Finchingfield St John the Baptist Academy is part of the Canonium Learning Trust, and as such, the Trust Board is responsible for the overall governance of the Academy.  

Canonium Learning Trust has a governance structure that places great importance on local governance arrangements and therefore the Academy also has a Local Governing Comittee (LGC).

The Local Governing Comittee comprises individuals from the local community, including parents and members of staff.  They are responsible for providing oversight of the Academy's educational performance, ensuring that its policies and procedures are appropriate, and promoting the welfare of its students. The LGC works in partnership with the Trust Board to ensure that the Academy operates in line with the Trust's values and objectives.

While the Canonium Trust Board has ultimate responsibility for the governance of the Academy, the Local Governing Committee has a more direct and local focus  providing a link between the Academy and the local community and ensuring that the Academy is responsive to the needs of its students, parents, and staff.  The LGC also plays an important role in providing feedback to the Trust Board on local issues, which can help inform the Trust's strategic direction.

In addition to the monitoring of educational performance, the LGC also has specific responsibilities for overseeing and reporting on areas such as local Health and Safety arrangements, safeguarding and premises. They work closely with the Academy's senior leadership team to ensure that these areas are managed effectively and that resources are used efficiently.  They also provide a channel for parents and staff to voice their concerns or provide feedback, which can help inform decision-making at the Academy.

For more information about the Trust and the board of directors, please visit the Canonium Learning Trust website, here

Local Governing Committee


Catherine Emmett

Catherine Emmett grew up in Newcastle and spent all of her childhood reading books. When she grew up, she spent fourteen years making spreadsheets and not reading any books at all. After advising a group of young girls to find a career that they loved, she decided to take her own advice. She packed up her husband and her three young boys, moved to rural Essex and started to write picture books. She now spends her days surrounded by words, animals and noisy boys. When she needs a bit of peace and quiet, she can be found running (very slowly) across muddy fields. Catherine has a deep interest in children’s literacy and reading for pleasure.  Her degree is in Law and Accounting, and she previously spent 15 years working in the financial markets.  Whilst in that role, Catherine spent time volunteering in East London schools, helping with financial literacy, public speaking and mentoring local children. Catherine has three children all of whom attend the school.

Vice Chair

Michael Mitchell

Michael is the Co-Vice Chair, and appointed to the T&L Council Governors by Finchingfield Parochial Church Council. He has two sons at Finchingfield in the upper and lower key stages. Michael is an Associate Architect for an international practice, based in London.


Reverend Alex Shannon

Reverend Alex joined the Teaching and Learning Council in September 2020. He is passionate about ensuring the school has great links with the Church.

Community governor

Ally Stanger

Ally Stanger is a community appointed governor and a member of the local parish council.

Parent governor

Carly Russell

Carly joined the Local Governing Council in February 2023 and has one child attending the school.

Parent governor

Kirsty Couldrey

Kirsty joined the Local Governing Council in February 2023 and has two children attending the school.

Staff governor

Michelle Nixon

Michelle is an experienced Early Years teacher and is the appointed staff representative.

Executive Headteacher

Martin Hawrylak

Martin Hawrylak is an experienced teacher, headteacher and Special Needs Coordinator.  Martin was appointed as the Executive Headteacher in November 2022. Martin also leads Stisted Primary Academy and St Andrew's CE Primary School, Marks Tey. 

Further Governance Information