North East Futures UTC


North East Futures UTC is proud to be a member of Tyne Coast Academy Trust – click here for details of Trust governance

Professor Michael Whitaker, Newcastle University (Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Educational Standards Sub-Committee)Michael is Emeritus Professor of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University. He was educated in Cambridge and moved to the North East of England in 1994 via a chair at University College London.
From 2000, Michael was closely involved in forming and delivering the North East regional strategy in the Healthcare and Life Sciences, particularly in the areas of ageing, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
He coordinates the regional pharma manufacturing initiative, FirstforPharma. He has been active nationally at the Wellcome Trust and has acted as secretary of the British Society for Cell Biology.
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 Centre for Excellence in Life Sciences (Bionow – an organisation that connects Life Science companies in the North), 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, a subsidiary of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. He advises CPI’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre.
He is also managing director of a community interest company, HealthyLife Sim CIC, which 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.
Daniel Sydes, North East Futures UTCDan is the Principal of North East Futures UTC. His former role was that of Vice-Principal at UTC Reading in Berkshire - an oversubscribed UTC with an Ofsted rating of 'outstanding'.

Daniel's teaching specialism subject is Computer Science.
Derek Marshall, Health Education England North East (Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees)Derek is the Chief Workforce Strategist and Planner for Health Education England, working across the North East and North Cumbria (HEE North East). He leads the development of strategy across all key areas for workforce development, ensuring that it incorporates provider and commissioner organisations, NHS England, Public Health England and other key priorities, reflecting the long-term strategic needs of the system. He provides leadership for the workforce planning and analysis function within HEE North East and, for the non-medical education and training contracts, with universities and other education providers.
Derek has a background in workforce planning and strategy development, including working in a range of NHS organisations and a spell in the Department of Health.
Derek works closely with NHS and non-NHS organisations to understand their current workforce challenges and future development needs, including NHS hospital Trusts, primary care organisations, the care home sector and hospices.
Derek has previously worked on many local and national projects, including the development of the General Practitioner training facility in Stockton with Durham University; the national review of paramedic education (Paramedic Evidence Based Education Project); and as the education lead across the north east for implementing the NHS Modernising Scientific Careers initiative.
Stephen Maratos, Hempsons SolicitorsStephen is a Partner at national healthcare law firm Hempsons. He has specialised in healthcare since 2005 representing Trusts and clinicians on claims brought against them. He works with across the health sector, covering primary care, support services and also acute hospitals and specialist units.

As well as clinical negligence claims he has been involved with product liability - PIP breast implants - and multi-claimant actions - such as the Ian Paterson matter.

Since 2016 he has been a parent governor at South Gosforth First School, with link governor role with SEND and also working with the finance and appeals sub-committees.
Gisele Stewart OBE, UbisoftGiselle joined Reflections as General Manager in 1996, following a career in NHS management and an MBA at Durham University. Her mandate was to grow and sell Reflections, which she achieved in 1998 with an acquisition by GT Interactive, a New York NASDAQ listed company.

She continued in this role through the Infogrames/Atari years and into Reflections’ ownership by Ubisoft in 2006. During this time Reflections remained, in global terms, at the cutting edge of technology, producing over 10 AAA worldwide best-selling video game titles.

Today, as Director of UK Corporate Affairs for Ubisoft, Giselle is focused on considering how Ubisoft’s presence in the UK can grow and on influencing the conditions to make that growth achievable. Passionate about growing the domestic talent pipeline as well as the join-up between education and industry, Giselle is Chair of Creative Skillset’s Games Council, is an Employer Steering Group member of Next Gen Skills Academy and is on the External Advisory Board of the University of Durham’s Computer Science department.

A Director of TIGA, the games’ industry trade association, Giselle leads on immigration and skills issues, to inform the Migration Advisory Committee of the industry’s needs; and she has recently joined the Board of the Creative Industries Federation.
Dr. Nicola Wesley, The Academic Health Science Network, North East and North CumbriaNicola manages the Innovation and Wealth Creation portfolio of the Academic Healthcare Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN).

There are fifteen Academic Healthcare Science Networks across England which aim to improve population health as well as contributing to economic growth. The portfolio of the AHSN includes the delivery of The Innovation Pathway, which is a programme providing bespoke support covering the entire lifecycle of innovation, including intellectual property assistance, market research and clinical evaluation, to both regional SMEs and NHS organisations. The Innovation Pathway is delivered by the AHSN, together with NHS Innovations North, The Clinical Research Network, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Nicola is seconded to the AHSN from RTC North. Prior to joining the AHSN, she managed the NHS Innovations North project, which is the intellectual property hub for the NHS in the North East region. Nicola continues to be involved in the management of this project in her capacity as a Board Member of RTC North and also in view of the position of RTC North as an integral partner of the AHSN.

Prior to joining RTC North in 2006, Nicola worked as an industrial research chemist following completion of her PhD in Chemistry at Durham University.
Stephanie Walton, (Chair of the Resources and Recruitment Sub Committee)Stephanie is Director of Finance at the AHSN NENC Ltd.
Qualifications include BA (Hons) in History from the University of Kent and Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Stephanie began her career as an NHS Regional Finance Trainee in 1992 in the South Thames Region before working as a Management Accountant for East Surrey Health Authority.
Stephanie left the NHS in 1998 to gain wider industry experience and worked in a range of finance roles for UBS, GE and Dyson; she returned to the NHS in 2007 as Directorate Accountant with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust before moving to the AHSN in 2014.
Mark Larsen, Managing Director Mark has been with Accenture Newcastle, and has been with Accenture for more than years. During that time he has worked for many different public sector clients, including HMRC, DWP, Ministry of Justice, and the Met Police. His current role now encompasses Accenture’s Newcastle Technology Centre, which employs more than 800 people and services 60+ clients from the North-East. Mark is excited at the role that the Technology industry can play in partnering with the UTC, and is looking forward to helping build the talent and skills in the region to support growth in that sector and beyond. Mark is also a board member of the Technical Industry group Dynamo, and is married with four daughters.
Professor Alastair IronsAlastair is Academic Dean for the Faculty of Technology at the University of Sunderland and a Professor of Computer Science. His subject interests focus on digital forensics and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the University in September 2008 he worked at ONE North East, Northumbria University and ICI having moved to the north east of England from Scotland after graduating in 1984 from Edinburgh University. Alastair became a National Teaching Fellow in 2010.
His subject research and teaching interests focus on cybersecurity and digital forensics – currently looking at threat sharing in cybersecurity, methods for digital investigations in “big data”, gender issues in cybersecurity, as well as the role of digital forensics in South Africa. He is also active in research in academic and pedagogic issues in higher education with particular interest in student assessment and feedback. He is currently working on a book on assessment and has previously published books on formative feedback and on learning and teaching issues in computing. He is recently a research project on Problem Based Learning in Cybersecurity. Alastair was a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town in South Africa from 2013 - 2016.
Alastair is involved in the Institute of Coding Project – leading the University of Sunderland contribution to the project. He currently serves on the management board of DYNAMO, the management board of Sphere North East, the Advisory Board of the North East Digital Catapult and on the management board of the North East Fraud Forum. He contributes to the British Computer Society through a number of roles and is immediate past chair of the BCS Academic Accreditation Committee, sits on the BCS Academy Board, chairs the BCS Cybercrime Forensics Special Interest Group and is the chair of the BCS NE England branch.
In his spare time Alastair participates in karate where he is a 2nd Dan black belt in Shokokai and is currently working towards his 3rd Dan black belt.
Gill Cresswell, Health Education England. (Chair of the Education and Standards Sub Committee)Gill joined the NHS in 1976 as a junior A Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer (MLSO) in microbiology at the RVI in Newcastle upon Tyne. Working and studying simultaneously she completed ONC and HNC qualifications and gained statutory registration, known as the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). She continued to work in this field completing her professional Fellowship examination in bacteriology in 1981. Her areas of work allowed her to work in many of the NHS microbiology laboratories across the region as well as one in the private sector where she was the laboratory manager.
In 1995 Gill developed an interest in teaching staff within the workplace, she completed her teaching certificate and assessor and verifier awards to enable her to support learners in the workplace and led on education and training in her departments and Chairing the regions Pathology Education and Training Group.
In 2010 she took a part time secondment with Health Education England to implement Modernising Scientific Careers into our region for life sciences. This role subsequently expanded to cover all education and training needs for all roles within Healthcare Sciences. She now holds the position of Healthcare Science lead commissioner and Professional Lead across the north for Health Education England.
Caroline EckfordCaroline Eckford is a Director of Engineering at Sage. Born in the North East of England Caroline graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Computer Science. After graduating Caroline worked in Human Resources and Payroll before moving back into the world of technology and agile coaching leading global quality assurance and development teams. Caroline is passionate about creating world class innovative software through highly motivated and engaged teams and collaborative leadership.
Gary HolmesGary taught Modern Languages in Hertfordshire before becoming an academic. He worked in four different UK Universities teaching and writing on School Leadership & Management. He finally retired as Pro Vice-Chancellor at Sunderland in 2017. Along the way he was visiting Professor at the University of Victoria, Canada, a Foreign Office Know-How Fund and British Council consultant in Eastern Europe and was active in the early development of the National Headteacher training programmes and accreditations.

He has been a school Governor since 1988 in, various Oxford City (Middle and High schools), Harrogate (CofE Primary), Ponteland (High School), UTC South Durham and latterly North East Futures UTC. Most recently joining out Governing Body. He is also a corporation board member of Tyne Coast College of FE and a Company Member of the Pele Multi Academy Trust. He is a fervent advocate of the UTC model as a successful and dynamic component of a healthy School landscape.

Gary sees good School Governance as a delicately balanced and finely tuned business where formal and moral accountabilities and responsibilities are in creative tension with professional ethics and best educational practices –all for the benefit of young peoples’ life-chances and well-being.
Emma Blair, Parent Governor
Paul Naughton, Parent Governor