Trustee Pen Portraits

Mr Jonathan Parkinson – CEO of St Thomas More Partnership of Schools

Mr Parkinson joined St Thomas More Catholic School in September 1989 as the Head of Physics. Over the years he has been Head of Science, Assistant Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and was appointed to the post of Head Teacher of St Thomas More Catholic School in September 2005. During this time, the school converted from a voluntary aided school, initially to a single academy trust, and then in 2013 to a multi-academy trust. It became one of the first 50 Teaching Schools in the secondary phase and has been judged Outstanding twice by Ofsted.

Mr Parkinson still teaches A-level Physics and Psychology, but not at the same time. He is an active Ofsted Inspector and an Educational Advisor to the North East Regional Schools Commissioner. Mr Parkinson is also a Governor at Bede Academy in Blyth, which is part of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation.

As Chief Executive Officer of the St Thomas More Partnership of Schools, Mr Parkinson is responsible for the strategic oversight of the trust.

Mr John Hayes – Chair of Trustees and Chair of Local Governing Body at St Thomas More Catholic School

Mr Hayes is the Chair of Trustees, and the Chair of Governors at St Thomas More Catholic School. Mr Hayes first became involved with St Thomas More in 1979 when he became a pupil; both of his brothers attended, as did his two daughters. He became a parent governor at the school in 2002 and subsequently a Foundation Governor, Academy Director, and Multi Academy Director. Mr Hayes feels it has been interesting being involved in, and witnessing, the changes that have taken place with the school since he first started there, he thinks the transformation has been spectacular and the evolution continues. Mr Hayes’ main drive is to ensure that pupils attending have the best chance at a very good education, in a Catholic environment and that he can help to give something back to the school. He also enjoys working with, and learning from, an excellent contingent of staff, governors and directors right across the Partnership, who all possess great drive and determination in delivering the best for all of the pupils in our care.

Mr Hayes has been a Local Government Officer, within Environmental Health, for some 18 years now, dealing with legislation and businesses on a daily basis; prior to that he worked in the private sector which involved managing people from diverse backgrounds, as well as managing land and livestock and delivering on customer expectations. Mr Hayes expects to continue to be involved with the school and the development of the Multi-Academy Trust for a while yet, and believes that these developments, whilst challenging are vitally important if we are to ensure that our children can be provided with an excellent Catholic education and experience for life for years to come. Outside of Mr Hayes’ school commitments, he enjoys spending his free time with his family and four dogs.

Mr Richard Paisley – Trustee and Chair of Governors at St Matthew’s Primary School

Mr Paisley is a Trustee, and the Chair of Governors at St Matthew’s Primary School in Prudhoe. He has been involved with the Primary School for the last five years. Mr Paisley has found his trustee role very useful in developing relationships and sharing good practice with the other schools in the Multi Academy Trust.

Mr Paisley’s eldest child is currently a pupil at St Thomas More, and he has two children who attend St Matthew’s. In his working life, he is a director of two companies involved in the supply of spare parts for commercial vehicles, and in his spare time, he is interested in golf, art and spending time with his family.

Mrs Claire Iles – Trustee and Chair of Governors at Sacred Heart Primary School

To follow.

Dr Barbara Lowery – Trustee and Foundation Governor at St Thomas More Catholic School

To Follow.

Father Michael Whalen – Trustee and Foundation Governor at St Matthew’s Primary School 

To Follow.