Governors Chairman 

      Mr B W Adcock, BSc FIPA 

      I joined the Governing Body in 2005, and have held roles of Vice Chairman, Chair of Nominations and Marketing Committees and I am currently the Chair of Governors. I am a former pupil of the Schools, and my children are also Allanians.

      Before retirement my career was broad and varied with the vast majority of my career spent in marketing for companies such as Procter & Gamble, Tyne Tees Television and Robson Brown in the North East. 

      Outside of Dame Allan’s I enjoy travelling, walking and am also Chairman of the City Centre Chaplaincy.

      I am very proud to be a part of the Dame Allan’s family.


      Vice Chairman 

      Mrs D A Cunningham, MA 

      My working background has been in HR across a number of organisations in both the public and private sectors including retail, broadcasting and financial services. As a parent of 4 children I also have experience in areas I could never have predicted! 

      Through it all, I have always been interested in education and the opportunities it affords people of all ages, but particularly the young.I joined the Governing Body, originally as a Parent Governor, in 2012 and am currently Vice -Chair and a member of the Strategy, Education, Finance and Marketing sub- committees.

      All of my children have attended Dame Allan’s and I enjoyed watching them thrive at the Schools.



      Mr I Belsham, B.A B.Arch Reg.Arch. 

      I joined the Governing Body in 2014 and currently am a member of the Finance Committee and the Strategy Committee.  I bring to these committees a lifetime of business experience in managing my own company, design and construction, project management and property development.

      I am an Architect and retired from my own Practice in 2014 at which time I was invited to join the Governing Body.  From 2002 onwards my practice designed and project managed all of the Schools’ building and refurbishment projects including the Hunter’s Moor Junior School, the Queen’s Building, the Library, the new staffrooms and the main reception area.

      Outside of Dame Allan’s I am a keen and active tennis player and golfer.


      Ms C Bell, BEd Hons (Cantab)

      I became a Parent Governor in Autumn 2016 and a now sit on the Education and Marketing Committees. My family’s connection to the Schools goes back to the 1950s when my father and two uncles attended the Boys’ School. My grandfather taught here in the late 1960s and my two sisters and I attended the Girls’ School during the 1980s. Both of my daughters both currently attend Dame Allan’s.

      My professional career included six years teaching in Central London followed by three years teaching in the North East. I have also been involved in child minding and running a toddler group. For the last 10 years I have been running a small property management company with my husband.


      Mr C Bolland, ACMA CGMA

      I joined the Governing Body as a Co-optative Governor in October 2016.  As an accountant and having worked in financial management for most of my career, it seemed a natural step to join the Finance Committee which I did in February 2017.  At around the same time I joined the Education Committee to gain an insight into work of the Schools and the delivery of its goals and objectives. My youngest son, Andrew was a pupil at Dame Allan’s from 1990, leaving for university in 2008.

      Prior to my retirement in 2015, I spent the majority of my career working as an accountant with an industrial coatings company supplying paint and protective coatings to the aerospace, oil and gas, marine and construction industries.  Operating in 59 countries with customers requiring support across the globe provided experience of working within a complex business environment and across diverse markets, cultures and geographies.  During this time I gained significant experience in a variety of roles in financial management, planning and business development.  For the last ten years of my career I held the position of Finance Director working as part of the senior management team, acting as business partner to the Managing Director as well as providing strong functional leadership within Finance and IT.

      Since retirement I now have much more time available to walk, cycle, garden and read.  Looking ahead I hope to travel more for pleasure once I have forgotten all those business trips that required so much stamina and patience!


      Prof E Cross, BMus PhD

      I joined the Governing Body at Dame Allan’s in September 2012 and I have been a member of the Education and Nominations Committees. Both of my sons previously attended Dame Allan’s.

      I have been a member of staff at Newcastle University as a lecturer in music and, after periods as Head of Music and Dean of Arts I am now Dean of Cultural Affairs and Professor of Music and Culture/ I also conduct the Newcastle Bach Choir and am co-founder of the Newcastle Early Music Festival.As Dean of Cultural Affairs I am involved in fostering internal cross-disciplinary activities and links between the University and the region, especially relating to strategic partnerships such as those around the Great North Museum.  I am currently leading Creative Fuse North East, an action research project bringing together the five North East universities with the region’s creative and digital sector to explore innovative approaches to supporting business growth.

      As well as music of various kinds, I’m interested in museums, galleries, the theatre and film.


      Mr M Davison, ACMA CGMA








      Mr T Gray, MA (Cantab)

      I became a governor in 2016 when I retired, after 43 years as a solicitor with the same firm in Newcastle.

      I am an old boy of the Dame Allan’s which served me extremely well, enabling me to go on to Cambridge University where I retain many connections.

      I have returned to the law as a consultant but am keen to ensure that all duties that I can discharge on behalf of the Schools are duly dealt with.

      In my time as a solicitor I have met a great number of people, many of whom became my clients, and I have joined the Nominations Committee on the basis that I might assist in recommending persons suitable to act as governors of the Schools in the future. I am very much committed to the ethos of Dame Allan’s and committed to promoting that ethos.


      Prof R Gregory, BA (Cantab), MA (Cantab), PhD (Cantab), FInstP

      I became a governor in 2014, and am a Professor in Mathematics and Physics. I spent five years working at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and University of Chicago in the US before returning to Britain as a Royal Society researcher. I have spent the last 15 years at Durham University as both lecturer and researcher, and have many international links and collaborations. Having been in a male dominated environment for all of my working life, I am keen to support and promote science and technology education among girls.

      My family has strong ties to Dame Allan’s, not only did I attend myself, but also my mother, uncle, and even members of the previous generation are all Dame Allan’s alumni. One of the impressive aspects of Dame Allan’s is that it has an extremely forward-looking perspective whilst remaining connected with its past.


      Canon M Nicholson, MBE B Phil 

      My teaching career began in an infant school in Carlisle.  After three years I moved to Newcastle where I taught in three inner city and multi-faith schools, becoming Head of an inner city Church of England Primary School in east Newcastle.  Following the birth of my first child, I moved from my headship role to work part-time at Newcastle University as a Teacher Tutor on the Primary PGCE Course.  I was appointed Director of Education for the Diocese of Newcastle in 1995, a post I held until I retired in 2010.

      I am married to Derek, formerly Registrar of Newcastle University, and we have two children who both attended Dame Allan’s Secondary Schools.  I have been a governor at Dame Allan’s since 2013 and am currently Chair of the Education Committee.

      I have attended Holy Trinity Church in Jesmond for over 40 years and have enjoyed supporting many aspects of the church’s mission and ministry, including the activities and events provided for children and young people.  I became a lay Canon of Newcastle Cathedral in 2002 and I have also served on the Cathedral’s Council and the Cathedral Trust. 


      Dr P Paes, MBBS MSc MMedEd EdD FRCP

      I joined the Governing Body of Dame Allan’s in 2016 and I sit on the Education Committee. I am passionate about the opportunities that a good, all round education can bring and I am honoured to play a role in shaping that at Dame Allan’s as a governor. I am a former pupil of Dame Allan’s and my children are current pupils.

      My background is in healthcare and education, I work as an NHS consultant and university lecturer and hold leadership roles in both sectors.




      Prof E R Plummer, MA DPhil MBBCh MD FRCP 

      I joined the Governing Body in 2011 as the Governor appointed by Cambridge University.  With the change in Articles of Association I am now serving as a co-opted Governor.  My role within the board is as the Governor Representative on the Health and Safety Committee. My brother attended the Schools in the 1980, and my twin sons attended more recently from Years 11-13.

      I have held a range of professional roles, many at Newcastle University, which include Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology and I am currently Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University.

      As a practising hospital consultant and clinical academic my interests within the Governing Board are supporting the Schools in Health and Safety matters, and also advise on university entrance.

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