Senior Leadership Team and Academy Structure

Jon Richardson


Mr Richardson is Principal at Strood Academy, he grew up in East Sussex before moving to Southampton to study at university. Mr Richardson completed an undergraduate degree in Sports Science, before progressing onto Canterbury Christ University to complete his PGCE. Mr Richardson has taught and led in many schools in both Kent and South East London in a variety of positions including Subject Leader of Physical Education, Assistant Principal and Senior Vice Principal prior to joining Strood Academy in April 2023. Mr Richardson has also completed a seconded post working for Kent County Council within their SEND and Inclusion team. In 2022, Mr Richardson completed his Masters in Education, completing a study on the impact that the Coronavirus-19 pandemic has had upon the teaching profession.

Julie Lindsay


Miss Lindsay is Vice Principal at Strood Academy, she grew up in Scotland and went to Strathclyde University in Glasgow. She completed her PGCE before moving to Kent for her first science teaching position. Throughout this time, she has taught across many Kent and Medway secondary schools, completing various roles from heading up a science faculty, to Assistant Principal of inclusions and teaching and learning to Vice Principal of behaviour, SEND and Safeguarding.

Miss Lindsay has completed her Masters in education, completing a study on improving boys’ achievement. She has also recently achieved the SENCo qualification, which will be a real asset in supporting her with her role throughout the academy. 

Leanne Barlow


Ms Barlow was born and raised in Manchester for 16 years until her Father’s job relocated the family to Northern Ireland.  Here she completed her A-levels and went onto study her BA in History and English Literature at the University of Ulster.  Following this she then completed her PGCE before again relocating to Medway for her first teacher of History position.

Ms Barlow has served a number of schools in Medway over the past 18 years and has vast experience in behaviour, attendance and pastoral care of young people. She joined Strood Academy 2 years ago as Assistant Principal and is currently responsible for  KS4 Victory and safeguarding.

Harriet Carter


Miss Carter is Assistant Principal at Strood Academy, she grew up in Kent. Miss Carter studied Forensic Science at Greenwich University, before completing a GTP to gain QTS. Miss Carter has vast experience of working across a range of educational settings, including Primary, Secondary and Special Schools, namely specialising in working with children with Special Educational Needs or as a SENCO.

More recently she has been consulting and supporting schools across Kent, Medway and East Sussex. Miss Carter’s responsibility at the academy is inclusion. 

Gaby West


Mrs West was born in South Wales, but moved to Maidstone at 4 years old. She attended St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone and completed her A levels in PE, Film Studies and ICT.

Mrs West attended Portsmouth University and secured a honours degree in Sport Science before completing her Graduate Teacher Programme at Canterbury Christchurch University, She then secured an NQT position at Mascalls Academy and during her time there progressed through the roles of Assistant Head of PE, Professional Mentor, Digital Coach, Instructional Coach and Head of PE and Health and Social Care. She is currently working towards the final module of her NPQ in Senior Leadership.

Mrs West joined Strood Academy in January 2024 as Assistant Principal and is responsible for KS3 Victory College, whole school attendance and rewards.

Matt Piggott


Mr Piggott grew up in Essex completing his GCSEs at William De Ferrers Secondary School, followed by a Sports Science Level 3 qualification at South East Essex College prior to attending Canterbury Christchurch University to complete a degree in Sport and Exercise Science.

Mr Piggott completed his PGCE with Kent & Medway Training and went on to teach science in Basildon, Essex. During this time taking on additional roles as Head of Pastoral, before joining The Leigh Academy, Dartford as an Assistant Principal in charge of Behaviour and Attitudes in 2017.

Mr Piggott joins Strood Academy as Vice Principal (Head of Hercules) with responsibility for Teaching & Learning and Assessment across the Academy. 

Jamie Minshull


Mr Minshull is Assistant Principal at Strood Academy, he grew up in Rainham, Medway before moving to Leicester to study at university. Mr Minshull completed an undergraduate degree in Drama Studies, before completing a GTP to gain QTS.

Mr Minshull has previously held a variety of positions at another school in Kent, beginning as a Drama teacher, before leading the Performing Arts department. He developed as a skilled teacher, becoming a lead practitioner before becoming a senior leader. Mr Minshull also started HopShed Theatre group as an artistic director, a shedlink for the internationally recognised theatre company ‘Chicken Shed.’

Mr Minshull has joined Strood Academy as Assistant Principal (Hercules college) focusing on the quality of teaching and learning, and the development of trainee teachers across the academy. 

Verity Hadden


Ms Hadden grew up in North London and attended Enfield County School. After completing secondary education, she attended the University of Nottingham to secure a joint honours degree in History and French. After her degree she was accepted onto the Teach First programme as a teacher of History and French.

Ms Hadden taught at St Thomas More School and St George’s RC School in London while completing her PGCE and NPQSL teaching qualifications. During her time teaching in London she held the posts of Head of Department, Deputy Head of Year, Careers Lead and Assistant Headteacher. Led by a strong belief in the transformative power of education, Ms Hadden made the decision to relocate to Strood in September 2022 accepting the post of Assistant Principal of Hercules College.

Ms Hadden’s role includes oversight of the students of KS3 Hercules, staff professional development and the quality of education provided by the fantastic teachers of Strood Academy.

Chris Pleasant


Mr Pleasant grew up in Medway and completed GCSE and A levels at a local school before studying Sociology at the University of Kent and a PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Mr Pleasant has since occupied a range of leadership roles in schools in Kent, including Head of Department for Social Sciences, Head of Sixth Form, International Baccalaureate coordinator and Assistant Headteacher before joining Strood Academy as Vice Principal (Head of Trafalgar) in April 2023.

In addition to his role within the school, Mr Pleasant has achieved Chartered Teacher Status with the Chartered College of Teaching and has worked with several associations such as ResearchED and PiXL to deliver talks on teaching and learning. Mr Pleasant’s responsibilities across the academy include curriculum intent and implementation as well as examination outcomes for Years 11 and 13.

Sav Fatania


Born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Mr Fatania completed his GCSEs and A-Levels at Barclays school. After this he went to University to pursue a career in teaching. Mr Fatania studied Physical Education with QTS at the University of Brighton for 4 years. Mr Fatania left university to work as Teacher of Physical Education in Bournemouth, and then went on to spend 11 years at an Academy in Maidstone. Here he held a range of roles including, Pupil Premium Lead, Head of Year, Lead Teacher for data,  Faculty Leader for Physical Education and Associate Head Teacher for Behaviour and Attitudes. After a long service it was time to explore other horizons which led him to arrive at Strood Academy in the Easter of 2023 as an Assistant Principal (Trafalgar).

Mr Fatania’s responsibilities across the academy are Events, Parental Engagement, Key Stage 3 data and Social Media. 

Samira Nasim


Miss Nasim grew up in Medway and went to St Mary’s Primary School and then went to Chapter School for Girls.  Miss Nasim went to Bangor,  University of Wales to study a degree in Chemistry and gained her BSC Honours in Chemistry.  Miss Nasim completed her teacher training at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Miss Nasim started her teaching career in 1998 at The King John School, Essex, where she spent 6 years and this was followed by 6 years at Thomas Aveling School in Medway as KS3 Science Coordinator.  Miss Nasim joined Strood Academy in 2010 and started as an Advanced Skills Teacher and is currently an Assistant principal.

Miss Nasim currently works within a range of areas which include, Year 6 into 7 transition, personal development across the years, work experience and KS3 Trafalgar as well as teaching Science to a range of year groups.

Victoria Hancock


Ms Hancock grew up in Medway completing  her G.C.S.Es and A-Levels at Chatham Grammar School for Girls. Ms Hancock studied English Literature with Drama at the University of Greenwich and completed her P.G.D.E. at Canterbury Christchurch University.

Ms Hancock has had many roles whilst teaching including Faculty Leader of English, Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning, and Deputy Principal for Behaviour and Culture. Whilst leading on teaching and learning, Ms Hancock completed the Teacher Educator course with the Ambition Institute and her Masters in Education focusing on curriculum.

Ms Hancock’s responsibility at the academy is Head of 6th Form. 

Leadership Structure

Principal – Jon Richardson

Head of Trafalgar College
Chris Pleasant 

Assistant Principals of Trafalgar College
Sav Fatania (KS4)
Samira Nasim (KS3)

Head of Hercules College
Matt Piggott

Assistant Principals of Hercules College
Jamie Minshull (KS4)
Verity Hadden (KS3)

Head of Victory College
Julie Lindsay

Assistant Principals of Victory College
Leanne Barlow (KS4)

Assistant Principal of Sixth Form
Victoria Hancock

Assistant Principal of Inclusion
Harriet Carter

Head of SRP (Endeavour Centre)
Jo Pearce

Operations Structure
Site Manager
Neil Jones

Finance Manager
Emma Goodall

College Structure

Trafalgar logo
  • Head of College - Chris Pleasant
  • Assistant Head of College - Key Stage 4 - Sav Fatania
  • Assistant Head of College - Key Stage 3 - Samira Nasim
  • Head of Pastoral - Helen Richardson
  • Deputy Head of Pastoral - Freddie Reed
  • Senior Student Support Manager - Sam Latter
  • Key Stage 4 Student Support Manager - Dionne Gracey
  • Key Stage 3 Student Support Manager - Liam Fagg
  • College Administrator - Jasmine Wicks
  • College Email:
Hercules logo
  • Head of College - Matt Piggott
  • Assistant Head of College - Key Stage 4 - Jamie Minshull
  • Assistant Head of College - Key Stage 3 - Verity Hadden
  • Head of Pastoral - Gary Kiamil 
  • Deputy Head of Pastoral - Rosina Soules
  • Senior Student Support Manager - Lucy Taylor
  • Key Stage 4 Student Support Manager - Jack Midson
  • Key Stage 3 Student Support Manager - Chris Slattery 
  • College Administrator - Patricia Abreu
  • College Email:
Victory College logo
  • Head of College - Julie Lindsay
  • Assistant Head of College - Key Stage 4 - Leanne Barlow
  • Assistant Head of College - Key Stage 3 - Gaby West
  • Head of Pastoral - Tom Evans
  • Deputy Head of Pastoral - Keri Mason
  • Senior Student Support Manager - Ben Wrighton
  • Key Stage 4 Student Support Manager - Chris Rayner
  • Key Stage 3 Student Support Manager - Coral Philips
  • College Administrator - Jo Carey 
  • College Email: