Meet Our Trustees

The information below provides some information on our current Trustees.

Peter Allan

I have been a resident of Morpeth for almost 30 years, and during that time I have brought up two children with my wife, Kay. Both children are currently at KEVI and have previously attended both Goosehill and Newminster schools. 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.

Karen Barwick

I have lived in Morpeth all of my life with the exception of three years spent away at university. I went to school in both Chantry and The King Edward VI, and my three children have all been to school at Newminster, and are currently at The King Edward VI School. Recruited as a graduate, I entered the world of finance 27 years ago, and have worked for two national companies prior to setting up my own business in 2002. I retrained whilst my children were young to obtain a further degree in Law. Dealing mainly with accountants and solicitors, my primary work involves all areas of financial advice to trustees and corporates. Being a former pupil, I am keen to ensure that the schools continue to meet the highest of standards they can in the modern day curriculum. Given my experience, my focus is directed towards the legal and financial needs of the trust.

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.

Simon Taylor

I have been a teacher since 1985 working in four very different schools. I initially taught history and was a Year Leader at Prudhoe High School, before moving to Walker Technology College in 1995 as Assistant Head and later Deputy Head. In 2001 I took up the post of Headteacher at Kingsmeadow School, Gateshead and then moved to King Edward’s in the same role in 2007. Since September 2013 I have been Executive Headteacher at The Three Rivers Learning Trust with responsibility for all three schools, Chantry, Newminster and KEVI, in the Learning Trust.

Rev Simon White

I was appointed Rector of Morpeth. I have been an Anglican minister for 10 years previously being the Vicar of Felton and Longframlington as well as Diocesan Youth Officer for over seven years. I am responsible for leading and developing youth work within the Anglican parishes from Morpeth to Berwick. I am Chair of Mustard Tree Trust a youth charity based in Morpeth as well as being the Boys Brigade Captain for the Morpeth Company. I have extensive knowledge and experience of youth work and have in the past been Chair of Governors for a first school in Northumberland and I am also at present a governor at All Saints First School Morpeth. 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.

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.

Colin Pearson

I was born in Morpeth and have lived here most of my life. I have 4 children and 5 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 including what was then the largest civil computer centre in Europe. I have considerable experience of managing large budgets, and delivering services to pre-set standards and targets. Latterly I specialised in Risk Management and Contingency Planning.

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 a number of years at Newminster Middle School.

I am a member of the Northumberland Schools’ Forum – a statutory body with a consultative role in relation to the local distribution of school funding. Within that I also serve on a committee which oversees developments in the provision of services for children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND). I was a member of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group leading to its publication in 2016, and I led a Topic Group reporting on the provision of education within Morpeth and its surrounding district.

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 we maintain high ambitions for our schools (and for state education generally), to promote the development of future citizens who possess intellectual capacity, social awareness and emotional intelligence in equal measure.

Paul Carvin

I have been involved in education all my working life. I started out as a Geography teacher and had experience as a senior leader in a large secondary school. I then moved into advisory and inspection work, including for Ofsted. Before retiring, I was Head of Education for Gateshead Council. I am Chair of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Education Committee of The Three Rivers Learning Trust and am interested in promoting high standards and ensuring that all students receive the very best curriculum to suit their needs and expectations. I have two grown up children, both of whom attended KEVI. ​

Sylvie Walker-Barras

Originally from Switzerland, I have lived in Morpeth for the last 22 years with my husband and have two children, one attending KEVI and one attending Newminster. I am a management accountant and have worked for a variety of companies from our own engineering business to large multi-nationals. I became a school governor first at Newminster, then at St Roberts RC First School and now as a Director of The Three Rivers Learning Trust. I am passionate about languages taught at school and have an interest in SEN provision. 

Rachel Johnson

I have worked in education since 2002, first as an English teacher and then as a Head of English in two secondary schools followed by an Assistant Head. I am now Director of Strategy for The Partners in Excellence Club (PiXL) where I work with schools across the country to raise achievement and develop character. I am also married to Paul, also in education, and we have three small children, two of whom are in school in Morpeth. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with all the schools in the Trust to serve our young people. 

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 Strategic Operations for the educational group, Challenging Learning. We work with schools all around the world to share teaching and leadership practices that have the biggest impact on learning progress. I am married to Pennie and we have two small daughters who are in our local school. I hope my global perspective on the education sector can make a useful contribution to the work of the Trust.

Deb Ions

I am a marketing professional with over 20 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.

Currently I am Head of Marketing for a young and ambitious company called St James’ Square Law Firm and its sister company St James’ Square Sports Management, where I lead and advise on their public profile. I am passionate about education and all things marketing – in particular reputation management and brand storytelling.

I am delighted to join 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 two children are in Newminster and Abbeyfields and I have seen first hand the wonderful and varied education that they are receiving.

Yvonne Rutherford

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.