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Purpose & Overview


Trustees collectively, as the Board of Trustees have wide responsibilities under statute, regulations  (Companies Act 2006Charities Act 2011Education 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 Academy Trust Handbook, and the achievement of the Objects within the Articles of Association. In line with the Academy Trust Handbook, agendas and minutes can be made available for inspection upon request, and subject to redaction of personal information (for example where individuals are named) or of any other matter that, by reason of its nature, the governing body is satisfied should remain confidential: If you would like to inspect these records, please contact the Clerk to the Trust at 

Mr Charles "Sandy" 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 Alan Keenleyside

Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Vice Chair of the Trust Board, Chair of Performance and Curriculum Committee


Alan has worked for 40 years in all phases both in urban and rural schools, latterly as a Headteacher of 27 years’ experience. Within this timescale he has been seconded twice to HMI and twice to his LA to work with the school improvement team. Additionally he has had two acting Headships, one of which was a middle deemed secondary in special measures for the second time.

Alan was a Primary SIP, External Adviser, Threshold and NPQH Assessor and served on an Interim Executive Board for a Newcastle school in special measures which is now outstanding. He was a National Leader of Education (NLE) and with another colleague co-wrote a national training programme for school to school support for NLE’s. Together they formed the Tyne Valley Teaching School Alliance of which Alan’s establishment was the lead school. In this role he contributed to leadership development; succession planning, talent management; research and development; school to school support; initial teacher training and governance.

Since retiring, Alan has been is a governor of another academy primary school and a trustee of an educational charity, and is currently part of the governance of another regional MAT, serving on a local hub.


Ms Margaret "Maggie" Anderson OBE


Safeguarding Trustee

Maggie has worked in primary education from 1979. She retired from Headship at the end of 2019 having worked for both Newcastle and Northumberland local authorities. Maggie was appointed as Head Teacher at SELEfirst in 1993. Under her leadership the school became one of the first Beacon Schools in the country; they were graded Ofsted Outstanding on three consecutive occasions. From 2008 Maggie trained and worked as a School Improvement Partner (SIP). In 2009, Maggie was awarded an OBE for services to education. She became a National Leader of Education (NLE) in 2012 and co-wrote a national training programme for school-to-school support for NLE’s. In 2014 Maggie’s school became a lead teaching school, delivering School Direct ITT in partnership with the Universities of Newcastle and Northumbria.


Alongside a ‘job share school partner’ she established Tyne Valley Teaching School Alliance (TVTSA). This Alliance grew to includes 12 Good and Outstanding schools across 4 authorities. Maggie was a founding board member of North East Teaching School Partnership (NETSP) which maintained their lead in the region to write and deliver National College School Leadership nationally accredited leadership programmes, NPQML, NPQSL and NPQH. She was a lead professional delivering NPQH in the region. Maggie engaged regularly with All North Teaching Schools (ANTS) to develop effective system leadership. She has worked internationally since 2012 with partner schools in Shanghai, the Netherlands, Helsinki and Zagreb.


Maggie is the Lead Trustee for both Safeguarding and SEND. 





Mr Stuart Bagnall


Chair of Chairs Forum

Stuart graduated in civil engineering from Nottingham University in 1976, becoming a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1981. In a varied 40-year career, he has worked for several local authorities across the country, managed a house building company and, for five years in the early 1990s, was the chief executive of a local Football League club. Most recently Stuart worked for Your Homes Newcastle, where he managed investment in the City’s 30,000 council properties.


Prior to joining the Board of Trustees, Stuart was chair of governors at Stocksfield Avenue. He has a passion for the theatre and has been a Director of First Act Theatre, a youth training theatre based in Gosforth, since 1996, where he helps to train young people in all aspects of theatre and performance.


Stuart has two grown up children and four grandchildren, and since retiring in 2017, has been able to devote more time to his hobbies, which include cycling, guitar making and genealogy.

Mrs Laura Bell


Information coming soon!

Mr Phil McBride


Chair of the Appeals Committee

Phil has worked in all phases of education, this includes Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Adult Education, since 1979. He started his teaching at Walker Comprehensive School and quickly moved into the Pastoral system before he gained an academic bursary to Durham University and gained an advanced qualification within the sphere of Special Education. On coming back into teaching he was appointed to a Special School in Gateshead Local Education Authority in 1989. He was later appointed as Deputy Headteacher and also became an Ofsted Inspector before being appointed by Newcastle Authority and the Department for Education as a consultant to launch the Playing for Success initiative at Newcastle United Football Club. This quickly became recognised as a beacon of excellence for using the power of football to develop education attainment.
After 10 years in this post Phil was appointed as a School Improvement Adviser for the Local Authority with responsibility for Information Communication Technology, Teaching and Learning and the Newcastle City Learning Centre.

He retired from the Local Authority in 2016 to set up his own Education Consultancy Company which worked with schools across the country. During his career Phil has  worked in Europe and the Caribbean offering support and advice to various organisations. Throughout his career he has served as a Governor in three different Primary schools in various Local Education Authorities.

Mrs Vicki McDonald


Vicki is a Chartered Accountant having qualified with Deloitte in 2004. After qualification, Vicki spent some time tutoring students sitting their own professional accountancy exams, specialising in financial reporting, law and business management. She subsequently returned to audit practice for a period before working as a compliance accountant in HMRC. 

Since 2018, Vicki has worked as Bursar and Clerk to the Governors in a local independent school, heading up all of the support functions including finance, HR, estates, IT and catering services. 

Mr John Quinn


Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee

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.

Mrs Claire Render


Information coming soon!

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.