Dr John Storr – Chair of Local Advisory Board (Joint safeguarding lead)

John was born and educated in South Africa and moved to the United Kingdom in 1980.

He has worked as a Consultant Paediatrician at the Cumberland Infirmary for 23 years, retiring in 2015. In that role he gained experience as a Clinical Director and in Child Safeguarding (including a period as named doctor).

John’s outside interests include walking and kayaking (Level 2 coach). He is married to a local GP and their two sons were pupils at William Howard School.

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.

Prof Rob Trimble – Lead Director

Professor Robert Trimble is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Cumbria, where he has executive responsibility for all academic matters across the University which includes academic portfolio development, student experience, student outcomes and success, academic quality and standards, teaching and learning developments, international strategy, external educational partnerships and the oversight of a number of Academic Institutes and Professional Services.
Previously he was Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) at the University of Sunderland, where he had responsibility for student success and outcomes across all campuses. Prior to this, he held positions as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law and Associate Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences, at the University of Sunderland. He is a Chartered Engineer with a wide knowledge and experience of the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Prior to joining the higher education sector, he spent a decade working in aerospace engineering with Rolls Royce Plc.
He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Quality Reviewer for the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Des Bird – Director of Secondary Education

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

Kath Pigdon – Head of School, William Howard School

Jemma Nicholson – Headteacher, Longtown Primary School

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!

James Porter – LAB member – Vice Chair

James and his wife moved to Low Row 5 years ago. James has been involved with education for many years.   His desire is to see every young person achieve their full potential so it is his privilege and honour to serve on the LAB at William Howard School.

For three years James was a Governor at a special needs school, chairing the Assets and Resources Committee, and being the Governor responsible for Health and Safety. During that time James carried through a £1m+ capital programme to improve school facilities and build a Sixth Form. James was also a Governor at a secondary school where he served on the Finance, Curriculum and HR committees.

James was a Local Councillor for 8 years, serving 4 years as the Chairman of the Planning Committee and 3 years as Policy Committee Chairman forming, informing and leading policy development and implementation. James was Town Mayor in 2009.

James retired in 2010 to focus on voluntary and educational activities which he feels passionate about.  He is glad to be playing his part in the continuing success of William Howard School.

Jackie Kirsopp – LAB member

Jackie is a chartered accountant with 12 years post qualification experience in practice. She is also a qualified Insolvency Practitioner, and provides a lot of practical trading assistance to all nature of businesses, mostly in Cumbria.  Jackie would hope to bring this experience to the WHS LAB.

Jackie has lived in the local area the majority of her life and has a keen interest in WHS.  After doing her GCSEs at Lochinvar School, she studied for A levels at WHS, before moving onto University.  Jackie made great lifelong friends at WHS, and believes the school helped her obtain the best results she could.

Jackie’s own young sons will attend WHS in the future and Jackie is excited to be a part of the journey the school is taking, with all the challenges arising.

Sheila Johnston – LAB member

Sheila was born and brought up in Carlisle and, after attending university in Leeds, returned to take up her first teaching post at a Carlisle secondary school. After working in Devon for 20 years she returned to Cumbria to take up the post of Deputy Headteacher at another Cumbrian school where she became Co-Headteacher in 2014.

Sheila’s youngest daughter was a pupil at William Howard School when the family moved back from Devon and, following her recent retirement, Sheila is keen to support the continuing success of WHS in whatever way she can. She is pleased to be a member of the Local Advisory Board so that she can continue her lifelong involvement with Cumbrian schools, helping to ensure that every student within the school community achieves the very best they can.

Teresa Mulholland – LAB member (Subject to DBS Clearance)

Joanna Gray – Parent LAB member (joint Safeguarding lead)

Joanna has two children who both attend WHS, a son in Year 11 and a daughter in Year 8.

In spring 2018 Joanna moved to Brampton with her family from Darlington where they had lived for five years.  Prior to this Joanna was born, raised and educated in the Newcastle area.

Having attended the local comprehensive school Joanna is passionate about every child having access to a good education and the opportunities this can bring.

Joanna heads up the Audit & Assurance team at Armstrong Watson and has a specialism in education and not-for-profit.  With 22 years’ experience in the audit profession, in addition to sitting on boards at others schools, charities and companies Joanna is keen to share this experience at WHS.

Tracey Hill – Staff LAB member

Tracey Hill is a Business and Computing Graduate of Lancaster University .  Tracey started her career in Industry and has worked in education since 1995, including the University of Northumbria, Carlisle College and local Primary and Secondary schools.

Tracey has worked at William Howard School since 2004 and her current role is Associate Assistant Headteacher, as well as her teaching commitment, she has led across the school on careers, enterprise and financial education and student participation.  During 2014 William Howard School became a Personal Finance Education Group ‘Centre of Financial Excellence School’ through Tracey’s leadership and in 2015 Tracey became Financial Education Teacher of the Year. Within her role Tracey works closely with businesses, education and training providers and is Chair of the North Cumbria Careers Network Group.  In addition she is the school representative for North Cumbria for the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Tracey feels her experience of being on committees and being a Chair, along with her links to industry and her various work related roles including knowledge of working within the Trust schools, gives her an understanding of how important it is to promote William Howard School’s vision and values.  Tracey feels passionately that being a LAB member offers a privileged opportunity to work alongside other members who support the interests of the school and its community to make a difference to the outcomes for young people and has previously sat on a LAB at a CET Primary School.

LAB members in the previous 12 months:

Kathryne Lamb – 19/04/2023

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