Meet the Academy Committee

  • Miss Elaine Chaplin

    Co-opted member; Chair of Academy Committee

    Postal contact: Belsay School, Belsay, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear. NE20 0ET

    I became a co-opted member of the Governing Body in 2018 and Chair of the Academy Committee in 2020. I grew up within the locality and believe the school ethos grows the children as individuals within the rural location.

    I have worked within Early Years settings for the last seven years working up from Early Years practitioner to manager of Belsay Daycare. I am now a Ready for School Improvement Officer for North Tyneside Council as well as an Area Lead working for the Department for Education on their Covid-19 recovery programme.

    I recently began a professional doctorate at Northumbria University looking into closing gaps for disadvantaged children.

  • Mrs Adele Dodds

    Co-opted member

    I graduated from Newcastle University in 1995 with a BA(hons) in Geography. Originally from the South East, I loved the North East so much that I chose to stay. Mainly working in the charity sector, I have enjoyed various roles in office management, events, conference and accounts management.
    I have two children who attended Belsay School (Ewan and Ella) who both enjoyed Belsay pre-School too. I now work from home for the farm family business in Milbourne, mainly at a desk but sometimes herding cattle and lambing sheep!
    I joined the then Governing Body in 2016 (now Academy Committee) as a parent governor and am on the curriculum and development committee. I love our unique, rural, nurturing school and count it as a privilege to serve the school in this way.

  • Mrs Emily Moffat

    Parent member

    I grew up in Northumberland and attended Belsay School, you can still spot some of my art work on the hall wall! I graduated from The Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester in 2012 with a BA(hons) in Agriculture and returned to work on the family farm near Capheaton. You will generally find me herding cows, lambing sheep, sorting horses or rushing around after my husband and children.

    I have three children, the older two currently attend Belsay School (Jack and Poppy) and April who attends the pre-School.

    I have recently joined the School Governing Body as a Parent Governor and look forward to being supportive and part of the decision making of our unique, rural school

  • Mrs Sarah Peto

    Parent member

    I grew up in the countryside on a working farm and went to a rural school like Belsay and know how vital these small schools are to the children and communities they support. I am passionate about how the early years of teaching shape the children’s interest for learning for years to come and I am pleased by joining team Belsay, as a parent member of the Academy Committee, that I can have a part to play in this. I currently work within adult learning and have previous knowledge of safeguarding and investigations.
    On a personal level we have a small holding consisting of sheep and hens, which we look after as well as working full time. I love the traditional rural life style and everything that goes with that and think it’s so important to keep these skills alive in modern society. I’m always busy doing something like baking or handicrafts as I’m no good at sitting still and hope I can bring of these skills to the role.

  • Miss Demi Houghton

    Staff Academy Committee Member

    I started my journey at Belsay on a university placement what feels like many years ago. I then completed my degree in BA (hons) Early Primary Education and was lucky enough to apply for a job with Team Belsay. I work in the Reception class and enjoy every day as it is always so different. I feel lucky to be able to work with such fantastic young people who amaze me every day with what they set out to achieve.

  • Mr Stephen Symons

    Parent member

    My family and I moved to Belsay in 2015 and two of my children (Ella and Edward) now attend Belsay Primary School and Evelyn is currently in Belsay Day Care and can't wait to start Reception in September 2022. I have been a secondary school teacher of mathematics for the last 22 years and currently work in the Maths department at Whickham School. After graduating from Northumbria University in August 1997 with a 1st Class BA (Hons) Mathematics degree. I initially worked outside of the education sector, but since 2000 I have enjoyed teaching at numerous local schools as well as a school in Luxembourg. I now find myself most content sitting with a cup of tea whilst doing hard sums!
    My three youngest children have all taken to rural village life and I look forward to supporting the wider village community as a member of the Academy Committee at Team Belsay whilst, at the same time, helping the school move forward as an active partner in the Pele Trust.

  • Miss Clare Cantwell


    I have served on the Governing Body (now the Academy Committee) for 12 Years; as a Teacher Governor and as Headteacher.
    Belsay is a fantastic school, with excellent relationships between pupils, parents and carers, staff and the whole community; it is a pleasure to be part of such a successful partnership.

If you wish to contact any of the Academy Committee (school governors) you can do so by e-mailing to one of the above e-mail addresses, alternatively paper mail to the school address: Belsay School, Belsay, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE20 0ET
Historic Members (left the AC within the last year):
Mrs S Rigg- chair
Mr Robin Wood- co-opted member
Mr Nick Tuck- parent member