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Governance

Overview

We are governed by a Trust Board of non executive directors, which is accountable for the work of the trust including the oversight of our academies. The Board reports to the Members at least annually.

All Directors and Members can be contacted via the Contact page.

Members

As a mixed multi academy trust including schools with and without a religious character, our members include representation from the Church of England.

Rev Helen Gill

Date of appointment: 1 August 2020
Declared interests: Local Governor – Welbeck Academy (since September 2020)

The Bishop of Newcastle (The Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Macleod Hartley)

Date of appointment: 14 July 2023
Declared interests: Director – Newcastle Diocesan Board of Finance Limited (since 03.02.23); Director – Newcastle Diocesan Society (since 03.02.23)

Dr Anne McNall

Date of appointment: 19 October 2022
Declared Interests: None

Mr Peter Nigel Hastings Smith

Date of appointment: 12 January 2017
Declared interests: Director – Ringtons Holdings Ltd and other subsidiary companies (since 1987)

The Diocesan Corporate Member (enacted by The Right Reverend Mark Wroe, Bishop of Berwick; authorised nominee on behalf of the Newcastle Diocesan Board of Education)

Date of appointment: 4 July 2020
Declared interests:
Bishop of Berwick – Church of England Diocese of Newcastle (since January 2021)
Member – Pele Trust (since January 2021)
Member – Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Learning Trust (since December 2021)
Director – Newcastle Diocesan Board of Finance (since 04.03.19)
Director – Together Newcastle (since 17.04.19)

Former Members in the last 12 Months

The Venerable Rachel Wood, Archdeacon of Northumberland (authorised nominee on behalf of the Newcastle Diocesan Board of Education)

Date of appointment: 1 December 2021
Declared interests:
Archdeacon of Northumberland – Church of England Diocese of Newcastle (Since May 2021)
Director – Newcastle Diocesan Board of Finance (since September 2021)
Governance role – Hospital of God (since September 2021)
Director – Newcastle Diocesan Society (since September 2021)

Directors

Nichola Brannen

Church Ethos Director

Appointed by the Members: 26 October 2018
Re-appointed by the Members with current term of office to: 25 October 2026
Committees: People and Organisational Development
Declared interests: Employee and Governor – The Federation of Longhorsley and Whalton Church of England Schools (since November 2014)
Profile: Nichola is our Church Ethos Director appointed by the Newcastle Diocesan Education Board. She is the Executive Headteacher of a first school and a primary school in Northumberland. Prior to headship, Nichola was a senior consultant within Newcastle supporting primary school improvement and leadership throughout the local authority.

Francesca Craik

Appointed by the Members: 11 January 2022
Term of office to: 10 January 2026
Committees: Achievement and Climate for Learning (Chair)
Declared interests:
Employee – Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust (since January 2013)
School governor – St Wilfrid’s RC College, South Shields (since January 2021)
Profile: Francesca is an Executive Headteacher within Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust

Mercy Denedo

Appointed by the Board: 19 October 2022
Term of office to: 18 October 2026
Committees: Finance, Audit and Risk
Declared Interests: Employee – Durham University (since November 2017)
Profile: Mercy Denedo is an Associate Professor in Accounting at Durham University Business School. Underlining Mercy’s research is an interest in social and environmental issues that affect people’s everyday realities. She has conducted interdisciplinary qualitative and interpretive studies on stigma in social housing, sustainability, human rights, accountability and governance research within a conflict and environmentally polluted arena. Currently, she is an advisory board member for Addressing Domestic Abuse (ADA).

Nadia Iftkhar

Appointed by the board: 22 June 2017
Re-appointed by the Members with current term of office to: 21 June 2025
Committees: People and Organisational Development
Declared interests: Trustee/Governor – Company of Others (since February 2016)
Director – Company of Others  (since November 2016)
Profile: Nadia is Artistic Director and CEO of Company of Others, a charity which works in dance and the arts to mitigate the impact of social injustice on our communities. She has made and collaborated on over 30 works that have been performed locally and internationally in theatres, community centres, schools and universities.

You can find out more about why Nadia became a non-executive director with NEAT and why she would encourage people to become a governance volunteer with the trust below:

Nadia Iftkhar’s story as a NEAT director – YouTube video

Heidi Khoshtaghaza

Appointed by the Board: 19 October 2022
Term of office to: 18 October 2026
Committees: People and Organisational Development
Declared Interests:
Director – Authentic Swiss Watches Ltd (since June 2017)
Employee – Bellway Homes Limited (since October 2016)
Director – S Murray Jewellers (since February 2016)

Steve Leggetter

Appointed by the Members: 13 October 2020
Term of office to: 12 October 2024
Committees: Finance, Audit and Risk
Declared interests:
Employee – Northumbria University (since September 2020)
Director – Assurance Consulting Ltd (since 15.02.07)
Profile: Steve is an IT specialist with experience in blue chip consultancy, programme delivery and IT Director roles across universities, healthcare, local authority and the private sector. He is currently lecturing at Northumbria University.

Andrew Lister

Appointed by the board: 22 June 2017
Re-appointed by the members with current term of office to: 21 June 2025
Committees: Finance, Audit and Risk (Chair)
Declared interests: Director – A Lister Technologies Ltd (September 2014 – June 2023)
Non-Executive Director – Gentoo Group (Since September 2023)
Director – Tehnich Limited (Since November 2023)
Profile: Andrew has global IT experience across a range of companies and countries with strategic responsibility for managing resources, systems and people, as well as expertise in running his own consultancy.

Thomas Martell

Board Vice-Chair

Appointed by the board: 12 August 2022
Term of office to: 11 August 2026
Committees: Achievement and Climate for Learning
Declared interests:
Employee – North East Learning Trust (January 2022 – August 2023)
Employee – Cumbria Education Trust (since September 2023)
Governor – Framwellgate School, Durham (since September 2016)

Anne McNall

Board Chair

Appointed by the Members: 12 January 2017
Re-appointed by the Members with current term of office to: 11 January 2025
Committees: Achievement and Climate for Learning; Finance, Audit and Risk; People and Organisational Development
Declared interests: None
Profile: Anne was formerly Associate Professor and Director of Strategic Workforce Development in the Nursery, Midwifery and Health Department of Northumbria University. Her professional background is as an adult general nurse and midwife and she has extensive experience of teaching in the health sector.

Sue Ormerod

Appointed by the board: 19 July 2018
Re-appointed by the Members with current term of office to: 18 July 2026
Committees: People and Organisational Development (Chair)
Declared interests:
Minority Shareholder – Nigel Wright Consultancy (since October 2020)
Governor – Forest Hall Primary School (since Sept 2013)
Employee – Nigel Wright Consultancy (since June 2002)
Profile: Sue is Regional Director for Nigel Wright Recruitment and specialises in Executive IT and HR recruitment throughout the North of England. She chairs the Nigel Wright IT Director Forum and is heavily involved in the HR Business Leaders’ Forum.

You can read more about Sue’s motivation to become a non-executive director with NEAT and how the board work together as a team below:

Former Directors in the last 12 months

Steve Beharall

Appointed by the Members: 23 February 2017
Resigned: 23 November 2023
Declared interests:
Employee – Newcastle United Foundation (since September 2020)
Director – Newcastle United Women’s Football Club Limited (since 13.08.20)
Director – Newcastle United Foundation Projects Limited (since 26.02.20)

Attendance Register

Accounting Officer

Debi Bailey, Chief Executive Officer is the designated Accounting Officer for the trust. The CEO is not a director.

Declared interests: 

Trustee – Right to Succeed (since July 2020)

Local Governing Committees

Schools have their own local governing committees, which report to the Trust’s Board of Directors. Each school’s website has information about it’s committee including their declared interests: