The Whitehaven Academy LAB
Cliff Lewis – Chair of Local Advisory Board
Having been secondary educated at Chelmsford Technical School, Cliff lived in the Chelmsford area for most of his adult life through which he has enjoyed a long and successful career in financial services. He remains a Director of a medium sized firm of independent financial advisers. In the past, Cliff has undertaken various voluntary roles including that of writing exam questions for the Chartered Insurance Institute’s various financial services examination papers.
In 2007 Cliff moved to Cumbria with Pat, his wife of 39 years, with a view to achieving a better quality of life and enjoying a quieter, cleaner and more attractive environment for their retirement. They spend time exploring Britain’s inland waterways on their narrowboat ‘Rainbow’s End’.
Having become a director of Cumbria Education Trust in 2016, Cliff is the Trust Board’s Vice Chair, safeguarding lead, and link director to Longtown Primary School. He strongly believes that a good education gives people confidence and provides them with choices.
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.
Nigel Youngman - Headteacher
Nigel grew up in King’s Lynn and spent his school days in the west of the county. He went on to Bristol University to read English and French Literature and then chose to spend time teaching in Pakistan. He returned to the UK to complete his PGCE at Nottingham University before teaching in Birmingham and Bristol.
A Head of English department role saw Nigel returning to his Norfolk roots, where he spent 7 years at Thorpe St Andrew High School. He then moved to be Deputy Headteacher at Alderman Peel High School before becoming Vice Principal at City Academy Norwich. He became Headteacher at Beccles Free School from the Open Academy where he was Director of Sixth Form and Director of Strategic ICT. Nigel now joins Cumbria Education Trust as the Headteacher of The Whitehaven Academy.
Nigel is married and has two children; and the whole family are very much relishing the opportunity of living and working in the Western Lakes.
Steve Jennings - Parent LAB member
Steve was born and bred in Cumbria and enjoys the rural life it has to offer. He went to school in Wigton, but since the age of 18, has lived most of his life in Whitehaven. Steve is married with 3 children. He has a son and daughter at Whitehaven Academy and an elder daughter, who is an ex-student of the Academy.
Steve has worked in the Nuclear industry for over 30 years, where he has held several senior positions in Engineering, Project Management and IT. He is a Chartered Engineer and Registered Project Professional. Steve is an individual who expects high standards of himself and has an ability to instil trust in people around him. He is naturally collaborative and believes in sharing ideas and good practice.
Steve passionately believes that all young people should be given the best possible education, to gain the skills they need, to achieve their full potential. He also believes that a good education should be available from their local school and that students should not have to travel miles to a good school.
He is keen to see a varied curriculum and strong 6th form that provides a good academic education alongside opportunities in the arts, technology and sport. He is also keen that Whitehaven Academy, under CET, builds on its primary school and community links and once again becomes a school of choice for the young people of Whitehaven.
As a member of the Interim management Committee (AMC), he saw first-hand the drive, dedication, hard work and passion from all the teaching staff to provide a good education in a caring, supportive environment despite the obvious challenges they faced. Steve would like to see CET harness that energy and ambition and direct it to making Whitehaven Academy a success in the future. Steve would like to play a part in assisting staff and CET to deliver that vision.
Ian Hick - LAB member
Ian has an Engineering degree and is a qualified Chartered Accountant, working in London for accounting firm Ernst & Young for 11 years on clients such as British Airways. Ian joined Sellafield in 1995 when it was part of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL). He worked on the Finance side of the business for 22 years, from dealing with monthly management accounting through to being Chief Accountant, responsible for the statutory financial reporting of the business. Along the way he project managed a major Finance and Procurement system implementation, and was on the project board of the subsequent implementation of HR functionality.
Since 2017 Ian has had the role of Business Relationship Manager within the Sellafield Information Communications Technology (ICT) function.
Sellafield has a strong interest in supporting the education of the potential future workforce in West Cumbria.
Whilst Ian’s background is not in Education, he believes he can bring directly relevant skills and experience to the Local Advisory Board. He has experience of working with Government departments over many years. Sellafield operates in a highly regulated environment with a strong focus on health and safety, and his understanding of these governance disciplines will help frame his approach to the activity of the Local Advisory Board.
Stephen Wilkinson - LAB member
Stephen is CEO of The Queen Katherine School Multi Academy Trust and has responsibility through the MAT Board and Governors of MAT schools for the success of The Queen Katherine School, Walney School and George Hastwell School. He also heads up the MAT Management Team which provide back office services to the schools and others.
Stephen is Appointed Governor of the Local Governing Body of George Hastwell School, The Queen Katherine School, Walney School, the Pupil Referral Unit in Barrow and the Virtual Headteacher Board for Looked after Children.
He is also Senior Lead for the North West Maths Hub and Local Organiser for the Association of School and College Leaders in Cumbria
Formerly, Stephen was Headteacher of two schools between 1995 and 2013, most recently of The Queen Katherine School. Until April 2017 he was seconded to the post of Chair of Local Alliance of System Leaders (LASL) in the south of Cumbria and the Board of the Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders (CASL). He was until recently the voluntary Chair of the Cumbria Partnership for Emotional Resilience and Mental Health.
Stephen’s three children attended The Queen Katherine School and his wife taught at Sandgate Special School until her well-earned retirement.
In his spare time, he is a keen photographer, wildlife admirer, hill walker, glider pilot and official family dog walker.
Emma Williamson - LAB member
Emma is delighted to take up her first local advisory role at The Whitehaven Academy. She is also currently a County Councillor for the Kells and Sandwith Ward. As part of this role she is a Children’s Champion for Copeland. Emma’s passion is to assist young people achieve their potential via community activism and education; though fun and adventure is also a high priority.
She believes that every young person deserves access to the best opportunities to succeed and is extremely proud to be working with the young people, staff and the families within the school and the wider community.
Judy Davidson, LAB member, Safeguarding member
Judy originates from South Yorkshire and was educated at Doncaster High School for Girls. After teacher training in Birmingham, Judy’s first teaching role was at Doncaster Grammar School.
Judy moved to West Cumbria in 1979 where she taught at both Whitehaven and Cockermouth Grammar Schools prior to holding both academic and pastoral positions at Whitehaven School until her retirement in 2011. Subsequently, she became both a teacher and then, a community governor at the school.
In addition to teaching, Judy in the 1990s trained with Relate and became a counsellor for them in the local area.
Now that she has retired from teaching Judy is part-owner of a local counselling centre. Some years ago she trained to be a family consultant and continues now to use her experience and skills to help people suffering from family conflict or relationship difficulties.
Judy is passionate about building a better future for the people of the local area and, as a member of the Whitehaven Academy LAB, is committed to providing the best possible education for its students.
Outside of work Judy enjoyed a number of sporting activities and at one time was Cumbria tennis captain. Today, she can often be found on the golf course.
Jane Ellison, LAB member
Jane has lived in and around Whitehaven all of her life, and attended Whitehaven School. Jane has also attended West Cumbria College obtaining an ONC, HNC and HND, then went on to study part time at the University of Lancaster, Carlisle Campus to obtain her BA (Hons) in Business Management.
Jane lives locally currently works for an Engineering Company carrying out a variety of Business Functions including Marketing, Project Management, Cost Control, QA and other Business Improvements.
Jane decided to apply for the position on the Local Advisory Board following an extremely turbulent few years for the pupils at the Whitehaven Academy. Jane is committed to a brighter future for the children in the area and believes that a postcode should not be a barrier to the best education possible. Jane has two daughters, one currently attending the Whitehaven Academy and the younger attends St James CofE Junior School in Whitehaven.
Andrew Keep - Staff LAB member
Andrew was educated in Bedford and qualified at St Luke’s College in Exeter, teaching in Buckinghamshire after leaving where he spent a number of years in two schools. He decided to pursue a career outside of teaching and worked in the financial sector for a number of years before returning to teaching, via a University return to teaching course in 2006.
Andrew worked for the Rugby Football Union in a number of different schools in the Copeland area before returning to teaching full time at St Bees School in 2008. He remained there until the school closed in 2015 and joined the staff at Whitehaven Academy later the same year.
He is currently Head of the Sixth form and is the Designated Safeguarding Officer and also teaches Geography in all key stage groups. Outside of school Andrew is a keen rugby union supporter and enjoys travelling. He lives in St Bees. He is the staff representative on the LAB.
LAB members in the previous 12 months: