Grace Thomas – Chair

Grace has recently completed her PhD in Social Science and Community Arts at Edge Hill University that she received a three year scholarship to complete. She has worked with arts education and community arts since 2004, as well advocating for disabled artists in the theatre industry. She has two children at CLPS and has delivered drama based workshops at the school, as well as assisting the PTA with fundraising events and school activities. She is proud to be part of the school and is passionate about equity of opportunity and outcome in education.

Dr Andrew Johnson – Lead Director

Andrew Johnson was until January 2018 the Executive Director of |Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council. Previously he was a Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools. He is a qualified teacher with over 30 years’ experience in schools and colleges and has gained extensive senior management experience, including as a director of education with a variety of organisations.

Andrew has worked as leader of education for a large national charity, been a special school headteacher and held senior leadership posts across education and voluntary sectors. His responsibilities include improving science, ICT, literacy and numeracy outcomes in schools, colleges and teacher-education programmes. Andrew holds a Doctorate in education focussing on Special Educational Needs policy and its impact on children and young people.

He currently works as a part-time Director of Educational Projects for Northumberland County Council and works as an educational consultant.

Lorrayne Hughes – Chief Executive

Lorrayne is the Chief Executive of Cumbria Education Trust, the county’s largest multi-academy school trust.

Lorrayne took up her first Headship at William Howard School in Brampton in 2007 and in 2014 was commissioned by the Local Authority to bring about rapid improvement in two special measures schools in Workington. One of the schools was removed from Special Measures within 20 weeks.

She has led CET since inception to its current position where it is responsible for the education of more than 4,000 children across three secondary schools, eight primaries and West Coast Sixth Form.

Lorrayne passionately believes in inclusion and that all young people deserve a high-quality education. Children are firmly at the heart of all her strategic decision-making.
All schools work closely together following Lorrayne’s lead that collaboration can make a difference to all involved, from pupils and students to staff and their communities.

Lorrayne is a board member of the Confederation of School Trusts, the sector body for school trusts.

Ayesha Weston – Headteacher

Ms Weston 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; Ms Weston 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.

Ms Weston joined CET in September 2019 as Headteacher of Caldew Lea Primary School. Caldew Lea already had a special place in her heart, as it is not only her local school but also the school in which she completed my 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. We are currently on a rapid improvement journey towards ‘good’, made possible by the support provided by being part of Cumbria Education Trust. Ms Weston is proud to be a part of a strong, cohesive organisation which truly puts children first.

Sarah Scott – Staff LAB member

Sarah has worked at Caldew Lea School since September 2017. She works as the Engagement and Wellbeing Officer and also the Deputy Safeguarding Lead at Caldew Lea. Sarah is based in the Inclusion room and her role covers attendance, attending meetings regarding families in the school and work 1:1 and in groups with the children.

Sarah’s previous history includes working as an advocate to give children a voice. She also worked for Children’s services for 7 years as a Family Worker and Education Welfare Officer.

Sarah believes in inclusion and ensuring that all children get the best possible outcomes and that  children are at the centre of everything.

Ian Newstead – LAB member

Ian has recently retired having spent over 40 years in education.  An experienced senior teacher, assistant Head teacher and SENCO he has worked in schools across Cumbria.

He was a specialist Teacher of SEN and Behaviour for the Local Authority and more recently worked as a Senior Education consultant advising Primary and Secondary schools on whole school protocols and strategic management.  He is committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes and opportunities for all school pupils.

Danielle Atkins – LAB member

Danielle has a degree in Performing Arts from her time at University of Cumbria and has worked in various professional roles in this capacity since graduating in 2009. She is also the director of a local children’s charity which promotes self-belief and confidence in young children. She is passionate about the wellbeing of our children and strongly believes that all children deserve positive childhood experiences inside and outside of school. She has a child who attends CLPS and has delivered drama workshops in school which were a great success.

Kevin Smith – LAB member

Kevin is retired after spending most of his working life in the Royal Military Police and the Metropolitan Police. In 1977, he commanded the Gurkha Military Police close protection units.
He was based in both Hong Kong and Nepal for 13 years and made many friends from the South Asian Community

Kevin was a School Governor in the early 1980s and again more recently at Great Orton Primary School.
He is currently the treasurer of a UK Charity called Images of Nepal which sponsors children for education in Kirtipur, Nepal and Director of Gurkha Spicy Limited.
Kevin is the Branch Community Support Representative for the Carlisle and Stanwix Royal British Legion.

Laura Lang – LAB member (Safeguarding lead) (Subject to DBS clearance)

LAB members in the previous 12 months:

  • Sharon Polmear – 13/09/22
  • Carole Kellett – Term of office expired – 11/12/22

To view the Meeting Attendance Records and Registers of Interest for the Caldew Lea Local Advisory Board click the button below.