Governors Biographies

Professor Liz Beaty

Liz retired from University of Cumbria two years ago. She lives in Stainton but was born in Carlisle. Liz’s career spans many different roles in higher education from lecturing to policy development and university management. Liz has been on the Governing Body of Central Academy for the past 6 years taking over as Chair of the Local Governing Body in 2014. She is also a member of the Morton Academy LGB and of the overarching School Improvement Board. As Chair of the LGB, she has membership of the subcommittees, with particular focus being the overarching school improvement, strategic development and sixth form curriculum.


Elaine Flowers

Elaine joined the University of Cumbria in October 2007 as the Head of Further Education at the Newton Rigg Campus and is currently the Head of Educational Partnerships and Lifelong Learning, based in Carlisle at the Fusehill Campus. Elaine has responsibility for the development of academic partnerships with new and existing partners, which may include Further Education Colleges, work based learning providers and other organisations. She has responsibility for a number of cross university projects and currently this includes the development of Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeships in a number of key areas across the University.

During her career, Elaine has been heavily involved in the management and delivery of Further Education and Work Based Learning in Yorkshire and Cumbria.


Barbara Stephens - Vice Chair

Barbara is an engineer by training, spending 18 years in industry before a mixed career that included the National Economic
Development Office (NEDO), coming to West Cumbria in 1993 to head up West Cumbria Development Agency, followed by 16 years
commuting to London as Chief Executive of the Local Government Commission for England, then as a recruitment consultant, and
finally as a manager working for the Open University. Barbara was on the Board of the University of Cumbria amongst other non-exec roles over the years.

Barbara retired from part-time work at the end of June, joining the LGB in 2015 and more recently becoming the Governor with responsibility for safeguarding.



Keith Teasdale

Keith is the vicar of St Cuthbert’s and St Aidan’s churches and the city centre chaplain to Carlisle. He also serves as chaplain to the City Council and Crown Court.

Keith has been a Governor at Central Academy for 2 years and is also Chair of Governors for Norman Street Primary School.

Keith has been a school Governor for 30 years, starting with Durham County Council and then Gateshead Council where he was a governor for Dunston Hill Primary School and Kingsmeadow Comprehensive School for 18 years. He was Chair of Governors for Kingsmeadow for 6 years. During which time he saw the rebuilding of both schools on the one site, thus forming a campus from nursery to 6th form.

He is passionate about education and delighted that Central Academy is making such good progress.



Professor David Vaughan

David was Principal of Cumbria Institute of the Arts (CIA) from September 1991 until retirement in August 2007, when the University of Cumbria was formed. He previously held teaching and senior management roles in the creative arts at universities in Lancaster, Liverpool, Brighton and Sheffield and at the CNAA as Associate Registrar. He also undertook reviews with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

David was the first Chair of the Management Board of Higher Education Academy – Art Design Media Subject Centre from 1999 to 2007. He established GLAD (the Group for Learning in Art and Design) as a UK wide HE learning and teaching forum in 1989, being Chair from 1990 to 2007. He chaired the Higher Education Art and Design Trust from 1996 to 2005, now leading the HEAD Trust Project to support greater advocacy of the Art, Design, Media schools to HE subject sector as Trustee.

He was a Director of UCAS from 2000 and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors from 2004 to 2009 - a member of the Audit Committee and Chair of the UCAS Pensions Trustees. Vice Chair of GuildHE from 2003 to 2007, Chair of the National Arts Learning Network - a member of the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) Quality Assurance Learning and Teaching Committee, the Quality Assurance Framework Review Group and a member of the committee which established and funded Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs). Until October 2010 (when its work was completed) he was Vice Chair of the Delivery Partnership, set up by government/GuildHE/UUK to make changes to the UCAS applications processes.

David was a member of the Crafts Council and Chair of the Education Committee from 1990 to 1997, a Director of Northern Arts Board from 1993 being Vice Chair from 1998 to 2000 and a member of its successor body Arts Council England, North West Regional Council from 2002 to 2004.

David chaired the Grizedale Arts Trust from 2007 to 2010, seeing through a multi-million pound lottery funded building development programme.

He has also been Chair of Governors of Shankhill C of E School since 2005.



Carol-Ann Heeks

Carol-Ann moved to Stainton last October from Windsor and is delighted to be involved with Central Academy.

Carol-Ann recently retired from being a Deputy Headteacher with 37 year’s experience in the primary and secondary sectors, years 4 to 19. She has worked in schools across England and Scotland as well as in Taiwan, both in the class room and as a leader. She also worked for the advisory service supporting pre vocational education in Manchester Local Authority for just over a year.

Her recent role as Deputy Head (2007 to 2015) in a large, multi cultural primary school (700 pupils) included responsibility for Child Protection and attendance, overseeing inclusion, senior manager support, whole school progress data, recruitment of support staff, cover and timetabling.

As Acting Head she also spent six months in 2009 beginning the process of leading the school successfully out of Special Measures.

Carol-Ann also has 6 year’s experience as a teacher governor.



Peter Mason

Peter has spent all his working life in the public sector as an Accountant, health service, water authority, and for the last 30+ years Local Government. For the last 26 years he has worked for Carlisle City Council and been in his current role of Director of Resources and the Council’s Chief Finance officer since 2010. With Peter’s accountancy background, his focus is on the financial health of the Academy which is actually about improving its reputation, performance of students etc and gaining a good Ofsted rating.


Karen Hodges

Karen is Deputy Headteacher at Norman Street School, Carlisle. She has worked at this school for the last 14 years after working in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. 

Karen spent many years teaching children in the early years of their school education and her subject specialism is in English. She is committed to working in partnership with parents.



Ellie Hatt - Staff Governor

Ellie is the Head of Science at Central Academy. She has worked at the school for the last 4 years, after starting her career in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Ellie grew up in Carlisle before studying Pharmacology at Newcastle University. After graduating she continued at Newcastle University completing a Chemistry PGCE. Ellie then spent 3 years as Deputy Head of Department in a large school outside of Newcastle. She is committed to improving the Academy and is part of the Teaching and Learning team.



Nigel Robson

Nigel’s involvement in Academies stretches back to 2002, when as Chair of the Chamber of Commerce in the North East he was determined to address the issue of historic underperformance of many of the regions LEA secondary schools. He was a lawyer in an international law firm and his positions included International Head of Engineering and Construction, Global Head of Energy, and Managing Partner.

He was an accredited Mediator, and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is a trustee of the theological training college, St John’s and Cranmer Hall, Durham University. Nigel joined the Board of United Learning Trust in 2011, and was elected Chair in 2014. He is Lead Trustee for the Northern Secondary Academies. Like other ULT Trustees he firmly believes that his knowledge and understanding of educational improvement is enhanced by chairing a Local Governing Body of the Trust’s Academies.

He is married with five children, many grand-children, living in Cumbria, and his interests are fell walking, mountain biking, (watching) rugby, most things Italian, and supporting the Diocese, including its educational responsibilities.



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