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Valour MAT

Ensuring all children feel happy, safe and loved.

Valour Members, Trustees and Lab

Kate Chisholm- Chair of Trustees and Valour Member


Kate has worked in Education for the past 18 years, being a headteacher, and most recently an Executive Headteacher,  for 11 of those. Kate is passionate about living and thriving in the North East of England and has until recently dedicated her career working in some of the most deprived catchments in the country. Kate has continually championed the children of the North East ensuring that their voices are heard in the national arenas. Having worked in 5 of the local authorities in the North East, working in both Academy and local authority contexts , Kate brings to the trustees a good understanding of the northern agenda and also the challenges facing educationalists it today’s climate. She is also a Trustee of Schools North East which adds another level of understanding and depth to the role of educationalist in 21st Century England. Kate is currently Executive Headteacher of the Oakfield Schools Federation in Gateshead and is enjoying the challenges which working cross school brings. Prior to working in education Kate went to music college and has both a Bachelors and Masters degrees in music performance and composition specialising in piano, Flugel horn and voice. She is very excited to be working as a trustee with the Valour Trust, supporting them on the next phase of their development.


Graeme Whitfield - Trust Board Member

Liz Kitson- Board member


I have been lucky enough to work in a wide variety of roles across a broad spectrum within the Education Sector for over 35 years. I started my working life as a Geography Lecturer at the University of Sunderland and then got involved in a project which was to encourage women into Higher Educations. The focus of my career since this point has been about encouraging people,  particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to access education opportunities and interventions that will help them to change their lives. Some of these opportunities have been community based, supporting parents with English and maths so they can help their children at school and more recently a Construction Bootcamp designed to help unemployed people into jobs in the construction Sector.

I retired from full time work in 2020 but still work in a consultancy capacity, coaching younger colleagues and continually looking for new opportunities and indeed new pots of funding, to support people into paid Employment.

When I am not working, I will be walking the Northumberland coast or Lakeland /Scottish hills with my husband and chocolate spaniel Coco or hanging out with my Grandsons.

Dr John Moore- Vice Chair of Trustees and Chair of Board 


I'm John, dad to Alex in reception and Amber and husband to Kim. I'm a doctor, specialising in psychiatry working in Newcastle and have experience of working with children with mental health problems. I was Chair of the Northern Junior Doctors Committee of the British Medical Association and represented 2,000 doctors working in the North East at a national level during the industrial action of 2016 and remain a union representative within my hospital trust. I have previously worked in a local homeless shelter in the West End and remain involved in the running of the charity as a trustee. I also act as a mentor for the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity which aims to get students from less privileged backgrounds into professions such as medicine. I have also lectured at Sunderland University and I have completed two teaching programs in medical education to give me an understanding of educational theory.
As a parent, I have been impressed with the evident attention and care that Alex receives in supporting him to learn. I would enjoy using my experience of charitable work and my profession to give something back to the school. Outside of work, I like going to the gym, cars and walking my dog, Ava.

Meet the Valour Trustees

Chris Wade


Chris is an experienced leader in UK, European and Global technology and telecommunications businesses, across Marketing and Technology roles. He moved to the North East in 2003 to join The Sage Group and has called it home ever since. He began working with Valour in 2018, trying to bring his breadth of experience to help support and develop the ambition of the forward thinking group. As a dad to two boys he has a growing appreciation of just how important a safe and stimulating place is for kids and is proud to be part of the team.


Barbara Dixon- Vice Chair of Trustees and Board Member


Currently my eldest daughter is in Year 3 and my youngest is in Nursery, moving into reception in September at Walbottle Village.  I have strong links to the school as it was actually my first school too!  I work as a design manager for a large contractor and have many years’ experience in the construction industry.  I have knowledge of building contracts and any procedures in place to obtain approvals for them. I also started my career in an architects practice so can offer design advice too.  Within my role I have experience of dealing with funding, budgets and various aspects of finance.  I also spend time on community projects.  At Willmott Dixon it is important that we leave a legacy for the community we build in which can involve; work experience, workshops in school (construction and non-construction), mock interviews, engagement in artwork we are including in projects and arranging small refurbs/projects paid for by our supply chain.

Mick Lewis- Trustee


Mick has been teaching for 21 successful years now, 10 years in mainstream education and 11 years in an SEMH setting.  He is also ITT & SCITT coordinator, training and mentoring the teachers of the future.  Being Head of Maths during many Ofsted inspections, his department has always been recognised as a major strength over the years. 


During his free time Mick enjoys a round of golf and spending time with his family.  They spend time walking in the Yorkshire Dales and enjoying the natural beauty the Dales has to offer. 


Paul Gurteen Trustee


Paul's career and experience centres around the logistics industry. Having developed his family  business to the point of sale, he took some time out and turned his skydiving hobby into a profession, ultimately competing for G.B. in 4 world championships. For the past 12 years he has started, and continues to run, a number of businesses primarily serving the events sector. As the Managing Director of a group of 4 companies, he has a wealth of experience in start-up businesses, mergers and acquisitions, sales & marketing, finance and HR. A keen cyclist, Paul works with, and has raised a lot of money for, both local and national charities. As a local charity committee member, Paul has been involved for over 10 years building relationships with schools in the area whilst helping to organise running and cycling events.

Favourite quote, "awesomeness is just on the other side of fear".








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