Who's Who

WEST Board of Directors

John Anderson                   St John's              Chair

Wendy Mitcheson               Broadwood        Vice-Chair

 

Samantha Robson              Bridgewater

Nitin Shukla                       Bridgewater

Meg Fisher                         Broadwood

Kathryn Herron                  Canning Street

Peter Thomson                   Canning Street

Jane Dube                         Hawthorn

David Drewe                      Hawthorn

Linda Hall                          Moorside Primary School

Pauline Piddington              Moorside Primary School

Tracey Caffrey                   St John's

George Curry                     St Paul's

Judith Sword                      St Paul's                          

Jane Mullarkey                   Wingrove

Asad Haque-Ahsan             Wingrove

Alison Priestley                   Newcastle CC

Liz Todd                             Newcastle University

Chris Drinkwater                 Well Newcastle Gateshead

David Jones                        Centre for Life

Clare Smith                        TWAM

 

Trust Officer

Helen Thomson

Email: helen.thomson@bridgewater.newcastle.sch.uk
Telephone: 0191 274 5290
Working Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays term time only

  • Tracey Caffrey

    I've been part of the St John's family since 1996 and immensely proud to be headteacher for the past ten years.

    I'm passionate about making learning exciting and memorable for children and look back on my own school years with joy. We all remember those teachers who inspired us and helped shape the people we are now and I think I'm lucky to work in WEST with a whole team of people who do that every day. I love that being part of a trust of eight schools gives us the chance to share ideas and develop. I'm not shy about the fact that I never leave another school without at least a couple of great ideas worth stealing!

    Working in a primary school means there are no two days the same and surprises wait around every corner. I've long accepted that there are often days that I don't do any of the work that I had planned, but I have the best job in the world (most of the time).

    On a personal level, I'm married with two grown-up sons and a dog called Wilf. I take every chance I can to travel and enjoy visiting new places and exploring. I love to feel the sun on my face but I find it increasingly difficult to sit still! The world is a big place and I plan to see as much of it as I can.

  • John Anderson

    I am a retired solicitor and law graduate of Newcastle University. I have lived all my life in the west of the city.

    I am a governor of St John’s Primary School in Benwell and a volunteer with the NSPCC Schools Service.

    I can often be found in second hand book shops, browsing and sometimes even buying!

  • Kathryn Herron

    I have been Headteacher at Canning Street since 2017. I have worked at Canning Street as Deputy Head and Phase Leader since 2006 and have enjoyed working in the West end and getting to know the people and the community.

    Previous to that I taught for a number of years in a small primary school in South Tyneside, which was also the primary school I attended as a child.

    I have two small children and enjoy spending time with them outdoors, cycling, running and playing tennis. We also like to spend time at the beach, whatever the weather.

  • Peter Thomson

    I have been a Governor of Canning Street Primary School for so long I can barely remember when I started! I was appointed as a Local Authority representative when I was elected to the City Council as Councillor for the Elswick area in 1984 and they still haven't got rid of me; even though I stopped being a Councillor over 10 years ago.

    I have worked in theatre, community arts, community development, arts and mental health, and as a consultant. Originally trained as a teacher I retain a keen interest in education and in the very special challenges schools face. I am currently Governor lead for Early Years in Canning Street Primary School and continue to live in the west end.

  • Jane Dube

    I was appointed to the board in January 2018. I am currently Head of Hawthorn Primary School and have worked in schools in the West of Newcastle since 2001. I am originally from Glasgow, Scotland and trained there before going overseas to teach in Zimbabwe, Africa. After living and working in Zimbabwe for over 10 years I moved to the North East.

  • David Drewe

    I am a solicitor and a partner in DAC Beachcroft Claims Ltd. Originally, I am from Liverpool but came to University in Newcastle, and basically have never left since! I am a governor at Hawthorn Primary School which is how I became associated with the Trust but my firm also supports Bridgewater School and we have a fantastic mural on our wall designed by one of Bridgwater's children as well as some lovely paintings of the bridges over the Tyne.

    Outside of work I am a season ticket holder at St James Park (long story!), enjoy cycling and walking and socialising with friends, with a terrible reputation for "daddy dancing"

  • Judith Sword

    Judith is the Head Teacher of St Paul’s Church of England Primary School, she gained her teaching qualifications from Durham University and has taught almost continuously at St Paul’s since 1976. Judith has been the Head Teacher at St Paul’s for twelve years.

    She is committed to serving the community of Elswick and has taught the parents and grandparents of many of the present pupils, she is also a member of Elswick Parish Church.

    Judith is married with two sons and two grandchildren.

  • George Curry

    I am a Governor of St Paul’s Primary School, Elswick. I am also a governor of an independent secondary school.

    I am Trustee of Centre West., Member of the Newcastle Diocesan Education Board and I am also a resident of Elswick.

  • Alison Priestley

    With a professional background in early years teaching, after having my own children I moved to working with families through the original Sure Start programme in the West End of the City. I have worked in schools, the voluntary sector and am now the Service Manager for Early Help in Newcastle employed by Newcastle City Council. I retain a passion for working with the very youngest children and their families and am keen to ensure that every child gets the best start in life. Building on that work I now work with children and young people of all ages, trying to ensure that they get the support they need at the earliest opportunity. I retain a strong affection for the West End following years of working here and am delighted to be part of the West Schools Trust Board.

  • Jane Mullarkey

    I am the head teacher at Wingrove Primary School, which is one of the eight schools in the Trust. I firmly believe in schools working together to ensure that all children are supported to achieve their very best and be happy. Our Trust aims to ensure that no child is left behind. We are committed to provide children with an exciting curriculum and through the engagement of our Trust partners we are able to provide a wide range of experiences for all of our children. I am also a Mum to two children which keeps me very busy. In my spare time I like to keep fit by doing Pilates and running and I love to go to see live music whenever I can. I trained at The Institute of Education in London where I gained a PGCE following my first degree (BAHons) in business and marketing.

  • Wendy Mitcheson

    It is a real privilege for me to return to schools in the West End in the role of Headteacher at Broadwood Primary school. I have been teaching for over 20 years and my passion for education is unwavering as I believe every child deserves the best education and opportunities possible. Being part of the Trust is fantastic as everybody within the Trust is fully committed in trying to achieve the same goals for our children, and the collaboration is so valuable!

    I am mum to 3 children and also take care of Broadie (our school dog) who all keep me very busy. Being a mum is an absolute joy and my hopes and ambitions for their experience of school life certainly sets the bar for what I strive to achieve for all children.

    I prefer to be in the great outdoors so in my spare time you will find me walking Broadie, cycling or climbing mountains – Ben Nevis being the highest climb so far!

  • Meg Fisher

    I worked as an analytical chemist in the pharmaceutical industry before I retired some years ago. I am on the board of governors at Broadwood Primary school. I attend the Church of the Holy Spirit Denton and am involved in many activities there including toddlers club and community lunches. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, reading and needlework.

  • Sam Robson

    I have been teaching for 25 years and a Head teacher for the past 10 years at Bridgewater School which is a 0-11 years school. I have worked in 4 schools in Newcastle, all in the West End and I worked for four and a half years as Deputy Head in a school in Hebburn, South Tyneside. I have a Psychology degree, PGCE and a Masters in Education. I represent our Trust on a number of Boards and I am working with Newcastle University, the LA and all the voluntary sector organisations in the West End to develop our Children’s Community.

    I have mentored new Heads and was Head of another school in our Trust for a year alongside my own. I am an Achievement Partner for a Newcastle School and I am involved in school to school support through Newcastle’s ‘Promise Board’.

    My passion is making a difference for children and families particularly in challenging circumstances and as a Head I like to be as involved as possible working directly with the children and their parents.

  • Liz Todd

    I am a Professor of Educational Inclusion. I research community schools, youth voice, the impact of poverty on schools and theory of change approach to evaluation of initiatives. I also works on the engagement of young people in development and research, and the practice of respectful democratic approaches to change (personal and organisational). I am a Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Social Science at. This Institute champions Newcastle University’s world leading in the social sciences and forges partnerships between the university and external organisations in order to contribute to creative solutions to societal challenges. I am co-editor of the International Journal of Research and Method in Education. My books Beyond the school gates; can extended schools overcome disadvantage? and Partnerships for inclusive education were highly commended. I continue to be a practitioner.

    I have worked as a maths teacher and an educational psychologist before moving to Fiji for 3 years to the University of the South Pacific, which started my academic career. I still work as a trainer in video interaction guidance and undertake narrative team building with small charities.

  • Chris Drinkwater

    I was an inner city GP in Newcastle for 23 years and he is now emeritus Professor of Primary Care Development at Northumbria University. I lead the establishment of HealthWORKS Newcastle as a City Challenge project in the early 1990s. I chair, Ways to Wellness, a charitable foundation established to deliver social prescribing at scale through a social impact bond in Newcastle upon Tyne, and Well Newcastle Gateshead, a Well North pathfinder with a focus on arts and health for all.

    Along the way I have been variously, President and Public Health lead for the NHS Alliance, Deputy Chair and Chair of the Philanthropy Committee for Northumberland, Tyne & Wear Community Foundation, and the Sir Roy Griffiths/Age Concern/RCGP Prince of Wales, Educational Fellow for Older People. I was at different times Head of the Department of Primary Health Care at Newcastle University and Head of the Primary Care Development Centre at Northumbria University.

    Away from all this, I can be found exploring the North Pennines or visiting interesting islands - the Faroes, the Farnes and Corsica most recently.

  • David Jones

    I was appointed to the Board in June 2018. I works in the Life Science Centre where he is Community Liaison Manager. Prior to this I had a long career in housing management, most recently with Byker Community Trust where I was Head of Engagement and Community Development. I am a graduate of Northumbria University where I was awarded a PG DIP in Housing Studies and Management.

    I am passionate about working in partnership to support communities and making a difference to people’s life’s.

    In my spare time I play the bagpipes in a pipe band and I also follow Newcastle Eagles Basketball Team.

  • Linda Hall

    Head Teacher at Moorside and Director of West End Schools' Trust

  • Pauline Piddington

    I worked in education for almost 40 years. Having trained as a middle school teacher, I began my career as a class teacher and ended it as a Senior Inspector with the school improvement team of a local authority. My particular interests are curriculum and quality assurance.

    Now retired, I have been very pleased to be able to continue my association with education as a school governor and, more recently as a director of the Trust.

    My “just for fun” interests are gardening and learning [very slowly] to play the piano.

  • Clare Smith

    I am a museums professional with over 20 years’ experience of working with museum learning programmes and creative learning projects. I work for Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM).

    My work in museum learning has developed from a broad interest in creative learning. As a member of the TWAM learning team I initially worked at the Shipley Art Gallery where I developed and delivered a number of high profile learning programmes. I moved from the Shipley Art Gallery in 2006 to manage the regional learning team, part of the Renaissance in the regions programme. I am currently Learning and Volunteers programme Manager at TWAM, in which my remit is to focus on our work with children and young people.

  • Helen Thomson

    I qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 and worked in private practice.

    In 2017 I joined WEST as a Company Secretary/Trust Officer. I enjoy working with all eight of our schools, applying for grants and providing opportunities for the schools to learn and have fun together.

    In my spare time I am a Trustee for an emergency services charity and PTFA committee member at my local village Primary School. I enjoy yoga, baking and spending family time in our local countryside.

  • Nitin Shukla

    Nitin is Policy, Performance and Scrutiny Officer at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria and is currently seconded to Northumbria Police to focus on workforce development. He has worked in the public sector for over 30 years and has experience of equality and diversity. Nitin is Chair of Governors at Bridgewater Primary School and Chair of Haven Tyneside which provides supported accommodation for vulnerable people; Development Board Member of Marie Curie Hospice and member of the ITV Tyne Tees Diversity Panel. Nitin is also a member of Newcastle University Council and Secretary of the North East Gujarati Association.

  • Mr Asad Haque-Ahsan

    I am a Governor at Wingrove