Gill Morton

Parent Governor and Chair of Governors

Hi I am Gill Morton, Parent Governor and Chair of Governors I have two daughters within Gateshead Education system one of whom has attended Cedars since nursery and is now in employment.

My working background is financial, I worked for Lloyds TSB Banking group for almost 20 years.

I became a governor at Cedars over 14 years ago and became Chair in September 2015. I wanted to become a governor as I believe in the philosophy of Cedars in giving every child the best educational experience possible and if I could I wanted to help this happen.

I sit on the following governor committees: Finance and Staffing (Resources); Curriculum & Pupils; Pupil Discipline; Head Teacher Appraisal; Business & Partnership Development Group.

I am link governor to Business & Partnership Development on the School Development Plan. 

Gordon Neale OBE

Trustee & Vice Chair of Governors

Hi, I am Gordon Neale OBE. I am a Trustee & Vice Chair of Governors.

I served 26 years in the Army followed by 28 years with Disability Sport England as their CEO. I was awarded OBE in 2002 for outstanding contribution to disabled sport.

I was an Olympic Torch carrier and commentator at the Paralympics in 2012. 

Taking on the role of Trustee/Governor seemed a natural progression having been in contact with the Cedars sports teams that attended competitions run by my old organisation, so I had virtually grown up with the students before moving north and marrying Liz Neale in 2000. I believe my knowledge and experience will add to the team and provide a secure pathway for pupils and staff.

I sit on the following governor committees: Finance & Staffing; Head Teacher Appraisal; Chair of Business & Partnership Development Group. 

I am link governor to Leadership & Management on the School Development Plan.

Paul Hills

Parent Governor

Hi, I am Paul Hills. Having watched my son develop at Cedars over the last 7 years I am keen to give back and support the school. I genuinely care about Cedars and the delivery of excellent education and development of social skills for our young people.

I sit on the Parent Council and so will provide a direct route for the parent/carer community to support the Governors. I have been Civil Servant for over 26 years and work as an upper middle manager.

I sit on the Finance and Staffing Governor Committee. I am link governor to 'Improving Access to Learning, Personal Development & Welfare' on the School Improvement Plan.

Sarah Guy

Parent Governor

Hi, I’m Sarah Guy, Parent Governor at Cedars Trust. I have a level 3 Diploma in Educational Studies and I’m currently studying for a BA (hons) in Anthropology and Archaeology at Durham University.

My son has attended Cedars for over 8 years. During this time, he has flourished both academically and socially; through a curriculum tailored to his needs and ability and an approach that enables all children at Cedars, to progress at their own pace whilst still being challenged, in a safe and encouraging environment.

Having personal experience with ADHD and first-hand knowledge of ASD and Learning difficulties, my aim as governor is to support this approach, ensuring all children at Cedars achieve their potential.

Naomi Kelly

Parent Governor

I have two sons at Cedars Academy, and because of my own journey with my boys, getting it right for children with special educational needs means a lot to me. When we began looking at specialist provision, I felt that Cedars offered something special. I am a strong believer in the ‘Fit for Life’ philosophy, and also fell strongly that every child is unique and learns differently.

I have been a nurse in the NHS for twenty five years and currently work part time as a matron.  I love my job and I am passionate about providing safe care to patients. I feel privileged to be able to support our staff to deliver the quality care that patients deserve. In the same way, I believe it a privilege to be able to support Cedars as a Governor to get it right for our children.

I have particular knowledge around autistic spectrum disorder and have valuable personal experience of providing support to both children and adults with ASD.

Cllr Maria Hall

Local Authority Governor

I am Maria Hall and I have been a Local Authority Governor since 2015. I have been a Gateshead Local Councillor since 2011. I am  Managing Director of Specialist Domiciliary Care Company based in Newcastle and Director of Gateshead Autism Group (GAG).

My qualifications – BA Hons Social Care, Level 5 Leadership and Management, independent Advocate.

I have been married to Michael for many years and have three daughters and one grandson. My likes: animals, music, films, art and craft.

I have been involved with Cedars since 1997, as a Governor since 1998; I have been Chair of Governors at Cedars twice. I am dedicated to improving outcomes for individuals affected by Autism and Learning Disability.  

I sit on the following governor committees: Finance & Staffing; Health & Safety; Business & Partnership Development Group. I am link governor to Business & Partnership Development on the School Development Plan. 

Martin Flowers


Hello, I am Martin Flowers, Head Teacher. I have been teaching at Cedars for since 1995. Before that I taught abroad in international schools in Moscow and Norway; prior to that my first teaching post was at a Northumberland high school.

My focus is providing a structure and the opportunities to enable our staff to create a highly individualised, responsive, caring, supportive but challenging environment. The promotion of independence, resilience, emotional literacy, self-esteem, physical & mental health are at the heart of all we do at Cedars.

I sit on the following governor sub-committees: Curriculum & Pupils; Premises, Health & Safety; Finance & Staffing; and Business & Partnership Development Group.

I firmly believe that through partnerships the impact Cedars can make is made stronger. I am Trustee of a number of our partner organisations, including be inspired to..., WinG and GAG.

Joe MacCabe

Staff Representative

Hi, I am Joe MacCabe. I began working at Cedars Academy in March 2014.

I have spent much of my career as an actor and drama facilitator, working in schools across the UK devising and delivering workshops based around pertinent issues such as self-esteem, bullying and knife crime.

In my role as Performing Arts Lead at Cedars, I have been able to draw upon my own personal experiences to teach students new skills as well as help build their confidence through performance. 

I was delighted to be appointed as staff representative on the board of Governors in September 2014 as I committed to ensuring each individual child reaches their full potential.

 I sit on the Curriculum & Pupils Committee and I am link governor to 'Improving Outcomes, Teaching, Learning & Assessment' on the School Improvement Plan. 

Rachel Lane

Staff Representative

Hi, I am Rachel Lane. I work as a teaching assistant in KS1&2. I began working at Cedars Academy in March 2014.

I was delighted to be appointed as staff representative on the board of Governors in September 2018 as I committed to ensuring each individual child reaches their full potential. I sit on the academy Curriculum & Pupils Group. 

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Contact: 0191 487 4595 / enquiries@cedarstrust.org.uk / Cedars Trust, Ivy Lane, Gateshead, NE9 6QD