Cleadon Church of England Academy

Flourishing together as one

Meet Our Academy Council

Anna Harrison - Chair

I have been part of Cleadon Church of England Academy Council since 2018 and Chair the Pupil and Curriculum Committee. 

Having two young children myself, one at Cleadon Academy and one who started at the feeder secondary school in September 2022, I am passionate about education and ensuring that every child is able to reach their full potential. 

I have spent a large part of my professional career in policy and strategy development, before moving to work in a local secondary school in 2016. Here I led on partnership development and as a result became part of the central team within the large Catholic Multi-Academy Trust the school joined, supporting the onboarding of a further 29 schools. In this role I initially led on the communication strategy for all our schools before overseeing governance across the Trust. In February 2023 I left this role to become the Business Manager of the Children's Safeguarding Partnership at a neighbouring local authority.  This is a role which will see me working to improve the life chances of all children in the area. 

It is a great privilege to work with the staff at Cleadon Academy, helping to ensure its continuous development and provide our children with the aspiration and opportunities to become the very best version of themselves. 

Karen Ferguson- Vice Chair

After 20 years in Education within a range of schools I became an independent consultant and trainer focusing upon SEND. I deliver training and support schools to be as inclusive as possible and to adapt teaching effectively across the Northeast and beyond. I also work with TES to support people to become teachers within the Straight to Teaching programme.

I am passionate about all pupils improving their life chances and look forward to working with Cleadon Academy to support the delivery of the highest primary education possible.

Dean Hall 


I have been a part of Cleadon Church of England Academy Governing Board since 2019. In this time, I have supported the school as Safeguarding lead Councillor and as a member of the risk subcommittee. Becoming a part of DNDLT is a great decision for our school and I am delighted to be continuing in my Safeguarding role and chairing the academy council operations and finance committee. 

I am retired from a 40-year career in the electricity utility industry. I am a qualified electrical engineer with many years' experience at senior level in engineering, marketing, and commercial business project development. 

I have lived in the local area all my life; my children attended the school as my grandchildren now do. I am passionate about the future success of our school and the positive impact that has on our children and our community.

Colin Berry 

 I am a retired engineer having worked for a large international engineering company. Whilst engineering is my core discipline, as a member of the management team, financial, commercial project management and organisational skills formed a significant element of my day to day role. As a company nominated representative I was a director and chairman of the board of trustees for the company pension scheme.

My involvement with the support of local schools goes back more than 25 years and I became a governor of a local secondary school in 2007 eventually becoming chair of governors. In 2018 I became a local academy councillor at Cleadon Academy, a role where I continue to enjoy the stimulus of different challenges.

As a member of the Scout Association since my teenage years I am still involved in the organisation and management of some large events.

Witnessing first hand at school results days, presentation evenings and Scout Award ceremonies I have seen the impact that teachers, support staff and leaders have had on the lives and future prospects of young people.

Helen Smith

I am very privileged to be a part of the Academy Council at Cleadon Academy.  I am a serving Executive Headteacher of two primary schools in South Tyneside, one of which is also a Church of England School.  I am also a serving Ofsted inspector and I have a real passion for improving the lives of children and families in the North East.

I have experience of managing school budgets, supporting and challenging schools and ensuring that ALL pupils are given a rich, inspiring and aspirational school experience which ensures children are ready for the next step in their education and also for life in Modern Day Britain and the wider world.  I bring these skills with me within my role as part of the academy council at Cleadon Academy.

Christine Shaw

I have recently joined the academy council in 2023 as parent councillor, whilst also being Treasurer of the PTFA committee.  

 Having one child attending the academy, one soon to be starting, and being a Cleadon resident, I have a strong interest in the positive management and performance of the academy and look forward to helping ensure the best possible experience and outcome for all pupils that attend.

 I have spent the majority of my career working in Finance, and currently work full time for a medical diagnostics company alongside enjoying a busy family life.

 Working in the finance domain within the medical sector I’ve become well accustomed to working in a heavily regulated environment to stringent governance frameworks, which I hope will benefit the academy council.

Lisa Murphy

I am a new member of the academy council but have been in education  for 25 years. I have taught PE in a variety of schools across all key stages and sectors, culminating in leading 3 large schools as Head of Department.

I whole heartedly believe that all children should have access to the best possible education and that the focus should be on the whole child and not just based on results. Being in a middle management role, I have experience in the recruitment, development and retention of staff, curriculum development and assessment. My role involves liaising with a variety of stakeholders and I hope to use these skills and experience to support Cleadon academy as they continue to move forward.

Gail Williamson

I have been in Education for 25 years, teaching part-time at Cleadon Church of England Academy since 2009.  I became a member of the Governing Body, approximately a year after I began teaching here.  I have lived in Cleadon for the majority of my life and am passionate about the young people in our village, wanting them to have every opportunity, receive an outstanding education and become the very best people that they can be.

I am extremely proud to be a member of the Cleadon Academy for many reasons: we pride ourselves on our Christian Ethos, Vision and Values, educating the whole child with a broad and balanced curriculum.  I have two children, both of which attended Cleadon Academy, prior to moving on to Whitburn Church of England Academy – my son is now at university. 

In my role as staff councillor, I provide a vital link between the teaching staff and the Academy Council, offering information and clarification on various matters as and when required.  I am a member of the Pupil and Curriculum Committee and Admissions Committee.  Whenever decisions are taken, I always consider if they are in the best interests of all the children, as I care deeply about what I do and the children in my care.

Reverend Vernon Cuthbert

For three decades I have supported children's education. Firstly, by acting as an advisor to Young Enterprise Companies in a secondary school, then in governance of primary schools. I have been a governor in three other schools in addition to my role as Governor/Local Academy Councillor at Cleadon. All have had different characteristics. I spent 12 years serving on the Durham Diocesan Board of Education and have been appointed as a Member to two different Academy Trusts by the Board.

Chair of Academy Council - Mrs A. Harrison

Cleadon Church of England Academy,

Boldon Lane,


Tyne and Wear,

SR6 7RP,

Tel: (0191) 5367813


Click the link below to visit the DNDLT Trust website for company documents.