Lorna McLean

The Trust was inspired by King Edwin School and Spark of Genius, who wanted to bring the knowledge and approaches they were able to use in the independent sector to a wider range of children and families.
We are passionate about making things different for young people and families, and this school is the first step to us being able to do this in Hartlepool. We look forward to listening to your views, in order to provide parents/ carers and the community we serve with the best school possible.
At Hartlepool Free School we will seek to establish a school culture that fosters positive outcomes for pupils at its heart. We will work as a team to create an aspirational environment where pupils can access specialist support alongside expert teaching, and where every child should have opportunities to reach their full potential, regardless of their disability or special educational need.
Hartlepool Free School will be a state-of-the-art purpose designed and built school for 64 young people aged 5-19 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health conditions. Located at Golden Flatts, the school will be set within a thoughtfully landscaped area including sensory spaces, outdoor learning spaces and specialist sports spaces.
Most students will have an Education, Health and Care Plan, although a number of places will be available for students to be with us whilst this is being assessed/explored.


Wendy Pattison

Wendy Pattison has been the Business Director and CFO at Framwellgate School Durham since July 2014.
Wendy started her career working for Sunderland City Council where she worked as a buyer in the Corporate Procurement Team, and then progressed to leading the team of Finance Support Officers, supporting schools throughout the LA in financial management.
From there, Wendy became the Business Manager for 5 years at Sandhill View School, before moving in to the Academy sector at FSD. For 20+ years Wendy has delivered training for local authorities across the region to support their Governor Training Programmes, a role which she relishes.
Wendy is also the part time CFO for Make It Different Trust, supporting the Trust in the opening of Hartlepool Free School in September 2024, a project which she is privileged to support and one she says has been the high point of her career.


Tristan Keates

Tristan is a qualified Science Teacher and SENCo. He has been a SENCo in two schools as well as a 16-19 Academy. He is an experienced senior leader, including working as a headteacher of a pupil referral unit. Tristan has also established two alternative provisions in different local authorities. He joins Make it different direct from a role as Director of Inclusion for another multi academy trust.
Tristan is passionate about supporting students with SEN. He is the parent of a child with SEN and believes every child should be supported to reach their potential. His values align with the Make it different values of
  • Kindness
  • A growth Mindset
  • Resilience
  • Personal responsibilities
Tristan has a problem-solving approach and believes in a partnership approach with parents and young people. He also wants Hartlepool free school to be at the centre of the Hartlepool community with students actively engaging in the community and local groups and companies having an input into the school. The power of working together to ensure the best outcomes for our young people means we really can make it different for Hartlepool.

Chair of Trustees

Joanna Bailey

The school will provide an inspirational and exciting curriculum with a strong focus on positive personal strengths and conduct,
high aspirations and on the importance of the outdoors and nature and curriculum will include horticulture, animal care, outdoor education and cultural education.
Hartlepool Free School will operate to the guiding values of the Trust of;
  • Kindness
  • A growth Mindset
  • Resilience
  • Personal responsibilities
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