Our Governors

West Lakes Academy is governed by a governing body (“the Governing Body”) who are the directors of the company under the Memorandum and Articles of the Academy Trust.  The Governing Body exercises its powers and functions with a view to fulfilling a largely strategic role in the running of the academy and considers any advice given by the principal.  The Governing Body largely exercises its powers and fulfils its functions through the principal and the ‘Academy Leadership Group’.

The Governors of West Lakes Academy are:

  1. Adrian Thompson, Sponsor Governor Sellafield Ltd (Chair)
  2. Michelle Pearse, Sponsor Governor, NDA (Vice Chair)
  3. Rick Wylie, Sponsor Governor, UCLan
  4. Sue Armstrong, Sponsor Governor, Sellafield Ltd
  5. Dan Bloomer, Sponsor Governor, NDA
  6. Suzanne Wilson, Sponsor Governor, UCLan
  7. Claire Maxwell-Smith, Sponsor Governor NDA
  8. Simonne Walker, Sponsor Governor, Sellafield Ltd
  9. Ian Curwen, Co-opted Governor
  10. Craig Ivison, Co-opted Governor
  11. David Southward, Local Authority Governor
  12. Susan Alderson, Parent Governor
  13. James Jackson, Head of Academy
  14. Andrew Haslop, Staff Governor

Clerk to the Governing Body: Caroline Stevenson

Governors and the clerk can be contacted via governors@westlakesacademy.org.uk

Please click on a governor’s photograph to see their biography.

WLA Governing Body 18/19

Scheme of Delegation 18/19

Governing Body Meeting Dates 18/19

Declaration of Business Interests for 18/19

Governing Body Attendance 17/18

Governing Body Attendance 18/19

Governing Body Committee Attendance 17/18

Governing Body Committee Attendance 18/19


Governor Details

Full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions





Date of appointment


Term of office


Date stepped down


Appointed by


Business and pecuniary details including governance roles in other educational institutions


Adrian Thompson Sep 2008 No limit Sponsor Governor Sellafield Ltd None
Rick Wylie Jan 2011 No limit Sponsor Governor UCLan None
Michelle Pearse Jul 2013 No limit Sponsor Governor None
Sue Armstrong Jul 2014 4 years Sponsor Governor None
Susan Alderson September 2017 4 years Parent Governor  

Employee at Beckermet Primary School.

David Southward Nov 2014 4 years Local Authority Governor None
Ian Curwen Sep 2016 4 years  

Co-opted Governor Governing Body


Employee of Sellafield Ltd
Nichola Capstick Sep 2015 4 years Staff Governor Member of Academy staff
Vanessa Ray Apr 2010 Whilst in post


December 2015 Principal Member of Academy staff
Jonathan Johnson Jan 2016 Whilst in post Principal Member of Academy staff
Dan Bloomer Dec 2015 4 years Sponsor Governor Wife – Employee at Cockermouth School.
Gillian Butterworth Apr 2016 4 years February 2017 Parent Governor None

Our Sponsors

Three sponsors were involved in the setting up of West Lakes Academy in 2008 – Sellafield Ltd, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). All three share an ambition and motivation to support the education and development of young people in West Cumbria and to ensure that West Cumbria is an attractive, vibrant and aspirational place in which to live and work.

When the academy opened, Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) contributed a total of £2m to the project which has been invested by the academy. The other sponsor, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), is our Higher Education Partner. The sponsor organisations are well represented on the Governing Body and currently occupy the Chair and Vice Chair positions.

The sponsors and other members of the Governing Body actively support a wide range of academy activities including interview panels for key staff, high value and risk tendering processes such as ICT and being link governors to certain areas such as More Able, Special Educational Needs, etc, in addition to the Governing Body meetings and associated committees. All are keen to support and effectively challenge the academy to be even better in delivering outcomes for the students and thus the wider community and key stakeholders.

You can learn more about the sponsors at: