MR CHRIS SMITH JP – CHAIR OF GOVERNORS
I joined the Board of Governors in September 2012, became Vice-Chair in 2016 and Chair in 2018. I am a solicitor in practice with international insurance firm Thomas Miller Law Ltd and have 5 years’ experience lecturing in law at university. I take a keen interest in the development of young people for the modern workplace and in community volunteering; in addition to my role at the Academy I am also a magistrate sitting in Tyne & Wear.
Originally a parent governor, but now an appointed governor, I joined the governing body in spring 2010.
I am married with 3 children: our daughter attends the academy and our two sons are now at university. I have an honours degree in Education and Mathematics and am a qualified primary school teacher, training as a maths specialist (age range specialism 8 to 12 years). Currently, I am link governor for maths and numeracy. As well as serving as a governor at Lord Lawson, I am also currently chair of governors at a City of Sunderland primary school, where I have been a governor since spring 2001. I am treasurer of the local branch of a national charity, which I set up several years ago with a friend. As a family we enjoy the great outdoors and (despite my total lack of coordination!) I have fun tap dancing.
I am a resident of Birtley and the parent of two school-age children. Education is of particular interest to me and I’m passionate about awareness, enablement and empowerment, specifically around the issue of internet safety and cybersecurity. I am also a parent governor at Ravensworth Terrace Primary School, sit on an Industrial Advisory Board at the University of Northumbria and the Employee Liaison Board at Sunderland University. I am also a member of Gateshead NHS Trust and a doctorate student at Sunderland University.
I am a Parent/Governor and have two daughters in the Academy. I was a Parent/Governor at their Primary School for 6 years before joining the Governing Body at Lord Lawson. I am a Teaching Assistant working in the SEND Department at a local Secondary School, specialising in Autism and am also the link Governor for SEND.
Originally from Cumbria, I have lived in the North East since attending Medical school in Newcastle. My husband is from Gateshead, and I have settled here and worked locally as a GP since 2002.
I have 2 children at Lord Lawson. I am also Governor at Springwell Village Primary School. I have an interest in, and experience with Safeguarding and also the provision of Mental health support for both adults and children.
I am committed to working with the team at Lord Lawson to help the school and its pupils flourish.
I joined the Governing Body in November 2018 and have a son in Year 8. I currently work in a primary school in Gateshead as a School Business Manager and have been part of their Governing Body for 4 years. I am passionate about education and ensuring that every child gets the opportunity to reach their full potential. I am excited to join the Governing Body and support staff, children and parents through any challenges that lie ahead.
During my 25 year career in local government in a range of economic development and regeneration roles, I have been constantly reminded of the absolutely fundamental role that schools play in preparing our young people for the exciting and often daunting world of further education/training and work. I want to contribute as much as I can to ensure that Lord Lawson provides the best possible education for all its students. I have two children currently studying at Lord Lawson with a third due to start in September 2019, so the school has been and will continue to be, an important part of my family’s life.
I joined the governing body in February 2019, appointed by the local authority. I am a resident of Birtley and a retired infant school headteacher. I have also been a governor at St Joseph’s Junior school in Birtley and for several years was Chair of Governors. I am currently the Labour Party candidate in Lamesley ward for the elections happening in May 2019. I am delighted to join the governor’s of Lord Lawson Academy and to contribute in any way I can to the success of the school.
I was born in Morecambe and educated in Hereford. After a music degree at Exeter University, I worked as an accountant for seven years, including four years as a finance officer for St John’s College, Durham University. I then retrained as a teacher and taught in Warwickshire and Berkshire. I then spent ten years at Wolsingham School in County Durham as faculty leader for performing arts. After serving as assistant headteacher at a high-performing school in Cumbria, I took up the post of headteacher at Dane Court Grammar School in Broadstairs, Kent, an outstanding school serving a very mixed community. Prior to coming to Lord Lawson, I worked as Senior School Improvement Officer for North Tyneside Council. My main subjects are mathematics and music. I have also taught English, science and RE, and I have particular expertise and interest in curriculum development and educational assessment. I am glad to be joining Lord Lawson at this time of growth and change. I can see that the academy has clear potential for improvement, and I am committed to working with staff, parents, students and governors to drive up standards of behaviour and achievement.
I have worked at Lord Lawson since 2007 and worked up to middle management (Geography Subject Leader) after also fulfilling the roles of Deputy Head of House and Acting Head of House, across two houseblocks (Fleet and Turner). This has given me an insight into management at both the pastoral and academic side of the Academy. However, I still see myself as very much being a classroom teacher at heart, and I am fully invested in trying to provide the best learning environment for our students; this means working towards removing any barriers to their learning to boost progress. I am also a big advocate of the social side of working life, in trying to build a more positive work-life balance for staff and ensuring that staff-moral remains high to ensure that we can provide the best teaching, support and guidance for our young people.
I am a resident of Birtley and have been for many years. All three of my children attended Lord Lawson, as did I before them.
My career at Lord Lawson began in November 2002 and I have filled various roles, my most current being a member of the Pastoral team as Student Welfare and Family Liaison Officer for Talbot house block. I am passionate about raising and maintaining our standards in behaviour, achievement and attendance and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safeguarding and welfare of all of our pupils.
Claire’s family has just moved to the local area, with her eldest joining Lord Lawson in Yr9 last September from Thorpe Academy, and her daughters in Yr 3&4 on their way up! As a senior leader with responsibility for SEN and vulnerable learners, as well as pastoral lead, in a Newcastle primary school, Claire is passionate about making learning accessible for all and, as a mum of three, she is equally keen to make learning creative and interesting for everyone! With this mind, Claire is excited to become a governor at the Academy and looks forward to working with staff, other parents and pupils alike to make Lord Lawson an inspirational and outstanding place to learn. Claire is very positive about the Academy and the support her son has received since joining. We felt her strategic experience in pastoral leadership and of working with SEN and vulnerable learners, she would add strength and depth to our team.
Heather is a resident of Birtley and a mother of two children; one attending the Academy in year 7 and one at St. Joseph’s Junior School on the way up. Heather is passionate about education and the opportunities it offers to change lives. She has a keen interest in raising aspirations and encouraging children to realise their path is not predetermined and to carve their own future. Heather is currently a Year 5 teacher at Carr Hill Primary (a Gateshead feeder school) with 15 years experience. Much of this time has been dedicated to seeding life goals and highlighting the role education plays in achieving these. Having helped many children make the transition to Lord Lawson, she now looks forward to watching their progress. Previously a staff governor for many years, at Carr Hill Primary, Heather is excited to contribute to Lord Lawson’s journey. Heather impressed us with an incisive and highly analytical analysis of our two Ofsted reports which revealed values that were clearly in alignment with our own and a deep, technical understanding of what underpins effective teaching and learning and school development.
Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy Trust is constituted as a charitable company limited by guarantee and is registered with Companies House. The Constitution of the Academy is set out in the Articles of Association which are agreed with the Secretary of State. There are two tiers of governance consisting of Members and governors.
The functions of the Members are:
• To oversee the achievement objectives of the company
• Receive and adopt the annual report and accounts from the Board of Trustees
• Take part in annual and general meetings
• Appoint some of the Governors
• Power to amend the Articles of Association and ultimately remove governors
Members have limited involvement in the strategic management of the company as this rests with the Board of Governors who are also known as Directors.
[/sa_tab][sa_tab title=Attendance id=Attendance]
[/sa_tab][sa_tab title=Interests id=Interests]
[/sa_tab][sa_tab title=Appointment id=Appointment]
[/sa_tab][sa_tab title=Committee id=Committee]
[/sa_tab][sa_tab title=MeetingDates id=MeetingDate]