Eden Academy Trust

Meet the Team

The Trust is led by Neil Nottingham (CEO), Philip Pritchard (Deputy CEO) and a group of senior school leaders and Trustees. This executive group meets regularly to set the policies, activities and direction of the Trust.

This team is also supported by a number of senior officers across the Trust - providing expertise and guidance in areas such as finance, HR, curriculum and governance.



Neil Nottingham

I have been CEO of Eden Academy Trust since 2012 whilst also undertaking the roles of Executive Headteacher of Stranton Primary School & Bluebell Meadow Primary School since January 2007.


I am so proud of the journey Eden Trust and our schools have been on and feel blessed to work every day with like minded people who all work together to ensure each and every one of our children receive the outstanding education and experiences they deserve.



Philip Pritchard

Deputy CEO and Headteacher Jesmond Gardens Primary School


I have worked in different schools and roles within education for 22 years – including 6 years as Headteacher and 2 years as Deputy CEO. I am passionate about developing outstanding teaching and learning through effective professional development and collaboration. Every child has one opportunity to receive the best education possible and we strive to ensure that every child in Eden Academy Trust reaches their potential.




Miss Kirsty Whitehouse



Miss Gill Lawson

HR and Governance Manager

 I am the Trust HR Manager. I have worked in HR for 23 years, with 12 years being in the Education setting. Prior to moving into Education I worked for the Local Authority supporting the Schools Team and have a breadth of knowledge relating to different terms and conditions. I supports the Trust Schools in all aspects of HR and Staff Well-being.



Mrs Catherine Watts

Trust School Improvement Lead


Having been the designated SIP for 5 years, Cath is now working with Eden 0.5FTE as School Improvement Lead. She takes the lead in providing support and challenge for both existing primary schools, growing leaders and supporting schools joining the Trust


Mrs Karla Grant

Head of School Stranton Primary School

I have worked in education for 16 years - including 7 years as Head of School at Stranton and 9 years as a teacher within two very different schools. I am passionate about supporting children to meet their full academic potential in school as well as nurturing their social, emotional and mental health needs so they are able to thrive in all aspects of school life. Creating strong partnerships with our families and working closely with the community is also of utmost importance to me - I truly believe that collaboration between home, school and the wider community is essential for supporting the holistic development and success of our children 



Mrs Rebecca Nicholson

Head of School Jesmond Gardens Primary School

 I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with children for many years as a teacher and now as Head of School at Jesmond Gardens Primary. I truly believe that teaching is the best job ever : it provides such immense job satisfaction in so many ways within, and beyond the classroom. Every day, I know we, as a team, have made a difference to the children and their families in our local community.


I am passionate about helping children to fulfil their potential and discover their individual strengths. I want every child in school to receive the best education possible which inspires and motivates them to learn. I want our pupils to feel safe and not be afraid of failure ; since, when we are making mistakes, that is when we are really learning




Mrs Kayleigh Wilkin

Head of School Bluebell Meadow Primary School 


Miss Gemma Ferguson

Headteacher Fishburn Primary School

I am very proud to be the Headteacher at Fishburn Primary School and Eden Academy Trusts newest joining school.

 I have been a Teacher for almost 14 years, 7 of which have been as a Senior Leader and since 2020 - Headteacher.

 I have been fortunate enough to teach across the whole primary age range from Nursery to Year 6 and I have taught across a number of Local Authorities in various roles, bringing lots of different experiences to the team.

 I have a keen interest in inclusion for all and I hold the NASENCO qualification as Fishburns SENCO. I also bring my Labrador to school with me as a Dog Mentor as I am always keen to find new and exciting ways to support our children.

 I believe that our children only get one chance at a Primary Education and it is our job to ensure that all of the children under our care in the Trust, regardless of starting points, are afforded a rich education which will set them up for life. No excuses, no barriers.



Mr Neil Voisey

Acting Head of School  Eskdale Academy

I am currently acting Head of School at Eskdale Academy, having been in post as Deputy Headteacher for 8 years. I have been in Education for 23 years and have Post Graduate qualifications in Leadership and in Developing Mathematics for the Primary School. I have previously worked as a Specialist Leader for Education (SLE) across primary schools in Hartlepool and I have a passion for innovation in teaching and learning.




Mrs Susan Henry

Trust Inclusion Lead


Sue offers a rigorous programme of bespoke support for each school around implementation and review of SEND procedures. Sue Henry also helps to develop a culture of inclusion, challenging our leaders to ensure that every child in Eden gets the support and opportunities they require.  Sue has worked as an SLE for Inclusion for over 10 years and sits on numerous SEND advisory bodies developing strategy and inclusive practice.


Mrs Louise Mazzey

Trust Senior Finance Officer


I am the Trust Senior Finance OfficerI have worked in Educational Finance for 25 years, with 11 years Academy Finance experience.  I have previous experience working in two Local Authorities supporting schools with the previous 9 years working in Trusts.  I support the Trust Schools and Trust CFO with all aspects of Academy Finance.  




Miss Jessica Stainsby

Trust administrator


I am the Trust Admin Assistant. I have worked in the admin sector for 11 years, all being in the Education setting. I am currently currently working with Ambition Institute to support ECT’s and NPQ participants on Eden Academy Trust programmes.




Estates manager


Eden Trust Staff Business Interests 2022-23