence on the education, experiences and opportunities created. I am especially interested in the widening participation agenda to break down barriers for entry into Higher Education.

I am also keen to help create opportunities for students to acquire much sought after employability skills and connect students and staff to businesses regionally, nationally and internationally.

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Ben Cole

I grew up in Morpeth, attending Newminster and King Edward VI High School before studying pharmacy at Nottingham University. I have since held several senior management positions with significant experience in patient care, budget management, business strategy, and external oversight. I currently support NHS primary care organisations in England, Scotland, and Wales with medicines optimisation in my role as a Pharmacist Account Manager for Optum UK.

Before returning to Morpeth in 2020, I was based in Yorkshire and volunteered as a Governor and Trustee, including 4 years as Chair of Governors for a Leeds primary school.

I am delighted to join The Three Rivers Learning Trust as a Trustee and will strive to ensure young people experience a diverse, enriched education and leave as confident young adults with the skills to overcome life's challenges.

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