Trustees collectively, as the Board of Trustees have wide responsibilities under statute, regulations      (Companies Act 2006, Charities Act 2011, Education Act 2002 and 2011) and the Master Funding Agreement
Principally their role is to ensure that the academy trust's funds are only used in accordance with the law, the Articles of Association and Master Funding Agreement. The Board of Trustees has wide discretion over its use of the academy trust's funds, which it must discharge reasonably and in a way that commands broad public support. It is responsible for the proper stewardship of those funds, including regularity and propriety, and for ensuring economy, efficiency and effectiveness in their use – the three key elements of value for money.
The Board of Trustees  have overall responsibility and ultimate decision making authority for all the work of the academy trust. This is largely exercised through strategic planning and the setting of policy; ensuring adherence to the Articles of Association, compliance with legislation and the Academies Financial Handbook and the achievement of the Objects within the Articles of Association

Mr James Clark

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Jim Clark is an educator with over 40 years experience. He has worked in all sectors of education; schools, colleges, as an LA inspector /advisor, and for the past 30 years in Higher Education. Jim was until very recently Head of the Department of Education and Life Long Learning at Northumbria University. He retired from the university at the end of December 2016 and continues his association with the University through his honourary title of Visiting Scholar. Nationally and internationally he has led on many initiatives in the development of innovative routes into teaching and supported teacher and school development. He played a significant role nationally on the Management Board of University Council for the Education of Teachers. The ITE strand of his former department has been ‘outstanding’ since 2002. He was Chair of the Board of Trustees of one of the first hard federated school trusts in the country and has also supported the development of a number of trusts in the North East. He was a business partner on the NNWLT board since the trust’s inception supporting the progress of that trust into the development of the SMART MAT.

Dr Helen Roberts

Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Dr Helen Roberts has been involved in education for over forty years as a teacher in all age phases of schools and colleges, and in many aspects of special education. For the past thirty years Helen has been involved in higher education and has recently retired from Northumbria University where she was Head of Initial Teacher Education, with ITE being judged ‘outstanding’ since 2002. She is now an education consultant for the Education department at Northumbria University. She is Vice Chair of governors at North Fawdon primary school. She supported the NNWLT since it started and in her consultant role to Northumbria University was a business partner on the trust board. Having been the chair of the early years and primary committee for UCET and on the executive committee she has been able to help develop national strategies to shape the quality of the next generation of teachers nationally.

Mr Anthony Hodge


Anton grew up in Perth, Scotland, before attending university in Edinburgh where he obtained a degree in Latin and Ancient History. Having lived in Cambridge and Cumbria, he is now based in North Yorkshire where he works for the Local Authority.

Having spent most of his professional life working within education and children's services finance in local authorities. He has acted as an advisor and secondee to central government (DfES and Learning and Skills Council). He joined North Yorkshire County Council in 2010 as an Assistant Director with responsibilities for children's services finance.

Anton has also led a project to create a new commercial services unit for the Council.

From February 2017 Anton has taken on the resources portfolio for Health and Adult Services, but continues to manage school funding for the Council as well as overseeing the Property Service (including Health and Safety).

Outside of work, in 2008, he helped to form Gretna Football Club 2008 from the ashes of the now defunct Scottish Premier League Club, Gretna FC, becoming the club's Chairman in its inaugural year. He has written three books. The first two were travel/history books about Hadrian’s Wall and the Anglo-Scottish border, both published by Hayloft. His third book, "In Black and White", which tells the story of football in Gretna, was published by Chequered Flag in October 2015.

Mrs Marie Leddy


Marie has worked in the Civil Service since 2004 and currently works as a HEO within Customer Compliance. She became involved with the Governing body at Kingston Park Primary School in 2014 and has been a Trustee of SMART Multi Academy Trust since 2016. Marie has a wealth of HR and people management experience and hopes to use her knowledge and skills to strengthen the Board of Trustees, to the benefit of the Academy Trust.

Mr Simon Taylor


Simon born and brought up in Newcastle, started his professional career with Northumbrian Water after gaining a BSc and then an MSc in Environmental Management, and subsequently he gained a MBA from Durham Business School.

He has built-up a wealth of experience of managing organisations in the utilities industry in the UK and abroad, including a number of senior management roles in both the private and public sector. Over his career he has gained a comprehensive portfolio of general management, operations, capital investment and programme management, business improvement, risk management and governance skills developed in wide-ranging roles in large to SME organisations. Simon is a confident leader, experienced at operating at Director / Board level, and he hopes to be able to use his knowledge and skills to strengthen the Board of Trustees, to the benefit of the Academy Trust and all of its students.

Mrs Janette Corlett

Chief Executive Officer -Trustee - Retired

Jan has over 30 years’ experience of working in education in a range of different roles including school inspection. Graduating from the University of Durham, she taught for a number of years in both the primary and secondary sectors before taking up post as a primary headteacher and completing NPQH and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Management.

Subsequently Jan became a local authority adviser and later Head of School Improvement within Newcastle City Council. She has since successfully run her own business in educational advice and consultancy, supporting school improvement and the development of effective governance.

Jan has experience of working internationally through taking part in a variety of British Council projects linking with schools in Europe and Russia. She has also worked with Wuhan University, China on developing formative assessment procedures and advising on the development of a consistent approach to monitoring and evaluating the performance and quality of schools across the Hubai Province.

Jan’s interests include kitchen gardening, ‘cycling for softies’ and walking in the Cumbria and Northumberland borders.

Ms Jennifer Teulon

Trustee-Resigned- 16.7.18

Jen has a lifelong commitment to education, and is keen to pursue this with SMART. She is a qualified teacher and has worked with most age groups from nursery to Higher Education, and with adults in workforce development. However, most of her career has been in leadership and management roles in the learning and skills world; always working with wide networks of partners and stakeholders across the UK and contributing to the development and implementation of Government policy and strategy. Until 2013, she was a Director at the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, a membership body for sectoral organisations which work with employers across the economy. Prior to this she worked in the Sector Skills Development Agency co-ordinating development work across all sectors on capacity and capability building. Earlier in her career she held several roles related to the development of standards, qualifications and training in the criminal justice field: this included working at the Home Office and establishing a new Custodial Care National Training Organisation. In all these roles she worked closely with and on boards of trustees.

Jen currently works on a voluntary basis with a wide range of organisations. She is a governor at Regent Farm First School and facilitates partnerships between schools in the UK and their counterparts in East Africa. She also works with the Marie Curie charity at both national and local levels

Mrs Rachael Cleary


Rachael began her teaching career in Northumberland before being appointed as Deputy Headteacher and Year 6 Class Teacher at Wyndham Primary School in Newcastle. In July 2014 she was appointed Headteacher Designate of Wyndham Primary school and then Headteacher in September 2016. Rachael is a member of the Newcastle Schools Forum. Please note that Rachael resigned from her role as Trustee on 12.9.17 however will still be very actively involved in developments within the Academy Trust as a Headteacher. We would like to thank Rachael for her time and expertise in developing the Academy Trust during her time as Trustee.

Rachael is a keen sportswoman who enjoys regularly playing netball, going to the gym and running. She is also a dedicated football fan who spends her Saturday afternoons supporting Newcastle United Football Club. She is also a Governor of Farne Primary School.

Mrs Sarah Hayes


Sarah has worked in Education for over 30 years and has been a Headteacher for the last 16 years in two different schools in Newcastle. Sarah was the Chair of the Newcastle North West Learning Trust and is now keen to use this experience as a Trustee in the SMART Multi Academy Trust. Sarah is currently a governor at North Fawdon Primary School.

Sarah resigned as a Trustee on 12.9.17 and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her greatly for her hard work on the Board of the Academy Trust but also for her lead role in NNWLT. We are lucky that we are able to still access Sarah's expertise as a Head teacher for the Academy Trust.

Miss Kathleen Held


After qualifying as a teacher in 1975, Kath worked in six Newcastle primary schools, until she retired in 2008. The last eighteen years of her teaching career were spent as a head teacher in two of those schools.

Kath spent five terms of her career seconded to the local authority as an associate head teacher (supporting a local school) and as an attached advisor.

Since her retirement she has taken up a rewarding role as a governor at Kingston Park primary school. Kath retired from a long and successful role as governor on 21.7.17. Kath resigned as a Trustee on 17.9.17
to enjoy a full retirement. We would like to thank Kath greatly for the massive commitment she has offered voluntarily over the years to the school and in developing the Academy Trust during its first year. We will miss her expertise but wish her a happy retirement.