Our Trustees and Members

Pete Sweetmore - Trust Member (Business)

My background was originally in Nursing and then as Managing Director of a Social Alarms Company. I have also spent many years working in, and for, the Voluntary & Community Sector. I have previously been a School Governor for 32 years, including undertaking the role of Chair at 3 different schools. In January 2017 I retired as a Governor to assume the role of Chair of Trustees for The View Trust and am now delighted to have more latterly taken up a role as a Board Member for The Sea View Trust.
I have connections within the education sector; my daughter is a Primary Department teacher in one of the Trust schools and both my daughter-in-law and son-in-law work as Teaching Assistants. I am proud to be associated with The Sea View Trust and to play a small part in its development, supporting it on the journey to become the successful Academy Trust that it is today.

Paul Johnson - Trust Member (Educational Expert, University of Cumbria)

I began my teaching career in a junior school in Leyland, Lancashire in 1982. Over the following 28 years I was class teacher to classes of children across the whole primary school range from year R to year 6. In addition to my class teaching role, I had responsibility for a number of curriculum areas and became a deputy head teacher and then in 1997, a primary Head teacher in Hampshire. In this role for 13 years, my effectiveness led to me being asked to lead and develop adult training for teachers, managers and head teachers focusing particularly on my school’s innovative approaches to learning. I became a National College of School Leadership associate leader and as well as undertaking training in this role, I also did so on behalf of Hampshire County and for private consultancy groups. In 2010, I took my adult training expertise to Southampton University where I became Associate Programme Leader and Partnership manager for the PGCE Primary teaching degree there. In 2012, I moved to the University of Cumbria, where I have worked since. I began as a senior lecturer on the PGCE Primary ITT programme but my expertise has led me to take on the role of University Programme Leader for a number of Schools Direct Alliances, including Tor View. I have found working with Tor View particularly exciting as, whilst a head teacher, I was involved in developing Hampshire’s specialist provision for deaf children. The inclusion of all children, especially those with profound needs, has always been a passion for me and my involvement with The Sea View Multi Academy Trust will provide a new avenue for this.

Suzanne Meacham - Trust Member (Education)

I have worked as a teacher for 33 years specialising in Early Years. Having graduated in psychology and criminology I completed a post graduate certificate in education and returned home to Blackpool where I taught at a large primary school, eventually becoming the Foundation Stage manager. I have also been an associate tutor with Lancaster university and was responsible for mentoring students in school.
I have a passion for interiors with a particular interest in Mid Century furniture. I enjoy football and travel and have combined the two when watching matches in Sweden, Germany and Argentina. I have visited several South American countries and have particularly enjoyed the wine regions of Argentina and Chile.

Linda Bailey - Trust Member (Business)

Originally from Chorley, I left college and entered (what was then!) the relatively new industry of Information Technology, to become one of the few women to work in a traditionally very male dominated industry. I was employed by a number of large and established firms before taking the opportunity to work for myself, developing property management software in 2004. Being self-employed allowed me the flexibility of an interesting job, while generally being close to home to raise my children. I successfully ran my business in the Rossendale Valley but have recently moved to the Fylde and am now looking forward to retirement! More recently I have been seeking an opportunity to contribute to my local community and, with The Sea View Trust having schools located in Blackpool and Rossendale (both of which have been home to me), I was delighted to be appointed as a Member.

Derek Darwen - Trust Member (Community)

I spent 35 years policing the Blackpool and Fylde area during which I performed many roles. Whilst these have ranged from Custody Officer to Head of Fylde, I have always been very committed to community policing and to the empowerment of communities to address their own challenges. As an Inspector, I was the local lead for the Government’s National Reassurance Project in Lancashire and, working closely with the Home Office, was responsible for the first implementation of the project in the Brunswick area of Blackpool. This entailed much work with the local community and partner agencies to address neighborhood issues. I have always believed in the principles of a problem solving approach and feel that I have developed a very good working knowledge of the communities and people of Blackpool; qualities which I hope will support in my role as a Member for The Sea View Trust. Now retired, I am a committed cyclist (having completed Lands End to John O’Groats a couple of years ago) and I still enjoy playing darts (badly!) every week.

Sarah Threlfall - Trust Member (Education)

Having studied business and finance at Blackpool and Fylde College, I joined Barclays Bank, working for fifteen years as a business and personal banker on the Fylde Coast and North East. Whilst having time away from work to raise my two children, I took on the role as accounts/business administrator for my husband’s new business, which is now very successful. Looking for a new direction, I completed child education/development qualifications and joined the (then) Park School in Blackpool as a Special Support Assistant where I worked for twelve years. With the rewards and challenges that the role brought, I enjoyed my time there immensely. Two years ago I took ‘early retirement’, enabling me to enjoy travelling, to project manage the total refurbishment of a Victorian house which is now my beautiful home and to enjoy my hobbies of learning to ballroom dance and play the piano. I became a Trust Member in 2018; this role enables me to still have an involvement in the education of local children, which I care deeply about.

Dave Wallbank - Trustee (Vice Chair)

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession, a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and am currently the Managing Director of a multi-disciplinary Civil and Structural Engineering Consultancy. Following my graduation from the University of Leeds in 1988, I have over 30 years’ experience as a project manager and team leader for a wide range of projects both in the UK and overseas. I have greatly enjoyed my time as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Ambassador and am now wholeheartedly committed to my involvement with the Sea View Trust. It has been an exciting period of growth for our Trust and I am looking forward, in my role as Vice Chair of Trustees, to supporting all the schools and the College as they seek to provide the best possible opportunities for our pupils and students.

Norman Gibson - Trustee (Vice Chair)

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession with quite a varied career to date. This includes Project Director of a Vocational Training Institute responsible for training 1600 students with 250 staff. I have also established and subsequently managed a subsidiary of BAE Systems with P&L responsibility, including dividend recommendation to Shareholders. Consequently I believe I can bring value to the Board of Sea View with my Business experience, specifically Governance, Finance, and Project Management. Academically I have a BSc (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA masters degree. I am married to a retired Science teacher and have 4 grown up children and 3 grandchildren.

Janice Payne - Trustee

I was born and brought up in Rossendale and live in Crawshawbooth with my family. When time allows I love to walk across our beautiful countryside. I work part time at a local primary school and for my real job, I look after my family and manage all the joys and difficulties that a parent with a child with autism faces. I have a connection with Tor View School through attending children and I have previously enjoyed serving on Tor View School’s Governing Body as both a Parent Governor and as the Chair. My role as Trustee now enables me to take an active and wider role within The sea View Trust and I look forward to contributing to its future successes.

Emma Taylor - Trustee

I am the proud mother of three boys including one at High School and a set of twins who attend Primary School. One of my twins attends Tor View School and I feel that we are very lucky to have such specialist staff in our local area. As well as being a parent to a child with special needs, I also I work at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar school where I teach Law. I have been in teaching for around 8 years, prior to which I was a solicitor. In my spare time I volunteer at a local youth group and organise events at my local church.
I have previously served as a Parent Governor at Tor View School as I wanted to offer my support and assistance to this fantastic school wherever possible. I am now very proud to be a Trustee for The Sea View Trust and would like use my personal and professional experience to support both staff and parents wherever possible.

Lidia Cattrell - Trustee

I am currently the Headteacher at Crosshill School which is a secondary 11 to 19 special school co-located with BCHS, a mainstream secondary school within Blackburn. I have worked for most of my career in the field of Special Education, specialising in inclusion and successful collaboration with stakeholders to ensure the child is at the heart of all decisions made. I have a wide range of local, national and international experience and perspective in the field of SEN across all phases within mainstream and specialist provisions, championing that school to school support and working together is the key to successful SEND provision at all levels. I have a particular interest in the education of children with social, emotional mental health and the strategic movement towards the improvement of provision for these learners, most recently leading on the opening of a new free school for 10 to 16 year olds with Social, Emotional Mental Health within Blackpool, called the Lotus School.

Celia Davies - Trustee

I currently work as a school improvement advisor for Lancashire following extensive experience in the primary education sector with a career spanning 40 years including a highly successful Headship. Currently I provide support and advice to a number of primary schools in Lancashire and in Blackpool Authorities and I am also the strategic lead for the Ethnic Minority / Gypsy Roma Traveller Achievement Service in Lancashire.
Prior to joining the advisory service I was the Headteacher of a larger than average primary school in East Preston with unusually high levels of social and economic deprivation. The school became one of the first schools in the country to have “extended schools” status and was well known for its innovative practice. Although my last Ofsted inspection was some years ago, my leadership was judged to be outstanding.
I have been associated with Tor View School for many years, working closely with the current Trust CEO on a number of projects and initiatives. I am highly regarded within Lancashire and within the primary school sector in particular and I continue to have a passion for education, particularly for working in strong partnerships for the benefit of all children and young people.

Jan Ashbridge - Trustee

I am currently a Principal Lecturer (PGCE Primary and Partnership Development Lead) in the Institute of Education at the University of Cumbria. My career in education started in 1991 when I graduated from St Martin’s College Lancaster and became a primary school teacher. I have taught in schools in the Burnley and South Lakes areas and subsequently moved on to become a Senior Advisory Teacher for Early Years for Cumbria Local Authority. I eventually returned to St Martin’s College (now the University of Cumbria) to work in teacher education and development. My specific area of strategic responsibility is for the PGCE primary programmes and I still retain a teaching commitment for English curriculum and the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics.

Kathy Seddon - Trustee

I have 24 years of experience of working in education and am currently Manager for Students at Blackpool and The Fylde College. I have a cross college leading role on all aspects relating to student experience, including Students’ Union, enrichment, clubs and societies, progress meetings and Student Focus events. As a former teacher of ICT and business, I have a keen interest in technology and, in addition to my PGCE, I hold a Masters in Multimedia and eLearning. On a personal note I have two adult step-children, two children at University and one at high school. For the last three years, I have been learning to play the trumpet – fully supporting the notion that it’s never too late to try something new!

Michael Pickthall - Trustee

I have held senior management positions for many years and, as an Incorporated Engineer and Corporate Member of the Institution of Engineers & Technicians, I am a managing director in my own consultancy business. I am a published writer, have served on a renewable energy board, am an award-winning Senior Project Manager and have travelled widely during my working life, often working in challenging environments. I have added key strategic value in recent consultant managerial roles and am a registered Project Management Mentor with CB Partners in the North West. Having mentored many graduates, junior engineers and managers, I am a passionate believer in empowering young people to achieve their potential.

Bukky Gibson - Trustee

As a Lead Deal Architect with previous Bid Management experience in the Public and Private Sector, I am able to bring a varied view to the table and utilise variety of transferable skills. Be it with my experience with stakeholder management, or supplier management in terms of managing and setting expectations, collaborating with partners and other vendors within different roles across different countries to deliver on a set of agreed objectives, scope, budget and timelines. My role requires that I not only understand my customer’s business challenges, but I also understand how it impacts their customers and end users with a view to leading and partnering with them on a journey that delivers the right business value for them and for my organisation.