Mr Nick Ridley, Chair

Nick has been Chair of White Hall since 2014 having also been a governor of the Trust’s lead school, Lyons Hall. Once a (in Ofsted’s terms, outstanding)  primary school teacher in Liverpool and London, Nick has spent most of his working life working in the education sector and has been a school governor in some way, shape or form since 1995 in various schools in Essex and beyond. After a career in teaching he was an advisor for Research Machines, a leading supplier of IT to schools where he ran school based INSET for 5 years in schools both primary, special and secondary in the UK. Following his time at RM he moved into the commercial sector of the business and headed up the UK sales team for Pearson Longman the Educational Publisher and moved some years later to Capita where he was the Director of the Independent Schools Business. In a return to school improvement, Nick spent the following 8 years at Essex based Edison Learning where he was Head of Sales and Marketing with a particular responsibility for Church of England schools and academy groups. Nick now runs his own marketing agency and successful photographic business based in Peldon, Essex, he is also a Learning Pathways Trust Director Member and a Director Member of a village hall charitable trust.

Our other governors are:

Dr Sarah Alix

I am a new governor to Whitehall Academy, but have many previous links to the school. I previously worked as a primary school teacher and completed my training on this site, also working at the school teaching year 6 many years ago. I have worked as a school advisor with 16 primary schools in Essex, and I now work at a University as a Deputy Head of Department of Education and have supported trainee teachers across schools in the area, and teachers who are continuing with their own studies. I have 3 children and the youngest attends Whitehall Academy in year 3. I am really interested in supporting LAC, SEND, and staff development, and I have completed a Doctorate of Education in this area.


Ms Jemma Bradford

Hi, My name is Jemma Bradford. I have 6 children at home, 2 of whom attend this school and nursery. I am an Autism Advisor for Autism Anglia and student Social Worker studying at UCS in Ipswich. I live a hectic life at home with studying, working, raising children and rescuing animals. I have a keen interest in the safeguarding of children, and development of children through play and learning. I believe all children will thrive and achieve their best in situations correct for them, and believe in the importance of recognising children as unique individuals. I am keen to become more actively involved in my role as a Governor to help children and the school to achieve the best they possibly can.


Mr Gavin Bradley

Head of White Hall Academy


Mrs Gemma Cann

I have been a governor at the school since September 2016 and have two children, both at the school in years 2 and 4. I am currently working part time as a supply teacher, although I have worked within education for over 10 years starting out as a secondary PE teacher. I gave up my role as a permanent  teacher to spend more time with my two children whilst they are still in primary school.  I am passionate about the education and welfare of all children and felt that by becoming a parent governor I can become more actively involved in the development of the school. I look forward to my time as parent governor at Whitehall Academy.


Ms Rebecca Cross

Hi, my names Becky, I have been a school governor at WhiteHall for the last year. I have a close interest with the school as my own children attended, they have now completed school education and continued on to college and university to follow their own career dreams.

I have lived locally for over 20 years, I love the area and feel strongly about supporting the local community.

I've worked within the education system for the past 16 years & I'm currently a school photographer, this takes me all over London, Essex, Kent & Suffolk, I get to see a wide range of students, schools and colleges, all striving to support their own communities to succeed, just as we are.


Mr Anthony Davenport

I have had the pleasure of being part of the governing body of White Hall Academy and the predecessor school since 2007. Previously I was an ex pupil of London Road County Primary School and later Coppins Green Primary School. I am in my third term of office as a governor at White Hall Academy and  am also an Associate Director of Learning Pathways Trust.

I have worked in Education for nearly 20 years in the Tendring area, and also tutor union courses for the largest teaching union in the UK in London Birmingham, Surrey, and Suffolk.

I have two very young children who keep me alert at all times. Outside of my work I play golf (consistently inconsistently) and try to go for as many walks in the countryside near my home as possible.

One of the many successes of White Hall is the very close links with Lyons Hall Academy and our trust sponsor, Learning Pathways. It is those links which have ensured the success of this academy, our partners schools in the trust, and the trust itself.


Mrs Lynne Nicholls


Mr Nick Pavitt

I am in my second term of office as a Governor at White Hall and have recently retired as an Educational Consultant working across 5 Local Authorities having served previously as a Secondary Headteacher and Executive Headteacher in the Tendring Area – overall, I have 40 years of working in education. I have considerable experience of governance both as a Governor and through providing support to other Governing Bodies.

I have two adult children who are both married and two grandchildren who keep me grounded! Outside of my governance work I am actively involved in our local church and village community where there are a number of opportunities for volunteering. I enjoy working in our large garden at home, keeping poultry and bees and walking our dogs.

The mission, vision and values of White Hall academy resonate completely with my own beliefs and values. Our partnership with Lyons Hall and the family of schools within the Learning pathways Trust is a strength of the school, as is our commitment to our pupils, families and local community. I am proud to serve as a Governor at White Hall.


Mr Andrew Smith

Executive Head of White Hall Academy


Mrs Fionna Swift

My name is Fionna Swift and I was appointed Staff Governor on November 2015. I have been involved with the school for over 19 years, first as a Teaching Assisstant then progressing on to take my Teaching Degree to become a Class Teacher at White Hall Academy. I am currently teaching year 6 and coordinate RE for the school. I also take part in extra curricula activities and run a Maths Club after school.

I am a local resident of the area and have been so for over 20 years. My own children were educated here (Coppins Green) and now my grandchildren attend this school. I feel I am able to bring a wealth of experience to the governing body and the children.


If you wist to contact the Governors, please write a letter for the attention of the Chair of Governors and either post it to us or leave it at reception. Alternatively you can call us on 01255 422825 and leave a message for the Chair of Governors. 

Please click here for the Governing Body Structure 2016-2017



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