Lee Garner, Chair

Lee was born and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire but with strong ancestral links to West Cumbria and a love of the county’s coastal region, he now considers it home. Lee has significant experience as a Police Officer and joined the British Transport Police in 2009, where for almost 9 years he worked in various departments and roles: communications division, uniform patrol, neighbourhood policing and criminal investigations. In 2018, Lee made a career change and became a pastoral leader and staff Governor at Leeds East Academy in Yorkshire.

During his time at Leeds East Academy, Lee supported some of the most vulnerable young people and their families and was instrumental in the academy securing a Good judgement from Ofsted. In 2019, following a promotion to Associate Assistant Principal, Lee became a Senior Leader within the White Rose Academies Trust School Improvement Team where he was strategically responsible for inclusive provision, quality improvement, and safeguarding across three secondary schools, a primary school and a pupil referral unit. Lee is passionate about improving the life chances of disadvantaged children and young people and in 2020, he founded the Leeds Alternative Provision Association (LAPA) which received praise from The British Psychological Society following work to support schools to reintegrate vulnerable young people after the COVID-19 pandemic. LAPA, led by Lee as Chair of their Board, went on to collaborate with IntegratED and the Centre for Social Justice – two organisations committed to reducing preventable school exclusions – to publish the AP Quality Benchmark Toolkit. Lee and the LAPA organisation were credited in the final publication.

In 2022, Lee established his own education consultancy company, specialising in school improvement in alternative provision/pupil referral unit sector. He also returned to work within the police service and is currently working across several central departments at Police Headquarters, Penrith, including the Crime and Intelligence Command.

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.

Jemma Nicholson – Executive Headteacher

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!

Jacqueline Cashman, LAB member

Jacqueline was born, educated and has lived most of her life in Carlisle. She has a long background in Education both working in administration for the Local Authority Education Department after leaving school and similarly in Coventry them going on to teach.

Jacqueline was a volunteer in a primary school when her children were younger. She returned to studying in her 30s and graduated as a Maths teacher aged 36. Jacqueline taught in local secondary schools being Head of Maths in one and on the senior leadership team in 2 schools. She has also taught Maths in primary schools.

Jacqueline served for 10 years on the governing board of one of the schools she taught in. Her particular interests are in the curriculum and raising achievement for all abilities.

Jacqueline is interested in all aspects of the education of our children and feels she can make a contribution to Petteril Bank School going forward.

Carla Taylor, Staff LAB member

Carla was born and raised in Manchester. After completing her degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, she started her career in a Private School in Rochdale, Manchester. Over the next twenty years she has taught in a variety of schools around Manchester and Lancashire specifically teaching Early Years and Key Stage One. Five years ago, she relocated to Cumbria due to her husband’s job in retail.

Carla joined the trust in September 2020 when she was employed as the Early Years Leader at Petteril Bank School. Carla has a real passion for Early Years Education and making sure that all children no matter their background are introduced to an exciting, engaging curriculum. She strives to develop children’s confidence, independence and a love for learning which she believes are the building blocks in which the rest of their education can be built on.

In her spare time Carla enjoys reading, making resources for her classroom and walking with her husband and her two pug dogs Bella and Bertie.

Sue McDonald, Parent LAB member

Sue has lived in Cumbria all her life and was educated in both Kendal and Carlisle. After spending 11 years working in the NHS, she became a mum & housewife, caring for her children. For the past 25 years, Sue has worked full-time for Macmillan Cancer Support as its Relationship fundraising manager in Cumbria and absolutely loves her job.

When Sue’s children were young, she became chair of a local playschool and always took a keen interest in their education, development and well-being. Sue has also been a school governor for around 10 years & was instrumental in setting up a successful “Friends of the School” group.

Pre Covid19, Sue has volunteered at Petteril Bank School whenever possible, helping with reading in EYFS, school trips and other class activities.
In her spare time, she loves making memories with her family – especially her four grandchildren, walking the dog and travelling.

LAB members in the previous 12 months:

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