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Meet the Governors


Paul Thompson, Chair of Governors

I am the Chief Executive of Families First (North East), a regional charity supporting children and young adults with additional needs. I also served as a Local Authority Councillor from May 2010 – Sept 2017, including a spell as the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Corporate Services with political responsibility for over £100m per year.

I have extensive experience of education and its governance as a trained secondary school teacher, 10 years as a Governor of Hartlepool 6th Form College including 3 years as Vice-Chair and 2 years as a Local Governing Body member of Catcote Academy. I have worked in partnership with Springwell School for the past 10 years and joined the Governing body in 2015.

I am, and continue to be, the founding Chairman of a large youth theatre company and have run two successful private businesses, specialising in marketing, media, communications and the third sector.


Kathy Douglas, Vice Chair of Governors

I have worked in education for over 30 years, originally as a teacher in secondary schools in the south of England. For the last 17 years I have worked for Durham County Council supporting Looked After Children and more recently as a SEND Advisory Officer. I am passionate about my role as a governor so that Springwell can provide the best possible opportunities for all our children and their families.


Jennifer Hudson, Parent Governor

I am a mum of two boys one of whom attends Springwell. As a parent, I have been continually impressed by the level of education and care shown in our school and the high standards achieved. These levels of achievement are the result of hard work and dedication from the head teacher, teachers, board of governors and the school community as a whole. As a governor my main aim is to assist the school to not only maintain, but exceed these standards.


Jim Murdoch, Co-opted Governor

I am still a registered Social Worker after a 42-year career in children’s social work in several local authorities and the NHS. I have been a senior manager for Looked After Children, Fostering and Adoption Services and latterly I was the Business manager of Hartlepool Safeguarding Children Board. I have been a member of the PRU Management Committee for several years, including 2 years as Chair. Since retiring I act as an Independent Visitor for 10 children’s homes in the region and undertake complaints investigations against local authorities.