Local Advisory Board

What is a Local Advisory Board (LAB)?

The Castle, Stimpson and Hardingstone Local Advisory Board is the local tier of governance of East Midlands Academy Trust, and it acts as a sub-committee to the Trust Board. Members of the Local Advisory Board as known as Governors.

The key roles of the LAB are:

  • To offer proactive support and constructive challenge to the Headteacher
  • To advise the board of trustees about local issues they need to consider that affect the academy.
  • To ensure that EMAT vision, mission and values are evident throughout the Academy
  • Represent the local community.
  • Represent the Academy in its community.

 These roles translate specifically into the following tasks:

  • ensure that all children receive the best possible education
  • ensure safeguarding is effective
  • support the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team in the development and implementation of the School Development Plan and other relevant plans,
  • ensure the implementation of Academy policies.
  • regularly review the Academy’s performance.
  • oversee and monitor the effectiveness of local strategies
  • act as a key link between the Academy, parents, and local community.
  • support the work of the Academy in the community.

The LAB’s role is not to manage the Academy as such. This is done through the Board of Trustees. Therefore, the LAB is not required to take decisions on staff or financial matters affecting the Academy.

Governors at the LAB will gain an understanding of strategic issues that impact on the Academy and will be updated on them regularly by the Headteacher, but they are not required to have direct responsibility for them. Instead the LAB should be in a position to assess the impact of the Academy locally; how it is contributing to the local community, how it is relating to local families and how it understands local issues. This in turn, will enable the LAB to contribute effectively to decisions which may require LAB involvement.

The LAB is drawn from the staff of the school, parents and the wider community that the school serves. The usual term of office for a governor is four years but many members of the LAB stand for re-election and serve more than one term. Members of a LAB need to take a full and active role in fulfilling the role assigned to them by the Board. This will include regular visits to the Academy and attending up to six meetings per year.

To contact any of our governors, please email governance@emat.uk

For details about EMAT'S trustees and members, click here.

Here is a list of our current governors 



Zoe McIntyre

Executive Headteacher Castle, Stimpson & Hardingstone 

Gillian Innocent-Labija 

Parent governor (Castle)

Ornela Mato

Parent Governor (Stimpson)

David Hood

Co-opted governor (Chair)

Isoken Sandra Akhigbe

Co-opted governor

Joseph Eyiaro

Co-opted governor

Mostafa Miah

Co-opted governor

Mayowa Orioye

Co-opted governor

Hanna Godden 

Staff governor (Castle)

Bethany Harmes

Staff governor (Hardingstone)

Adrian Lett

Staff governor (Stimpson)
  • Meet our Governors

    Dave Hood - chair

    Dave is a Project Manager/ Business Analyst who for many years worked for a major high street bank. After running his own business for a number of years, he  returned to the public sector working for charities and councils in a variety of roles, which included adult social care and safeguarding. 

    His professional qualifications include Certified Project Management Prince 2 Practitioner and BCS Business Analysis Certification in Requirements Engineering, Business Analysis Practise, Modelling Business Processes and Benefits Management and Business Acceptance.

    David was appointed as a Governor for Stimpson, Hardingstone, and Castle Academies in April 2021.

    Isoken Sandra Akhigbe

    Sandra is a highly motivated Certified SAFe® 5 Product Owner / Product Manager with over 8 years of experience of analysis in B2C & B2B E- Commerce/ Digital/ Transformation/ Customer Journey/ Regulatory Projects, having excellent Stakeholder Management techniques, professional attitude and great communication skills.

    Sandra is a proactive and confident leader with a wealth of Business Analysis skills and experience. She takes full responsibility for monitoring and driving Operational Business Performance and Control Standards whilst ensuring Client Visions and Values across Network and Compliance and Regulatory requirements are met. She also has experience in testing roles with full accountability on impact between the client and customer.

    Sandra is looking forward to getting more experiences and working with the team to ensure she performs her duties to a high standard.

    Joseph Eyiaro

    Joseph is an accomplished architectural professional with experience in building design and construction management. He holds both a master's and a bachelor's degree in architecture, which has equipped him with a strong foundation in design principles and construction techniques.

    Currently, Joseph is furthering his education by studying project management, which will enhance his ability to lead and coordinate complex projects.

    Although Joseph is new to the role of governorship, he is excited to apply his skills and expertise to this important position. He believes that his experience in design and construction will be particularly valuable in supporting achievement of set organizational objective.

    Mostafa Miah

    Mostafa is an account manager for Ricoh UK, a technology company based in Northampton that supports public sector bodies and commercial businesses with their IT set up. He is the Northamptonshire area manager. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Management and Masters of Science in International Business and Marketing from De Montfort University Leicester. He has been a school governor for EMAT since June 2023. Fun fact, Mostafa was a primary school child at one of the schools in EMAT - Stimpson Avenue Academy.

    Mayowa Orioye

    Yoki is currently an analyst at a multinational investment bank in London. He has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years and has worked in different capacities. He holds an MBA and is PRINCE2 Certified.

    Whilst this is Yoki’s first role as a Governor, he is a father and an uncle who understands the importance of education at a young age in the life of a child, as this is one of the major factors that shape their future. His desire to join the board was borne out of a yearning to give back to his community using his experience to support decision making and help young people understand the importance of education.

    Bethany Harmes

    Beth is currently a KS2 teacher at Hardingstone Academy. This is her 3rd year teaching at Hardingstone and 4th year of being a teacher. Beth is also a trained Educational Visits Co-ordinator and is the History lead at Hardingstone.

    Beth has had a wide range of experience across all age ranges and has also supported in a SEND school during her training at the University of Northampton. She has always wanted to work in education and finds working with children extremely rewarding. Beth enjoys supporting children and seeing them succeed to their full potential. 

    This is her first governor position.

    Adrian Lett

    Adrian started his teaching career in 1994 after completing his PGCE at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    His first teaching post was at Yelvertoft CP School where he taught a mixed year 3 and 4 class. In 1996 he moved up to Ulverston, Cumbria to start a teaching post at a junior school. During his nine years there he taught in most KS2 year groups and developed his leadership skills as part of the senior management team.  

    In 2002, he was selected to go to South Africa to teach in a school in the Eastern Cape for the summer. This experience was a wonderfully different and exciting way to spend his summer and has influenced his appreciation for the education system we have in England.

    Following a short period in the North East that involved supply teaching in Gateshead and Newcastle he returned to Cumbria. Until 2019, he taught in Barrow-in-Furness and enjoyed all aspects of teaching and extra-curricular life in an improving primary school.

    Since September 2019, he has taught at Stimpson Avenue Academy where he has been made to quickly feel part of the team as the school moves forward to successfully meet the needs of the children.  

    Gillian Innocent-Labija 

    Gillian is a seasoned administrator with over 15 years of administrative experience. She has worked in various sectors including insurance, finance, NGO’s and very recently educational sector, and has a knack for picking up new skills along the way. 

    She holds a master’s degree in computing from The University of Northampton. She is a passionate and hard-working person with great people skills, who enjoys working with young persons to guide them into realising their potential. 

    Gillian is a parent governor with two children at Castle Academy. She hopes to use her professional and personal experience to help in maintaining the school’s high standards and to contribute to the overall growth of the Trust.

    Ornela Mato

    Ornela is a highly motivated manager with more than three years' experience. In her current role she is responsible for Health and Safety.

    Ornela studied for her Economics and Business master’s degree in Greece which she passed in 2015.

    Ornela loves spending time with her family and friends and is excited to bring her knowledge and skills to the governing board. 

Declarations of interest

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To get in touch with Hardingstone Academy please click on the link below, or call us on 01604 346805

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