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SLT Profiles - find out more about our Leadership Team

Senior Leadership Team

We place an emphasis on the word 'team'. The team work hard to lead the school on our journey towards perfection. You'll meet all of us at various different events. You won't always see the same person at the front of each event but we'll all be involved in some way!


Principal: Mr James Bancroft

Vice Principal: Mr Rob Lawrie

Assistant Principal: Miss Joanna Wright

Pupil Premium Lead: Mrs Angela Culshaw

SENCO: Miss Anna Willington

Inclusion Manager: Mrs Sharon Valente

Early Years Manager: Miss Danielle Jones

School Business Managers: Mrs Claire Dobson, Mrs Jane Griffiths

Site Manager: Mr Jay Bateman


Here is a profile on each one of us!

Principal: James Bancroft

I am proud to be the Principal of Wistaston Church Lane Academy. I have been in the role since March 2017. Church Lane is a special place to learn and work and I love my job as I am able to ensure the best standards for the children and the staff.

I qualified from Chester University in 2001 and was appointed as an NQT at Wistaston Junior School. In 2004 I was asked to become part of the Cheshire Leading Maths Teacher Programme. I was delighted to become Acting Deputy of the school in 2006. In 2007 I became one of two Deputies at the newly opened Wistaston Church Lane Primary School before becoming the sole Deputy in 2009. In 2010 I completed the National College Leadership Pathways course, and in 2014 I completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship. I was became a member of the Cheshire East Association of Primary Senior Leaders (DeCAPH) in 2011 and became Chair in 2013. The difficult events of 2016 led to me becoming Acting Headteacher for ten months before being appointed as substantive Principal in 2017.

I am very motivated, energetic and passionate about offering the best education for our learners. I am married to Lisa and have two children, Lily and George and we love spending time together.

I am also a governor at the William Stockton and Wimboldsley Community Primary School Federation.

Vice Principal: Rob Lawrie

I was appointed as Vice-Principal in 2017 and prior to that I taught in Key Stage Two for six years. I teach in Year 2 and 6 for half a day each week. My main responsibility is to raise the standards of teaching and learning across the school. I studied for my PGCE at Oxford Brookes University and have a degree in Sport and Education from Manchester Metropolitan University. I have worked with children for the majority of my life in a range of contexts and with a wide range of ages. I love working at Wistaston Church Lane Academy and love the chance to be able to help children progress, not just with English and maths, but wider skills and as people too. It’s a pleasure to work with our brilliant staff and children and I look forward to helping make a real difference at our school.

Assistant Principal and Key Stage One Manager: Joanna Wright

I began my teaching career in September 1999 as a Reception Teacher at Wistaston Westfield Infant School, moving on after four years to teach Year One and Year Two pupils.  Following the amalgamation with Wistaston Junior School in 2007 I was given the opportunity to teach in Year Three for seven years. During my time in the new combined primary school, I also became Designated Safeguarding Lead, Cared for Children Lead, Senior Teacher and continued my role of English Subject Leader. In 2014 I became Assistant Headteacher and more recently Assistant Principal.  I have also had the pleasure of managing our Foundation Stage Department and since September 2017 I have returned to teach in KS2 with Year Four. I thoroughly enjoy being a class teacher and working with the children in order to help them to develop their social, emotional and academic skills. I have been very fortunate to work alongside hardworking and skilled staff.  My role as Assistant Principal incorporates a wide range of responsibilities and roles and enables me to liaise with a number of children across the school, school staff, parents/carers, governors and outside agencies.

Key Stage Two Manager: Angela Culshaw

I have been a KS2 teacher since 1999. After training at Manchester Metropolitan University in Crewe, I began working at Wistaston Church Lane. I have had experience of each year group in KS2 and held numerous roles of responsibility over the years, including SENCO and maths subject lead. I am currently lead for PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and Pupil Premium Lead.

Both of my two children have attended Wistaston Church Lane and have enjoyed all the opportunities it offers.

SENCO: Anna Willington

Teaching became my passion after having children of my own and watching their journey through education and their experiences at Wistaston Church Lane Academy. I was lucky enough to gain a position here at Church Lane in 2016, and I am currently the SENCo and one of the Year 6 teachers. Prior to my role at WCLA, I also worked at another school in the Learning For Life Partnership. I enjoy expanding my knowledge of children and education through my own postgraduate studies. I have gained two postgraduate certificates in Education and Research Skills, a Diploma, two Masters Degrees (one of which is in Education) and this year I am also undertaking the National Award for SENCo. I have a keen passion for continued learning, as I like to keep up to date with current changes and ideas in education, in order to enhance our school practice.

Acting Early Years Manager - Sara White

I have been teaching since 2011, during which time I have taught across all the primary phases. I graduated from the University of Chester with a Bachelor of Education degree, and initially began my teaching career in South Yorkshire.  Over the past 7 years I have held many positions of responsibility including Year 1 lead teacher, English Subject Lead, PE and RE lead. During this time I successfully helped to lead my school through an outstanding SIAMs inspection and was very humbled to receive a nomination for “teacher of the year” at the ‘Create Development’ PE awards in 2016.

I have been working in Wistaston for 2 years now, following a career and house relocation for both me and my partner Tom. I am now proud to be the Acting Early Years Manager at Wistaston Church Lane.  I love working with the youngest children in our school. It is such an exciting time beginning your school career, and I feel privileged to be part of the team that gets to kick start it all!

Early Years Manager: Danielle Jones

I have worked at Wistaston Church Lane Academy since 2014 as a Reception class teacher and am now proud to be the Early Years Manager here.

I really enjoy working with the youngest children in our school, guiding them in the first step in their education, helping them to settle in and flourish both emotionally and academically. I am very motivated and keen to provide the best learning environment for all the children in Reception.

I qualified from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2014 with a BA Hons in Primary Education. I was the employed as an NQT at this school and became the Early Years Manager in 2017.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my fiancé and family and our dog Caesar.

Acting Key Stage One Manager - Laura Baugh

I qualified as a teacher from the University of Chester and began my teaching career at Wistaston Church Lane Academy in September 2015. I began my career by teaching in Year Three for two years before moving to teach in Year Two in September 2017. I began my role as Maths Subject Lead that year, which has given me the opportunity to ensure that children at Church Lane are offered the best Maths education. I love being a class teacher as I am lucky enough to watch the children flourish, not only academically, but also emotionally and socially. I am a passionate and enthusiastic teacher and I have found a passion for teaching in KS1. Therefore I am proud to be Acting Key Stage One Manager.