Meet the St Benedict's LAC

As a special feature we are looking at the individuals that make up the Local Academy Committee at St Benedict's.

All Directors and Academy Committee members are volunteers and have an array of experience and expertise that they bring to MAC. If you’d like to get involved we do have vacancies across the MAC. You don’t need to have school experience to be a Director or LAC member, we have many members who bring their finance, business and industry knowledge with them, that help to challenge, advise and support the MAC at all levels of governance.
If you’d like to know more, do speak to one of the Principals or contact Katy Dunnion on 02476 383807. 


Mike Dittman – Chair of Local Academy Committee (LAC)

I have been a representative since 2011, now Acting Chair for the last two and half years. I am a planning officer working for NW Borough Council. In my role as Chair working closely with the Principal has been crucial in being effective and continue to work in maintaining high standards. We were very proud of our results last year, and through strong support and challenge in this area, our good results should be replicated again this year. There is huge positivity within the LAC around recognising the enriched experiences the children have opportunity to take part in. At Christmas many classes sang in the community to some of the local residential homes, the Parish in  Atherstone library.  The school actively engages in within the community and the school’s ethos and reputation is highly regarded locally. Most recently there was a fabulous Enterprise afternoon where children became ‘business entrepreneurs’ and set up activities/stalls to make money for an initiative in their class.  The children absolutely love this afternoon and can happily share their learning, coupled with collaboratively engaging together, providing them with a lifelong learning opportunity. The school is blessed with high quality Catholic Life, Collective worship and RE.  The RE leader, recently shared the action plan for this year at one of our meetings, showing how standards in RE are being raised in the school, how collective worship is being led independently by the children, and how the Catholic Life continues to grow.  As a member of St Benedict’s Parish, I regularly hear comments from the community of the links with the Church and know that Father Paul supports the school in developing the spiritual journeys of both staff and children.  Part of INSET day was spent in Church with Father, and teachers explored the old Testament.

Katy Corbett - Parent Representative

Hi, my name is Katie Corbett and I’m a fairly new addition to the LAC. I became a parent representative in September 2015. I applied for this position because I would like to actively contribute to the school which my three children attend. I was also a student myself at St Benedict’s school many years ago, as was my husband, and other family members, and as part of a Catholic family I’m passionate about the school and its values.
My husband and I own a small family business and so as part of my role I consider the finance aspects of the school to help continuously raise standards and improve outcomes for all of the children. This includes occasional visits to the school and regular communication alongside the committee meetings.
As a parent, I was recently excited to be invited to attend World Maths Day morning. I was given the opportunity to try out some of the children’s big maths challenges and to join them in their classes and take part in their mastery sessions. The children took great pride in including us parents in their tasks and challenges and it was a fantastic opportunity to get involved, enabling us all to understand what and how the children are learning and to work alongside the school to support our children further. 

Niki Furlong Smith - Staff Representative

I have been at St Benedict's for about 13 years and I am now the Year 6 teacher with responsibility for English and the Creative Curriculum as well as many other hats worn under my role as Assistant Principal. I became the teaching representative on the LAC last year and am enjoying this new role. My main passion, in and out of school, is literature. I am an avid reader and a member of The Bronte Society making a yearly 'pilgrimage' to Haworth in Yorkshire  to the home of the famous sisters whose books I never tire of. I am also a regular in Stratford-Upon-Avon's RSC theatres as I love Shakespeare and live performances cannot be beaten. It is this passion which is the driving force behind my teaching and one I hope to pass on to my pupils as reading serves to open up the imagination, and takes us to places we can only dream of. Hopefully I am in some part successful. 

Nicola Osborne - Foundation Representative

I have been a Foundation academy committee member since September 2010.  I am an Ofsted registered childcare provider since October 2007, so have experience/understanding of working within Ofsted regulations linked to SEN.  This term I have met with the SENCo to find out how a child is identified to have additional needs & how the school follow through to ensure that the child receives the necessary help to deal with these needs.  I was confident to see good systems and  processes were in place that ensures accountability that the school has a range of interventions in supporting these children move forward. Two of my children attend the school and I childmind for many others, and they all love  about the half termly power weeks that allow the children to have more opportunities to develop other skills in the wider creative curriculum.  They always enjoy learning outdoors and particularly any opportunity to learn in the school’s forest school area.

Judith Finelli - Staff Representative

I currently work in the office in the school and have served as support staff representative in the LAC for the last 4 years.  As the attendance officer in the school I have met with LAC representatives to show the processes that are now in place that ensure the school is accountable in  its statutory requirements of attendance. These rigorous processes have ensured early intervention for many families and have supported them in improving attendance for these children.

Steve Newman - Parent Representative

have served with the LAC since March 2015 after being nominated for the position of Parent Foundation Representative.  As part of the this role I have sat on some of the previous groups such as the finance committee and now have been designated as the representative for overseeing health and safety. I have been able to meet with some key staff in the school to assist me in this role so that I can feed back effectively to the LAC. I have also been able to attend a number of Masses  at the school and get involved in some of the class activities. I have two children attending the school, in year 1 and year 5, both of whom are flourishing with the excellent learning environment provided at St Benedict's.
Away from the school I work as a police sergeant, serving for nearly 13 years, and am posted within the operational support directorate as a custody officer, During my time as a PFR I was able to lead a session in a year 4 class as part of their Crime topic, sharing some of my experiences and getting them involved in taking finger prints, observation quizzes as well as breathalysing their class teacher (she passed!). I look forward to working further with the MAC, having met some of the directors at a meeting in December last year at St Thomas More School, and look forward to observing the benefits to St Benedict's School as being part of a Multi Academy family.
Charlotte Aspley - I have been the Clerk at St Benedict's for the past 18 months.  My full time job is as a Mum to 3 Year old twins which does take up most of my time! Clerking has given me a great step back into work. Support from other clerks in the MAC has been supportive and helped establish good routines that ensure our meetings are always well attended and run smoothly.  Working closely with the Principal before meetings, being well organised and preparing information that members receive well in advance prior to the meetings ensures that these remain focussed on school improvement.  

‘with grace and humility, glorify the Lord by your Life'

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