William Howard School LAB
Dr John Storr – Chair of Local Advisory Board
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 - 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.
Chris McAree - Headteacher
As a proud born and bred Coventrian Chris moved to Cumbria in 2003 and has always lived within the catchment area of William Howard since then. He certainly likes to consider himself now a naturalised Cumbrian (just one with an odd accent).
Chris took on the role of Headteacher at William Howard in September 2016. He has worked in ten schools across the full spectrum of settings; Inner City, International, Special Measures to Outstanding schools. He was previously a Headteacher at another secondary school in Cumbria and has held roles as a senior and middle leader in both curriculum and pastoral roles. Trained as Maths teacher he has a passion for high quality Teaching and Learning and he prides himself in the fact that he still teaches regularly.
Chris is committed to ensuring that William Howard becomes a true flagship academy; one that the Trust, parents and most importantly students take pride in.
James Porter – LAB member
James and his wife moved to Low Row over a year 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.
Diane Harrison – LAB member (Joint safeguarding lead)
Born in Cumbria, Diane spent a number of years in education and working in the North East. Her career spans working in the private sector as Director of an economic consultancy firm; working in a strategic role in a national housing association; and working as the Strategic Housing Manager for a housing partnership group in Cumbria.
Since 2013 she has worked for Cumbria County Council’s Children and Families Services with responsibility for the Children’s Services’ Youth Homeless and Housing Team plus the Health & Wellbeing service, the latter providing drug and alcohol interventions to young people across Cumbria. She chairs the Early Help Panel in Carlisle, is a trained Mental Health First Aider for young people and is also trained to deliver Youth Mental Health First Aid training.
She has a child in Year 8 at WHS.
Matthew Aitchison-Rayson – LAB member
Matthew is an alumni of William Howard School, studying here from 2004 – 2011. After leaving William Howard School he went on to gain a BA (Hons) in Drama Performance and Technical Theatre at the University of Cumbria, where he currently works in his role as a School and College Liaison Officer.
Within his role at the University, Matthew works with schools across Cumbria and the North East promoting the opportunities for Higher Education in the local area. Matthew runs presentations, workshops, residentials and schools visits and has been in this role for three years.
Matthew is a member of the North and West Cumbria CEIAG group advising schools on Higher Education opportunities and has also run conferences for the Higher Education Liaison Officer Association (HELOA) aimed at supporting new practitioners within Universities across the country.
In addition to his role at the University, Matthew is joint owner of a local business with his partner in the restaurant industry and one of these restaurants was highly recommended in the 2017 Carlisle Living Awards. He is also a franchisee and Principal of Razzamataz Theatre Schools West Cumbria which he took over back in September 2018.
Matthew’s experience of Higher Education and the local area is something he feels will contribute towards William Howard and its students as he is aware of the opportunities in Cumbria. He is delighted to be joining the Local Advisory Board for William Howard School and is looking forward to working with the school to help them achieve great things.
Lauren Graham - LAB member
Lauren entered WHS in the ‘Class of 2000’. She left 6th form in 2007 equipped with 3 A-levels in PE, Biology and Chemistry. From school, Lauren went on to gain a 2:1 BSc degree at Northumbria University in Sports Science with Coaching, having a real passion for Sport all throughout her childhood. During this time Lauren played for the Northumbria University 1st team at Netball and helped to coach a local U10 football team.
Since university, Lauren was lucky to secure a 5-year chartered trainee programme with Armstrong Watson and as of September 2018, she is now fully ACA exam qualified and working in the audit and assurance team.
Lauren’s main role for the past two years has been to undertake auditor and assurance roles for a variety of charities, academies and companies. She thoroughly enjoys working with schools, and is extremely excited to be back at William Howard on the LAB board.’
Gill McLean – Staff LAB member
Gill joined William Howard School in September 2014, as an Administrative Assistant with responsibility for Curriculum Support to Middle leaders. The role encompassed many areas and varied duties. Gill is now the Examinations Officer at the school.
Previously she joined BT as a graduate and held numerous service and project management roles over 18 years, including supporting BT’s major systems.
Gill’s family moved to Cumbria over 4 years ago and have very much been involved with village life in Hayton. This has included being engaged with the PTA and Hayton Community Project (HCP), where they have been raising funds through village activities for the local school and play area. Gill’s husband works for BT and they have two sons, aged 12 and 7. Her older son attends WHS.
Janine Maidwell – Parent LAB member (Joint safeguarding member)
Janine spent part of her childhood in Brampton and then West Hall, attending local schools. Her family moved when she was 10 although she has always maintained close links with the area.
After studying Geography at London University, Janine joined the Prison Service, starting initially at HMP Holloway. She subsequently spent 21 years working as a prison governor in a variety of prisons, heading Offender Management, Security and Residential departments. After taking voluntary redundancy in 2014, Janine trained as a teacher before working in a Secure Children's Home. She then moved to the Department for Education with the Office of the Schools' Adjudicator dealing with admission objections.
Janine has 2 children, her son is at university, and her daughter is at WHS. Her family are currently renovating a barn and in their spare time, Janine and her daughter enjoy horse riding.
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 joining 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.
Beverley Kent – LAB member
Bev was born and brought up in Carlisle, and has had a keen interest in coaching and volunteering for many years.
She has spent the last 13 years working in the Procurement and Supply function, and during this time, has achieved a Level 6 Professional Diploma, then qualified as a Charted Procurement and Supply Chain Professional.
Since 2019 she has worked for Cumbria County Council in the Procurement and Contracts team, with responsibility for the purchasing of People Services.
Bev has 2 young children who are both in Primary School. In her free time, she continues to mentor and volunteer at the local youth zone and also enjoys to play netball.