Governing Body/Directors

Governing Body/Directors

Welcome from our Chair of Governors

On behalf of all of the Governors I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Meadowdale Primary.

The primary role of the Governing Body is to support and challenge the Head Teacher and staff and to work in partnership with them to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to reach their full potential in all aspects of school life.

As Governors we are involved in many areas of the school such as finance, buildings/grounds maintenance and staff appointments. However, without a doubt, we consider that our most important role is to ensure a safe and secure environment for all of our students and strive to provide the best possible education for them.

The Governors come from all walks of life and therefore bring diverse skills, knowledge and a wealth of experience to their roles. This means that we can support and challenge the school appropriately and effectively when required. If you would be interested in becoming a Governor please contact Mrs Bradford in the school office who will forward further information on to you.

Here at Meadowdale we are committed to an ethos that puts your son or daughter at the centre of everything we do. We want them to give of their best academically and to develop their potential, in a stimulating and creative learning environment.

We are justifiably very proud of the children in our school and you, as parents and carers, have played a huge part in this. I would therefore like to thank you all for the encouragement and support that you have given to your children.

We are fortunate at Meadowdale to have a dedicated team of staff, working together with pupils and governors, to take the school forward.

If any parent or carer wishes to speak to me about any matter relating to the school then feel free to contact me by contacting Mrs Bradford in the school office.


Derek Alcraft

Meet our Governors

Mr Derek Alcraft

Co-opted 2012 and stands for re-election Biannually

Member/Chair of Governors 

Chair of Staffing Committee

Safeguarding & HR Governor

Derek was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was brought up and educated in Whitley Bay and studied at York University (BA, History) and Birmingham University (MA , History).

Derek is also a qualified Systems Analyst (National Computing Centre). He worked as an HR Assistant and IT Systems Analyst at British Gas and Northumberland County Council before specialising as an HR Officer with Newcastle City Council, Tyne and Wear Museums and, more recently, Hay and Kilner LLP.

Derek is currently Chair of the Academy Trust and Chair of Governors, with a special interest of Governor for Safeguarding, and Chair of the Staffing Committee.

Derek comes from a family of teachers (father, wife, daughter).

Derek has two daughters and two grandchildren. He lives in Ashington, Northumberland with his wife and daughter

Mrs Rosie Brimelow – Elected as Parent Governor 2017 and Co-opted 2019

Vice Chair of Governors

Pupil Premium Governor

Chair of Finance Committee

Rosie joined the Governing board in 2017 as a parent governor. After her child left the school Rosie became a co-opted Governor.

Rosie is Vice Chair of the governing board and chairs the finance committee.

Mrs Andrea Gavaghan

Co-opted 2012

Governor – Finance Committee

Finance Governor

Andrea was born in Durham and moved to Northumberland in 1995, following completion of her accountancy studies at Staffordshire University.
Andrea is married with one grown up son.
Andrea has worked as an accountant for over 25 years at the following North East companies – Alcan, J Barbour & Sons, St John Ambulance and Sun Microsystems. She is currently employed as a Management Accountant for the Dutch firm Royal IHC Ltd, in the Renewables, Oil & Gas Industry.
Andrea has been a governor at Meadowdale for a number of years and also a member of the Finance Committee.
Andrea follows Formula 1, has an active interest in fitness, gardening and travelling in her spare time.

Mrs Helene Turner

Co-opted 2012

Governor – Staffing Committee

SEND Governor

Helene is married with three grown-up children. Born in Sheffield, she initially came to the North East to train as a Primary School teacher in the early 70s.
In 1976 she joined the Department of Employment (DWP) in Middlesbrough and was a career Civil Servant for twenty years. In the early 80s she helped to set up the newly created Jobcentres from their Sheffield based HQ. On her return to Newcastle, she became the Enterprise Manager for Newcastle and Northumberland, as well as being a NE Director for the Princes’ (Youth Business) Trust.
Following a brief return to Northumberland Training and Enterprise Council (TEC), she joined South Tyneside Task Force, latterly as Manager, helping to manage a £5m budget, and lever in a further £7.5m from the Private and Business Sector in order to help regenerate the areas of Jarrow, Hebburn and South Shields’ Riverside.
In 1996, Helene became a self-employed Management Consultant and Fundraiser, securing contracts with companies such as the Charities Evaluation Service, Northern Rock Foundation and working as a visiting Lecturer at both Sunderland and Teesside Universities, specialising in the Environment, Green Energy and Zero Carbon buildings.
Helene holds an Executive Diploma from the Chartered Management Institute (2003) and MInstF (Dip) from the Chartered Institute of Fundraising (2016).
For ten years, before retiring in 2017, Helene worked exclusively for the charitable sector as a Fundraising Manager; firstly for Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle and latterly for Newcastle and Northumberland Mind where she helped to double the turnover to over £1m in the five years she was there.
Helene has been a co-opted Governor at Meadowdale Academy for nine years. She also sits on the Staffing Committee. In addition, she has been a Director at CENTRIS (The Centre for Research & Innovation in Social Policy and Practice) for eleven years. Set up in 1988, CENTRIS is an independent charity working with Rethinking Poverty and the Beatrice Webb Memorial Trust.
Helene’s hobbies include Indian cooking, crafting, theatre, travelling, Forest Schools and assisting in managing her husband’s wood.

Mr Steve Richards

Co-opted 2020

Governor – Staffing Committee

Health & Safety Governor

Steve is retired after a 30 year career in Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service. Steve joined as a Fire fighter in 1985 and retired in 2015 as Assistant Chief Fire Officer.

Steve is married and has two grown up sons and one grandson.

A swell as the School Governor role Steve also chairs the Northumberland Fire Pension Board.

Mrs Kirsty Kewn

Parent Governor – 2021

Curriculum Governor

Kirsty was born in Newcastle but has lived all over the UK and in Germany due to her father’s Army career. She moved to Northumberland in 2015 when she met her future husband.

Having many different roles over the years, Kirsty has worked at the Care Quality Commission since 2010 where she is currently a Personal Assistant for three senior managers and works from home.

Kirsty is married with two children. She enjoys cooking, crafting, DIY and spending time with her family.

Mrs Danielle Sparrow

Parent Governor – 2021

Maths Governor

Mrs Rachel Morgan

Staff  Governor – 2017

Mental Health and Safeguarding Governor

Deputy Head – Teacher Representative

As a pupil at school, Rachel always knew that she wanted to become a teacher.
Rachel studied at University in Liverpool and that dream was realised in September 1998 when she took up her first teaching job with Year 6 at Seaton Sluice Middle School. After gaining four years’ experience, Rachel became Head of Year 6 at what was then Meadowdale Middle School in September 2002. RacheI was keen to become a school Governor and when the opportunity arose she took it. Rachel has worked with the governing body on academy conversion and is proud to be a Teacher Governor at Meadowdale Academy.
Rachel enjoys reading and swimming, although not at the same time! and spending time with her family.


Mrs Amanda Allison


Mrs Gail Bradford

Clerk to the Governors