Meet the Governors

Led by Liz Turner and Ieuan Smiton as Joint Chair of Governors; the governing body of Cranfield Church of England Academy are a group of parents, staff and members of the community. The governing body of Cranfield Academy promote the highest standards of educational achievement for our children.

Liz Turner - Joint Chair of Governors

I joined the governing body in 2017 as a Parent Governor and am thrilled to be part of a team working toward a shared vision of educational excellence for all. 

I have lived in Cranfield since 2007 and am also involved in the community through the local churches’ Holiday Club.

Professionally, I am a solicitor and work in the public sector for a regulator – so am well versed in governance and risk management, as well as having a keen eye for detail!

Ieuan Smiton - Joint Chair of Governors

I am a relatively new resident to the village, having moved during the height of the Covid pandemic in 2021. I am a civil servant (since 2019), specialising in operational customs and border security compliance. Prior to joining the civil service, I was President of a student union at my university (Keele University), where I was Chair of the SU Trustee Board and also a member of the university's governing body. This experience gave myself a passion for both governance and education (even if my prior experience is at the opposite end of the education spectrum!). 
I always wanted an opportunity to continue volunteering my time and knowledge towards governorship and was delighted when the school invited me to join the governing body. Cranfield Academy has amazed myself, and I am excited to continue helping this school flourish.
In my spare time, I am a Living Historian (historical re-enactor), specialising in the British Army of the First and Second World War. I partake in re-enactment events around the country where I educate the public on what it was like to be a soldier during these conflicts.
Ip-Shing Fan - Foundation Governor - Chair of Resources Committee

I have served as a governor of the school since 2011 and was part of the board that oversaw the transition to an Academy. After two years, I have managed to learn 80% of the acronyms in the UK education system and am beginning to get to grips with the new rules of being an academy!

My current role as the Chair of the Resources Committee is to improve our long-term financial risk management.

I was born and educated in Hong Kong and came to attend Cranfield University (Institute of Technology at that time) for my PhD study in 1985. I subsequently joined the University as an academic staff. I have been living in Cranfield Village since 1995.

I am part of the Cranfield Christian community, the Cranfield Astronomical Society, and Chairman of the BCS Beds Bucks and Northants Branch.

Diane May - Chair of Ethos & Education Committee

I was appointed to the Governing Board in 2022 and am currently the Safeguarding Link Governor and Chair of the Ethos and Education Committee.

My husband and I bought our first house in Cranfield in 1976 and have lived here for 13 years. My 3 eldest children attended Cranfield VC Lower School when Mr Bell was headteacher. We moved away from the village in 1989 and returned in 2004. Subsequently 2 of my grandchildren attended Cranfield Church of England Academy.

As a qualified teacher I have been associated with education provision since 1975, and for the last 13 years of my career I was the headteacher of Lady Zia Wernher School in Luton. I retired in August 2016.

I have always been passionate about educational provision, and I believe that ensuring the best opportunities for all children to achieve in every aspect of their learning with enjoyment and confidence enables them to progress and become caring and responsible citizens of the future.

Lisa Munday - Headteacher

I joined Cranfield Church of England Academy as Headteacher in April 2023.

I am excited about building on Cranfield’s current achievements, moving the school forward and potentially expanding the academy to become a primary school. All the decisions we make will always be about the children – they will always come first. I went into teaching to make a difference and improve the lives of young people.  Children get one primary education and it must be the best we can provide. 

As Headteacher, I will work with Cranfield's Governing Board to set a future strategy that reflects the values of the academy; builds on existing key stakeholder relationships; continuing to ensure Cranfield Academy is a great place to work; and ensure Governance is effective.


Lisa Willoughby - Staff Governor

I am currently in my fifth year of teaching at Cranfield Academy and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of being here. I still remember my first visit to this school and how I felt whilst visiting each classroom. The staff and children all greeted me with a smile, warmth and invited me in to explore their classrooms; I instantly felt at home. Since then Cranfield Academy has become an extension to my family and I adore being a part of this special school. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing those lightbulb moments, when a child has persevered to understand a concept and when they finally do, this is such a heart-warming moment and one of the reasons why I became a teacher. Since being a member of the teaching team at Cranfield Academy I have observed all staff putting their all into making Cranfield the place to be! We are committed to enhancing the whole child and we offer an environment that is welcoming and supportive for all needs. With the intention to ensure pupils flourish academically, physically, socially, emotionally and mentally. As a mother of three boys, I know what impact a teacher can have on a child’s education and school experiences, so I aspire to be the teacher and governor that all children deserve.

Gavin Gill  - Parent Governor

I have lived in Cranfield for over 20 years.  My partner and I have two children enjoying the fantastic experience of attending Cranfield Academy - a school that my partner attended in her early years! Having joined the team at the end of the 2019 summer term, I am still learning, but hope to be able to bring my experiences as a senior leader in a large and complex business to bear on what is already an experienced, competent and passionate team.

I think it is essential that we have parents engaged in the process, helping to govern and guide the leadership of the school.   In this regard, I aim to give assistance in areas where I can, to give the perspective of parents of attendees, and last, but by no means least, in the role of a critical friend where necessary.

Outside my roles as governor and parish councillor, I enjoy the fantastic opportunities afforded to me by living in a rural community, and coaching junior rugby and cricket take up most of the rest of the time that two small children allow me! 

Michelle Gedny - Support Staff Governor

I have lived in the village for over 20 years, with my husband and two children. I have been involved in the school since my children started, which considering they are now young adults, means I have seen lots of changes to both the school and the community.

Starting as a parent helper and working my way up to becoming a cover supervisor, specialising in Physical Education, has been a journey of immense pleasure.  Watching children growing in confidence and learning new skills still makes me smile.  I remember a time, when as a parent helper, having for many weeks listened to a particular child in Year 1 sounding out his words and struggling to blend, read me a whole sentence without hesitation.  That was the day I realised the impact of teachers on our children.  I still get that feeling helping the children today.

I have always felt the desire to help in any capacity through committees at playgroups to running PTFA, offering after school activities and cricket weeks, I hope that in my role as support staff governor I can offer my time, passion and commitment to the continued development, our school offers, to the education and rounded enrichment to the children in our community.

Sarah Brown - Community Governor

I joined the governing body in 2010 as a Parent Governor, when I had two children in the Academy. I have served in a variety of roles since then including Chair, Vice Chair and I am currently Pupil Premium Governor. I became a Founding Member following the conversion from Lower School to Academy status. Over the years I have also been involved in a number of working parties as needed, most notably to appoint the Headteacher and to take forward the expansion of the Academy in 2016. In my working life I work in Higher Education, supporting Open University students and tutors within the School of Education. Previously roles in business and IT consulting have given me several years of experience in managing projects and change within many organisations, and working with a diverse range of people from both the UK and overseas.


Louise Archer - Parent Governor

I have lived in Cranfield for 8 years and have a son at Cranfield Church of England Academy.

I have been a governor since 2022 and have enjoyed learning more about the school, and having an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the ethos of the school and how we as governors can aid the school in maintaining its educational excellence.

I work as a secondary school teacher, focusing on key stage 5 and so learning more about primary education has not only helped me to encourage my son, but it adds to my professional development.

Much of the practice and pedagogy in secondary teaching is applicable to that in primary key stages and therefore an excellent platform for me to use my knowledge of teaching to govern the school and help in any way I can.

If I get some spare time (usually when my two little humans are asleep) you will mostly find me with my head in a book, tending to my garden or running around the beautiful countryside that surrounds Cranfield.

Mahmoud Ageli - Parent Governor

I have grown up in Milton Keynes my whole life regularly visiting Cranfield and had the pleasure to move to the village 6 years ago with my wife and start our family. We now have four children two of which attend the Cranfield Church of England Academy and hope the other two follow in their foot steps.

Professionally I am a chartered building surveyor and commercial property manager running my own business since 2014.

I became a Governor in 2022 as I wanted to play some part in my children's educational experience and use my skills to help the local growing community particularly being part of the Buildings & Infrastructure Committee. Cranfield in recent years has grown and is moving into a new era of which I would like to contribute where I can to assist the Academy of achieving its aims and goals to accommodate the increasing population. 

Coming from a diverse background I feel it is important to have representation and I am grateful for the opportunity whereby I may be able to reflect the views and beliefs of those minorities. 

Outside of this my hobbies include karate which I have been doing for over 30 years where I have competed at international level and now teach regularly at the same Dojo I attended.

Reverend Isaac

Incumbent at Cranfield St Peter & St Paul's Church.