Board of Governors
The current governing body of Marden Bridge Middle School

Mr J. Newport

John Newport

Mr J. Newport

John Newport is MBMS Headteacher.






Mr C Marsh

Colin Marsh

Mr C Marsh

I retired from the NHS in 2015 after 42 years, mostly working in the Directorate of Laboratory Medicine, Newcastle Hospitals Trust. For the latter part of my career I had the dual roles of being a scientist, overseeing a section of the laboratory and also being Quality Manager for the department. In my role as Quality Manager, I ensured that the department successfully retained accredited status by meeting the requirements of the ISO15189 Standard. During my career I was a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, a Chartered Scientist and achieved a research based M. Phil at Newcastle University. I remain an active assessor for the National External Quality Assessment Scheme in Immunocytochemistry and In Situ Hybridisation.

My youngest daughter attended MBMS from 2012 to 2015. In 2015, I was invited to be a member of the governing body and in November, 2016, I was elected Chair of the Governing Body. I have specific responsibility for Physical Education and Science and Technology. I am a member of the Finance, Facilities, Safeguarding and Staffing and Pastoral sub committees as well as chair of the Teaching, Leadership and Achievement committee. I am proud to be involved with the success of MBMS and totally committed to the ethos of the school.

During my time as a member of the governing body, I have completed Governor Induction, attended conferences organised by Schools North East and completed training in Safeguarding, Handling Complaints, Preparation for Ofsted, Safer Recruitment, School Visits and Child Protection.

Mr M Homer

Michael Homer
Foundation Governor

Mr M Homer

I have been involved in education for over 40 years holding a variety of posts from Head of Department, Year Tutor, Senior Teacher, Deputy Head and Headteacher for my final 15 years. In 2016 I retired from this post at Valley Gardens Middle School having led it through three Ofsted Inspections that took us on a journey from satisfactory to outstanding in all areas. I studied Geography at Newcastle University and then undertook a Post Graduate Certificate in Geography and Physical Education. This was then followed by further studies in Educational Management and a Masters Degree.

Throughout my career I have always been an enthusiastic and innovative practitioner who worked in a supportive and collaborative way to inspire others. I have always been a passionate teacher and Leader working to provide opportunities for pupils to maximise their potential both in and outside the classroom; taking them on a voyage of discovery and developing them as caring members of our community.

I have been a governor for over 25 years and currently sit on two governing bodies. Having been involved in Middle Schools for over 30 years I feel that I have extensive knowledge and expertise to bring to the role. During my time I have served on many educational bodies both locally, regionally and nationally. I am proud to continue to serve the community of Whitley Bay and in particular Marden Bridge Middle School.

Mr G McQuillan

Gareth McQuillan
LA Governor

Mr G McQuillan

From Northern Ireland originally, I moved to the north east in September 2001 to begin studies in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Newcastle. I then completed my PGCE in Secondary Science (Physics) in 2005, after which I worked for three years as a Science teacher in Darlington, before moving to London to lead a science department in a newly-opened school. However, it is true what they say and people do not leave the north east for long, so after four years I returned to lead a science department here in Newcastle before taking up my current role as School Improvement Adviser for Science in 2016.

I thoroughly enjoy working with young people and am dedicated to ensuring they have the best opportunities throughout their education, allowing them to prepare for an exciting future.

Mr D Bryson

Dai Bryson
Co-opted Governor

Mr D Bryson

I am an ex secondary schoolteacher. I worked in Gateshead for over 30 years and I taught and was head of geography. During my time there I was a teacher governor for 12 years. I retired early from teaching, over 10 years ago. Since my retirement from teaching I continued with union work in the areas of disability and health and safety. I was a national health and safety trainer for my union and sat on the TUC national disability committee. I have also served as a trustee on the board of a charity called Journey, formally Daybreak who look after adults with learning difficulties.

I became a governor at Marden Bridge three years ago. I have been a Rotarian for about 12 years and I had always said I would like to contribute to the community by becoming a school governor. A friend in rotary mentioned Marden Bridge which interested me as I live close by. After a chat I put my name forward.

I am the Chair of the Finance Committee and I am on the pastoral committee. I am lead for health and safety, the safeguarding governor and have responsibility for equality matters. I have attended training courses on finance and school budgets, health and safety and safeguarding.

K Goring

Karen Goring
Co-opted Governor

K Goring

I joined the staff of Marden Bridge 10 years ago, and have just begun my second five year term as a Governor. Originally planning a career in law, a move to Kent inspired me to change direction and I became an editorial publishing assistant, an interesting if challenging and demanding job.

On return to the North East and after having two children, I taught English as a second language before taking up a cover supervisory post in Gosforth. When I moved to Whitley Bay I took the opportunity to join MBMS in a similar role. Teaching lessons in the absence of teaching staff both short and long term across all year groups and subjects, I feel I can bring to the Governing Body a unique overall view of the school.

I love working at Marden Bridge; an environment where pupils are put first, nurtured and cared for under our ethos of believe, achieve and succeed.

I very much enjoy supporting the school in many extra-curricular activities: Costume making for the summer production; PTA events; sporting events; and this year have been part of the ‘Garden Team’ and the exciting adventure of watching the scheme grow from its planning stages to the opening event taking place later in the year. A beekeeper at home, my next plan is to introduce an apiary to the garden site...

Dr Doug Cole

Dr Doug Cole
Co-opted Governor

Dr D Cole

A resident of North Shields I have lived in the North-East since 2014. I have a fifteen year old son who is just completing his GCSEs at Whitley Bay High School and I have an interest in education at all levels.

Professionally I have fifteen years’ experience in leading learning and teaching in Higher Education, prior to this having spent over a decade in industry working with a range of sports organisations in the UK, Beijing, Hong Kong and Bangkok.

I am currently Deputy Director of Employability at Nottingham Trent University, having spent three years previously with the Higher Education Academy focused on developing strategic approaches to learning for employability and student success with institutions across UK and globally. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs.

In 2012 I developed the concept of a national framework and guide for embedding employability in the curriculum, to support all institutions in developing graduates with the qualities and capabilities that are vital for success, not only in securing employment, but also for life more broadly. In 2013 I co-authored the Higher Education Academy publication; Defining & developing your approach to employability: A framework for higher education institutions. More recently in 2019 I co-authored The language of Employability, a book chapter in Education for Employability Volume 1 published by Brill in Australia.

D Ellis

Domonique Ellis
Co-opted Governor

D Ellis

I have worked with children and for schools and children’s services for over 15 years, including for the Children’s Rights Director for England, the Local Authority and a local child poverty charity.

My current role is as a School Business Manager for a small primary school in North Tyneside. My work is very varied but very rewarding and means that I have a high level of knowledge of how the education system works and how children are supported on a day to day basis. My role also means that I have a good understanding of the finance and statutory duties for schools, including Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Child Protection.

My daughter has recently joined Marden Bridge Middle and I would like to the support the children and the school community develop and prepare for the future.

C Faure

Karen Donachie
Co-opted Governor

K Donachie

My name is Karen Donachie and I currently work as the Lead Architect in Northern Powergrid, running a team of Solution Architects and IT Business Partners and have been here for 3 and a half years. Prior to that I worked at Capita, Serco, Engage for Success and Her Majesty’s Passport Office.

I have 20+ years’ experience of working in project environments, leading high performing and motivated teams to deliver transformational changes into the business. I have experience of design and delivery using both Agile and Waterfall methods.

Whilst heading up the Systems Transition team in Her Majesty’s Passport Office I lead the design and test on a number of key initiatives such as the interview process, the biometric passport, and implementation of a new complex end to end passport processing system incorporating numerous key improvements including the ability to apply for your passport online and simplification of back office processes to improve fraud detection, reduce processing times and decrease error rates.

My key skills include strategic engagement & stakeholder management, leading and energising teams to release and utilise potential, business transformation and digital transformation, operating model design and implementation, business process design and mapping, requirements elicitation, management of user acceptance and model office environments, impact analysis and Agile. I have a relaxed leadership style and work with my team and stakeholders to foster high levels of engagement and motivation to deliver high quality results.

On a personal level I am married with two children, Jack and Mia, both of whom attend Marden Bridge Middle School.

Frazer Lough

Frazer Lough
Staff Governor

Frazer Lough

I have been teaching English at Marden Bridge since 2016. Reading is a big passion of mine; sharing my love and the importance of it is incredibly rewarding. Currently, I am also a Year 5 form tutor. I thoroughly enjoy working at MBMS as part of the Year 5 team, supporting pupils in making their first steps into middle school life and ensuring they get off to the best start possible.

As a relatively new teacher, this will be my first time as a school governor and I will be taking up the staff representative role. I look forward to getting involved with the Governing Body of the school, gaining further experience and bringing my viewpoint and perspective to the discussions.

J Unthank

Joanna Unthank
Parent Governor

J Unthank

I have been an active member of the North Tyneside community since moving here with my husband and two sons in 2010. Over the past eleven years I have taken on various voluntary roles, including running a community swimming club, a local playgroup and advising at the Citizens Advice Bureau. My job roles over this time have spanned the voluntary sector, self-employment, a local primary school and local government.


My current role as Improvement Manager at North Tyneside Council involves strategic work across Education, Health and Social Care to improve services for children, adults and families in the borough. Much of my work is focussed on improvement of our education and special educational needs and disabilities offer, this work requires me to build strong working relationships with colleagues and partners to facilitate improvement. This varied role has provided me with a strong understanding of the education, SEND and children’s social care systems in North Tyneside.


My eldest son moved on from Marden Bridge to high school in summer 2021, my younger son is now in Key Stage 3 and my daughter will be joining the school in 2022, meaning I am able to bring valuable insight from all stages of the journey through Marden Bridge Middle School to the role of parent governor. My understanding of the local priorities and schools' statutory and financial duties  allow me to provide support and challenge in the role of parent governor at Marden Bridge Middle School.

M Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson
Parent Governor

J Unthank

Having grown up close to Newcastle, I moved to Whitley Bay in around 2010 with my wife. We chose to live here as we considered it a great place to raise children, including the access to excellent schools. We have three young children in first and middle schools in the area.

I am a Modern Foreign Languages teacher with over 15 years of experience in education. I have worked predominantly in secondary schools but have also taught languages in primary and middle schools.

I am currently the head of MFL at St. Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in Newcastle. Key aspects of my role include curriculum delivery and improvement, assessment and feedback and quality assurance. I manage a department of six staff committed to improving the the life chances of our students by supporting them to achieve their best possible outcomes.

I have also worked as a pastoral head of year 7 in a school in Gateshead which gave me the opportunity to support young people in a broader sense by understanding the challenges they faced inside and outside of school and helping them to overcome their barriers to learning wherever possible.

My son started at Marden Bridge in September 2022 and has loved the time he has spent here. He has flourished academically and more broadly as a young man thanks to the support and care he has received. I wanted to join the governing body to give something back to the school and support the staff and school leaders however I can.


Mrs L Dawson:
Clerk/Assistant to Headteacher

Notice of Pecuniary Interests

Mr J Newport:
Married to Mrs H Newport, teacher of P.E.

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