Meet our LAB Members
Our local advisory board (LAB) is made up of 9 members which include the Principal, a minimum of two parent LAB members and a minimum of two community members. No more than a third of the board will be staff members. All members are appointed by the board, including parents where applicable and are enrolled for a term of four years.
Should you wish to contact our chair of the board please do so in writing via email at - LAB@leighton.cheshire.sch.uk.
For details of the Trustees and Directors of the Learning for Life Partnership please visit the Learning for Life Partnership website.
Chair of the LAB
Diane Ridings Term of Office - March 2015 ongoing - renewed in February 2020 (Community LAB Member)
I retired from teaching in December 2012 but continued to do some part-time work for 12 months in my area of expertise which is Special Educational Needs. I was the SENCO and Assistant Head at a local Secondary School where I worked for 25 years. Having lived and worked in the Crewe Community since 1989 I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to be a LAB member at Leighton Academy, where I was appointed in March 2015, and I will support the school in any way I can. My personal interests include reading, film, theatre, walking, cycling and I am a member of a local spa and health club.
Samantha Thompson Term of Office - September 2014 - Ongoing
I have been a teacher at Leighton Academy since 2008 and staff member of the LAB since September 2011. I was appointed as Vice Principal in September 2014, became Head of School in January 2018 and Principal in September 2021. I have a particular interest in sport and PE as well as passion for curriculum development. I am actively involved with community projects and PTA events organised by the academy.
Staff LAB Members
Nicholas Jones Term of Office - September 2021 - Ongoing
I have been a teacher at Leighton Academy since 2000 and previously taught in schools in London and Wales. I have taught throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2, previously being departmental lead for the various phases and key stages before being appointed Senco in 2015 and Assistant head in 2018. Now undertaking the role of Vice Principal and Senco. I feel passionately about our pupils independent of their needs and interests. Inspiring all pupils to achieve their potential, developing transferable life skills and supporting our families and community. I am our Pupil Premium champion. Another role I relish is that of professional mentor, supporting the students, the teachers of tomorrow and our newly qualified teachers.
Marie Speake Term of Office - November 2015 - ongoing (renewed October 2019)
I have been a teacher at Leighton Academy since 2002 and have worked across both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. I am currently a Year 2 teacher, as well as being Key Stage 1 leader and the literacy lead. I have two children who both attended the academy before going on to high school and was appointed as a LAB member in November 2015.
Community LAB Members
Ian Baxter Term of office - November 2018 - October 2022
Awaiting pen portrait
Michelle Noble Term of office - September 2022 - August 2026
Awaiting pen portrait
Parent LAB Members
Susan Hawkes Term of Office - November 2014 - October 2022
I became a parent LAB member in November 2014, and have one child attending Leighton and one who has gone on to high school. My background is both practical and academic; first as a chef then following my passion for psychology as a mature student and presently within play work. Within the governing body I focus on teaching and learning with a particular interest in Special Needs and IDSR.
Nicola Kay Term of Office - November 2015 - October 2023
I have been a LAB member since November 2015 and as well as being a member of the LAB I am also an active member of the school PTFA. I live in the local community and have one child who has left the school and another in key stage two. I have worked for a global company in the IT industry for the past 14 years, most recently as a Problem Manager.
Rachael Dean Term of Office - January 2021 - January 2025
I became a Parent LAB member in January 2021 following a period of being an associate member and I have been assigned the role of parental engagement which ties in perfectly with my existing role as a leading figure within the schools PTFA. I live within the school community and have two children who currently attend the school in year 5 and year 3. I work from home for a builder's merchants; running their website and assisting with other admin work.
Register of Interests
No LAB members have any business interests with any companies associated with Leighton Academy.
The following LAB members have children at the school -
Su Hawkes; Nicola Kay; Rachael Dean
The following LAB members have a family member as a member of staff or as a director -
None at present
LAB Members that are members of staff -
Samantha Thompson; Nicholas Jones; Marie Speake
LAB Members with no personal interests in the school -
Diane Ridings; Ian Baxter; Michelle Noble
LAB Members that have roles in other educational establishments -
Michelle Noble is an employee of Creative Education