Leadership Team

The Link School Leadership Team

Donna Walker – Headteacher

Donna has been in teaching for 20 years and is a new addition to the Link School. She started her career working in a mainstream school where she was a Head of Science, and later a Vice Principal for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare.  Throughout her time working in a mainstream school, Donna has spent a large majority of her time working to improve the life chances of ‘hard to reach’ young people leading to her recently embarking on a Master’s in Education for Special Needs, specialising in Social and Emotional Mental Health Needs. This change on educational focus has confirmed deepened her commitment, drive and determination to make a real difference in Alternative Education and helping young people gain the necessary skills to succeed throughout their school career and beyond.


Dave Bromby – Head of School, Tudor Grove

Dave has worked in education for 20 years and has spent most of his career working in alternative provision. At the Link School, he brings a wealth of experience of working with very vulnerable learners and uses his skills and knowledge to create a calm, well organised school.

Beryl Wiseman – Assistant Headteacher

Beryl has worked in Education and Youth work for 38 years. For the last 26 she has worked in education with disaffected young people and has been committed to giving these vulnerable young people every possible opportunity to succeed in life. To achieve this she is constantly looking for new and different qualifications which her students can achieve and use as stepping stones in their career paths. Beryl has had an incredible impact on the curriculum over the last 5 years and her work in leading the curriculum has resulted in the Link School being one of the highest achieving alternative provision schools in the country.

Sarah Davison – Assistant Headteacher Tudor Grove

Sarah moved from mainstream education to the Link School in 2013 and became the Key Stage 2 lead in 2014. She is passionate about working with some of our younger learners and has created an exceptionally strong team who are equally committed and dedicated to improve the lives of young people.  Sarah has worked in education, as a teacher, for 10 years. Before becoming a teacher she worked as a nursery nurse in a school for children with special needs. Sarah taught in a mainstream primary school for 9 years working in every year group from nursery to year 6.  She really enjoys working with children who have found mainstream education difficult to access.

Ron Cruikshanks – Director of Safeguarding

Ron has worked at the Link School He works closely with Children’s services and other agencies to support our most vulnerable pupils.  Prior to working at the Link school Ron was a Detective Inspector with Northumbria Police. He was the lead for Child Protection for South of Tyne, working with 3 local authorities. He has worked on numerous major enquiries involving Child Sexual exploitation and was at the forefront of developing the current safeguarding procedures within Sunderland through his work with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Glenn Robson – Director of School Services and Training

Since leaving Durham University with a BA Hons in Education 18 years ago, Glenn Robson has spent his whole career working with children and young people. He began his career as a Primary School Teacher in County Durham before beginning work in Sunderland, where he worked within a multi-agency team, focused on supporting disadvantaged children and young people at risk of social and/or educational exclusions. During this period Glenn also completed a Postgraduate Degree in Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties as well as a Diploma in Advice and Guidance. He now leads the Key Stage 2/3/4 Behaviour Support Service, as well as being an accredited Team Teach Trainer. He passionately believes in ensuring all schools, learners and parents he works with, receive the highest quality of support in order to achieve the best possible outcomes and he is committed to delivering this through a proactive approach with all stakeholders.

Caroline Granton – School Business Manager

Caroline has worked as Business Manager within the Link School since July 2013, prior to that she worked in the school office.  Earlier in her career Caroline worked for Sunderland City Council as a finance officer and local authority auditor.  Caroline has achieved both the Diploma in School Business Management and the Certificate in School Business Management.  She is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and the Association of Accountancy Technicians.  Caroline is responsible for the business function within school and manages a small administration and facilities team.  She is also a member of the Management Committee and is very interested in the strategic direction of the school.  Caroline strongly believes that our learners deserve the best and aims to ensure that by effective financial and resource management the school can ensure that learners have the best opportunities possible.



Link School Tudor Grove, Portland Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR3 1SS

Tel: 0191 562 3200
Fax: 0191 562 3201
Email: caroline.granton@schools.sunderland.gov.uk

Link School Pallion, Waverley Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 6TA

Tel: 0191 562 3126
Email: anita.blakeman@schools.sunderland.gov.uk