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Local Advisory Board (Governors)

Wistaston Church Lane Academy is a member of  The Learning For Life Partnership, a local multi-academy trust. As part of this trust, the school retains its local governing body which focuses on the needs of the children, the staff, the school and its community. This local governing body (called the Local Advisory Board) operates under the scheme of delegated authority set by The Learning For Life Partnership. 

On this part of the website you can find up-to-date details of our Local Advisory Board including terms of office, terms of reference and minutes of meetings.

Key Roles

Chair of the Local Advisory Board: Mr John Harrison (re-elected 27-9-2018)

Vice Chair of the Local Advisory Board: Mr John Leadley (re-elected 27-9-2018)


The constitution of our Local Advisory Board is as follows:

3 staff governors (including the Principal)

3 parent governors

4 co-opted governors

Wistaston Church Lane Academy Governors (Local Advisory Board):

Full Name Date of Appointment Date of Resignation Term of Office Membership Business/Pecuniary Interest
Mr James Bancroft 13/2/2017   - Ex-Officio (Principal)

Governor at Wimboldsley Community Primary School & William Stockton Primary School (Federation)

Mrs Angela Clyne 30/6/2016   29/6/2020 Staff Teacher at WCLA
Mr Simon Dodd 11/6/2018   10/6/2022 Parent  
Mr Mike Finnigan 25/4/2017   24/4/2021 Co-opted  
Mr John Harrison 16/11/2017   15/11/2021 Parent Assistant Head at Malbank School & Sixth Form
Mr John Leadley 20/10/2016   19/10/2020 Co-opted  
Mrs Lesley Meaney 20/10/2016   19/10/2020 Co-opted  
Dr Audrey Skidmore 11/6/2018   10/6/2022 Parent  
Miss Sara White 14/3/2018   13/3/2022 Staff Teacher at WCLA
Mr Stuart York 30/6/2016   29/6/2020 Co-opted  
Former Governors
Mr Richard Barratt 1/1/2015 4/12/2017   Co-opted  
Mrs Claire Coombs 20/10/2016 14/3/2018   Co-opted  
Mr Rob Lawrie 30/6/2016 4/12/2017   Staff Married to Sam Lawrie, a teacher at WCLA
Mr Courtney Marsh 16/11/2017 11/6/2018   Parent Director at Health Shield Ltd.
Mrs Suzanne Minor 16/10/2013 15/10/2017   Parent  
Mr Barrie Newnes 1/1/2015 14/3/2018   Co-opted  

Attendance at Local Governing Body Meetings 2018 to 2019

Name Meetings attended Out of a possible...
Mr James Bancroft 1 1
Mrs Angela Clyne 1 1
Mr Simon Dodd 1 1
Mr Mike Finnigan 1 1
Mr John Harrison 1 1
Mr John Leadley 1 1
Mrs Lesley Meaney 0 1
Dr Audrey Skidmore 1 1
Miss Sara White 1 1
Mr Stuart York 1 1


Meeting Schedule 2018 to 2019


Full Local Advisory Board Meetings

5pm Thursday 27th September 2018

4pm Thursday 29th November 2018

4pm Thursday 31st January 2019

4pm Thursday 21st March 2019

4pm Thursday 16th May 2019

4pm Thursday 4th July 2019

Meet our Governors

Mr James Bancroft - Principal and Staff Governor

I am proud to be the Principal of an academy with an exciting future. I believe that Wistaston Church Lane is a wonderful place to learn and a great place to work. I have been Principal since March 2017. Before that I was the Acting Headteacher for a while and prior to that I was the Deputy Head for nine years. I am married and have two young children and a cat called Gizmo. I am a governor at a local federation of two primary school and have also served as the Chair of the Cheshire East Association of Deputy Head Teachers. I am lucky to be working with a team of governors who place the children at the heart of what we do. 

Mrs Angela Clyne - Staff Governor

I am a parent of two young ladies and live in the Wistaston area. I have a longstanding commitment and loyalty to the school, having first taught at Westfield Infant School in 1995.

During my teaching career, I have gained numerous years of experience across Foundation Stage, Key-Stage One and Key-Stage Two.  I have led several areas of the curriculum and as subject leader of Personal, Social and Health Education, gained a Continuing Personal Development qualification. My wealth of roles has provided extensive opportunities to work closely with parents, governors, colleagues, practitioners from the local area and members of the community.

In addition, I have gained significant experience of the School Improvement Plan. I have successfully led and gained the Healthy School kite-mark and Leading Parent Partnership Award. With enthusiasm, I have successfully enriched my professional development by achieving a Masters in Education at primary level and gained my  National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership (NPQSL). This reflects my commitment to embrace the very latest educational thinking.

As a teacher, I have a unique insight into the school, understanding the school’s ethos and culture as well as a close, professional knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses. I feel this puts me in an excellent position to help set the aims and objectives for the school, develop policies and targets for achieving these and monitor and evaluate the progress of the school.

Simon Dodd - Parent Governor

My name is Simon Dodd and my two sons Alex and Jack both enjoy the learning environment created at Wistaston Church Lane Academy and have thrived since starting at the school.


During their time at the school, I have had opportunities to sit in on lessons and even read stories in class and have been able to see first-hand the enthusiasm of the staff and the brightness that the pupils bring to these lessons.


Professionally I am a Sales Manager for an advanced ceramics manufacturer based in the North East of the UK. My responsibilities include setting the sales budget, making sure that targets are being met and ensuring that sales are profitable. I am also responsible for the company’s marketing and website updates. Exporting around 60% of what we manufacture, I also have to visit other countries and so have to ensure that I understand other cultures and their ways of doing business.


As a Parent Governor, I look forward to helping the team of Wistaston Church Lane Academy maintain its high standards, meet future challenges and shape the future of both the school and the future lives of the children.

Mike Finnigan (Co-opted Governor)

My name's Mike Finnigan and I was delighted to be co-opted onto the Governing Body of Wistaston Church Lane Academy earlier this year and although I'm not a "Wistonian" by birth or residence, I've had and continue to have close connections with the school and community for the past 26 years. both on a professional and personal level.


Professionally I was a Primary School Head Teacher for 27 years, having experience of Headship in three very different Cheshire Primary Schools. After "official" retirement in 2007, I continued to work as a consultant in the recruitment and retention of senior leadership candidates including Head Teachers for Cheshire County Council and until 2016 was the Lead Primary Quality Assurance Tutor for a local Teacher Training Consortium, focussing on candidates in the School's Direct Salaried Programme. This latter role brought me great satisfaction and enhanced my experience in visiting and supporting teachers in training in a very wide range of schools in Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, including Church Lane.


As a neighbouring Head Teacher, I worked closely with the school on a number of projects over 16 years and was always struck by the sense of community, the excellent staff commitment and the welcoming supportive ethos which the school provides for its young people.


On a personal level, when not out walking , touring in our caravan or "treading the boards" in Musical Theatre productions, I have a great interest in Lifelong Learning and Languages in particular ,spending  a great deal of time in Wistaston Memorial Hall, attempting  to improve my knowledge of French and French culture with Crewe and Nantwich U3A.


The school has had many challenges recently but I look forward to being part of a bright and exciting future, working with a highly committed Principal, Senior Leadership team, staff and Governor colleagues to ensure that the young people of Church Lane Academy have all the opportunities and experiences they deserve to enable them to achieve their dreams.

Mr John Harrison - Chair of Local Advisory Board

My name is John Harrison and alongside Courtney March I am Co-Chair of the Governing body here at WCLA. I initially became a parent governor around 5 years ago and the reasons I wanted my children to come here and why I wished to be part of the governors have remained constant and unchanging throughout my tenure, even compelling me to ultimately step up as Co-Chair. There is something special about the school – you can feel it when you enter the building and that is mainly due to the brilliant people we have here. We are incredibly lucky to have such a hardworking and committed team of teachers and support staff and a leadership team that have the right values and aspirations for our children. Most importantly we are also blessed with some incredible young people in each and every class. Church Lane is a truly lovely place to be and it is down to the enthusiasm the staff and children bring to the building every day.

Professionally I am Assistant Headteacher at Malbank in Nantwich and have responsibility for data analysis as well as being head of the Sixth form. I have two children at Church Lane – Jessica and Noah - and both myself and my wife Katy couldn’t be happier with the experience the school has provided for them.

Mr John Leadley - Vice Chair of Local Advisory Board

I have been a co-opted governor at Wistaston Church Lane Academy since Autumn 2016. I have been a parent at the school for 3 years. My son Matthew attends school. I am very happy with the ethos and culture at WCLA and believe the dedication and professionalism of the staff is something to be supported.

I am currently the SEN Governor and also look after Governor training and development. I will sit on both core Committees. I am glad of the opportunity to help build on the schools energy and passion for learning. Together we can truly challenge, excite and encourage a love of life in every child!
Professionally, I work in the Logistics and FMCG sector as a Site Operations Manager. I have responsibility for a raft of KSI and KPI and share a site budget that exceeds £25m.

Mrs Lesley Meaney (Co-opted Governor)

I currently have 2 boys  - one who attends Wistaston Church Lane Academy and one who is now at high school.  I decided I wanted to become involved with the governors as the school plays a large part in my sons' life.  The school, I believe, can have a very positive impact not only for the children who attend but also the wider community. 

In my day job, I am currently employed as a paediatric sister within the major trauma centre at the Royal Stoke Hospital.

It is very rewarding to be part of the governing body, responding to the challenges involved and working alongside the staff in partnership to ensure the children receive the best start in their academic career.

Miss Sara White - Staff Governor

I am a proud Yorkshire girl, now living in Nantwich! 
I have been teaching for seven years, and am proud to now be the Acting Early Years Manager at Wistaston Church Lane. Prior to teaching here, I taught at a large primary school in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.  I have taught across all key stages, and have a good understanding of the curriculum and current educational issues. As well as my role in early years, I also have a responsibility for phonics across the school. This is something I am passionate about, and absolutely love teaching. Helping children to read is one of the highlights of my job, and it is those light bulb moments that make me love what I do!
I believe that all of us at Church Lane have a passion for, and a love of, learning. I am excited to join the Local Advisory Board and look forward to working with the team to continue to ensure that Church Lane is a place where children can achieve anything they set their mind to!

Stuart York (Co-opted Governor)

Since June 2016 I have been a co-opted governor at Wistaston Church Lane. I am fortunate to have 3 children at the school. One of the reasons I chose the school for my children was that it felt warm, friendly, with committed staff and happy, polite and confident children. Since I have been a governor I have been impressed with the level of devotion the staff give to the school in making it a place children can learn, develop, have fun and meet their potential.

I am the Governor responsible for maths which is a real passion of mine. Fortunately, and with some relief, I can still check my children’s maths homework. The challenge no doubt awaits at secondary school!

Professionally, I have been a police officer for 19 years. I am a Detective Inspector with responsibility for Strategic Public Protection, CSE and online offending, ensuring that children are protected and safeguarded. In addition to this role I am a trained negotiator and respond to people in crisis in an effort to prevent harm

coming to them.

Learn more about the role of School Governors