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 Charles Christie

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Following graduation in mathematics from Manchester University, Charles worked for over 50 years in business, mainly in systems companies and high tech engineering both in the UK and elsewhere. Latterly this involved corporate management roles including both executive and non-executive director positions. Most recently he was Director Development Strategy & International Operations for IDS, an Italian based company involved with developments relating to radar, air navigation, UAVs and special purpose antennas. The role included coordination of the company’s overseas subsidiaries as well as some merger and acquisition activity.

Prior to this he was a partner in a small management consulting organisation addressing particularly strategy and change management. This period included pro-bono strategy management assignments involving a number of UK charities.

Previous employers were Consett Iron Company, CEIR, Logica and Finsiel. Consulting clients served while with CEIR and Logica included the Civil Service Department and the DVLA as well as major clients in the petroleum industry, consumer goods, banking and overseas government.

Mr Simon Bewick

Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Simon Bewick has over 25 years’ experience in the educational publishing sector, most of it spent working with Oxford University Press (OUP). During his time with OUP Simon was responsible for the introduction and development of various global strategies, particularly in the digital arena. Simon has trained and lectured around the world, and has worked with local educational ministries on numerous projects in Europe, Asia and Latin America. He started his career teaching English in the UK and Japan, and holds a BA Hons from Reading University, IDM Dip Direct/Digital, and recently completed his PGDip in Strategy and Innovation at the Said Business School, Oxford University.

Mr John Quinn


John has had a number of Finance Director roles in North-East based companies. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1988 John worked for five years at Ernst and Young before embarking on a career in Industry. John has worked for companies in food manufacturing and printing. It was in the print sector where John was part of a team which successfully negotiated a MBO of the business. Most recently has taken on a new role in haulage and waste recycling.

Ms Eileen Morrison


Eileen has a contrasting mix of private and third sector businesses as an executive, non executive director and pro bono roles. Working successfully delivering change management across commercial, cultural and education sectors.

Described by a past CEO as the Red Adair of finance, stabilising cashflow and increasing unrestricted funds.

Experienced stakeholder and partnership manager, adept at setting strategic direction, sharing vision, securing “buyins” and following through.

In the education sector Eileen has over twenty years experience as a school governor and academy director. She has particular interests in raising standards and special educational needs with the firm commitment that every child matters.

Ms Deborah Piggett


Deb is currently the HR Director for North East Learning Trust having taken up this position in 2016, as a member of NELT’s Executive Team. She operates at a Strategic level and brings significant Organisational Development experience to the role as Trustee of SMART. Whilst Deb has only worked in Education for the last two years she has a wealth of people management and business administration experience built up over the last 30 years across a range of sectors and hopes to use her knowledge and skills to support improvement and development of the Academy Trust.

Mr Alan Keenleyside


Mr James Clark

Trustees - Retired

Dr Helen Roberts

Trustee - Retired

Mrs Marie Leddy

Trustee - Retired

Mr Simon Taylor

Trustee - Retired

Mr Anthony Hodge

Trustee - Retired

Mrs Janette Corlett

Trustee - Retired

Ms Jennifer Teulon

Trustee- Retired

Mrs Rachael Cleary

Trustee - Retired

Mrs Sarah Hayes

Trustee - Retired

Miss Kathleen Held

Trustee - Retired