Purpose & Overview
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
Mrs Laura Bell
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.
Mr Phil McBride
Chair of the Appeals Committee
Mrs Vicki McDonald
Mr Mark Stephenson
Mark is a practising lawyer who qualified in 2004 and specialises in advising on commercial property transactions. He has represented a variety of clients, including individual investors, developers, nationwide property companies as well as offshore based investment companies. Over the numerous years he has been practising, he has developed a great understanding of underlying legal principles particular to real estate matters, which includes a significant amount of bespoke drafting of legal documentation specific to such transactions. This enables him to advise from a position of knowledge and to negotiate effectively, resulting in procuring documentation that accurately reflects the terms agreed between the parties.
Since 2015 he has held the position of partner and in 2018 he joined a Legal 500 listed law firm in Newcastle City Centre. As a partner he has gained a tremendous amount of experience in the day to day management of both the business and the employees that comprise the firm.
At a professional level, Mark most enjoys being involved in helping to deliver focused results on complex transactions for clients. He prides himself in providing pragmatic solutions to the issues faced in real estate transactions and is careful to ensure his advice clarifies the implications of the documentation as well as the practical points of the transaction.
Mark has also added to his legal knowledge by obtaining a Masters in Advanced Commercial Property Law (LLM) from the University of Northumbria.
In his spare time Mark enjoys photography, walking the Northumberland coastline with his wife and dog and likes to travel to new destinations and interact with other cultures whenever he can.