Leamington Hastings

Church of England Academy

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The school is part of the Diocese of Coventry Multi Academy Trust and the Academy Governance Committee (AGC) is part of the governance structure of the Trust which is responsible for overseeing strategic decisions of the school. The governance structure for the trust as a whole is outlined in the governance structure documents here.


As an Academy Governance Committee we work in close partnership with the Headteacher and senior leadership team to ensure the best quality education is provided to every child. It is our responsibility to support, challenge, ask questions and ultimately represent the school community. The Academy Governance Committee acts as a ‘critical friend’ to the senior leadership team, questioning and challenging decisions in a constructive and professional way.


Academy Governance Committees have key roles in relation to: providing support, monitoring and challenge around educational experience and performance; church, community and stakeholder engagement and supporting alignment with Trust strategy, approach, ethos and values. The AGC Members meet regularly, visit the school when possible and during special events.  As a team, we are able to support the school to function well and strive to provide a high standard of education.


As a Church of England Academy (part of the Diocese of Coventry Multi-Academy Trust) all the AGC Members support the school in being a place of inclusive welcome and education for everyone.


Community AGC Members:

Mr Joe Twinn (Vice Chair)

Dr Karen Anthony



Foundation AGC Members:

Mrs Linda Ryan (Chair)

Mrs Rachael Astley

Parent AGC Members:

Mrs Natalie Heckford

Melanie Bailey

Staff AGC Members:

Mrs Suzanne Marson (Head of School)
Mrs Liz Wooldridge

Clerk to the AGC:

Ms Alex Rigler

email:  alex.rigler@covmat.org




AGC Membership and Business Interests

Linda Ryan - Chair & Foundation AGC Member

Linda cares passionately about the power of education to shape and change lives.  She has felt the personal impact of that in her own life, and wants to help support the great team at Leamington Hastings as her local community and church school so that other, too, get a great start in life.  Linda is a Chartered Accountant, and has worked in a variety of roles over time.  These have included Chief Financial Officer for a large regulated utility company, Operations Director for a large metering business and as a Governor at Dunchurch Junior School.  Currently, she is also a Governor (and Head of the Audit Committee) at a University, Trustee (and Chair of the Investment Committee) of a large pension scheme and a Justice of the Peace.


Rachael Astley - Foundation AGC Member

Rachael first became a parent governor when her eldest child joined the school. She has three children, all of whom have attended Leamington Hastings. She now serves as one of the Foundation Governors, as a representative of the Parish Church Council. Rachael has worked in the education sector for over twenty years and has held a number of positions in Further Education, including Head of Department and Quality and Curriculum Manager. Her current role as Dean of Higher Education in a land-based college


Dr Karen Anthony - Community AGC Member

Karen has worked in Higher Education for over 15 years.  She studied Bio-chemistry at the University of Leeds and was awarded a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from King’s College London in 2009.  She spent her post-doctoral years at University College London before taking up a lectureship at the University of Northampton in 2015.  Now an Associate Professor and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Karen leads a research team and international collaborations to investigate the molecular basis of rare neurological disease.  She also works as an international consultant advising pharmaceutical companies on pre-clinical and clinical drug development.  Based at a teaching intensive university (rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework), Karen is experienced in quality assurance, curriculum and assessment design and validation in the higher education sector.  Karen also works as a national STEM ambassador and is a strong advocate for women in science.  


Natalie Heckford - Parent AGC Member

Natalie is a Parent Governor. She started being a governor when her eldest daughter attended the school and her youngest daughter still attends. Natalie went to the University of Sheffield and studied Economics and then completed her Masters in Economics at the University of Warwick. Natalie is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) and Chartered Tax Adviser (CIOT). She works as a Corporation Tax Compliance Manager at KPMG LLP and has been there for over 10 years where she focuses on preparing corporation tax returns for companies. She is enthusiastic and passionate about providing support to the teachers at Leamington Hastings to enable children to have a positive attitude towards school life.


Joe Twinn - Community AGC Member and Vice Chair

Joe was a Parent Governor for 18 months and started as the Community Governor in February 2021.  He has been local to the Leamington Hastings area for the last 7 years.  He is a Procurement Manager at National Grid and supports the maintenance and management of the entire estate of > 350 substations, compressor stations and office.  Previous to joining National Grid, Joe has worked in national and international supply chain and procurement functions for Macfarlane Packaging and Avon Cosmetics - supporting a number of functions and developing strategic and commercial sourcing options for a wide range of products.  Joe holds a BA (Hons) from Durham University in Chinese, an MBA from Warwick University and a Diploma in Chinese Language from the People's University in Beijing.


Suzanne Marson - Staff AGC Member (Head of School)

Suzanne is the Head of School at Leamington Hastings C of E Academy, taking responsibility for the day to day leadership of the school.  Following the completion of a Psychology Degree and a PGCE at the University of Warwick, Suzanne has held the positions of Class Teacher, Key Stage One Phase Leader and Acting Deputy Head and has led many different curriculum subject areas.  She also holds the NPQSL Senior Leadership qualification and the national SENCo award. Suzanne is an STA approved Local Authority moderator for Warwickshire, a role that she has held since 2012 and has previous experience of governorship, having held the role of Staff Governor at Dunchurch Infant School for three years prior to joining Leamington Hastings Academy.


Liz Wooldridge - Staff AGC Member

Liz is the EYFS Lead at Leamington Hastings C of E Academy.  She originally became involved with the school as a parent during the time her children attended.  She then supported the school as Chair of the PTA and is now proud to be part of the staff team.  Having worked as an Electronics Engineer (BEng Hons) for 10 years, Liz decided to re-train as a teacher after supporting various year groups as a Teaching Assistant.  Liz re-joined Leamington Hastings Academy in 2018 and is passionate about supporting all children to reach their full potential, both academically and socially. 


Alex Rigler - Clerk 

Alex became Clerk to the Governing body in 2014, following a long association with the school as a parent, a Chair of the PTA and a member of staff. She lives in a neighbouring village and considers the school a central part of the community and has enjoyed being able to continue to contribute to it’s success.

Alex was part of the team that supported the school through the process of academisation and now works for a number of schools as Clerk with the Diocese of Coventry Multi Academy Trust.  In a addition to her role as clerk Alex also works for Grapevine, an organisation helping to strengthen communities and improve lives in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Contact details for the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Academy Governance Committee are:


Linda Ryan-Smith - linda.ryan-smith@leamingtonhastings.covmat.org  

Joe Twinn - joe.twinn@leamingtonhastings.covmat.org 


Both can be contacted via the school office :

Leamington Hastings Academy, Birdingbury Road, Hill, Rugby, CV23 8EA

01926 632359

Click here to find information regarding the Multi Academy Trust members and here to find out about the Multi Academy Trust board of directors.