Name: Mark Jones

Professional Title: CEO/Executive Headteacher

Background: Mark achieved a degree in mathematics followed by a PGCE at Newcastle University. He began teaching into mainstream schools in Newcastle in 1995 before moving into special education in 1999 when appointed as a Maths and ICT teacher at a medium secure psychiatric unit in Newcastle. This unit would later become part of Newcastle Bridges School where he was appointed to Assistant Head then Deputy Head before becoming Headteacher of the school in January 2016. While Deputy Head he was seconded at the request of the LA for 6 months as Headteacher of Talbot House, which is an independent special school for extreme SEMH students. In January 2018 Mark led the formation of Prosper Learning Trust MAT when Newcastle Bridges School became the approved sponsor of Newcastle LA Behaviour PRU and has recently successfully won the sponsorship for a Special Free School in Sunderland for students with autism which will open in January 2021.

Name of Organisation: Prosper Learning Trust

Newcastle Bridges School

Mary Astell Academy

Status of organisation: Multi Academy Trust

Area of the country: North East

Description of your organisation:

Newcastle Bridges School is an AP Academy providing education into

  • 11 wards of the Great North Children’s Hospital
  • Children’s heart and lung unit at the Freeman Hospital
  • Alnwood, a medium secure adolescent psychiatric unit
  • Ferndene which provides inpatient assessment and treatment for young people with complex health, behavioural and emotional needs including those with a learning disability
  • Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorder Service at Walkergate Hospital which is a regional autism assessment centre
  • Benfield which offers education to Newcastle students who are not able to access mainstream education due to mental health issues as well as a small number of young mums and pregnant schoolgirls. Community Outreach is based out of Benfield and there is also an attached nursery

 Mary Astell Academy is an AP Academy offering education to students who have been permanently excluded from mainstream education who either need long term placement or are waiting for a mainstream placement through the LA FAP process.