The Members of the Multi Academy Trust (Bishop Robert Byrne, Mrs Deborah Fox, Rev Simon Lerche and Rev Canon Peter Leighton) appoint the Board of Directors to ensure the MAT is run in accordance with its aims and objectives.
The Directors are responsible for:
- Ensuring the quality of educational provision
- Challenging and monitoring performance
- Managing finances and property
- Managing the Headteachers of each academy within the Trust
The Directors are:
Mr Daniel O’Mahoney Director (Chair)
Daniel has been at the forefront of public relations and reputation management in the North of England for over 20 years. He is a founding partner of Bradley O'Mahoney Public Relations which was established in 1991 and has advised a vast range of clients in the public and private sectors. Private sector clients the firm has represented include large law firms and construction companies. Public sector clients include the local Universities and Councils.
Mr David Chandler Director (Chair of Audit & Risk Committee)
David is a qualified accountant (CIMA) with over 20 years post qualification experience. He has worked at a senior level in finance across a number of organisations in the NHS across the North East. For 5 years now David has been the Deputy Chief Officer and Chief Finance Officer for Sunderland CCG which is a £500m NHS organisation that effectively purchases / commissions health care services for the people of Sunderland.
Mr John Deighan MBE Director (Safeguarding Link Director)
John worked as a national operations director for a chain of hotels across the country. Prior to this he was Operations Director in the North and HR Director. Throughout his career, John was an inspirational leader who championed staff development and directed change. He was awarded an MBE in 1999 for his contribution to the strategic development and launch of the New Deal in Sheffield.
Rev Adrian Dixon Director
A Priest of the Diocese, Fr. Dixon has extensive pastoral experience serving as a foundation governor on the boards of Secondary and Primary Schools over a period of 30 years.
Mrs Claire Emmerson Director (Chair of Finance Committee)
Claire is a qualified accountant (CIPFA) with over 11 years post qualification experience. She has worked in the public sector for over 28 years, spending the majority of that time working in Finance. Claire has worked at a senior level in finance across a number of public sector organisations, from Local Government, the Civil Service and the NHS.
For the last 4 years Claire has worked as Deputy S151 Officer for North Tyneside Council. She has a wide portfolio and is responsible for strategic financial planning for the Authority, this includes being the strategic lead for schools’ finance. She is responsible for the statutory finance role for schools and brings a wealth and breadth of relevant knowledge and skills to her role as Director within the Trust.
Ms Helen Hardy Director
Helen is the founder/owner of an HR consultancy. She is an experienced HR professional who specialises in sustainable business transformation, cultural change and business improvement. She has managed the transfer and integration of 12 acquisitions to an organisation and worked at HR Director level. Helen is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has a post graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management.
Helen attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy as a student.
Mrs Denise Kendall Director (Chair of Standards Committee and SEND Link Director)
Denise is a retired primary school Head Teacher who has held senior leadership positions in Diocesan Catholic primary schools for more than 30 years. She also supported the Diocesan Department for Education as a Recruitment Adviser and Religious Education Inspector for many years. Denise is an experienced school governor of Secondary, Primary and First Schools. Following National recruitment and assessment, she was appointed a National Leader of Governance in 2013 and as a result has significant experience of supporting Governing Bodies in developing their role.
Mrs Andrea Shanks Director (Vice-Chair)
Andrea is a qualified solicitor and has worked at Northumbria University for 26 years in the following positions: Principal Lecturer, Associate Dean, Head of School of Law. During this time, she helped establish the internationally recognised Student Law Office; led all inspections of quality of education in the department for 15 years; and represented the Law School with the regulators of the Law Society, the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority which provided experience in the structure and discipline of educational programmes.
Andrea has chaired a number of Boards and Committees and has been a Foundation Governor at St. Anthony's Girls School (latterly Academy) for 20 years, elected as Chair of Governors in 2008. Andrea became Chair of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Education Trust in 2018 and held this position until the merger with Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust in 2020. Andrea is also a Trustee for the Sisters of Mercy Sunderland.