Meet the Team

Maura Regan OBE, DL – Chief Executive Officer, Carmel Education Trust

Maura Regan
Maura began her teaching career in London teaching History and RE.  She returned to the North East to take up a pastoral role before becoming Deputy Head Pastoral and subsequently Principal of Carmel College.

Maura, as the architect of Carmel Education Trust, became its founding CEO, having already led the successful transformation of Carmel College from a single outstanding College to the Lead School in a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).  The Trust is recognised nationally as a leading organisation.  In her role as an NLE, Maura and her Leadership Team have supported schools across the region from all phases.

Carmel College is one of the top performing schools nationally and is a Teaching School, a Maths Hub and leads a Science Learning Partnership.  Carmel College has a long history of Initial Teacher Training and is now one of the largest providers in the North East.

Maura has been highly pro-active in supporting NETSP (North East Teaching Schools Partnership) in the delivery of NPQH, NPQSL and NPQML and a National College programme ‘Women into Headship’.  Maura is regularly invited to be a keynote speaker for the National College NLE Induction Programme.

She is a Trustee of Schools North East, Director of Emmanuel Trust and a Governor of Durham School.

Maura is regularly invited to address national audiences on the benefits and complexities of establishing and leading a Multi-Academy Trust in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity, solidarity and support for the common good.  She is passionate about making a difference and believes that ‘every child should be given every opportunity to succeed’.

Mike Shorten – Deputy CEO of Carmel Education Trust & Principal of Carmel College

Mike Shorten
Mike Shorten started his teaching career in Cannock, Staffordshire after studying at St Mary’s Strawberry Hill and Exeter University.  He took up a pastoral head of Year 8 role before moving to the North East to continue teaching RE and PE.

Since joining Carmel College in 1996 he has been Faculty Head of RE, Assistant Head Teacher leading on Innovation and since 1999 developed the Carmel Teacher Training Partnership from strength to strength: from GTP to ITT, SCITT and PGCE.  Mike has led and supported an outstanding collaboration of schools which over the past 17 years has successfully produced the next generation of inspirational teaching professionals.

Further studies have led Mike to being awarded a Masters in Education Leadership and then NPQH.  Mike is an NLE and has worked on various School to School support projects across the region.  He recently completed a nationally recognised CES Executive Headship programme.

As Vice Principal he has been Director of the Teaching School.  When Carmel became an Academy in 2011, he took up the post of Head of School, then Principal and is now Deputy CEO of Carmel Education Trust.

Over two Erasmus+ projects, Mike has led Carmel College as the Lead School working with schools and consortia across five European countries.  Together, resources have been developed as we continue to learn from each other and our international partners about how to enrich education for young people.

Jennifer Moorhouse – Business Manager

Jennifer Moorhouse
Prior to joining Carmel College, Jennifer began her career in banking and latterly the building industry.  She has worked in a variety of roles at Carmel College, and since the Trust was formed in 2013, as Trust Business Manager as well as Carmel College’s Business Manager.  In the earlier stages of her career at Carmel College, she achieved the School Business Management BA (Hons) Degree; more recently she became an SLE and has facilitated Finance & HR CSBM training.

With over 20 years of school-based experience, Jennifer supports Directors, Governors, Heads and colleague Business Managers across the Trust within a broad ranging profile, including finance, IT, HR, payroll, facilities management, policy and procedure and governance, leading a team of managers in these specialist areas.  She regularly project manages whole Trust initiatives including tendering, refurbishment and construction projects, the transfer in-house catering and cleaning.

Jennifer gets the most job satisfaction from watching the students grow throughout their school years into confident young adults and sees her role and that of her fellow support staff as crucial in providing capacity for Head Teachers and teachers.

Julian Kenshole – Governance Manager

Julian Kenshole
Julian graduated as a Chartered Town Planner in 1989 when his career led him to the North East of England.  He worked for the next 13 years on urban renewal projects in Teesside and led the development and implementation of major regeneration programmes.  At a Local Government Re-Organisation in 1996, he was appointed as Corporate Strategy and Performance Manager for Redcar and Cleveland Council where he helped to shape the delivery and management of services for the newly created unitary authority.  He later moved to Darlington Borough Council in 2002 when he was appointed as Head of Strategy & Improvement for Education.  During the 12 years he spent at Darlington his role changed significantly as it developed to encompass services for Children, Adult and Children’s Social Care, Housing and Corporate Strategy and Policy Development.  He led the Council’s approach to Child Poverty.  Julian joined the Carmel Education Trust in September 2013 where his role is to support Directors and Governors, develop Trust policy and strategy and to ensure compliance through the principles of good governance.  He has personal experience of school governance having served as a governor at two local secondary schools.

David Leane – Finance Manager

David Leane
David grew up in Woking, Surrey with his parents, two brothers and one sister.  He was educated at his local Catholic first, middle and secondary schools.  He studied Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London where he was active in the Student Union and captained the football team.

After university, David studied as a Chartered Accountant and qualified with a top 30 London firm in 2006.  He worked as a manager in the audit, corporate finance and business services departments before leaving to move to the north east.  This wide experience covered everything from VAT returns to listings on the AIM stock exchange.

David is married to Heather and they are the proud parents of Patrick.  They live in Tynemouth and worship at the parish of St Cuthbert’s and St Joseph’s in North Shields, where David is Chair of the Parish Finance Committee and sits on the Partnership Development Group that followed the Forward Together in Hope process.

When Carmel Education Trust was created in April 2013, David was appointed as Finance Manager.  He particularly enjoys working across all the schools in the Trust and is proud that his work supports pupils from nursery age right through to VI Form.

Helen Keough – Assistant Vice Principal

Helen Keough
Helen Keough is the Assistant Vice Principal in charge of Data and Progress for Carmel College in Darlington and the Director of School to School Improvement for Carmel Multi Academy Trust.  She has worked in education for over 20 years and spent much of that time working as a Pastoral Learning Manager before moving into the area of data, in order to respond to the challenges set by new exam structures, new curriculum content and a new system of tracking and monitoring progress.  She has designed and set up systems to promote outstanding results and leads on strategic interventions across the Carmel MAT.

Geoff Scott – Trust Data Manager

Geoff Scott
Geoff has worked in data management within the Education sector for over 15 years.  He began his working career as an apprentice at Darlington Borough Council in 1997, which led to him joining Darlington’s Local Authority (LA) a few later as a Statistical Assistant.  In this role he began producing analysis for schools across the town, supporting schools with statutory data collections, and making sure schools and management at the LA could interpret data analysis and knew of areas of strength and areas for development.

During his initial five years with the LA he attended college on a day release basis, firstly achieving a HNC in Computing, followed by a HND in Computing, and then ultimately, he successfully gained a First-Class Honours degree in Computing in 2006.  He spent 14 hugely successfully years with the LA, running a Service Level Agreement with schools on data support and analysis of school performance data, which all schools in Darlington signed up to.  His computing expertise enabled him to take on additional responsibilities, such as system administrator for the LA’s Education Management Information System.

Geoff left the LA in 2014 to join Carmel Education Trust as their Data Manager.

Andrew Ramsey – Head of School at Principal of St. Michael’s Catholic Academy

Andrew Ramsey
Andrew was appointed as Head Teacher of St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, Billingham in 2013 and under his leadership, he and all of St Michael’s community, were proud to have achieved a good outcome from their recent Ofsted.

Andrew feels very privileged to have benefited from a wonderful Catholic education in both primary and secondary schools which, unknown to him at the time, formed the basis of his inclusive educational philosophy.

Andrew began teaching in 1987 and enjoyed every aspect of his very varied career, always acutely aware of the difference he was making to the young people whose lives he touched.  However, he also firmly believes that his identity is that of a musician.   His life has been blessed by opportunities and experiences of performing in a variety of professional and liturgical venues.  He has worked with young people in diverse communities such as Westminster Cathedral, as well as every corner and community of London, before finally returning home to his much-loved North East.

Andrew has learnt over the years that the only way to achieve success and joy in our lives is through fostering authentically warm relationships based on kindness, empathy, justice and shared understanding.

This is the educational philosophy, referred to earlier, which is at the very heart of his leadership at St Michael’s and of which he remains immensely proud.  In his work, Andrew places the students he serves at the centre of all he says, thinks and does.

Chril Hammill – Headteacher at Our Lady & St Bede Catholic Academy

Chris Hammill
Chris has been Head Teacher at Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy in Stockton-on Tees since September 2014.  This is an 11-16 mixed comprehensive school with academic achievement ranked in the top 5% of schools nationally and with a £5m building programme in place to accommodate a school expansion.  Over the last three years, pupil numbers have increased by nearly 20% and are set to rise.

Chris has worked in Catholic schools for over 20 years and held leadership responsibilities for the last 16 years.  He studied Theology at university and has taught this subject at GCSE and A Level as a teacher and Head of Department.  He is married with two daughters aged 5 and 10.

Chris passionately believes in a Catholic holistic education for young people and more than anything wants all his pupils to leave school having experienced God’s love in their time at Our Lady and St Bede.

Martina McCollom – Headteacher, St. Augustine’s R.C. Primary School

Martina McCollom
Martina studied for a B.A. Hons degree in Religious Studies and Music at Strawberry Hill and returned to St. Mary’s College seven years later to undertake the Primary PGCE.  Her first teaching post was in a village school with just twenty pupils in her Year 4 Class, followed immediately by a slightly more challenging cohort of thirty four!

Martina has been very fortunate to find so many career development opportunities during twenty five years at St. Augustine’s School.  She has taught in every Key Stage, coordinated almost all subjects, moved from Class Teacher to Assistant Head to Acting Head and SENCo and finally to the role of Headteacher.

Support from Carmel College during her time as Acting Head made academy conversion and the decision to be part of CET a very natural next step for St. Augustine’s.

Martina’s degree subjects, and long-term involvement in liturgical music and parish life, enable her to confidently lead the Catholic life of the school, where she works together with families and parish to help children learn about the world through eyes of faith.

Bernadette Rizzi-Allan – Head of School, St Bede’s Catholic Academy

Bernadette Rizzi-Allan
A passion for improving the life chances of disadvantaged children is what drives St Bede’s Head Teacher, Bernadette.

Having studied at Leeds Trinity University, Bernadette taught in the North West and North East where she also worked within the state sector, though her commitment is to Catholic education.  She was an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) for several years before moving to a deputy headship in Middlesbrough.

Appointed as a Head Teacher within Carmel Education Trust in September 2014, Bernadette has a track record in supporting schools and individual teachers.  She is also passionate about the mental health of children, and has served as a Trustee of the Bungalow Partnership for a number of years.

She is married to Dave and they have two children.

Fiona Stokeld – Head of School at St Gregory’s Catholic Academy

Fiona Stokeld
Fiona attended a Catholic primary, secondary school and college where she grew up in Stockton-on-Tees.  She went on to study a BSC ED (Hons) in Primary Education (ICT) at Durham University, graduating in 2002 with a BSC ED Honours Degree.  Continuing her commitment to Catholic Education, she became a Primary School teacher in a Catholic school in Stockton, where during her 10 years there, she had the pleasure of coaching and mentoring student teachers whist also working with teachers, head teachers, consultants and advisors to disseminate best practice and improve the performance and quality of teaching in schools.

Fiona worked alongside consultants from the Local Authority and Christine Harrison from Kings College, London as part of a project to develop and implement Assessment for Learning in schools in Stockton-on-Tees.  In 2012 Fiona moved to St Gregory’s Catholic Academy as the Deputy Head teacher, later becoming the Head Teacher in 2015.

Fiona has a keen interest in fell walking.  She is married with children and currently still resides in Stockton on Tees.

The importance of educating our children and allowing them to explore their faith is paramount to her.  Fiona firmly believes there is no ceiling on achievement and she is always keen to continue to support the Trust to put in place the structures to ensure all of our children continue to reach their full potential.

Josie Wilson – Acting Head teacher at Holy Family Primary Academy

Josie Wilson
Josie has taught and led in Catholic primary schools since she qualified as a teacher in 1992.  She studied for her degree in Humanities as a mature student at what was then Teesside Polytechnic and gained her PGCE at Durham University.  Josie became Deputy Head Teacher at St Gabriel’s School in Middlesbrough four years after being appointed there as a newly qualified teacher.  She has been head teacher of two schools in Middlesbrough and was extremely proud to lead St Joseph’s School to outstanding in 2008.  Since then she has worked as an independent consultant and more recently has acted as interim Head Teacher of a number of schools as well as providing support to head teachers in the diocese of Middlesbrough and of Hexham and Newcastle.

Josie also has a keen interest in developing trainee teachers and has worked as a Primary Link tutor for Carmel Teacher Training Partnership.

Educated by the FCJs at St Joseph’s Convent in Hartlepool, she has remained close to their charism and has developed a love for Ignatian Spirituality.  She has been able to use this to enrich the ethos of the schools she has been privileged to lead.

Josie is a governor of a school in Middlesbrough and a director of an academy in the Diocese of Middlesbrough.  She continues to feel very lucky to have benefited from such a wide range of experiences and is pleased to draw upon all of them to provide the very best for the pupils and staff of Holy Family Primary Academy.

Andrew Gardner – Trust Co-ordinator for Holisitic and Spiritual Development

Andrew Gardner
After completing a degree in Theology at Leeds Trinity and All Saints, Andrew began his teaching career in 2011 at Carmel College.  He trained to become a teacher of Religious Education through the Carmel Teacher Training Programme and has recently completed his Masters in Education, focusing on the ‘Distinctive Nature of Catholic Schools.’

Andrew currently teaches RE and is Lay Chaplain in the College.  He is also the Trust Co-ordinator for Holisitic and Spiritual Development, which means that he has the privilege of working with schools across the Trust.  He assists in their mission to provide an outstanding experience of Catholic prayer and spirituality.  Aside from teaching, Andrew is a committee member of the Middlesbrough Catholic Fellowship, a local charity for children and adults with learning disabilities.  He also sits on the Bishop’s Council for Spirituality in the Diocese of Middlesbrough.

School Improvement

Kevin Beston – Primary School Improvement and Maths Hub Lead

Kevin Beston
Kevin’s early teaching career brought him a wealth of experience across the primary curriculum: music co-ordinator, history lead, SEN and many more, until completing a Middle Leadership course and becoming responsible for SEN across his school.  He worked with the Local Authority as an Advanced Skills’ Teacher (AST) and was deployed in numerous schools to support SEN teaching and the implementation of the National Curriculum.  Kevin has studied with NCSL and obtained NPQH and MaST certificate with OU.

In 2004 he became Assistant Head Teacher, responsible for Mathematics, Assessment, CPD and reporting to parents.  At this point he also began his role on governance to gain wider experience of school.  Kevin continued to work for Local Authority as an AST, supporting Subject Leaders in Mathematics and Assessment.  He also worked with a Consultant to design an electronic assessment system for schools in all subjects.  In 2008 he applied for SLE status and began work supporting schools in RI or Inadequate across Sunderland.

In 2010 he became Deputy Head in school and while retaining previous responsibilities, he led on Teaching and Learning and Curriculum entitlement.  His work as SLE continues and extends to Stockton and Darlington.  Since 2013, Kevin has worked for Carmel MAT, supporting schools across the Trust and working closely with the Maths Hub.  In 2014, Kevin became a School Improvement Primary Lead for Carmel MAT.


Click here to see the full School Improvement Team


Joanne Walker – Senior Leader in School to School Support

Joanne Walker
Joanne has been involved in working with children all her working life – as a social worker before becoming a teacher.  She has run geography departments in a variety of schools in different contexts, from challenging areas of deprivation to leafy suburbia.  Her current role as a senior leader in School to School support affords her the opportunity to engage with staff in a wide variety of schools, offering a full package of support.   Although this may mean having sometimes challenging conversations and discussions with staff and Head Teachers, it is all carried out in the belief and understanding that it is for the benefit of the young people whose futures are all our responsibilities.  It is her heartfelt philosophy that good teachers can change the life opportunities and expectations of their students and she hopes that she share this passion with the staff, parents and students she comes into contact with.  ‘Everything I do is driven by the desire to help children achieve their full potential.’

Emma Patience – English MAT Lead Teacher

Emma Patience
Emma studied English Language and English Literature at Lancaster University before completing her PGCE at Durham University and later Masters in Education. Her masters offered her the opportunity to perform action research, investigating the barriers to reading and considering practical strategies to overcome these. This research helped to inform her dissertation on ‘The implementation of literacy across the curriculum’.

She began her teaching career at Carmel RC College in 2012 and since then became assistant Curriculum leader and later an SLE. This role allowed her to work alongside other departments in order to raise standards through coaching and developing teaching and learning practices. In 2016, Emma took the opportunity to widen her experience of working with both primary and secondary practitioners by becoming a Lead Practitioner for the Trust. She has relished the opportunity to not only navigate the sea of change facing the English curriculum, but to broaden her pedagogical knowledge and explore how each key stage acts as a building block to the next. It is with this knowledge that the CPD delivered to trainee teachers by Emma, emphasizes the importance of informing their practice with an understanding of the literacy learning that has gone before and the development it needs to make for the future.

She feels incredibly privileged to teach such an enriching subject and holds at the heart of her practice the belief that our aim is simply to empower pupils by giving them choice.

Rose-Marie Rochester – Maths Hub Lead

Rose-Marie Rochester
Rose-Marie graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 2001 and after completing her PGCE at St. Mary’s in Strawberry Hill, embarked on her teaching career at Carmel College, where she has remained throughout her teaching career.  Rose-Marie feels very fortunate to work both within her mathematics department as the assistant curriculum leader and more recently, with staff and students alike, across all phases in Carmel Education Trust’s schools.

She was designated as a maths SLE in 2013, which was the formal beginning of her work with other schools in the north east, beyond the Carmel family.  Rose-Marie has been the Maths Hub Lead for the Archimedes NE maths hub since its inception in 2014; broadening her experience of working with teachers in both primary and secondary schools to improve maths education in the area.  She is especially interested in embedding teaching for mastery in our schools and has a particular interest in sharing the Singapore methodologies, so as to build pupils’ confidence and competence with their maths.  She feels privileged to have worked with teachers from Shanghai for a number of years and continues to grow in her understanding and experience of their teaching for understanding and depth; this has enabled her to develop workshops and courses which she continually refines and delivers to teachers, maths leads and SLT members in the locality and beyond.  As an accredited PD Lead for mathematics, she is now also experienced in devising and delivering professional development for other teachers – both general maths PD and also department specific PD.  This helps schools improve their maths provision and thus outcomes for children.

Rose-Marie is passionate about understanding the mathematical journey, rather than simply focusing on a particular key stage or class.  She now fully appreciates Sir Issac Newton’s quote: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” as I am constantly learning from colleagues, including Early Years’ teachers, who lay those all-important foundations and that coupled with continued opportunities for collaboration in all my roles, have helped me develop further.  It is this holistic understanding of mathematics education that I am keen to share with colleagues.

Laura Wild – Teaching for Mastery Lead for Archimedes NE Maths Hub and part of the School Improvement Team

Laura Wild
Laura studied Education at Durham University, graduating in 2001.  She was a teacher for 15 years, including 10 years as a Deputy Head Teacher.  In 2010 as a non-class-based Executive Deputy Head, Laura played a lead role in building a federation between two primary schools and completed her NPQH.  In September 2016, Laura set up as a freelance consultant, working for an alliance in North Yorkshire to deliver maths training across schools for a funded project, before joining the Archimedes NE Maths Hub and Carmel Trust School to School Improvement team in January 2017.  Laura offers guidance and support for Senior Leaders.  She designs and leads bespoke professional learning in mathematics.  She has established collaborative partnerships with Mastery Specialists, Trusts, Academies, and clusters of schools across the North East.  Laura lives happily with her husband Tom and their two young children in a little village in North Yorkshire.  She enjoys spending time with her family, walking their hairy, boisterous dog called Bananas, reading (if she finds the time!), and wild camping adventures.

IT & Communications

Matthew Smith – IT Manager

Matthew Smith
For 21 years Matthew has worked in the Education sector, starting out in a Secondary School as an IT apprentice.  As his career developed, he moved on to support more schools across a Local Authority and before long, he rose through the ranks from technician to Team Leader.  An exciting opportunity to join Carmel College as an IT Manager came his way and he has never looked back.

Matthew’s experience working in the Local Authority really came in useful as the Carmel Education Trust was formed as he used all these skills to implement systems and services across many schools.  He now leads a creative, hardworking and dedicated team who continually go that extra mile.  When he’s not working you can usually find him on a football pitch as he is an FA qualified coach and manages an U7’s football team.


Click here to see the full IT & Communications Team


Karen Maddison – ICT Support Supervisor

Karen Maddison
Karen is the ICT Support Supervisor and joined Carmel in 2012. She came from an industry background, having previously worked as an Application Developer and Website Developer.  She has a degree in Computer Science, gained through the Open University; this allowed her to study for a Bachelor of Science degree and work in the IT sector at the same time.

The role of ICT Support Supervisor involves allocation and ensuring timely completion of all ICT helpdesk jobs, along with overseeing the creation, development and management of all Carmel Education Trust websites.  Karen is married with a grown up son and stepson.  In her spare time she enjoys playing golf, spending time with friends and family and travelling; recent destinations have included Orlando, Berlin and Barcelona.

Stephen Fletcher – Senior IT Technician

Stephen Fletcher
Technology is revolutionising education in its quick ascension as one of the classroom’s greatest tools.  Based in Darlington, Stephen enjoys promoting, supporting and developing systems to provide a safe, effective and fun learning experience.  In his words: “I help staff to see the benefits of using technology and assist them in becoming more productive as they learn new skills.”

Stephen has worked in education for over 12 years in three outstanding North East schools across three local authorities.  It was an easy choice for him to move into the Carmel Education Trust community, as his wife teaches at one of the Trust schools and his children go to a Trust primary school.

Stephen is a qualified Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.  He is always seeking out new technology in order to maximise the effectiveness of the Trust’s systems, with a particular interest in “cloud” services.

In his spare time, Stephen is a percussionist, playing a variety of different styles of music to different audiences, but he particularly enjoys providing the entertainment for special occasions, such as weddings.

David Kitching – IT Technician

David Kitching
David has been a member of the Carmel community since he was 11 years old – as a student and now as an employee.  He started developing an interest in IT systems and technology while studying A levels at Carmel VI Form. David took an apprenticeship at Carmel College at the age of 18 and worked within the IT support team, which has now developed into the Trust IT support team.  He has since achieved Microsoft and Cisco certifications and a Computer Science degree.  David is involved with the installation and maintenance of IT systems and audio/visual technologies across Trust schools, thus providing the latest technology to aid and enhance teaching the learning.

David has a real gift and passion for photography and cinematography, completing film and image projects in his spare time.  Along with his helpdesk and support tasks, he now creates films and images for promotional materials at Carmel Education Trust and passes his knowledge on to students to develop their skills, whether that be through writing scripts, camera techniques, production values or editing footage and images.

Stacey Brocklebank – IT Technician

Stacey Brocklebank
Stacey studied at the University of Teesside towards a Creative Digital Media (BA) Degree, obtaining a 1st Class Honours.  She has studied ICT and Media since attending Sixth Form.  Stacey looks after all promotional materials for the Education Trust: newsletters, school yearbooks, prospectuses, show programmes and any other publicity deemed appropriate.  She also helps create publications for the Carmel Teacher Training Partnership.  Stacey ensures each school in the Trust has its own unique brand and helps them with publications to make the school’s look engaging and attractive to prospective students.

She lives in the outskirts of Darlington (the home of the Education Trust) with her partner.  She also uses her skills to design family gifts and has many personal designs in her own home.  Her other hobbies include keeping active, reading and travelling to as many places as she can, having visited places such as Las Vegas, Iceland and Inter-railing round Italy.

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