The Cumbria Education Trust Board Directors delegate to the LAB members its responsibility and powers as the Governing Body of the Academy. 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:

The Workington Academy Local Advisory Board (LAB) is crucial to helping the Academy in the Trust 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 Emma Graham (Governance Professional): or telephone: 016977 45300.

Composition of Local Advisory Board (LAB) members:

Tracy Stainton – Chair of Local Advisory Board

Trained and Qualified as a solicitor in 2005 with Burnetts. Tracy is employed by Burnetts Solicitors as Head of West Cumbria Office.

She has worked as a commercial solicitor with her main interest, Employment Law. She has worked across the commercial sector but with a particular focus on owner managed businesses.

More recently, Tracy has begun to work in the area of Trust Law (including wills and probate).

Prior to this she has worked:

  • As a Partner in Milburns Solicitors
  • For the National Union of Teachers as a regional official in the North East;
  • For the Civil Service (Department of Employment) as an Executive officer in Cumbria, Liverpool and Manchester;
  • For Cumbria County Council as a neighbourhood development officer;
  • For Tony Cunningham MEP as his Communications/Trade Union Director.She has also undertaken spells as Regional Chair of the Labour Party Northern Region and Chair of MSF’s Northern Region.
  • Education – BA (Hons) Degree in Politics – University of Durham
  • Tracy served on Cumbria County Council from 1997 – 2003 as the councillor for St Michael’s Ward in Workington and served on the Council’s Cabinet.

Born in Workington and returned to live in Workington after 10 years of living across the North of England.

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.

Margaret Payne – Lead Director

Born and brought up in Northern Ireland, Margaret read Law at Nottingham University before completing her training as a solicitor in Nottinghamshire and London. She has worked in a high street legal aid firm in London before moving to Carlisle in the 1980s. Margaret continues to work as a solicitor in private practice. She established her own practice specialising in crime and mental health law in 1998.

Margaret was a Governor of her daughter’s primary school and then became a Parent Governor when she moved to William Howard School about 16 years ago. When she left for university Margaret stayed on! She has lived through many of the changes in education with the school, and worked with 3 Headteachers in that time. In many ways, joining the Trust Board was a natural progression.

Margaret’s working life brings her into contact with young people who face a range of challenges including difficult family circumstance and mental health issues. That has given her an insight into the many pressures that young people and families face, and the context in which education takes place.

As someone who benefitted from a good state education, Margaret is committed to equality of opportunity for all, so the involvement of the Trust in raising standards and aspirations both at primary and secondary level in Cumbria is a very exciting development in which she feels she is privileged to be involved with.

Des Bird – Headteacher

Des was born in Gretna, and attended Annan Academy before going on to study Law at University in 1997.

He began his career as a senior leader in schools in 2007, and has worked at this level in three schools in total; each of which was unique and had its own specific challenges. As Assistant Headteacher in a large inner city school in Manchester, Des was in charge of behaviour. In 2009 he moved on to take up the Vice Principal role of the West Lakes Academy in Cumbria, which had been formed a year earlier following the closure of two local schools. Des feels he learned a lot from both of these positions, and both schools underwent rapid improvements in the standard of behaviour, quality of teaching and ultimately achieved good exam results.

In 2014 Des was appointed as Headteacher of Richard Rose Morton in Carlisle, which had recently been placed in special measures. Almost four years later the school has improved immensely, both in terms of Ofsted grading, exam results and popularity in its local community.

Des currently lives in West Cumbria with his wife and an 11 year old daughter.

He is passionate about the impact a good education can have, and is delighted to be Headteacher at Workington Academy.

Paul Armstrong – LAB member – Vice Chair 

Career history: 

1977 – 1989: Eskett Quarries Limited
Company Accountant

1989 – Present: Thomas Armstrong (Holdings) Limited
Financial Director & Company Secretary

Key Skills:

  • Strategic thinker
  • Business remodelling
  • Acquisition and disposal management
  • Due diligence
  • Reorganisations and restructures
  • Financial strategy
  • Budgeting and cash flow forecasting
  • Strong negotiator

Previously a member of Interim Executive Board (IEB) for Stainburn and Southfield Schools

Paul firmly and passionately believes that every child should be given the best opportunity possible to gain the key academic and personal skills that will prepare them and serve them well in whatever career path they choose. As a member of the IEB he saw first-hand the drive, dedication, hard work and passion from all the teaching staff to improve both schools and he believes that the new Academy will build on that progress and deliver the kind of education and personal development that will in time lead to the Academy being the school of choice in Workington for young people. Paul would like to play a part in developing that ambition and assist all staff, teaching or support, to deliver that vision.

Paul believes that in his working career he has developed the skills which will be required from the Local Advisory Board and he has a focused, driven approach to deliver them and a natural ability to communicate financial information in a manner in which a non-financial person would understand.

Interests: Golf, keeping fit, reading, gardening.

Edward Blackmore – LAB member

Eddie has lived in Workington all his life and for the last sixteen years he has lived in Stainburn with his wife and two children.

Eddie is a company director at Livingstone Surface Treatments Limited and an active member of the British Energy Coast Business Cluster (B.E.C.B.C) & Cumbria Business Growth Hub.

He was keen to become a Local Advisory Board member because he wanted to be in at the beginning of Workington Academy’s journey to become the outstanding school that Workington deserves.

Eddie believes that in West Cumbria at the moment, there is, what is arguably some of the most exciting developments since the hay days of the coal and steel industries.

It has been reported that 2015/16 will see a huge step forward in the Moorside Nuclear project, which is forecast to create between 14,000 and 21,000 jobs. And industry is very conscious of the impending skills shortages we may have, It is important that we home grow our young people to fill these shortages rather than import them from outside the county.

Eddie is currently in talks with a wide range of local business people, mainly through the British Energy Coast Business Cluster and the support he is receiving is phenomenal. Eddie is keen to help our young people to gain the confidence to be the best they can be and become our engineers, entrepreneurs and Nuclear workers of the future.

If local children start from an early age to get excited and confident in their own future and realise that there are very real possibilities for ALL children of varying abilities to have a bright future of sustainable long term employment ahead, They will become more motivated and confident.

It’s an exciting time to be growing up in West Cumbria.

As a local person with a young family coupled with running a business that feeds the nuclear industry, Eddie feels that he could help the Academy in numerous ways, not least forging direct links with local business, understanding the needs of the local community and generally supporting the Academy through the transitional stages and beyond.

Kerry Rourke – LAB member

Kerry has lived in Workington all of her life, she attended Southfield Technology College and Workington Sixth Form Centre.

Kerry lives locally and works in a Training department. She has previously worked as a Cost Engineer, forecasting and estimating costs for projects with multi-million pound annual budgets.

Her current work is focused on work based learning and she is responsible for the analysis, production, delivery and evaluation of tailor-made training packages.

Kerry’s interest in becoming a member of Workington Academy’s Local Advisory Board comes from her strong belief that every child should leave school empowered to mould their own future. School should build a child’s confidence by providing them with an environment to recognise and strengthen their natural abilities while supporting them in tackling their weaknesses. Kerry also feels that everyone should look back on their school days with fondness and not frustration and believe that this is something a local school can offer.

Kerry considers herself to be creative yet pragmatic. And she not afraid of a challenge. She embraces technology and believe it can provide real, individual, student-focused learning that has never before been so accessible. Kerry firmly believes that positive work done now will reap huge benefits in the future.

Stephanie Hughes – LAB member

Stephanie has lived in Workington all her adult life, she has a husband, 2 daughters and a grandson. She enjoys baking, walks, music and family time.

After spending her primary and junior years at Flimby school, Stephanie spent her secondary years at Stainburn.

She currently works in the accounts office for a local joinery firm.

Previously she was a parent governor and fundraiser at a local primary school, until her youngest daughter moved up to Workington Academy.

Stephanie is a member of St Michael’s Church PCC, where she is regularly involved in the organising of community, parish and youth group events.

Stephanie has a strong belief that all children should have the chance to benefit from a good education, with stability, structure and guidance to enable them to gain the strength and confidence to achieve their goals. Having the opportunity to provide support and help make a difference is what has driven her to become a LAB member, where she hopes to work alongside other members to help maintain the fantastic standards at Workington Academy.

Neil McNicholas – LAB member

Miriam Wilson – Staff LAB member

Raised in Workington and still living locally, Miriam has previously worked in a variety of roles in the manufacturing industry before retraining to develop a career in education.

Miriam is currently employed as a Student Provision Officer (KS5) at Workington Academy and has been part of the journey the Academy has taken over the last few years – from the initial closure, merger and reopening of Southfield Technology College and Stainburn School and Science College (now known as Workington Academy), to the continuing development of Workington Academy today.

She has seen many positive changes during this time and is keen to be involved in the Academy’s continuing success.

There are a number of facets of her role in school. She is part of the Pastoral team (working specifically with sixth form), the UCAS co-ordinator, a safeguarding officer and currently delivers the Extended Project Qualification. As a highly organised individual, she is professional and proactive in her role. She works with discretion, honesty and great enthusiasm, consistently promoting the school’s ethos. Her relationship with the staff team in all capacities is very positive and she is very proud to be part of the school’s wider team.

Miriam feels that it is vitally important for Workington Academy to fulfil its role as a local centre of excellence in supporting young people within the local area to achieve their full potential and also to become a recognised hub for the wider community.

She will endeavour to complement the efficient operation of the Local Advisory Board for Workington Academy in helping the school to be the best it can be.

Mark Fryer – Parent LAB member

Mark is the Managing Director of Cumbria Recycling, a not for profit company which deals with white goods recycling for the whole of Cumbria and is also a Director of the Rural Regeneration Company which provides services in relation to rural poverty and food banks.

Mark believes passionately in the importance of a good education to ensure that all young people reach their potential. Mark is very supportive of the journey that Workington Academy are on.  He is keen to see a good academic education at Workington Academy alongside a varied curriculum that offers development in the arts and sport. He is also keen that Workington Academy builds on its community links and provides more opportunities for young people to obtain a greater knowledge of the world of work.

Mark is the former Leader & Deputy Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, with a strong interest in economic development and creating stronger links with business and schools here in West Cumbria.

Stephen Wilson – LAB member (Safeguarding member)

Stephen is extremely enthusiastic about the success of Workington Academy, and will be effective in bringing a parent’s viewpoint to the Local Advisory Board. His career and personal experiences will enable him to actively support and promote Cumbria Education Trust, and in particular Workington Academy’s wider aims, vision and values.

Stephen is committed to West Cumbria as a place to live, learn and work and in particular being part of the Local Advisory Board that will make Workington Academy an outstanding school for young people in West Cumbria.

Stephen’s professional career has been in childcare and for the last 35 years, he has worked for a Cumbria based Housing Association.  Stephen’s work in social housing has given him a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience, including the management of large and complex budgets and contracts, staff management, compliance, performance management and safeguarding issues – which is an area of specialism that he is happy to lead on in the Local Advisory Board.   He has also been involved as a board member for several county and national voluntary organisations, holding a number of positions including chair and treasurer.  This has given him knowledge and understanding of how trustee boards operate and the crucial role an effective trustee board plays in the success of an organisation like Workington Academy.

Stephen is married with 3 children and one granddaughter.  He supports Workington Reds and Liverpool Football Clubs and enjoys music, both listening to and also playing guitar.  He also likes to read and spend time with friends and family.



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