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Purpose & Overview


Members have ultimate responsibility for the Multi Academy Trust achieving its charitable Objectives. The members are the signatories to the Academy Trust’s Articles of Association, They exercise their rights under the Companies Act 2006 and the Articles of Association and agree not to do anything or take any action which, would cause the Academy Trust to contravene its Objects under article 4. Members have an overview of the governance arrangements of the academy trust and have the power to appoint trustees and remove these trustees. Members can amend the Articles of Association and may do so to support stronger governance arrangements, however any amendments would require approval by the  Department for Education.


Members hold an Annual General Meeting in which they appoint auditors and vote to receive the audited accounts. Members also appoint up to eight trustees: whilst additional trustees may be co-opted by the Trust Board, the appointment of trustees is an important means of upholding the ethos of the Multi Academy Trust ad ensuring that it has the governance oversight to deliver its charitable objectives. 

Mr Ian Bell


Ian joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 19 and was commissioned as a pilot. He served several operational tours, as a helicopter pilot, instructor and examiner, across the world including an exchange tour with the United States Air Force. Ian held several key staff appointments across the MoD and commanded both an operational squadron and an air base before retiring from the Royal Air Force after 26 years. He joined CAE, a training and simulation company based in Montreal as their Managing Director of the Medium Support Helicopter Training Facility at Royal Air Force Benson before taking on increasing responsibilities as the Managing Director CAE (UK) plc and Vice President of CAE Europe. Ian opened CAE’s defence business in the Middle East and spent three years running the entire CAE defence portfolio across the Middle East and Asia Pacific based in Abu Dhabi UAE and Sydney, Australia. Ian’s last role at CAE was as the Senior Vice President Global Strategy and Business Development Defence based in Washington DC. Ian has been both a Board Member and Chairman of several international joint ventures, where he has been a strategic leader, mentor and business transformational leader.


Having retired from CAE, Ian set up his own consulting business and has enjoyed regular engagement with the corporate world, private equity and government agencies across Europe and the Middle East. He specialises in business turn-arounds, restructuring, business development and strategy. Ian is also The Director Defence and Aerospace at Thrive Executive Search where he believes very much in placing the right candidate in the right role at the right time.


Ian became a Member of the SMART Multi Academy Trust in 2020. He lives in North Yorkshire with his wife Michelle, their donkeys, sheep, chickens, ducks and two crazy border collies called Molly and Sparky. Both Ian and Michelle are very active in the well-being of their village.

Mr Charles Christie

Member, 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.


Ms Claris D'Cruz


Coming soon!


Ms Kirstin Hofbeck


Kirstin Hofbeck is Head of Finance and IT at Newcastle International Airport and a member of the senior leadership team. Prior to joining the airport she worked in various finance roles in different industry sectors including fast moving consumer goods and manufacturing. Previous employers include Procter & Gamble and Rolls Royce. She holds a degree in Accounting and International Business and is a qualified accountant with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.


Mr Matthew Thomas


Matthew has worked for over 30 years in the Financial Services sector, holding a number of senior Executive and Board positions. His main areas of focus have been in strategy development and execution, change management and business transformation.

Matthew has been responsible for a number of successful mergers and acquisitions within the insurance and technology arenas as well as involved in the setting up and oversight of new insurance businesses and large strategic partnerships/joint ventures.

Included within his past Executive responsibilities, Matthew has led IT, Property, Programme and Change Management and Process Improvement functions. In addition, he has led research and development programmes into subjects such as robotics, artificial intelligence, driverless cars and connected homes.

Most recently Matthew has worked in consultancy specialising in Mergers, Acquisitions and Operational Integration within the Financial Services sector.





Contact Us

Smart Multi Academy Trust

Wyndham Primary School, Montagu Avenue,

Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 4SB

Smart Multi Academy Trust is a company registered in England and Wales.

Company registration no. 10257723. Registered office address

Wyndham Primary School, Montagu Avenue, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 4SB

If you need this in an alternative format, please contact the school office or phone Smart MAT on 0191 2559251.