Set up by schools for schools, we are the first and only school-led regional network in the UK.
In 2007, a group of Head Teachers came together to establish SCHOOLS NorthEast. Their aim was to create a unique culture of collaboration and mutual support amongst North East schools to ensure the best possible outcomes for all of our region’s young people. Eight years on, SCHOOLS NorthEast is stronger than ever!
Over the years, we have worked to facilitate new projects and additional support, connect schools to each other and external organisations such as business, provide a strategic voice for our members and promote a wider understanding of the issues facing education in the North East.
SCHOOLS NorthEast is governed by our 11 Trustees, 3 co-opted Trustees and 26 strong advisory board of local Head Teachers, elected by their peers in each area, who provide SCHOOLS NorthEast with direction and support. We also have a core team of 8 based in Newcastle.
With a well-established annual calendar of events, a Weekly Update with a distribution of over 3,000 readers and over 3,000 Twitter Followers, SCHOOLS NorthEast’s influence is growing both locally and nationally!
SCHOOLS NorthEast is an inclusive network led by Head Teachers creating unique culture of collaboration and mutual support and bringing the expertise of our members to benefit developments within our region.
Our young people are confident, enterprising, skilled and aspiring; learning and developing within well-resourced, nurturing and purposeful school environments.
Our school leaders, governors and staff demonstrate exceptional professionalism enjoying the resounding confidence of students, parents, communities, employers and decision-makers.
Our Head Teachers have a powerful voice regionally and nationally. By working collaboratively and creatively with their peers and external partners, they develop expertise, shape policy and drive change. We are recognised as a centre for innovation and the bench-mark of excellence.
Our region is vibrant, self reliant and outward looking, featuring a dynamic economy, healthy environment and distinctive culture.
Advisory Board Members
|Sunderland||Colin Lofthouse||Primary||Rickleton Primary School|
|Sunderland||Claire Smith||Primary||Hill View Infant School|
|Sunderland||John Hallworth||Secondary||Thornhill School|
|Stockton-on-Tees||Julia Armstrong||Primary||Hartburn Primary School|
|Stockton-on-Tees||Craig Walker||Secondary||Northfield School & Sports College|
|Special schools||Lynn Watson||Non-maintained||Percy Hedley School|
|South Tyneside||Liz Hayes||Secondary||Boldon School|
|South Tyneside||Gemma Jeynes||Primary||Valley View Primary School|
|Redcar and Cleveland||Linda Halbert||Secondary||Freebrough Academy|
|Redcar and Cleveland||Grant Hopkins||Primary||Lockwood Primary School|
|Redcar and Cleveland||Carl Faulkner||Primary||Normanby Primary|
|Northumberland||Andrew Hudson||Primary||Mickley First School|
|Northumberland||Alexis Widdowson||Secondary||Berwick Academy|
|North Tyneside||Ian Wilkinson||Secondary||George Stephenson High School|
|North Tyneside||Jim Crinson||Primary||Collingwood Primary|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||Vacant||Secondary||-|
|Middlesbrough||Phil Latham||Secondary||MacMillan Academy|
|Middlesbrough||Cherry Diemoz||Primary||Breckon Hill Primary School|
|Middle schools||Caroline Pryer||Middle Schools||Ponteland Middle School|
|Independent schools||Hilary French||Independent schools||Newcastle High School for Girls|
|Hartlepool||John Hardy||Primary||St John Vianney RC Primary School|
|Gateshead||Steve Haigh||Secondary||Whickham School|
|Durham||Annette Sowden||Primary||St Mary's RC Primary School|
|Durham||Michael Wardle||Secondary||Durham Johnston Comprehensive School|
|Durham||David Priestley||Secondary||Greenfield Community College|
|Darlington||Wendy Aitken||Primary||High Coniscliffe C of E Primary School|
|Darlington||Susan Johnson||Secondary||Longfields School|
A former journalist and external affairs specialist, Mike recently joined SCHOOLS NorthEast as the new Director. Mike worked for the Press Association as a national journalist and Business Editor. He headed up media and external affairs at the North East Chamber of Commerce and one of the UK’s largest social housing providers, Home Group, and previously ran his own public relations business.
Director of Operations & Development
Prior to joining SCHOOLS NorthEast, Chris worked with over 165 schools in the North East and various education organisations including local authorities, Excellence Partnerships, 14-19 Groups, the Specialist Schools & Academies Trust, and School Improvement Officers. He led a large scale culture change project in education across the North East and was the development consultant for the LEGI funded Wansbeck Enterprise Education Network. Chris has 12 years of strategic and business development, consultancy and client-management experience at a ‘Big Four' accountancy firm and various financial institutions and an MBA from Durham University Business School.
Finance and Administration Officer
Lesley joined SCHOOLS NorthEast in 2013. Previously she has worked in the private sector before joining Sunderland Council, where she worked supporting businesses, for 9 years. Since 2007, Lesley has worked in finance in the voluntary and community sector. Lesley holds a CIPFA Certificate in Charity Finance and Accounting and has a Degree in Business Studies. Lesley is a Governor at a North East Primary School and is PTA Treasurer at a North East Special School.
Administration & Network Coordinator
Tony joined SCHOOLS NorthEast in 2014 and has over 15 years experience as an Administrator in the Voluntary and Community Sector. Prior to joining us, Tony worked as Office Administrator at Funding Information North East for 12 years.
Ellie joined the team at SCHOOLS NorthEast in the autumn of 2014. Prior to this, Ellie was the Events and Media Coordinator at IPPR North, IPPR's dedicated think tank for the North of England. She oversaw a busy and varied events programme as well as dealing with press enquiries. Ellie also has experience working in the policy office at Barnardo's Scotland. She has a degree in History and Politics from Newcastle University.
Prior to joining the SCHOOLS NorthEast team in February 2015, Carla completed an internship in the film industry as a Production Assistant at Bridge + Tunnel. She is most proud of her work in the 2014 European Elections in the North East. Carla has a Master's degree in Multimedia Journalism from Newcastle University.
Erin joined SCHOOLS NorthEast in September 2016. Before this she was a student at Boldon School, one of our Partner Schools. She is currently completing an AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting with Access Training.
Tom joined the team in August 2016 after completing a traineeship at the European Parliament’s office in Edinburgh and has previously worked at a human rights NGO in Brussels. He has a History degree from the University of Hull and a Master’s in International Relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Our School Business Manager Council was founded in 2013 to build upon the existing local SBM networks, and provide a platform in every type and phase of school in the region.
The Council aims to:
Enable colleagues from across the region to meet and share intelligence and Best Practice with each other and their local networks;
Develop a powerful voice for the North East’s SBMs and raise their profile with Head Teachers to ensure they fully understand the contribution that SBMs make to North East schools;
Provide local and regional support, bespoke to each local area/ network.
The Council is comprised of School Business Managers from across the different sub-areas of the North East. The complete list of council members can be found here.