Home Page

Local Advisory Board (Governors)

On 1st December 2017, Wistaston Church Lane Academy joined The Learning For Life Partnership, a local muti-academy trust. As part of this trust, the school will retain its local governing body which will focus on the needs of the children, the staff, the school and its community. This local governing body (called the Local Advisory Board) will operate 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 governing body including terms of office, terms of reference and minutes of meetings.

Key Roles

Co-Chairs of the Local Advisory Board: Mr John Harrison & Mr Courtney Marsh (elected 9/2/2017)

Vice Chair of the Local Advisory Board: Mr Barrie Newnes (elected 9/2/2017)

Chair of the Resources Committee: Mr Courtney Marsh (elected 19/10/2017)

Chair of the Pupil & Curriculum Committee: Mr John Harrison (elected 1/11/2017)


The constitution of our Local Advisory Board is as follows:

3 staff governors (including the Principal)

a minimum of 2 parent governors

a minimum of 3 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 Committee Membership
Mr James Bancroft 13/2/2017   - Staff

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

Married to Lisa Bancroft, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant at WCLA


Pupils & Curriculum

Mrs Angela Clyne 30/6/2016   29/6/2020 Staff   Pupils & Curriculum
Mrs Claire Coombs 20/10/2016   19/10/2020 Co-opted   Pupils & Curriculum
Mr Mike Finnigan 25/4/2017   24/4/2021 Co-opted   Pupils & Curriculum
Mr John Harrison 16/11/2017   15/11/2021 Parent Assistant Head at Malbank School & Sixth Form

Pupils & Curriculum


Mr John Leadley 20/10/2016   19/10/2020 Co-opted  

Pupils & Curriculum


Mr Courtney Marsh 16/11/2017   15/11/2021 Parent Director of Health Shield Ltd

Pupils & Curriculum


Mrs Lesley Meaney 20/10/2016   19/10/2020 Co-opted   Resources
Mr Barrie Newnes 1/1/2015   31/12/2018 Co-opted  

Pupils & Curriculum


Mr Stuart York 30/6/2016   29/6/2020 Co-opted   Pupils & Curriculum
Vacancy       Staff    
Former Governors
Mr Richard Barratt 1/1/2015 4/12/2017   Co-opted    
Mr Dean Garratt 16/10/2015 18/4/2017   Parent    
Mr Rob Lawrie 30/6/2016 4/12/2017   Staff Married to Sam Lawrie, a teacher at WCLA  
Mrs Suzanne Minor 16/10/2013 15/10/2017   Parent    
Rev Mike Turnbull 1/1/2015 7/2/2017   Co-opted    

Attendance at Local Governing Body Meetings 2017 to 2018

Name Membership Pupils & Curriculum Resources Full Governing Body
Mr James Bancroft

Pupils & Curriculum


1/1 2/2 1/1
Mr Richard Barratt Resources - 0/2 0/1
Mrs Angela Clyne Pupils & Curriculum 1/1 - 0/1
Mrs Claire Coombs Pupils & Curriculum 1/1 - 1/1
Mr Mike Finnigan Pupils & Curriciulum 1/1 - 1/1
Mr John Harrison

Pupils & Curriculum


1/1 1/2 0/1
Mr Rob Lawrie Pupils & Curriculum 1/1 2/2 1/1
Mr John Leadley

Pupils & Curriculum


1/1 2/2 1/1
Mr Courtney Marsh

Pupils & Curriculum


1/1 1/2 1/1
Mrs Lesley Meaney Resources - 2/2 1/1
Mrs Suzanne Minor Resources - 0/0 0/0
Mr Barrie Newnes

Pupils & Curriculum


1/1 2/2 1/1
Mr Stuart York Pupils & Curriculum 1/1 - 1/1


Meeting Schedule 2017 to 2018


Full Governing Body

4pm Monday 4th December 2017

4pm Wednesday 14th March 2018

4pm Tuesday 12th June 2018


Resources Committee

4pm Thursday 19th October 2017

4pm Thursday 16th November 2017 (Including Presentation of Accounts)

4pm Thursday 25th January 2018

4pm Thursday 26th April 2018


Pupils & Curriculum Committee

4pm Thursday 2nd November 2017

4pm Wednesday 7th February 2018

4pm Thursday 17th May 2018

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 another local primary school and have also been 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.

Mrs Claire Coombs - Co-opted Governor

I have been a co-opted governor at Wistaston Church Lane Academy since 2016. I have two daughters and I have been a parent at the school since 2008. My youngest daughter Eliza attends the school and moved into Year 3 in September 2017. Having been a parent at the school for nearly 10 years, I have seen various changes along the way but it has always provided a happy and supportive learning environment for my children. I am very fortunate  to be given the opportunity to serve as a governor and to contribute to the success of the school and its exciting future.

For the 2017/2018 Academic year, I am taking on the role of Pupil Premium Governor and will sit on the Resources Committee. I am looking forward to supporting, challenging, monitoring and evaluating the work of the school in raising the attainment and progress of children.

Professionally, I am a Chartered Town Planner and have worked at a senior level in Local Government and have also managed my own business. Currently I am working with communities to help them to prepare plans for their areas. While I have not worked in education, I hope to apply a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to the role and apply the skills I have acquired to contribute to the effective governance of the school.

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 - Co-Chair of Governors

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 in year 4 and Noah in reception and both myself and my wife Katy couldn’t be happier with the experience the school has provided for them.

Mr John Leadley (Co-opted Governor)

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 moved up into Year 3 in September 2017. 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.

Mr Courtney Marsh - Co-Chair of Governors

I have been a governor at WCLA since November 2013 and am co-Chair of the Governing Body having previously been vice-chair. I am Commercial Director for a local health insurance company with a background in finance and risk. The academy has been through a lot of change over the past couple of years. However, I am really looking forward to working with the passionate senior leadership team and putting into practice the ideas and plans they have for the academy. I live locally in Wistaston, have two sons at the academy and really enjoy volunteering at the school and being part of the local community.

Mrs Lesley Meaney (Co-opted Governor)

I currently have 2 boys who attend Wistaston Church Lane Academy.  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.

Mr Barrie Newnes - Vice Chair of Governors

I'm a grandfather of this parish whose children and grandchildren attended Church Lane. I was a governor with Westfield Infant School, then Church Lane Primary and now Wistaston Church Lane Academy.

I have worked with infant children (volunteer classroom assistant) and junior children (volunteer IT assistant) for the last few years following my retirement.

As a lecturer at Sir John Dean College I was teaching 14 and 15 year olds students and then 16+ at South Cheshire College (Information Technology) to HND standards. With my last full time position it was more in the vocational area of NVQs to the 23+ students and vocational apprenticeship to 16 to 23 year olds. I was the  training manager for a City and Guilds OCR National Vocation Qualification Training Company. I was responsible for the day to day running of the business, building a relationship with the Governing Bodies, Inspections, Standards, Finance and Certification. Prior to this I was a Facilities Manager for Siemens PLC, Congleton, giving me full control of a 3 million pound budget to provid facilities from IT through to restaurants and new buildings. My early career was in the electronics/computer industry in such companies as Intel, Siemens, Marconi, Plessey and English Electric.

I have enjoyed my time with Church Lane and I look forward to a very bright future!

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 in years 5, 3 and foundation. 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