The NCEA Trust Board agreed to form a Local Governing Body (LGBs) for Bishop’s Primary School in 2019/20. Trustees agreed to the separation of this in summer 2022 and a new Ashington LGB was formed with Thomas Bewick C of E Primary School and James Knott C of E Primary School.

In 2022, an external review of governance was carried out on request of the Dept for Education by a National Leader of Governance.  One of the recommendations from the report was for each school to have its own local governing body.   The Trust Board agreed with all recommendations and as part of the action plan, James Knott LGB and Thomas Bewick LGB were formed.

James Knott C of E Primary School now has a governing body which focuses on the individual school’s needs. The LGB is accountable for their decisions to the Trust Board. The first meetings of the LGB took place in the autumn term 2023.

For more information about School Governance at NCEAT schools visit

Key Documents

Meet Our Governors:

Sharon Neal : Chair of Governors

Sharon Neal

Chair of Governors

I was born and brought up in a mining village in South Tyneside, and having spent all of my working
life in the midlands and south east, retired and came home to the north east in 2022.
My career has taken me from management in local government, to the NHS, the Arts Council and
latterly, HR in universities. I also taught Y5 for a year (in Birmingham) and have run my own business.
As an Organisational Development Director at Warwick, Oxford and then Sussex universities, my
focus was on developing leaders and managers, achieving culture shift and embedding equality,
diversity and inclusion. My longstanding professional interest is conflict resolution and I am a
qualified mediator and coach.

I am passionate about every child having the access and support needed to reach opportunities for
growth and learning.

I am so pleased to have this opportunity to work with NCEAT and look forward to doing the best I
can to support our children, their community and our teaching staff in my role as governor.

Carrie Barron : Parent Governor

Carrie Barron

Parent Governor

Sarah Chalhoub : Governor

Sarah Chalhoub


I have been a practicing nurse and midwife for over 20 years. I believe passionately in the
potential of each child, through supporting and empowering families. I have extensive
experience of Safeguarding policies and procedures, maintaining collaborative relationships
with professionals and family members. During my career I have worked in many parts of the
UK and have a special interest in Public Health.

My most recent role is as a National Clinical Fellow, supporting and innovating Quality
Improvements for National Maternity Services in England in response to the Ockenden

I am currently completing a PhD in Psychology and Public Health, delivering at National
Conferences and Webinars.
Whilst bringing up my children I also was the Director of my own business, a children’s play
facility which I set up from scratch and employed local people for over 12 years. This venture
was strongly influenced by my critical understanding of the importance of early years and
time managing a ‘Sure Start’ service. I have worked alongside local charities to ensure that
every child was able to access play and that together parents, carers and children were
nurtured to be the best that they could be.

As a volunteer I work as a Community Champion for Newcastle City Council Public Health
Team, and supporting women and girls at a local Mosque and via The Girls Network. I also
contribute as an NHS Ambassador to deliver career insight to young people.

Amanda Hall : Staff Governor

Amanda Hall

Staff Governor

Liam Stevens : Governor

Liam Stevens


Sue Whitfield : Vice Chair

Sue Whitfield

Vice Chair

I have been in Primary education throughout my career, teaching in Manchester, Shropshire and Cheshire. I was a Headteacher for 18 years, for 5 years in a one form entry Primary School then 13 years in a large two form entry C of E Primary School in Cheshire.

Three years ago I qualified as an Executive Coach and started my own Coaching business. I now coach senior leaders in schools across the country and Headteachers in the North West.

I moved to Northumberland two years ago and I am enjoying it so much. I have two grown up sons.

Caroline Mullen : Headteacher

Caroline Mullen


Contact the Local Governing Body

The Chair of the Local Governing Body, may be contacted by email at or in writing:

Chair of Governors
James Knott Primary School
Norham Road
NE63 0LF

Alternatively, Governors may be contacted via Lesley Dalby, Director of Governance, on 01670 816111 ext 368.