The Cumbria Education Trust Board Directors delegate to the Local Advisory Board (LAB) members its responsibility and powers as the Governing Body of the school. 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 Yewdale Primary School LAB is crucial to helping the school 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 Leanne Coats (Clerk to the LAB): or telephone: 016977 45300.

Composition of Local Advisory Board (LAB) members:

Kevin Hobson – LAB Chair

Kevin has worked as a Civil servant for over 10 years and also worked in sales and customer service roles.

In his time as a Civil Servant he has covered a variety of roles that will be useful to the Parent LAB role including finance, workforce planning and other business support roles.  Kevin has been a Work Coach helping people get the right support whether it be financial or help in getting back to work.

Growing up Kevin lived in a pub which like a school can be a nucleus to a community and this upbringing has given him the belief that a community is made up of all its parts whether it be large or small.

Lorrayne Hughes – CEO

Lorrayne is the successful and outward facing CEO of Cumbria Education Trust.  Cumbria Education Trust is one of the first school based MATs in North Cumbria.

Lorrayne passionately believes in inclusion and that all children deserve a high quality education – children are firmly at the heart of all her strategic decision making.

Lorrayne took up her first Headship at William Howard School in Cumbria in 2007. In January 2014 she was commissioned by the Local Authority to bring about rapid improvement in two special measures schools in Workington, Cumbria. One of the schools was removed from Special Measures within 20 weeks.  Ofsted commented on Lorrayne’s success in December 2014 “Your vision is clear: to build sustainable improvement across the schools for the long-term benefit of students and the Workington community”.  Following this secondment Lorrayne took up the role as CEO of the Trust.

Lorrayne believes in a school led system for school improvement based around autonomy and accountability. She was Chair of CASL (Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders) for many years and is passionate about system leadership and what that can bring to the school improvement agenda.  She strongly believes that schools are better working together and that collaboration can make a difference to all involved.

Deborah Shaw – Lead Director

Deborah has a long career in Human Resources both in professional services and financial services. An honours graduate of St Andrews University and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, she was the Head of HR and member of the Executive Committee for a number of years in a UK private bank headquartered in London. She developed and delivered the HR strategy through a period of acquisitions and digital transformation, before retiring from full-time employment in 2020. With a strong background in governance and remuneration, Deborah also championed flexible working, corporate social responsibility and diversity in the workplace. Now spending time on consultancy and trustee work and splitting family time between homes in Lancashire and Cumbria, Deborah and her family have a long history of enjoying the Cumbrian fells. She is a regular runner, cyclist and walker, hobbies which she shares with her husband and has passed on to their two sons.

Brought up near Edinburgh she comes from a family with many varied roles in education. She has always involved herself with her sons’ schools and has maintained links with their former senior school supporting older students with career advice and interview skills practice. She is a strong believer in the value to be gained from links between schools, communities and business and is delighted to be able to use her background and professional knowledge in support of the Cumbria Education Trust.

Gemma Brierley – Executive Headteacher

After completing a BA (Hons) Primary Education in Newcastle, Gemma began her teaching career at a large primary school in South East London. Over the next twenty years Gemma taught across 3 other schools in Kent, including serving as a Headteacher for the last five years in school that was transformed under her leadership.

Following her family’s relocation to Cumbria in October 2020 Gemma joined CET in November as the Headteacher of Yewdale Primary School.

Mhairi Roberts – Acting Head of School

Mhairi joined the teaching team at Yewdale Primary School in September 2016.  Mhairi was promoted to the Senior Leadership Team and given responsibility for coordinating Special Needs in March 2017, successfully completing the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCO) in May 2019.  Since then, Mhairi has undertaken the role of Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and is currently Acting Head of School, a position she feels extremely passionate about.

Mhairi works hard to ensure that children become confident, independent learners and strongly believes that all children should be given the support they need to realise their potential.

Mhairi turned to teaching later in life having travelled the world, raised a family and enjoyed a 17-year career working in industry.

Amanda McAree – LAB member (Safeguarding Lead)

Amanda is a Senior Assistant Headteacher at Newman Catholic School with responsibilities for Student Welfare & Pastoral care, line management of the SENCo, Heads of Year, Senior Learning mentors, Attendance Officer and Student Support Officer.   She is also the designated Safeguarding Officer and Designated teacher for Children Looked After and has an overview of the Sixth Form and Religious Education Department.

Amanda has been a teacher for 25 years having held roles within curriculum and pastoral areas.

Amanda is passionate about ensuring that students have the best education possible and is thrilled to be part of the Cumbria Education Trust Primary Strategic LAB for Yewdale and Longtown Primary Schools.

Having been in education for a long time, covering a variety of roles, Amanda is fully aware of local and National education issues and believes we should always do what is right for our students whilst holding staff accountable.

John White – LAB member (Subject to DBS clearance)

John is an experienced mechanical engineer and director of local business Cumbria Mechanical.

He brings a wealth of experience in fostering and maintaining relationships with both employees and staff; leading a large team and workforce. John has strong local connections with an active role in the business community in Carlisle and Cumbria.

John has prior experience in the education sector dealing with large trusts and academies and a strong interest in investment in the care and development of young people. He is actively involved as a sponsor of Carlisle Youth Zone and enjoys being able contribute to a vital resource for young people in our community. This is something he hopes to continue as a governor of Yewdale.

Kirsty Graham – Staff LAB member

Kirsty joined Yewdale Primary School in February 2019, Initially teaching in Early Years, and now in Key Stage One. Kirsty has worked in education for 10 years across three different schools. She has had the experience of a variety of positions, including Foundation Unit Leader and Key Stage One Leader. Working closely alongside Senior Leadership Teams she has implemented changes to improve outcomes for children. Kirsty, originally from Cleator Moor, moved to Carlisle in 2009 and is a mother to two young boys. Kirsty believes that every child should have the best education, in order to reach their full potential. She is hopeful that her experience and drive for improvement will have a positive impact within the school and within the LAB. Her hobbies include running, camping and singing in choirs.

LAB members in the previous 12 months:

  • Joyce Keetley – 21/07/21
  • Tracey Hill – 22/09/2021
  • Jack Bowman – 07/02/22

Local Advisory Board


Scheme of Delegation 288.89 KB downloads

Cumbria Education Trust ...