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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 and minutes of meetings.

Key Roles

Chair of the Local Advisory Board: Vacancy

Acting Chair of the Local Advisory Board: Dr Audrey Skidmore (from 28-11-2019)

Vice Chair of the Local Advisory Board: Mr Mike Finnigan (from 26-3-2020)


The constitution of our Local Advisory Board is as follows:

3 staff LAB members (including the Principal)

3 parent LAB members

3 community LAB members

Useful Information for Governors

Wistaston Church Lane Academy Local Advisory Board Members


Full Name Date of Appointment Date of Resignation Term of Office Membership Specific Role Business/Pecuniary Interest Date of involvement
Mr James Bancroft 13/2/2017   - Ex-Officio (Principal)  
  • Governor at Wimboldsley Community Primary School & William Stockton Primary School (Federation)
  • Partner works with Simply Education
  • Vice Chair of Governors at Whitegate C of E Primary School
  • Since June 2017
  • Between October 2018 and August 2019
  • Since March 2019
Vacancy       Staff      
Mr Simon Dodd 11/6/2018   10/6/2022 Parent Pupil Premium    
Mr Mike Finnigan 25/4/2017   24/4/2021 Co-opted EYFS Trustee of Merseyside, Cheshire & Greater Manchester TTC Since Sept 2007
Mr John Harrison 16/11/2017   15/11/2021 Parent English and SEND Assistant Head at Malbank School & Sixth Form Since 2007
Mrs Lesley Meaney 20/10/2016   19/10/2020 Co-opted Safeguarding    
Dr Audrey Skidmore 11/6/2018   10/6/2022 Parent Wider Curriculum Member of staff at Keele University Since 2015
Miss Sara White 14/3/2018   13/3/2022 Staff Pupil Well-being and Development    
Mr Stuart York 25/6/2020   24/6/2020 Community Maths    
Vacancy       Co-opted      
Former Governors  
Mrs Angela Clyne 30/6/2016 29/6/2020 29/6/2020 Staff PE & Sport Premium    

Attendance at Local Advisory Board Meetings 2019 to 2020

Name Meetings attended Out of a possible...
Mr James Bancroft 6 6
Mrs Angela Clyne 4 6
Mr Simon Dodd 5 6
Mr Mike Finnigan 6 6
Mr John Harrison 1 6
Mrs Lesley Meaney 3 6
Dr Audrey Skidmore 6 6
Miss Sara White 6 6
Mr Stuart York 4 6


Meeting Schedule 2019 to 2020


Full Local Advisory Board Meetings

4pm Thursday 26th September 2019

4pm Thursday 28th November 2019

4pm Thursday 30th January 2020

4pm Thursday 19th March 2020

4pm Thursday 21st May 2020

4pm Thursday 25th June 2020

Meet our Local Advisory Board Members

Mr James Bancroft - Principal and Staff LAB Member

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 schools, and also at a small village school. I have also served as the Chair of the Cheshire East Association of Deputy Head Teachers. I am lucky to be working with a Local Advisory Board who place the children at the heart of what we do. 

Mrs Angela Clyne - Staff LAB member

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 LAB member

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 LAB member)

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 - Parent LAB member

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.

Mrs Lesley Meaney (Co-opted LAB member)

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.

Audrey Skidmore - Parent LAB member & Chair of the Local Advisory Board

My name is Audrey Skidmore and although originally from France, I settled in the UK 13 years ago whilst undertaking graduate studies. After obtaining a doctorate from the University of Manchester and practising as a research scientist for over 4 years, I decided to focus on teaching in higher education. I now teach first and second year medical students at Keele University, where I am also charged with organising practical classes and clinical skills examinations. I am also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).


I am the proud mum of 2 boys who are currently happily attending Wistaston Church Lane Academy. They have come on leaps and bounds as individuals thanks to the inclusive, stimulating environment and fantastic staff at Wistaston Church Lane Academy. As a governor, I have a special interest in the wider curriculum: I am keen to ensure that our children develop a broad range of knowledge and skills, encompassing a variety of subjects, so they become well-rounded learners. I am excited to be a parent-governor and I am hoping to help Wistaston Church Lane Academy be the best that it can be, now and in the future, for the benefit of all the pupils and the wider community.

Miss Sara White - Staff LAB member

I am a proud Yorkshire girl, now living in Nantwich! 
I have been teaching for seven years, and am proud to now be the 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 (Community LAB member)

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