Local Advisory Board

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 Membership here: http://www.cumbriaeducationtrust.org/about-us/leadership/

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.
All members of the LAB complete a Register of Interests annually, which details any relevant business and pecuniary interests:

If you have any queries for the LAB or would like to contact the Chair, please email Lucy Hewson (Clerk to the Trust Board and LABs): mailto:lhewson@cumbriaeducationtrust.org or telephone: 016977 45300 (via the Cumbria Education Trust Office).

Composition of Local Advisory Board (LAB) members:

Please find below the members of the LAB of William Howard School:

Lorrayne Hughes – CEO

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

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.

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!

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

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

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.
Diane Harrison

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 leading their Positive Housing Pathway and managing 2 county-wide teams –Youth Homeless and Housing and the Youth Substance Misuse, the latter providing drug and alcohol interventions to young people across Cumbria.  She chairs the Early Help Panel for Carlisle & Eden, is a trained Mental Health First Aider for young people and is also trained to deliver Youth Mental Health First Aid training.

She has children in Years 8 and 11 at WHS.

Sheila Johnston

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.
Joanna Gray

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.

Tracy Hill

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.

Kathryne Lamb

Kathryne Lamb – Parent LAB member

Kathryne moved to Carlisle 12 years ago with her husband’s employment and has been actively involved in a number of community groups in the area, As a Personal Counsellor for over 13 years with her own Private Practice in Carlisle she has lots of experience working in schools with teenagers who have anxiety and self-harm issues.

A mother and wife, married over 30 years with their own 3 adult children, 2 of whom attended WHS, also long term Foster carers of a sibling group of 3, 2 currently attending WHS with the youngest due to start September 2022. She is actively involved with Fostering recruitment and development in the area.


Previous LAB members in the last 12 months:

Gill McLean - 26/01/2021

Matthew Aitchison-Rayson – 14/11/21

Beverley Kent - 28/04/2022