Governance and policy 

Trust Governance Structure - Preston.PNG
Our Trustees

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. Please click on each Trustee's name for their Register of Business Interests. 

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.

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.

Emma joined Lingfield Education Trust as a Trustee in November 2019.  She has over 20 years’ experience of working in education across a range of different schools.  Emma has served as the Head Teacher of The Avenue Primary School for five years and has recently been appointed as the CEO of the James Cook Learning Trust, of which The Avenue is part.  Emma has a particular interest in curriculum development and ensuring all children are offered a broad and balanced education.  She is committed to developing others and supports leaders completing the NPQH leadership programme and also the Schools Direct Initial Teacher Training course.  Although relatively new, Emma is committed to being a Lingfield Trustee and being part of the exciting future ahead. 

Awaiting pen portrait

Alaric joined Lingfield Education Trust as a Trustee in March 2021. He is a Management Consultant from Whitley Bay, whose professional practice encompasses public, private and voluntary sectors. He has previously been a School Governor and a Non-Executive Director for a NHS Trust. He teaches Corporate Strategy and Projects at the triple-accredited Open University Business School.

Rita has over 25 years’ experience of working at a senior management level in the public, private and voluntary sector; the last 5 as Chief Executive of Tees Valley Rural Action.  The majority of Rita’s career has been working in the rural areas of North Yorkshire and has worked at a grass roots level with community and voluntary organisations assisting them with capacity building, governance and project development.  Rita has extensive experience in strategic business development, organisational management, programme development and business mentoring. Rita is a member of the Institution of Economic Development and the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. Rita is also a volunteer Trustee/Director for Serenity Social and Therapeutic Horticulture based in Darlington and of Blueboxt Productions Ltd based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

Jenny is a qualified Accountant and Finance Professional with management experience in regional and global environments. Jenny worked in a range of operational and regulatory roles including in Internal Audit and has a thorough understanding and application of supply chain management, transport, logistics and customer services. Career highlights include leading transformation projects and developing systems and service strategies that have been successful in delivering improved profitability. Jenny enjoys leading and developing diverse teams and is passionate about helping other women step up into senior leadership positions through mentoring and coaching.

Our Members

Academy trusts also have a higher level of governance at 'Member' level. Our members are: 

Stuart Crowther      - appointed 1st September 2014

James Edwards     - appointed 2nd February 2017

Tim Damer             - appointed 2nd February 2017

Roy Thomason       - appointed 30th January 2018

Malcolm Shorney   - appointed 1st September 2020

Please click on each Member's name for their Register of Business Interests. 

“The first 5 years have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out.”
Bill Gates