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.

Claire Graham Brown
Claire is the Deputy Director of Education at the Diocese of York, providing guidance and support to Church of England schools and academies on governance and related matters. She has a key interest in developing governance structures to facilitate collaborative working between Church and non-Church schools. Prior to taking up her role at the Diocese, she gained experience as a solicitor, initially in private practice and latterly in house, most recently at Imperial College London. During her time as a solicitor, Claire provided legal advice to a range of educational and other organisations, including schools and academies.
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.
Julie Deville
Mme Deville is Exec Head/CEO of Extol Academy Trust, a growing MAT within the North East of England incorporating schools from Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Sunderland. The Trust’s aims are of aspiration and achievement, personal responsibility, self-discipline and mutual respect for all.

Julie has substantive experience as Headteacher and has led and improved three schools in different socio-economic areas of England. She has significant knowledge of effective school improvement and as an NLE has been deployed as interim Headteacher in a number of schools causing concern, she currently supports the DfE School Improvement offer and One Vision programme. Julie is passionate about the school led system and system leadership and has committed to being a coach for Women Ed and supporting the roll out of Early Careers Framework within the North East. Julie has experience of working with primary and secondary Leadership Teams to promote effective and sustainable change management. She has been involved with wider education as both an additional inspector for Ofsted and as an Education Adviser which supported the work of the RSC.

Julie champions education in the North East and is a member of the TeachFirst Strategy Board, and proactive supporter of Schools North East.

Ashleigh Lees
Ashleigh is currently the Headteacher of a Church academy based on Teesside. Ashleigh has worked at the school since it opened in 2003, helping to develop and shape the success of the academy. The academy is one of four church secondaries in the Diocese of York.
Andrew Thom
Andy is a qualified solicitor with many years of experience advising in matters of corporate governance in both public and private sector organisations. As Head of Legal & Democratic Services at Northumberland County Council Andy was required to ensure the effective governance of the Council, its committees, sub-committees and working groups ensuring compliance with both statute and the Council’s constitution. As well as providing advice, training and other assistance to elected members on their roles and responsibilities as Councillors. In that role Andy was responsible for the efficient delivery of all legal and democratic services including electoral registration ensuring effective delivery and value for money and furthermore acted as the principal legal advisor and Monitoring Officer for the Council. From 2017 Andy spent three years at Northern Education Trust as Trust Secretary and was responsible for ensuring that the Trust complied with the relevant legislation and the Articles of Association and rules and regulations made under the Articles, the Education Acts, the Charities Act, Company Law, EFA law and any other relevant legislation and guidance. During this time Andy also established procedures for the sound governance of the Trust and advised the Trust Board on developments in governance issues whilst also ensuring that meetings of the Trust Board and Committees ran efficiently and effectively, that they are properly recorded, and that Trustees and Directors received appropriate support. Andy is currently Group General Counsel for the Great Annual Savings Group where he provides expert advice on a broad range of contractual, compliance and regulatory issues; drafting, negotiating and advising on a wide variety of contracts; monitoring and advising on legislative and regulatory developments; as well as developing policies, procedures and processes.
Darren Ditchburn
Awaiting information
John Hind
Awaiting information
Philomena Abrahams
Awaiting information


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.