Mr Jim Smith
Chief Executive Officer

After experimenting with a number of career paths including sales, the building industry and manufacturing with Nissan Motors, Jim embarked upon a career in teaching in 1995. Having worked in a number of primary schools in County Durham, he became Headteacher of Tudhoe Colliery Primary in 2004 and became ‘shared head’ between Tudhoe and Coundon Primary in 2011. He has been CEO of Tudhoe Learning Trust since its inception on December 1st 2012.


Mrs Gillian Pigott
Director of Business, Finance & Development (Trust Secretary)

Gillian joined the Trust in 2014 bringing with her experience and leadership from both the public, private and charitable sectors.  Gillian worked for many years in Local Government and is a qualified management accountant.  Gillian lives in Northumberland with her husband and has two daughters.

Mrs Marie Gonçalves
Trust Finance Manager

Marie graduated from Newcastle University in 2005 and is a qualified Management Accountant.  Marie has worked in both the private and public sector and joined the Trust in September 2015 bringing with her a wealth of expertise in financial management and internal audit.  Marie lives in Stockton with her husband and their daughters, Grace and Eve.

Mrs Lyndsy Hodgson
Trust Finance Officer

Lyndsy joined us in Autumn 2018 to further strengthen and support our central finance function.  Lyndsy lives in Durham with her family and is a qualified Management Accountant.

Human Resources

Miss Laura Parker

Trust HR Manager

Laura joined the Trust in February 2022, is a Associate Member of the CIPD and has a BA in Business Studies.

Laura has over 16 years experience in Human Resources and previously worked within Engineering, Oil & Gas and Manufacturing.  Laura is keen to work within Education and achieve positive outcomes  for the Trust.

Miss Gill Fyland

Trust HR Administrator

Gill joined the Trust in Autumn 2022 to support our central HR function and graduated from university achieving a BA (Hons) HR and Business Management degree.

Gill’s previous experience has been within health care with many years specifically within the pharmaceutical industry. She has one daughter and a Bulldog, which keeps her busy outside of work. Having a daughter of primary school age, she was really excited to be taking this role and is looking forward to the challenges of working in education.

Early Years

Miss Emma McLaughlin

Trust EYFS Champion

Emma was employed as an Early Years Teacher and Phase Lead at Victoria Lane Academy since 2011 but in 2015 took on additional responsibilities as our Trust Early Years Champion.  Emma is an employee of the Trust and supports school improvement in the Early Years phase and has had a hugely positive impact on all of our schools  developing our Early Years provision across all of our academies.


Mr Tim Cassap

Associate Headteacher

Tim joined the Trust Central Team in a School Improvement capacity as an Associate Headteacher following a number of years as Headteacher at SWANs.

Mrs Amy Addison


Amy worked as a classroom teacher at Acre Rigg Academy for 10 years before making the transition to becoming a SENDCo in 2021. Amy works between 3 of our schools in Tudhoe Learning Trust and feels passionately about ensuring all children feel comfortable in, and enjoy coming to school.

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