Former university boss appointed chair of governors at new Sunderland school

Professor Peter Fidler was a governor at both Red House Academy and Academy 360, in Pennywell.
Professor Peter Fidler was a governor at both Red House Academy and Academy 360, in Pennywell.

A former university boss has been appointed as the chair of governors at a new school – which is set to welcome pupils from South Tyneside.

Professor Peter Fidler, who is the former chief executive and vice chancellor at the University of Sunderland, will lead the board at the Beacon of Light School.

The charity’s education work at its Stadium of Light classrooms has been first-class

Professor Peter Fidler

The school opened last month and is based in classrooms at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light until it moves into the Beacon of Light, the £16million education, training and sports facility to be built adjacent to the stadium.

It will cater for students aged between 13 and 16 who are on the margins of mainstream education, with up to 80 pupils from Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham to be welcomed.

The school, championed by the Foundation of Light, aims to reintegrate as many as possible back into mainstream schools.

Mr Fidler said: “The charity’s education work at its Stadium of Light classrooms has been first-class, rightly acclaimed across the country, but they want to do more, and the Beacon School will take delivery to the next level. The school is the natural progression from what they’re doing now, and we’ll be able to improve the lives of so many more young people from our own purpose-built base in the Beacon.”

Working with Beacon of Light School principal Denise Taylor and Foundation of Light chief executive Lesley Spuhler, Professor Fidler has already appointed several governors to his board.

These include Professor Roy Sandbach, who heads the National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation at Newcastle University, and Ros Potts, the Football Association’s national workforce manager.