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 supported by the Local Governing Committee.  

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

The Local Governing Committee 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 working closely with the Academy's senior leadership team to ensure that these areas are managed effectively and that resources are used efficiently.  

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.

Executive Headteacher

Martin Hawrylak

Martin serves as the Executive Headteacher of Stisted, Finchingfield and St Andrews primary academies. He is a former accounting officer for Stisted Primary Academy Trust before overseeing its incorporation into Canonium Learning Trust in 2021.  His tenure as an accounting officer not only showcased his financial acumen but also highlighted his dedication to the educational community and his commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the children which now extends across multiple schools within the Trust. He is a qualified in Special Educational Needs Coordinator and has particular expertise in curricular development, small church schools and pedagogy.

Trust appointed governor 

Emma Jackson Gray

Emma studied studied art history at university and completed a master’s degree in museum and gallery education. She has worked for Arts Council England, firstly as a project assistant and then Programme Manager for their flagship Creative Partnerships programme, managing projects and allocating funding to schools across Essex and Suffolk. Following the birth of her first child, she decided to go freelance to have more flexibility in her work schedule and was lucky enough to build a portfolio of projects working with various arts organisations and education programs across the eastern region. 

Meanwhile, Emma and her husband decided to take his family farm back in hand, which had been previously contracted out due to the lack of interest in farming it. As their farming business has grown, Emma has taken on less freelance work and now works almost exclusively for their farming business with her husband. They are now in their 11th year of running the farm together. Emma's first son was joined by two more, and now all three of their boys are at Stisted, where Emma has been a parent governor since 2016. She became Chair in 2018 and during that time led the governing body on its journey from being a single academy trust into Canonium this autumn. Emma has a particular interest in how the key skills that underpin creativity can support curriculum development. She believes that by focusing on a creative approach that promotes skills of resilience, resourcefulness, inquisitiveness, confidence, and allows imagination and collaboration to be at the heart of learning, it leads to positive outcomes for all learners, leaving them better prepared for success in the modern working world. 

Emma is also the Chair of the Local Governing Committee for Stisted Primary Academy judged outstanding by Ofsted in March 2023.

Trust appointed governor 

Malcolm Bailey

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

Trust appointed governor 

Chloe Henderson

Chloe is an experienced governor and is also serving on the Local Governing Committee for Stisted Primary Academy recently judged outstanding for the second consecutive time in March 2023. Chloe brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in terms of striving for excellence.


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.

In 1997 Malcolm became part of the Governing Body of St. Andrew’s Marks Tey, eventually taking on the role of Chair of Governors.  With St Andrew's joining the Trust in October 2023, Malcolm joined the Trust Board of Directors in December 2023.

Having dedicated over 39 years to the Banking industry, particularly with Midland Bank/HSBC, Malcolm held various leadership positions across Retail and Commercial sectors. His retirement eventually led to taking on the mantle of Chair of Governors at Ramsey School, Halstead, part of a Multi-Academy Trust, a position he has held since 2019.

In 2022, Malcolm was called upon to support another Consortium school in the local area . In the absence of a willing volunteer, he stepped into the Chair role for a year, a commitment extended until October 2024.

Outside his professional life, sports are a significant part of Malcolm’s routine. While he retired as an England Badminton umpire two years ago, he remains actively engaged in running, serving as the General Secretary of the Essex Athletic Association, and contributing to a local parkrun at Marks Hall Estate. His passion extends to supporting Colchester United and Essex CC. Reading and music round out his leisure pursuits.

Staff governor

Michelle Nixon

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

Further Governance Information