The Trust Central Team



Mr Jim Smith, CEO

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 and Development (Trust Secretary)

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 Goncalves, Finance Manager

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 Finance Officer

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 HR Manager

Miss Laura Parker, HR Manager

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

Laura has over 15 years experience in Human Resources and previously worked within industry.  Laura is keen to work within Education and achieve positive outcomes  for the Trust.


Early Years

Miss Emma McLaughlin
Early Years Champion

Miss Emma McLaughlin, 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

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.





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