Since 1 September 2015, the Governing Body is known as the Local Advisory Board (LAB).

The Cumbria Education Trust Board Directors delegate to the LAB members its responsibility and powers as the Governing Body of the School. These responsibilities are discharged by the LAB members in accordance with its constitution, any Cumbria Education Trust Policies and advice from the Department for Education (DFE) and Ofsted.

View the Trust Board members here.

View the Structure Of The Trust Board & LABs And Associated Information here.

The William Howard School Local Advisory Board (LAB) is crucial to helping the School to raise standards.

Some of the roles of the LAB are to:

  • provide the information required by the Trust and not to withhold any information which the Trust reasonably requires;
  • refer certain decisions to the Trust for approval as set out in the Scheme of Delegation;
  • report to the Trust Board Directors on the outcomes and progress within a one-week period of each meeting;
  • act in accordance with the LAB Protocols.

If you have any queries for the LAB or would like to contact the Chair, please email Lucy Hewson, Governance Professional at or telephone 016977 45300 (via the Cumbria Education Trust Office).

Composition of Local Advisory Board (LAB) members:

Type of member Number Term of office Elected by who
Chief Executive 1 Indefinite N/A – by appointment as Chief Executive
Headteacher 1 Indefinite Appointment as Headteacher by Chief Executive/Trust Board
Sponsor Board member (including Chair and Vice Chair) Up to 7 4 years By the Cumbria Education Trust Board resolution
Parent Board member 2 3 years Seconded parent volunteer -applications to be considered by Cumbria Education Trust Board Directors.*

*If there are more than 2 applications, an election will take place with all parents eligible to vote

Staff Board member 1 3 years Staff election**

** If only one member of staff is nominated they are automatically elected. If there is more than one, an election by secret ballot will take place with all staff eligible to vote

Members of the of William Howard School LAB

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.

Des Bird – Director of Secondary Improvement

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 – Headteacher

Kath is passionate about driving William Howard School to the next stage of its journey. She believes fully in the Trust’s vision and values and works hard to instil this in staff, students and her own children.

Although Kath has over a decade of experience in Senior Leadership, she believes her most valuable lessons in leadership and life have come from competing at the highest level in her chosen sport – canoe slalom.

Dr John Storr – LAB Chair

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.

James Porter – LAB Vice Chair

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 GCSE’s 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.


Eleanor Dobson – Parent LAB member

Eleanor moved with her family to the North West two years ago from the North East. She has over 20 years of experience within the Primary Education sector in a range of senior roles from Local Authority consultancy work to School Improvement and Headship. She has also sat on Ofsted’s Complaints Board. She is now in her third Headship at Norman Street Primary School in Carlisle. Eleanor’s particular area of interest is in ensuring opportunity for all children. She is looking forward to becoming part of a wider community who support the vision of an all-encompassing curriculum, rich in real-life experiences and underpinned by academic excellence.

She has one son already in attendance at WHS; her two daughters are also due to attend WHS.

Joanna Gray – Parent LAB member (Joint Safeguarding Lead)

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.

Joanna has two children who both attend WHS.

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)

Sarah Threlkeld-Brown – LAB member

Diane Harrison – LAB member (Joint Safeguarding Lead)

Diane has lived in Brampton for nearly 17 years after having spent time at university and the early part of her career in Newcastle. She has worked in both the public and private sector and her experience ranges from working as a Director of an economic research consultancy to working at a strategic level to the MD of a national housing association.

For the past decade, Diane has worked for Children’s Services locally and her current role is as a service lead and manager for youth homelessness and youth substance misuse, within Early Help.

Sharon Angland – Staff LAB member

Ms Angland has taught for more than 30 years, initially qualifying to teach English and History before following her heart into Computer Science. She joined William Howard School as Subject Lead for Computing and IT in September 2012.

A believer in the value of learning within and beyond the classroom, she holds Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert status and continues to study for additional professional qualifications, so she knows about getting homework done on time! In September 2023 she ensured William Howard School gained the Computing Quality Mark and is heading the School ambition to become a Showcase School.

Previous LAB members in the last 12 months:

Professor Robert Trimble – 07/12/2023

Tracey Hill – 02/10/2023

Kathryne Lamb – 19/04/2023


LAB Meeting Minutes and other information