Trustees and Members


Trustees are responsible for directing the Academy Trust’s operations and are responsible for making key strategic decisions and providing strategic leadership, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.

Graeme McGregor (Chair of Trust Board)

Graeme is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience across FTSE 100 companies. Graeme completed his articles with KPMG before joining ICI Tioxide, Southern Africa where he worked in the finance department. He was transferred to the UK in 1997, joining ICI Katalco and held numerous senior finance roles as the organisation expanded. Following the sale of the business to Johnson Matthey, Graeme was appointed the Divisional Finance Director and together with the Divisional Managing Director, they embarked on an aggressive acquisition strategy.

In 2010, Graeme continued to broaden his experience by moving into general management and has led numerous global businesses across the Johnson Matthey portfolio including their Oil & Gas and Process Technologies portfolio.

In 2018, Graeme was promoted to Managing Director – New Markets (Johnson Matthey), reporting directly to the company CEO &CFO. He worked with numerous leadership teams and across a variety of markets (fuel cells, medical, life sciences, plastics, etc) to develop their strategies and enhance their value to the Johnson Matthey portfolio.

Graeme believes that leadership involves empowering the people, supporting them to maximise their potential and ensuring that every decision is taken at the appropriate level.

Graeme has recently retired from Johnson Matthey and is looking to spend time on the golf course whilst supporting the local community.

Mark Fletcher
Mark is a highly experienced Internal Audit Assistant Manager, Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist, Academy Finance Director and AAT Qualified Accountant. Currently an Internal Assurance Assistant Manager for a well-established Audit and Accountancy practise providing internal and external risk or compliance auditing services to several public, private and industry sector clients. Mark has over 16 Years’ experience and currently works with over 45 different academies providing Financial guidance, Internal Assurance and Risk Management guidance to a diverse group of clients but specialising in working with small single academies to larger multi academy trusts all over the north east and further afield.He is very experienced in the assessing the compliance of educational establishments with statutory legislation to ensure that procedures implemented provide significant value and transparency. He identifies and exposes any consequences to the academies that may occur as a result of ineffective or missing key controls. Mark is also highly skilled in maintaining current or forging new relationships with clients whilst enhancing the reputation and effectiveness of the internal audit service.
Philomena Abrahams

Philomena Abrahams (Marshall) OBE.

More than 40 years’ experience as a successful teacher and leader in schools in Inner London and The North East of England, predominantly in those serving complex communities with high levels of deprivation. 25 years’ experience as a Secondary School Principal, Executive Principal, Consultant Education Director and Education Advisor working with Primary and Secondary Sectors, Local Authority Schools, Single Academy Trusts and Multi Academy Trusts serving complex communities and pupils aged 2 – 19.

In roles of Headteacher and Executive Principal, 15 years of experience in successfully halting decline and significantly improving the education outcomes, quality of pupil welfare support, parental perception and growth of 3 different “failing” secondary schools.

Extensive experience in successfully leading organisation development, systems development, leadership development and staff training and development. Awarded OBE for services to education 2017 New Year’s Honours. Accredited Senior Adviser, Association of Education Advisers (AOEA) in 2021.

John Hind
Awaiting information
Michael McCarthy

Michael has been Chief Executive Officer of The Priestley Academy Trust in Bradford since September 2021; the trust comprises of 6 primary schools. Before this role Michael was Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Tyne Coast Academy Trust in the North East consisting of primary and secondary schools as well as a successful UTC. With an extensive educational leadership background and passion for turning around schools in difficult circumstances, Michael is driven by challenge and doing the right thing by those who need it most. He is driven by the moral purpose of education and providing the best possible opportunities for all, especially those who need it most. Michael has worked in a range of schools including Catholic education and Church of England schools and has served on the Board or Governing Body on 7 different occasions as both staff and non-staff so knows governance. He has extensive experience of corporate governance and has been part of investigation panels and hearings. Outside of work Michael is a season ticket holder at Newcastle United


Galileo has 4 Members who determine the ethos and purpose of the Trust (i.e. the provision of education) and the way it will be governed (which will be set out in the Articles of Association) and will have a right (not an obligation) to participate in governance by appointing and removing Trustees.
They also have a right to receive the Trustees’ annual report and accounts and to attend general meetings of the Trust.

Tom Havelock
Tom Havelock is a former Headteacher of 3 different primary schools before becoming Principal Primary Adviser for Redcar & Cleveland LA. His career includes a year’s secondment to OfSTED where he acquired Registered Inspector status where he led and had involvement in school inspections.

Tom was approached by the Local Authority to work with the Landmark Teaching Alliance as School Improvement Adviser where he was responsible for raising standards and managing a programme of Professional Development for workforce for the 10 schools in alliance, with a particular focus on developing leaders and succession planning. He is an accredited & trained Consultant Leader, External Adviser & School Improvement Partner.
As an independent educational consultant Tom was involved in the planning & delivery of the ‘Closing the Gap’ programme across LAs in the north east and in training programmes for School Self Improvement & Developing Aspiring Leaders.

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is the Diocesan Director of Education (DDE) for the Diocese of York. He is a qualified teacher with over 30 years’ worth of experience in primary education and, prior to this role, was the Headteacher of a church school for over ten years, securing good and outstanding judgements in both Ofsted and SIAMS inspections. Andrew has also worked successfully in a number of collaborative partnerships, including within Teaching Schools and with schools overseas, particularly focusing on developing effective school leadership and shared curriculum development.

Andrew currently represents the Diocese of York Educational Trust (DYET) as a corporate Member on Multi Academy Trusts and is a director of DBE Services, a consortia of several Church of England dioceses in the north of England. He is also a Trustee of the National Society which oversees the work of Church School education nationally.

Janet Dack
Awaiting information
Maurice Jones
Maurice Jones is a retired senior police officer with over thirty years’ experience of governance. He has served as a governor in maintained special schools in two local authority areas, chairing various committees. He was a founding governor of Stockton Borough First Federation, a hard federation of two special schools and served as vice chair of the board until it’s conversion to a Multi Academy Trust in 2013. Maurice continued as a Director/ Trustee of Horizons Specialist Multi Academy Trust, remaining as vice chair of the board and subsequently Chair. The Trust Has expanded so that by September 2021 it will comprise 5 Academies, a sixth form and a Pupil Referral Unit. He intends to stand down as chair of the board in September 2021, but will remain as a Director.
Maurice has served as a Member of Galileo Trust since 2019.