Meet the Team

Kevin Reynolds, Executive Principal

Kevin began his teaching career in 1990, having previously spent three years working as a Department Manager for the John Lewis Partnership. He has chosen to work exclusively in County Durham across four very different schools. He has taught several subjects over the years but most enjoys the challenge and debate from teaching A’ level sociology and psychology.

He is passionate about ensuring every student gets the education they need so their life chances are the best they can be. He has held senior leadership roles in three schools and has a proven track record for school improvement. He believes that being the head of a school is a privilege and is proud to have built a school that is now oversubscribed and well regarded in the community.

To relax, Kevin enjoys cycling around the north east on his e-bike, skiing whenever he can and trying to beat his son at pool.

Rachel Somerville, Deputy Principal

Rachel began her teaching career as a RE teacher at Wolsingham School and Community College after completing her PGCE at Durham University and her Theology Degree in Liverpool. During her second year of teaching Rachel was promoted to middle leadership and took up the position of Head of Religious Studies which she continued for several years whilst taking on additional whole school responsibilities such as Lead Practitioner for Most Able and Talented. In 2006, Rachel was promoted to Head of Sixth Form and joined the Senior Leadership Team where she was instrumental in leading the Sixth Form forward.

In April 2012 Rachel moved to Consett Academy as Assistant Principal. Her role was to develop the Post 16 education in the Academy. Within four years, the Academy was recognised as being within the top 4% nationally for A’ Level results. Since then Rachel has had several roles and has played a key part in moving the Academy forward and ensuring the students are supported and equipped for their next stage in education. As Deputy Principal she works with the senior team to ensure that all aspects of the Academy run smoothly and effectively to improve the quality of education for all.

Rachel is passionate about the needs of every student, ensuring that no matter what their barriers they are supported to achieve and succeed. Rachel leads by example and ensures that students are at the forefront of all decisions made to drive the Academy forward.

Catriona Veide, Deputy Principal

Catriona Veide joined the Academy in September 2020 after 18 years teaching at Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy. Her career started as an English teacher at Easington Comprehensive School, before moving to Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy in Gateshead. Here she was successful in a number of roles: Head of English; Director of Teaching and Assistant Principal.

An experienced senior leader, Catriona’s passion is ensuring that all young people develop skills in learning so they can be successful in their futures. Catriona believes that education should provide opportunities and experiences for all young people so that they can grow and succeed.

When Catriona is not working you will find her spending time with her family, walking their dogs or coaching rugby.

Tom Clough, Assistant Principal

Tom began his teaching career at Whickham School after completing his PGCE at Northumbria University. After four years he was promoted to second in maths at the Duchess’ School where he remained for three years before promotion to Head of Maths at King Edward VI School and a further six years later he became Head of Maths and member of the sub-leadership team at Whitley Bay High School.

In September 2011, Tom was promoted to the senior leadership team at Walbottle Campus where he led on Maths, data and assessment, where progress in maths increased rapidly which resulted in the school achieving a good grade from OFSTED. He also used his passion for teaching and learning to impact across a whole school setting and he was a regular leader of whole school CPD.

In September 2017, Tom joined the New College Durham Academies Trust as strategic lead for maths across the Trust. He transferred to Consett Academy in March 2019 where he has had a number of roles including strategic lead to support disadvantaged students, development of NQT and ITTs and supporting the whole school strategy on data and assessment. He currently continues his work with the most disadvantaged students and now uses this experience to work with the SEND team and also leads on careers and alternative education.

Helen Potter, Assistant Principal

Having graduated in MFL from Durham University, Helen completed here PGCE at Sheffield University prior to starting her teaching career at St. Bede’s School, Lanchester. Helen left St. Bede’s to join Ryehills School, Redcar as Head of Languages.

Helen joined Consett Academy in 2013 as Learning Director for MFL building a diverse department offering several languages of study. It was during this time that Helen began to raise the International dimension of the Academy making links with schools from across the globe. Staff and students from Europe and beyond were welcomed in to the Academy and our students were given the opportunity to visit schools in other countries, including India. Since then, Helen developed her leadership across a whole school setting being promoted to Assistant Principal. In this role she has developed the opportunities for wellbeing and enrichment in additional to the behaviour support for all students.

Louise Crawford, Head of Sport, Art & Performance & Associate Assistant Principal

Louise started her career at Kenton School in 2010 as a Learning Support Assistant. This experience gave her the belief that an outstanding education is the single most powerful tool in a young person’s life. In 2011, Louise became a Teacher of Dance, where she rapidly progressed to become Head of Dance at North Durham Academy in 2012, a post held for 5 years. Following this, Louise took on the role of Year 11 Achievement Leader and joined the Senior Leadership Team.

Louise joined Consett Academy in September 2018 as Head of Sport, Art and Performance. Shortly after this, Louise was appointed as Associate Assistant Principal and became involved in Academy Leadership. Louise is still driven by her early experiences and this motivates her to do everything in her power to develop students into well rounded individuals; not only with outstanding qualifications but the skills and personal qualities needed to be successful in life.

Jim Green, Head of Technology & Vocational & Associate Assistant Principal

Jim graduated in Internet Computing BSc (Hons.) from Northumbria University in 2007 and subsequently completed his PGCE in ICT at Sunderland University in 2008.

In his NQT year at Moorside Community Technology College, he joined the Teaching & Learning group and started delivering CPD to other colleagues. He has a passion for computing which was recognised when he became a CAS Master Teacher delivering CPD to other computing teachers both locally and throughout the region at conferences. Within the last year Jim has lead County wide Computing CPD.

Whilst at Consett Jim has held the posts of Computing Learning Leader, Lead Teaching Coach and Head of Technical & Vocational. During his time as Head of Subject he has navigated through curriculum changes, improved the subjects on offer and overall student outcomes. In addition to this role Jim is an Associate Assistant Principal leading the Remote Learning.

Alex Pettican, Head of Science & Associate Assistant Principal

Alex began her teaching career at Tanfield School after completing her PGCE at Durham University. During the second year of her teaching career, Alex was promoted to middle leadership and took up the post of Head of Year 7. After an initial move to pastoral care, Alex then moved into the realms of ‘Teaching and Learning’, picking up a post as ‘Learning and Achievement Coordinator’ for more able and talented students, delivering CPD, running action research and even authoring her findings in a national scientific publication, as well as conducting an interview on BBC radio.

After nine years at Tanfield, Alex moved to the Durham Federation to lead the science department. During her six years, Alex was seconded into senior leadership to work on student voice and then wider stakeholder engagement. After her journey with the leadership team as part of a rapid improvement program Alex came to her home town of Consett to Lead the science department and provide a curriculum for the youngsters in her community that would provide and excite them about science, the way she was at school!

Alex now enjoys supporting the development of new and experienced teachers alike through her involvement with the NQT induction program and teacher coaching initiatives, remembering that the focus of every teacher, every initiative and every decision is students first.

Claire Beckett, Head of Maths

Claire began her teaching career at Cheam High School, Surrey after completing her PGCE at the University of Manchester in 2004. After 2 years of teaching, Claire relocated to the North East and took up a position as a maths teacher at Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland. She remained at Haydon Bridge for 10 years, successfully teaching GCSE Maths as well as A Level Maths and Further Maths. Claire is an experienced examiner for Edexcel, specialising in examining A Level Further Maths & Pure exams.

In September 2016, Claire moved to Consett Academy as Learning Leader for Maths. During her time as Learning Leader she developed and improved the Key Stage 5 curriculum as well as introducing a number of initiatives to motivate, inspire and challenge students at all levels.

Claire took over the Head of Maths role in June 2020 on a temporary basis following the departure of the previous Head of Maths. She was subsequently successful in being appointed to the role permanently in December 2020.

When not teaching Maths you can find Claire with her family, solving escape room style puzzles and learning to play her trumpet!

Paul Creegan, Head of English

Paul began his teaching career at Moorside Community Technology School after completing his PGCE at Sunderland University. Following the amalgamation of the two predecessor schools, Paul was promoted to the position of English Learning Leader at Consett Academy, initially overseeing KS3 English, before co-ordinating whole-school literacy and KS4 English. He worked closely with senior leaders in growing A Level provision in English Literature and Language, ensuring that course content best-suited the needs and interests of our students aspiring to study English beyond GCSE level.

In January 2017, Paul was appointed Head of English; Paul and his team have improved students’ outcomes, progress and attainment in English Literature and Language at both GCSE and A-Level, with positive trends emerging in each of the four respective qualifications. Paul has developed his leadership across a whole school setting, working closely with other leaders to ensure that provision in English is inspiring, challenging and engaging. He is dedicated to developing a positive climate for learning within his subject area, supporting students in developing their confidence, knowledge, skillset and outcomes. He strongly believes in continually developing his own classroom practice and supporting his team in developing their own classroom pedagogy.

Jo Yates, Head of Languages and Culture

Jo began her teaching career at Meols Cop High School after completing her PGCE at Liverpool Hope University. During the second year of her teaching career at Meols Cop, Jo was promoted to middle leadership and took up the post of Head of Geography, in which she remained for a further five years before moving to Moorside Community College where she the led the Humanities department.

Jo became Head of Languages and Culture in Consett Academy where she became a driving force in creating a love of learning throughout the departments she supported. Jo is passionate in her drive to ensure that all students in Consett leave the Academy not only with qualifications but just as importantly an empathy of others and an understanding of the wider world around us.

Laura Jobling, Head of Sixth Form

Laura began her teaching career at Teesdale School in 2012, after completing a Psychology degree at Newcastle University and PGCE at Northumbria University. Laura then joined Consett Academy in 2015 as Learning Leader for Social Sciences, with the results for both Psychology and Sociology remaining consistently high. She then moved to Achievement Leader within the Sixth Form in 2017, before becoming Head of Sixth Form in 2019. Laura’s passion for teaching Psychology and Sociology remains, encouraging students to delve into human mind and behaviour, as well as discussing and debating key issues in society.

Laura’s aim is that each and every member of the Sixth Form develops holistically into young adults, not only possessing the qualifications needed to move to the next stage in their careers, but also the qualities and skills needed to be well-rounded members of the community.