Announcement of Interim Headteacher

St Joseph’s & St Thomas More Primary Schools


The Governing Body is delighted to announce that Mrs Barbara Reilly-O’Donnell has been seconded to the federation as Interim Head Teacher for the next academic year. Mrs Reilly-O’Donnell will be a familiar face in the parish and is well-known by many of you. She has been a parishioner of the Durham Martyrs’ Parish for over 20 years and previously worked as Deputy Head Teacher at St Thomas More Primary School until 2008. From 2008 until 2010 Barbara was the Durham LA Quality Assurance Officer in the local authority’s School Improvement Team and led the regional team for two of the Department for Education’s National Strategies.


In 2010 she was appointed as Head Teacher of St Mary’s Primary School in Newton Aycliffe, before being appointed to the position of Head Teacher at Our Lady Queen of Peace, Penshaw in 2013. During her time there, she also acted as Executive Head Teacher at St. Mary’s Primary School in Sunderland in the academic year 2018-2019. She has recently been appointed as part of the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust’s Central Team in the role of Director of Ethos.


Barbara also supports the diocese through her work as a Section 48 Inspector and a Recruitment Advisor. Nick Hurn, Chief Executive Officer of the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust said: “Mrs. Reilly-O’Donnell is an excellent Head Teacher and the Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust is delighted to be able to support the Federation of St Joseph’s and St. Thomas More by enabling her to act as Interim Head Teacher for the next 12 months. It is important that our schools continue to work collaboratively and support each other.”


Mrs. Reilly-O’Donnell will take up her post on Tuesday 1st September 2020.