Governance and policy
The effective governance of our schools is vital to their continued success. As such, we have a range of experienced and pro-active Trustees who know our schools well and champion for them to be leading schools within their communities.
Stuart was born in 1945 to a mining family in the South Yorkshire coalfield. After working for the National Coal Board for several years, Stuart attended university at the London School of Economics, graduating in 1970. Following Ph.D. research at the University of Leeds, Stuart taught Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology at several universities until retirement in 2008. Stuart also served as Justice of the Peace and Judge of the Family Court for 20 years until 2015. Voluntary activities since retirement: Educational: - Governor, St George's Church of England Academy, Darlington (2005-2016) Chair of Governors, Mt Pleasant Primary School, Darlington (2009 - ) Governor, Hurworth Primary, Darlington (2011 - 2015) Chair of Board of Trustees, Lingfield Education Trust, Darlington (2014 - ) Others: - Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board, HMP Kirklevington, Yarm (2008 - 2015) Councillor, Middleton St George Parish Council, (2004 - 2011) Councillor, Low Dinsdale Parish Council, (2015)
Graham is a chartered accountant and a partner in Teesside-based accountancy firm Baldwins LLP, where he works closely with over 40 academy trusts across the north east as well as a wide variety of commercial organisations. He has been a governor at Hurworth Primary since the summer of 2012 and became chair in early 2013. Graham was appointed as a Trustee of the MAT board at its inception and chairs the finance committee, where he brings his experience of academy finance and audit requirements to the trust. He has a nine year old daughter and in his spare time enjoys following cricket, supporting Middlesbrough FC and getting as much value as possible from his National Trust membership.
John was born and raised in Darlington. Within 10 years of qualifying as a teacher his career path had reached the post of Deputy Headteacher of a large primary school catering for children of service families on a front-line RAF fighter base at the end of the first Gulf War. After two years he was appointed as Head Teacher of a C of E (aided) primary school in Darlington. After three years he was temporarily seconded to the local authority’s School Improvement Team to lead on a Government sponsored information technology initiative. After a year his post was made substantive with a widened brief to incorporate the role of Primary Adviser for a number of primary schools within the authority, many of which were in challenging circumstances or in danger of ‘failing’ Ofsted inspection. He went on to train and qualify as an Ofsted Inspector and School Improvement Partner (SIP). In 2011 he took early retirement / voluntary redundancy from his position in the local authority’s School Improvement Team. John now enjoys engaging in part-time consultancy work with a number of local primary schools (outside Lingfield Education Trust) and for some national training providers. He is a Trustee of Lingfield Education Trust and was Chair of the Local Governing Body at Heathfield Primary School from 2014 - 2018.
Kathleen Whitmore has been a Governor at Heathfield Primary School for a number of years before joining the MAT Board in 2014. She taught in a local Secondary School for many years and has now retired. She has a keen interest in the development of curriculum standards and pupil welfare and to this end is chair of these committees both at LGB and MAT Board level. Recruitment of staff is high on her list of priorities and she has enjoyed short-listing and interviewing many people for posts both teaching and non teaching in Heathfield Primary and latterly for Senior Staff at MAT Board level. Her commitment and enthusiasm is appreciated by the staff and fellow governors who know her, and she will continue to challenge and support the work of Lingfield Education Trust for the foreseeable future.
John is a retired father of one who is an ex local authority employee of 26 years. John has lived in Darlington all his life and has a vast knowledge of the town. John also used to be health and safety rep for Unison. He has been involved in several building projects which he enjoyed very much and has a keen eye for detail on paper and in productivity. John has been a Primary School governor since 2011 having a particular focus for health and safety and looked after children. John also enjoys helping on school trips. He enjoys challenging, questioning and supporting as a Trustee on the MAT board and is a founder member of Lingfield Education Trust.
Colin was born in Darlington in 1951. At 29 years old he became the youngest Captain in the British Merchant Navy, in charge of the biggest oil tanker in the world at the time, a 450,000 ton super tanker.
Colin was made the US Liaison Officer on behalf of the Kuwaiti government and assisted in the creation of the Chesapeake Shipping Company. After being held hostage for 6 months by the Iraqi government, Colin returned to the UK and created the company Simply Thank You, a gift company that has only gone from strength to strength.
Colin became a Trustee for Lingfield Education Trust in 2017.
Academy trusts also have a higher level of governance at 'Member' level. Our members are:
Stuart Crowther - appointed 1st September 2014
Dame Dela Smith - appointed 1st September 2014
James Edwards - appointed 2nd February 2017
Tim Damer - appointed 2nd February 2017
Roy Thomason - appointed 30th January 2018