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Learning Improvement Service

As part of Children's Services, the Learning Improvement Service (LIS) aims to: 

"Champion excellence for every child and young person in Cumbria" 

  • Through collaboration with all stakeholders, we will ensure the statutory educational rights of young people are met.

  • We work in partnership with all providers and services to enable children and young people to enjoy learning for life.

  • We support, develop and challenge leaders, including ourselves, to deliver excellence so that all children and young people in Cumbria have every opportunity to succeed and make a positive contribution, through the lives they choose for themselves.

This essential work is conducted in full partnership with the developing Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders (CASL).  Since 2012, officers of the local authority and representatives from the Cumbria Association of Secondary Headteachers (CASH), Primary Headteachers' Association (PHA), School Leaders, University of Cumbria, Local Leaders in Education (LLEs), National Leaders in Education (NLEs), National Leaders of Governance (NLGs), the two Diocesan Authorities and our National College Associate, have worked together to establish a truly integrated system of school-to-school support and challenge.    

The Learning Improvement Service comprises a team of officers with specialisms across early years, primary, secondary, and post-16 education, the virtual school and support for school governance; based in three local areas; Carlisle, Kendal and Whitehaven.  Officers work with private, voluntary and independent early years settings and childminders; with LA maintained nursery, primary, secondary, special and sixth forms both locally in district areas and at countywide levels.  In conjunction with CASL partners we ensure support and challenge for all schools and settings, including academies and in so doing address the LA's statutory duties.


The shared vision and aims of the CASL partnership are outlined as:

Vision: Through partnership and collaboration, we seek to provide the best learning and outcomes for all children and young people in Cumbria.  We will work relentlessly to achieve the ambition of every Cumbrian school, setting and provider being great.  Collectively, as a system, we will work to ensure that every learner in our county is the best they can be.

Aims: To develop a distributed, self-improving system designed to:

  • undertake a systematic analysis and assessment of the learning needs of schools and localities;

  • co-ordinate school to school support in partnership with the LA, National College and other school improvement agencies;

  • develop leadership potential and succession planning at all levels from Initial Teacher Education to System Leadership and associated continued professional development.

CASL website:



Contact us

County Responsibility

Dale Hill
Senior Manager
Tel: 01228 226809

Katie Clarke
Strategic Lead
Children's Centres

Penny Crudge 
Virtual School Team  

Area Responsibility

Allerdale & Copeland 
Mary Page
Area Senior Adviser

Karen Rutter 
Acting Early Years and Childcare Team Manager 

Barrow & South Lakeland
Marie Barnes
Area Senior Adviser

Ann Breeze
Early Years Team Manager

Carlisle & Eden
Sandy Cameron
Area Senior Adviser

Lynsey Armstrong
Early Years Team Manager