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Local Governing Body

Each Academy in the Priory Federation has its own Local Governing Body (LGB) and the individuals on this committee are known as Governors. The LGBs are advisory committees to the Priory Federation of Academies Trust – as established in the Trust’s Scheme of Delegated Authority.

The Governors of the LGB are responsible to the Trust for supporting the day-to-day running of the Academy. The LGB is not independent of the Trust. The Chair of the LGB is a Trust nominee and the Head of the Academy is an ex-officio member of the Governing Committee.

Each LGB has a small number of governing sub committees, including a Disciplinary and Appeals Committee (constituted as required).

Furthermore, each governor is linked to a member of the SLT both as ‘critical friend’ and as a Link Governor. Each Link (Governor/SLT) is responsible for one or more elements of the self-evaluation framework (SEF). The governors challenge the SLT members to provide secure evidence for the SEF and support the SLT member in reaching the judgements for the SEF.

A list of our current Governing Body members, together with accompanying documents, can be found below.

Local Governing Body Documents:

The Local Governing Body is supported in its work by the Clerk to the Governors, Kate Michelson.  If you would like to contact the LGB, please do so via email through the clerk: kmichelson@prioryacademies.co.uk

Who Are Our Governors?

James Husbands  

James Husbands

James is the Headteacher of Willoughby Academy, joining in September 2015.  He has been a teacher for 20 years, developing a wealth of experience in a wide range of settings.  James is passionate about education and Special Education Needs.  He has high aspirations for all pupils and staff at the Academy and is proud of the inclusive community focused education that Willoughby provides.  James has two children, both in secondary education.  As a former PE teacher, in his spare time he enjoys playing and watching sport.

Steve Bills  

Steve Bills

Steve is a CIMA qualified accountant.  He is employed by Cummins Generator Technologies Ltd, where he has been employed for over 31 years; spending 25 years in Finance and 6 years in HR.  Currently he is the Finance Manager at the Ryhall Road manufacturing site.  Married to Sarah, with two sons, Matthew and Nathan, his main interest outside of work is coaching football.  He is a FA level 2 coach, managing Bourne Town FC Reserves and Bourne Town Juniors FC U18’s

Gary Ridgway

Gary Ridgway

Gary is a retired senior police officer and now runs his own company providing support to Police Services and Local Authorities in responding to child exploitation. He is married with four children and has been a scout leader for over twenty years and previously a foster carer for eight years. He believes strongly in the need for inclusivity for all young people, irrespective of how limiting it may first appear their opportunities are.

Katherine Paskin

Katherine Paskin

Katherine is an HLTA at Willoughby Academy. She joined Willoughby in September 2009. She has spent her career in the field of learning disabilities; both in adult services and specialising in autism and assisted technology. She loves being part of the Willoughby community and enabling all students to reach their full potential. There is never a dull day at Willoughby!  Katherine is married with two children and a slightly mad cockapoo!

Mark Thomas  

Mark Thomas

Mark is a Headteacher who has worked in schools across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northamptonshire. He is currently the Headteacher of St Peter's Day School in Kettering. He has a passion for education, holding a BSc in Engineering as well as PGCE and PGDE qualifications. In 2019 he travelled to Nepal to help rebuild a school with funds he raised through sponsorship and charitable events. He enjoys theatre and performance and before becoming a teacher had a career in Theatre Technical Management. He enjoys rugby and is a keen player, coach and referee, as well as being the Safeguarding Officer at Bourne Rugby Club. He values being part of the community and enjoys his role as a governor of Willoughby Academy

Sophie Foston

Sophie has worked in various schools across Lincolnshire and served on governing bodies during this time. She is now Headteacher at a Cambridgeshire school. Sophie is committed to ensuring the highest quality of education for all pupils. Her fundamental aim is to inspire a love of learning, encouraging all children to aspire, believe, succeed and excel. Sophie has a passion for language and literacy, holding a BA (Hons) in English Literature. Additionally, she also holds a PGCE, having completed National Professional Qualifications in Senior Leadership and Headship and presently working towards Masters Level in SEND Co-ordination. 

Away from work, Sophie loves music and theatre and has strong links with a local Theatre company. Her three children keep her very busy! Sophie's youngest son joined Willoughby school in September 2020. 

Through her role as governor, Sophie hopes to be able to support the school as it continues to provide the highest standards of inclusive education for all pupils.