Governance 

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The Chair of Governors can be contacted via Rebecca Tills, the Clerk to Governors at rebecca.tills@laidlawschoolstrust.com, Laidlaw Schools Trust, Suite 2, 3rd Floor, St Nicholas Building, St Nicholas’ Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RF or 0191 6622 416.

Peregrine Solly

Peregrine Solly

Chair of Governors

Prior to his involvement with the Laidlaw Schools Trust and The Children’s Foundation, Peregrine worked for two of the North East’s leading Companies: Vickers plc (later BAE Systems plc) and Scottish and Newcastle plc. His role for both companies took him all over the World and gave him a fascinating and unrivalled experience working across different cultures and different organisations. Peregrine still consults for a number of start-up companies, helping them to develop their businesses internationally. Although he has not been directly involved in education before joining the Trust, Peregrine grew up in a school, his brothers both teach and he is married to a teacher. He fully supports the Trust’s aim of improving the opportunities and life-chances of some of the most disadvantaged children and young people in the North East of England.

Stephen McCready

Stephen McCready

Vice Chair of Governors

Steve is a civil servant, working for the Government Digital Service (GDS), a directorate of the Cabinet Office. His role at GDS is to help other government departments to develop their digital and technology  strategies, and to ensure that investments in this space are in line with wider government strategy and standards. He has worked in the technology arena for the majority of his career, having previously worked at Newcastle University within the Computing and Library Services, and at IBM where he held a number of senior roles throughout the UK. Apart from Steve’s professional interactions with the education system, he is married to a teacher and has a daughter in the primary school system in Northumberland. Steve is committed to the Trust’s aims of improving the opportunities and life-chances of children and young people in the North East of England.

Salma Asghar

Salma Asghar

Local Governor

Salma Asghar is a current law student at Newcastle University as well as an ex-Westgate Hill Primary student. She joined the governors team to give back to the primary school that gave so much to her. Salma hopes to improve on community and parental engagement within the school and ensure pupils are getting the most out of their primary school education. She was also educated in Excelsior Academy, another school part of the Laidlaw Schools Trust, so she has a good idea on what the Trust is about. Salma is the Law Department Representative at her University therefore she has experience of professional interactions within the educational system. Salma is committed to the values the Trust holds in terms of improving the lives of disadvantaged students and giving pupils as many opportunities as they can grasp, just as she did whilst at Westgate Hill

Bernard Clark

Bernard Clark

Local Governor

Bernard Clark is a qualified teacher. Bernard has very recent experience as a specialist adviser for a school improvement team in the north of England following a secondment from his role as assistant headteacher in a large 11- 18 comprehensive school. Before that he was a subject leader for modern languages and director of specialism. He also has particular expertise in the sixth form.

Tasleem Akhtar

Tasleem Akhtar

Parent Governor

Zita Ali

Zita Ali

Parent Governor

Hannah Williamson

Hannah Williamson

Associate Governor

Laura Robb

Laura Robb

Associate Governor

I came to Newcastle in 1994 as a student and have lived here ever since. I now have a husband, who works in Sunderland, and 2 boys, who are both at secondary school. I have been a governor for nearly 8 years at West Jesmond Primary. I have really enjoyed being involved with this school, but now that my boys have moved on, it’s time to get involved in a different school in the city.

While being a governor I have learnt a lot about how education works and where Governance can really make a difference. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in at a new school and helping develop and grow the school in a way that will best serve the needs of all its diverse pupils and their families.

David Robinson

David Robinson

Local Governor