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Tyne Coast Academy Trust Tyne Coast Academy Trust


Tyne Coast Academy Trust has a board of Trustees who are legally responsible for the activities of the Trust. It is comprised of individuals with a range of responsibilities, including the Trust's CEO.


Our Trustees are responsible for (among many other duties):

  • Delivering the charitable and educational objectives of the Trust;
  • Determining the educational character and mission of the Trust;
  • Setting key strategic objectives and targets and reviewing performance against these;
  • Determining the Trust development plan and reviewing all Academy development plans; and
  • Approving all statutory policies that are common to all Academies within the Trust. 
  • View our Scheme of Delegation for more information.

The Chair of the Trust Board is Mrs Christine Smith.


All Members can be contacted via Mr Neil Longstaff, Director of Governance. Please complete our Web Form and we will respond as soon as possible.

Our Trustees' business and pecuniary interests show details of any economic and/or business links and roles in other institutions. 

Our Trustees' attendance shows their attendance at board and committee meetings over the last academic year.

Our Trustees



Dr Lindsey Whiterod CBE is the Chief Executive of Tyne Coast College and CEO of the Academy Trust. Lindsey has overseen a rapid rise in education standards at South Tyneside College since introducing a new focus on vocational qualifications after becoming Chief Executive in October 2009. Her resolute and forward-thinking approach to provision has ensured courses and resulting qualifications target real jobs - a policy that has won the approval of many within the North East business community and education inspectorate Ofsted, which graded the college ‘Good’ in 2015 and in 2019 (as Tyne Coast College) and Ridgeway Primary Academy ‘Good’ in 2016. Her influence on the college’s academic resurgence is such that she was made an OBE for services to education in the New Year’s Honours List in 2013 and a CBE in January 2018 in recognition of her services to education and to the borough of South Tyneside. Lindsey is also a National Leader of Education. 


Another significant achievement was to drive through the creation on the new Tyne Coast College, formed  from the pivotal merger of South Tyneside College and neighbouring Tyne Metropolitan College (TyneMet), in North Shields.

As the first Chief Executive of Tyne Coast College, she now directs operations at the North East’s second largest FE body, and is accordingly one of the region’s most influential voices in her field.

• Appointed:  Chief Executive Officer, 29.11.12

• Term of Office:  N/A






Christine Smith, the current Chair of the Board of Trustees, qualified to teach at St Hild’s College Durham. She began her career teaching all ages in primary schools in Gateshead and Co.Durham. Gaining a B.Phil at Newcastle University she then became a Headteacher in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

As a school improvement officer in South Tyneside MBC, the main focus of her work was raising standards in schools across the age range 3-18 years. Then in a Head of Service post, was responsible for a wide range of family and young people’s learning services, Children’s Centres, Youth Support, Youth Offending, Connexions, 14-19 Partnership and Adult and Community Learning. She also led the use of the EFQM Business Excellence Model in the directorate.

Christine served eight years as a governor of South Tyneside College joining the new Ridgeway Primary Academy when the College became Sponsor of a Multi Academy Trust. She has been chair for six years.

Christine now retired, uses her varied experience to ensure the Trust benefits from the significant expertise of the Trustees. She is driven by a determination to support all children and young people to be the best they can, providing the highest quality learning environment with superb teachers who will enable them to achieve. 

• Appointed by Members: 29.11.12 and 29.11.16

• Term of Office: 4 Years



Mr Ray Staward

Trustee and Chair of Finance


Ray Staward, a Chartered Public Finance and Chartered Certified Accountant is also a member of the Chartered Management Institute with experience of local and central Government, the health and education sectors and the water industry in the UK and overseas, became a director of the Academy Trust in 2012.

He has worked within several Tyneside councils, with Newcastle Area Health Authority, Sunderland and South Shields Water Company, the Audit Commission and Northumbria University.

He was also Chief Accountant to Cape Town City Council, the Corporate Accountant to Botswana Water Utilities Corporation, Adviser to the Auditor General of Tanzania, Finance Manager for an Urban Development Programme in Swaziland, Resident Consultant to the City of St Petersburg, and Municipal Finance Expert in Moscow. Ray was a governor at South Tyneside College for eight years, and he was also the Independent Person for South Tyneside Council, maintaining standards of conduct among elected members.  Ray is currently the Treasurer of Age Concern Tyneside South.

A sports enthusiast, he is a Newcastle United season ticket holder and a member of Durham County Cricket Club.

• Appointed by Trustees: 19.12.12 and 19.12.16

• Term of Office: 4 Years





Robert Whitelaw, a chartered accountant and former financial director with a major North East group of companies, brings vast experience of financial and general management experience to his position of director, a role he has held since 2012. Robert was a governor at South Tyneside College for eight years and is a former member of the Academy Trust. Mixing financial experience with a strong business acumen has allowed Robert, a married father-of-two and grandfather-of five, who has lived in Cleadon, South Tyneside since 1986, to help the academy trust remain financially strong and to progress a buoyant business model, despite funding challenges.

• Appointed by Members: 29.11.12 and 29.11.16

• Term of Office: 4 Years







Dr Bashir Malik, who became a director of the Academy Trust in 2012, enjoyed a medical career that spanned three continents and five decades and saw him specialise in paediatrics and public health. Brought up in Kenya, he began studying medicine in that country but left to progress his training in Pakistan, returning to work at a clinic in Nairobi five years later. He came to the UK in 1971, and worked in paediatrics at hospitals in Coventry and Rugby, before becoming Registrar in Paediatrics at the former South Shields General Hospital in 1975. He then moved to Wales to train in public health but returned to South Shields in 1982 as Consultant in Public Health and Communicable Diseases for Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority, a position he held until his retirement in 2005. Dr Malik, a father-of-three, has also been a governor at South Tyneside NHS Trust and at South Tyneside College. His childhood in Kenya embellished him with a firm belief in the power of education as an equalising but positive force in society, a view that inspired him to work to improve the education and prospects of students.

• Appointed by Trustees: 19.12.12 and 19.12.16

• Term of Office: 4 Years



Andrew Watts is the Executive Director of ‘Changing Places and Changing Lives’ Charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle, and he is the current Chair of Governors at Tyne Coast College, the Academy Trust’s sponsor. His priorities include building greater business and community partnerships, and increasing educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Andrew spent 15 years working in the public sector in various environmental positions before joining Groundwork in 2005. His role as Executive Director is varied but includes helping create strategic partnerships across Tyneside and developing Groundwork’s asset portfolio, which includes the One Trinity Green business centre in South Shields and The Beacon Enterprise Centre in Newcastle. He is also an active board member of a voluntary sector organisation in South Tyneside.

• Appointed by Members: 29.11.12 and 29.11.16

• Term of Office: 4 Years


Prof. Michael Whitaker



Michael is committed to delivering an education in science for students in the North East that is shaped by the needs of business in the region.  He has been closely involved in the North East regional strategy in the Healthcare and Life Sciences. He coordinates the regional pharma manufacturing initiative, FirstforPharma.  He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology, the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the Marine Biological Association and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.  In addition he is a board member of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and a trustee of the Marine Biological Association.  He is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Centre for Process Industries.  He is managing director of a community interest company, HealthyLife Sim CIC, that raises awareness of the causes, consequences and remedies for health inequalities, particularly in disadvantaged communities.  He also holds directorships in four companies in the energy sector and a life sciences consultancy. Michael is emeritus Professor of Physiology at Newcastle University.

• Appointed by Trustees: 01.12.18 

• Term of Office: 4 Years


Mr Phil Curtis



Philip Curtis is the current Chair of Governors of Redby Academy. He has over thirty years experience in education and worked as a Headteacher in a Sunderland primary school for sixteen years. He was also a Director of Sunderland Housing Group and Gentoo. Now retired, he lives in Sunderland and is married with two daughters.

  • Appointed by Trustees on:
  • Term of Office: 4 Years



Mr Gordon Smith


  • Appointed by Trustees on:
  • Term of Office: 4 Years

Contact Us

Tel: 0191 4273786


Tyne Coast Academy Trust
St George's Avenue, South Shields, NE34 6ET

Tyne Coast Academy Trust is a company registered in England and Wales.

Company registration no. 08313162, Registered offices Tyne Coast College
St. Georges Avenue, South Shields, Tyne And Wear, England, NE34 6ET

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