WHO ARE WE

ESF MEMBERS

Who are we

Stewart McKinlay

Chairman

Stewart is married with four grown up children and in his professional life he currently leads the worldwide Research and Development activities for Smith & Nephew’s Advanced Wound Management Division based out of Kingston upon Hull. Smith & Nephew is Europe’s largest Medical Device Manufacturer and his teams research and develop new Medical Devices to be used in the Healthcare systems of over 130 countries.

Who are we

Professor Trevor Cooling

Member

Professor Trevor Cooling is a Professor Emeritus of Christian Education at Canterbury Christ Church University UK. He was Chair of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales from 2015-2021 and is now Project Director for the REC's Religion and Worldviews Curriculum Development Project. He has worked as a secondary school teacher in biology and religious education, a university theology lecturer, a diocesan adviser, and CEO of a Christian Education charity. He has written extensively on both religious education and Church school ethos, including the impact of the concept of worldview on his own work.

Who are we

Dame Maura Regan

Member

Chief Executive Officer, Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust (formerly Carmel Education Trust) until her retirement in August 2022. Maura began her teaching career in London teaching History and RE, she returned to the North East to take a pastoral role before becoming Deputy Head Pastoral and subsequently Principal of Carmel College.

Who are we

Nigel Robson MBE

Member

Nigel was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and his involvement in Academies stretches back to 2002, when as Chair of the Chamber of Commerce in the North East he was determined to address the issue of historic underperformance of many of the regions LEA secondary schools. He was a lawyer in an international law firm and his positions included International Head of Engineering and Construction, Global Head of Energy, and Managing Partner. He was an accredited Mediator, and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

ESF BOARD OF DIRECTORS (TRUSTEES)

Who are we

Martin Oldknow

Trustee/Chair of audit and risk, LAC/SEND

Responsibilities: Safeguarding, and Health and Safety. Martin recently retired from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service after a career spanning 30 years. Martin reached the rank of Group Manager (Divisional Officer) and was Head of the Technical Fire Safety department. Martin has over 15 years’ experience in Fire Safety and Emergency Planning. He now runs his own Fire Safety Consultancy and Training Company.

Who are we

Helen McEvoy

Trustee/Chair of Education and Standards

Helen McEvoy BSc., HDip.Ed., MA (Ed) taught Biology and Chemistry to A level and GCSE Physics and Maths for several years before working in School Improvement in a Local Authority and then gaining 12 years of secondary school headship experience. As a Headteacher she led school improvement in three secondary schools in challenging contexts, taking one from Ofsted ‘Serious Weaknesses’ to ‘Good’ in all categories.

Who are we

Peter Pickthall

Trustee/Vice-Chair/Chair of Finance and Resources

Responsibility: Health and Safety, Chair of Finance and Resources Committee and Remuneration Committee. Peter was formerly the Group HR Director for R&R Ice Cream (renamed Froneri), the second largest worldwide ice cream manufacturer, where in addition to HR duties he was also responsible for staff training and development across all countries. Peter was also a Justice of the Peace (Magistrate) in Cumbria for 23 years.

Who are we

Stewart McKinlay

Chairman

Stewart is married with four grown up children and in his professional life he currently leads the worldwide Research and Development activities for Smith & Nephew’s Advanced Wound Management Division based out of Kingston upon Hull. Smith & Nephew is Europe’s largest Medical Device Manufacturer and his teams research and develop new Medical Devices to be used in the Healthcare systems of over 130 countries.

Who are we

Dr Mark Pike

CEO/Trustee

Dr Mark Pike MA, PGCE, MBA, PhD, has led the MAT to provide ‘Christian-ethos schools of character’ in disadvantaged areas for over 8000 children and young people (from 5000 in 2019) and from an annual budget of around £30m to £60m. Dr Pike is the author of books such as Ethical English (Bloomsbury), Mere Education (Lutterworth) and Citizenship and Moral Education (Routledge) and Visiting Professor of Education at Leeds University.

Who are we

Dr Simon Goon

Trustee

Simon is Chief Technology & Investment Officer at UMi, a national business services company. Simon originally started out as a chemist but for the last 20 years has held a variety of commercial and strategy development roles in the private and public sectors, including running his own business and an AI start up. Simon is married and lives in Durham and has two adult children.

ESF EXECUTIVE TEAM

Who are we

Dr Mark Pike

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Mark Pike MA, PGCE, MBA, PhD, has led the MAT to provide ‘Christian-ethos schools of character’ in disadvantaged areas for over 8000 children and young people (from 5000 in 2019) and from an annual budget of around £30m to £60m. Dr Pike is the author of books such as Ethical English (Bloomsbury), Mere Education (Lutterworth) and Citizenship and Moral Education (Routledge) and Visiting Professor of Education at Leeds University.

Who are we

Mark Chambers

Chief Operating Officer

Mark’s education career has been in teaching, school and local authority leadership and latterly leading a Professional Association and Charity. Mark has curriculum expertise (he co-wrote the Programme of Study for Computing in England and has contributed to similar national curriculum development in other nations), school leadership and professional development experience.

PRINCIPALS

Who are we

Matt Waterfield

Lead Principal Emmanuel and Grace College

Matt Waterfield joined the Emmanuel Schools Foundation in February 2008, having previously taught mathematics, RE and PE and having served as a deputy headteacher. In 2009, he joined the Senior Management Team at Emmanuel College and has led the school since September 2015. Matt played in leading role in the adoption of Jospeh Swan Academy (now Grace College) into ESF in 2019 and since April 2023 has been back at Grace College as Lead Principal whilst maintaining oversight of Emmanuel College. Having moved to Northumberland in 1990 and remained in the region since then, Matt has a passion for the economic, cultural, and spiritual regeneration of the North East. Matt has served as chair of the Gateshead secondary headteachers group from 2018 until 2023 and has a particualr interest in leadership development and school improvement.

Who are we

Andrew Thelwell

Lead Principal Bede Academy

Andrew Thelwell joined Bede Academy and the Emmanuel Schools Foundation as Principal of Bede Academy in April 2019. Andrew obtained a degree in Biblical Theology from Manchester University at Regents Theological College before completing his PGCE at Kings College, London. He then served as a Religious Studies teacher, senior leader and Deputy Headteacher in schools in Hertfordshire, Somerset and West Yorkshire.

Who are we

Vic Gibson

Principal Trinity Academy

Vic Gibson joined Trinity Academy as Head of School in June 2020 before stepping into the role of Principal. Prior to joining Emmanuel Schools foundation, she worked in Hull and East Riding schools over a period of 23 years, the last 18 in Senior Management positions, and was the youngest teacher in the country to gain a national PLATO for Science teaching. She completed her National Qualification for Headship a number of years ago and is currently studying for the Executive qualification in Headship.

Who are we

Nicky White

Primary Principal - Bede Academy

Nicky White graduated from the University of Exeter in mathematics and education and started her career as a mathematics teacher in Guildford. After three years, she changed career and qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant, working in the City of London for three years in international banking. Nicky moved up to Yorkshire to have a family. She resumed her teaching career following the career break and worked in outstanding schools within the primary and secondary sectors.

Who are we

Julie Normanton

Principal Christ's College

After 29 years of working in schools in the North East. Julie has served as a senior leader in 2 schools in Durham before joining ESF in 2015, where she joined the team at Emmanuel College, serving on the Senior Leadership team in pastoral roles. In 2018, Julie took up post as Vice Principal (Pastoral and Ethos) in Bede Academy, Blyth. During her time at Bede, Julie worked closely with other schools in the trust to provide some school improvement support and have taken a lead on ethos and character education.

Who are we

Simon Reader

Acting Principal The King's Academy

Simon Reader joined The King’s Academy as a trainee teacher in September 2008 after completing a chemistry degree at The University of St Andrews. Simon has held a number of roles in the Academy, joining the senior leadership team in 2015 and serving as Senior Vice Principal from February 2017 and Acting Principal from November 2022. Simon is currently studying for the National Professional Qualification in Headship.

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