David Helliwell – LAB Chair

David is a media and communications consultant following a career as a journalist and editor.

He advises businesses and organisations on public relations, working with the media, crisis communications and delivers media training for clients across the North West.

David and his family moved to Cumbria in 2012 when he took over as editor of The Cumberland News and News & Star newspapers based in Carlisle.

He was a founder member of Carlisle Ambassadors and is a director of Geltsdale Arts Ltd, responsible for the annual Music on the Marr Festival.

David and his teacher wife have two teenage children.

Lorrayne Hughes – Chief Executive

Lorrayne is the Chief Executive Officer 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.

Jane Routledge – Lead Director

Jane was born, brought up and went to school in Cumbria before leaving for university and ultimately a career in London in the Financial Services sector. As Marketing & Communications Director in a number of investment management businesses, including two large multi-nationals and a small privately-owned firm, she has led big change initiatives as well as being responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies for a range of internal and external audiences. She has many years of experience in strategic and operational brand development, marketing, client and employee engagement as well as extensive experience of creating and leading client-facing functions in fast growing organisations.

Jane has served in voluntary roles for two adoption and permanency panels. She has also acted as a guest speaker for a national adoption charity to help raise funds, advocating in particular for cared-for children with specific learning difficulties. She is currently a mentor for a University of London programme for first generation undergraduates.

Being brought up on a farm on the Solway coast, Jane had it instilled in her from an early age that education would give her choice and mobility. She firmly believes in the power of education to change lives, and is especially keen to be involved in helping raise the ambitions and opportunities for children with specific learning difficulties – children for whom every day in school can be a real struggle.

Jane is married and has a son, three step children and two rescue dogs from Dogs Trust.

Jemma Nicholson – Interim Executive Headteacher, Longtown and Castle Carrock Primary Schools

Jemma has always had a passion for education and has over 16 years’ experience working in Cumbrian schools. Her ambition is to ensure that children love school as much as she does, and she enjoys nothing more than thinking of creative and memorable ways to achieve this.
Following her first successful headship, where she received one of the first ‘excellent’ graded SIAMS inspections on the new framework, she has joined the CET leadership team to take on the role of headteacher at Longtown Primary school.
Working with the local community and pupils’ hand in hand is especially important to Jemma, who believes that school is an extension of family and should be a safe, happy and aspirational place to be. She very much looks forward to maintaining Longtown’s high standards following their first ‘Good’ Ofsted, ensuring it flourishes further.
When not in school Jemma can usually be found having fun with family and friends, growing things in her garden or relaxing with a good book!

Richard O’Connor – Lead, William Howard School

Margaret Gunson – LAB Member

Having been born and raised in Kent, North Cumbria has been home for Margaret for the last 25 years, living in Longtown for 15 years. She is married, with three grown up children, and is now retired from Primary School teaching but maintains her interest in education through involvement with Longtown Primary School as a helper and a Governor/LAB member. Margaret is also a Parish Councillor and an avid gardener.

Kerry Atlinski – LAB member (Safeguarding lead)

Kerry is a mum to three children whom all currently attend Longtown Primary School, as did she as a child.  Kerry has lived in Longtown since 1992 aside from a four year stint which was spent travelling with a horse and circus production company.  After settling down back in the town with her husband she then began her career in retail management before starting their family.

Kerry is a registered Licensed Chaperone with Cumbria County Council, which she has used to chaperone her daughters’ dancing shows involving up to 150 children.

Kerry is a fully qualified Girlguiding Unit Leader. She currently runs the local Longtown Rainbow and Brownie Units.  Experience gained from doing this will benefit her role in the LAB.

Kimberley Simpson – Staff LAB member

Kimberley is currently Acting Assistant Headteacher at Longtown Primary School, as well as SENCo, Inclusion Lead, English subject leader and Class Teacher of Year 6.

She has been with CET for four years now and also leads on the English Primary Curriculum across the trust.

Beginning her career as a teaching assistant, she then graduated at the University of Cumbria with BA Hons in Primary Education. She then took the leap and completed her NQT and subsequent years in the London Borough of Newham also as SENCo and Behaviour Specialist support teacher; before relocating back to Newham.
Kimberley has had heavy involvement with inclusion, safeguarding, leadership and management in a primary school setting.

She has a keen interest in the welfare and education of children, particularly in the field of Social, Emotional Mental Health and has been part of school improvement projects aimed at raising attainment and access opportunities for all pupils; ensuring all pupils progress and achieve is one of Kimberley’s fundamental beliefs. Kimberley hopes to bring a fresh insight to the LAB as well as an opinion from the ‘front line’.

Colin Corlett – LAB member

Following a long career holding senior finance positions in a variety of companies, Colin now practices as an accountant and tax advisor, holding qualifications in both these areas. He knows the crucial importance of high quality education and is keen to offer his life and professional experience to support the children and families of Longtown Primary School.

Colin has lived in Cumbria for most of his adult life. Currently living in Gilsland, he enjoys walking and photography.

Jodie Dickman, Parent LAB member (subject to DBS clearance)

Jodie has 7 year old twins, currently in Year 2 at Longtown Primary School. Jodie lives close by and works at Pear Tree Nursery, next door to the school.
In her free time, she enjoys going for walks, going out for adventures with her children and spending time with friends and family.

Alison Dickman, Parent LAB member (subject to DBS clearance)

Alison has lived in Longtown along with her husband and young family for the past 9 years. She grew up in the countryside on a farm.

After leaving school she did a teaching assistant apprenticeship course in a special educational setting. Alison was successful in getting a job after she qualified in 2006. Alison continues to work in the special needs setting, working with a wide range of disabilities and ages. She loves to make a difference to people’s lives.

Alison is a mam of 3 boys. Two of whom attend Longtown Primary school. Alison enjoys spending time with her family, photography and socialising.

LAB members in the previous 12 months:

  • Carly Graham –  20/01/2023

To view the Meeting Attendance Records and Registers of Interest for the Longtown Primary School Local Advisory Board click the button below.