Lorrayne Hughes – CEO

Lorrayne is the successful and outward facing CEO of Cumbria Education Trust.  Cumbria Education Trust is one of the first school based MATs in North Cumbria.

Lorrayne passionately believes in inclusion and that all children deserve a high quality education – children are firmly at the heart of all her strategic decision making.

Lorrayne took up her first Headship at William Howard School in Cumbria in 2007. In January 2014 she was commissioned by the Local Authority to bring about rapid improvement in two special measures schools in Workington, Cumbria. One of the schools was removed from Special Measures within 20 weeks.  Ofsted commented on Lorrayne’s success in December 2014 “Your vision is clear: to build sustainable improvement across the schools for the long-term benefit of students and the Workington community”.  Following this secondment Lorrayne took up the role as CEO of the Trust.

Lorrayne believes in a school led system for school improvement based around autonomy and accountability. She was Chair of CASL (Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders) for many years and is passionate about system leadership and what that can bring to the school improvement agenda.  She strongly believes that schools are better working together and that collaboration can make a difference to all involved.

Mark Bedford – Head of West Coast Sixth Form

Des Bird – Headteacher, Workington Academy

Des has been Headteacher of Workington Academy since 2018. Workington is his second headship, and he has over 13 years senior leadership experience across 4 schools in Cumbria and in Greater Manchester.

Des has chaired a local Headteacher’s association, and is a Member of Ofsted’s Headteacher’s reference group.

Lisa Bland – Headteacher, Tebay Primary School

After completing a History degree in Birmingham, Lisa started her teaching career in a small school just outside Carlisle. Over the next 10 years she predominately taught children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 but over the last decade has been in Key Stage 2

Lisa joined the Trust in 2017 when she was the Assistant Head at Yanwath School. She has always had a passion for helping and supporting those children who are disadvantaged and her main responsibilities have been for Special needs, pastoral care and safeguarding. However, she is passionate about all children developing a love of reading and that they are given a curriculum which is exciting and enriching.

Born and bred in Cumbria, when travelling back from Birmingham always felt like she was ‘home’ when driving past Tebay. Over 20 years later when offered the post as head there she knew she was ‘home’ and this was the job for her.

In her spare time Lisa loves to be in the outdoors, either running at Parkrun with her children on a Saturday morning, training for marathons, swimming or walking the Wainwrights.

Faye Eldon – Headteacher, Hensingham Primary School

Faye has had the privilege of working with many children in West Cumbrian Schools for the past 14 years. During this time, she gained extensive experience as a classroom teacher, progressing to Assistant Head, Acting Head and now the Headteacher of Hensingham Primary School. She has a passion for maths and has been a Primary Mastery Specialist and worked for the North North West Maths Hub. She is now a Professional Development Lead for the NCETM, and has worked with many schools in the area.

As a former pupil at Hensingham Infant and Junior Schools she understand the needs and strengths of the community and feels very fortunate to be able to lead the next generation of lifelong learners.

Cate Floyd – Executive Headteacher, Longtown and Yanwath Primary Schools

After 12 years in education, working across the country in a variety of settings and alongside national bodies such as the North North West Maths Hub, Cate moved from Accrington to join the CET leadership team to take on her first headship at Longtown Primary School in 2017. She believes that all children are entitled to the very best education and working within a school improvement model to develop and sustain change, change that is for the better and not just reactive, is important to her.

After successfully securing their first Good judgment at Longtown, she have moved into her second headship within the Trust, at Yanwath Primary School ensuring that they, as a leadership team, continue to provide a sustainable school improvement model where children and staffs mental health and wellbeing are at the heart of all decisions being made.

Lauren Hitchen – Deputy Headteacher, Longtown Primary School

After completing an Early Childhood Studies degree in Liverpool, Lauren went on to complete a PGCE specialising in Early Years Education and Key Stage One. After teaching in an inner-city school in Liverpool. Lauren took the leap to Dubai to be part of the opening of a new international school. In Dubai Lauren was an Early Years Lead in an exceptionally large school.

Lauren moved back to the UK in 2016 and joined Cumbria Education trust as a Key Stage leader at Longtown Primary School. Lauren has worked from Early Years to Key Stage two her passion is Early Years and Phonics and she is now the Deputy Headteacher at Longtown Primary School. Lauren has had lots of opportunity to develop and grow as a leader in CET, working collaboratively with the trust schools to ensure the children become the ‘best they can be’.

In her spare time Lauren enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends and travelling.

Marie Jamieson – Headteacher, Newtown Primary School

Chris Kearton – Assistant Headteacher, Workington Academy and CET Data Manager

Chris has taught maths in Workington since 1997, undertaking a variety of roles in first middle, and then senior leadership. He currently oversees the use of data to drive improvement across the trust, as well as supporting the teaching of maths at Workington and Whitehaven Academies.

Joanne Lloyd – Headteacher, Yewdale Primary School

Since qualifying as a primary school teacher in 1998, Joanne has had extensive experience across the primary range up to and including year 7 children, whilst working in aspirational and high attaining local authorities in the south east of England. Following her family’s relocation to north west Cumbria in September 2016, she joined CET as a Deputy Headteacher, and she’s delighted that her leadership journey has allowed her to take up her first Headship within a CET school.

Chris McAree – Headteacher, William Howard School

A Maths teacher by trade he has a passion for ensuring all students achieve their potential. He has worked at schools from the inner city in Coventry, overseas in Bahrain to numerous schools in Cumbria. He was previously a Headteacher in another Cumbrian standalone academy secondary school before joining CET and WHS.

Sue Newstead – Director Of Learning Provision (& SENCO)

Sue’s work in education began 20 years ago in a city centre school, working with groups with special and additional educational needs. A passion for inclusion and equal opportunity for all children soon led to middle leader, strategic management roles and qualification as a SENCO.

Appointment to the senior leadership team in Cumbria Education Trust as Director of Learning Provision (& SENCO), has afforded Sue the opportunity to develop and lead teams of highly qualified and skilled staff to support and guide children and young people to invest in themselves and their education, aiming for them to genuinely believe that they can ‘be the best they can be’

As a parent and grandparent, she firmly believes that educational provision should be exceptional and aspirational, something we strive to achieve within the Trust.

Grant O’Townson – Acting Headteacher, Northside Primary School

Grant is the Acting Headteacher of Northside Primary School and has been at Northside since 2012, initially as Senior Teacher and subsequently Deputy Head. Grant has 15 years of teaching experience in KS2 and has spent most of this in Year 5/6.

Grant believes the most important part of any job in education is the children. They are key to everything we do and ensuring their happiness, safety and future success is the biggest responsibility and privilege possible. He knows that the children of Northside deserve the best and works passionately alongside all the staff and parents to provide this.

Nick Polmear – Operations Director

Nick has been with the Trust from the very outset and has been intrinsic in the growth and development of the Trust. Nick was promoted from Infrastructure and Assurance Director to Operations Director in November 2019 and has oversight of all CET Central Services.

Prior to joining the Trust Nick was a member of the Senior Leadership Team at William Howard School and served as the Support Staff Governor for 9 years.

Kerry Rogerson – HR Manager

Anne-Marie Tulloch – Head of Finance

Anne-Marie joined the Trust in January 2020 having spent nearly 20 years working in practice. Qualified as a Chartered Accountant with a BDO Stoy Hayward in Nottingham before moving North and joining Dodd and Co in 2004.

Having spent the last 16 years advising GP practices on all things financial, she is now transferring these skills to the education sector and swapping patient numbers for pupil numbers in financial forecasting.

Outside work like many parents she runs around after her children. She also enjoys most sports, and runs, swims, or cycles when time allows. Squeezing in the odd half or full marathon for fun.

Ayesha Weston – Headteacher, Caldew Lea Primary School

Ayesha has been privileged enough to work in education for twenty years in a variety of quite unique roles. Originally from north of the border, Carlisle has been her adopted home city for over 13 years. She took up her first leadership role in an alternative provision setting, as leader of the primary phase in a local Pupil Referral Unit; she has a long held passion and personal drive to improve the life chances of the most socially and economically disadvantaged children in society. Following this. her first Headship, in contrast, was as Head of a small ‘outstanding’ Church of England Primary Academy, where she spent five years.

Ayesha joined CET in September 2019 as Headteacher of Caldew Lea Primary School. Caldew Lea already has a special place in her heart, as it is not only her local school but also the school in which she completed her teacher training nearly twenty years ago.

The children of Caldew Lea are a constant inspiration and really are the most fantastic children you could wish to work with. They are currently on a rapid improvement journey towards ‘good’, made possible by the support provided by being part of Cumbria Education Trust. She is proud to be a part of a strong, cohesive organisation which truly puts children first.

Chris Wilkins – Director of Primary Education

Chris has been a teacher for over 25 years working in schools in the South East, Midlands and Cumbria including 16 years of headship in three schools. He is fortunate to be in a role within Cumbria Education Trust which enables him to work across a number of primary schools supporting the development of curriculum, teaching and learning and collaborative working.

Nigel Youngman – Headteacher, The Whitehaven Academy

Nigel has extensive leadership experience of raising standards in schools serving coastal and urban communities in Norfolk, Suffolk and East Sussex.

An experienced English and Film teacher, his career began in Pakistan, followed by Birmingham and Bristol.

He lives with his family in Cumbria, and enjoys running very slowly on the fells.