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Our Leaders

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Our Leaders

Stewart Roderick

Headteacher, Bitterne Park School and Sixth Form

Stewart Roderick joined Bitterne Park School and Sixth Form in September 2020, having previously been a Headteacher in South Wiltshire. He has a degree in Sports Science and has taught in a range of schools in South Wales, Wiltshire and Hampshire. Stewart moved to a career in Senior Leadership as Assistant Headteacher/Deputy Headteacher in 2006 with a focus on curriculum development and raising standards.

He has a particular interest in leadership, development and sustainable school improvement. He is committed to ensuring the students are able to experience outstanding teaching and learning and a diverse range of experiences to enable them to leave Bitterne Park School with the skills required to reach their potential and lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Harry Kutty

Headteacher, Cantell School; Chair of the Aspire Community Trust and Vice Chair of Secondary Heads and Schools' Forum

With a degree in Business Enterprise, Harry Kutty began his career in 2000 as a Business Studies Teacher. He became a Senior Leader in 2005 and then Assistant Headteacher at Cantell School in 2008. Harry is currently a serving OFSTED inspector, Vice Chair of the Aspire Community Trust and Vice Chair of Southampton Schools' Forum. He is dedicated to providing an exceptional learning experience for all students at Cantell, supporting them to become mature, self-confident and well-rounded adults, through four cornerstones: academic excellence; exciting teaching and learning; life-changing opportunities; and a richly diverse community. Of particular importance is continuous improvement in a rapidly changing educational world to obtain the very best for all students.

Stuart Wilkinson

Interim Headteacher, Chamberlayne Academy

Stuart joined Chamberlayne Academy in September 2021, having spent many years as a senior leader in schools across Hampshire and Portsmouth. His Physics degree instilled a passion for Science and STEM subjects, but he is a firm believer that the best education is broad and balanced and allows for students to develop the skills needed for future success. All children, no matter what their background, deserve the best education possible. This is the only way we can open doors for those students and widen their opportunities for the future. Stuart is keen to continue the collaborative working within the city. Working together has so many strengths.

Sarah Stannard

Principal and CEO, City College

Sarah Stannard is Principal and Chief Executive of City College Southampton; she is also a trustee of MAST Mayflower Studios. She joined City College as Principal in 2013, having previously been a Vice Principal at Chichester College in West Sussex. Sarah read History at Kings’ College London and, more recently, completed a Masters in Education at the University of Southampton. Before moving to FE, Sarah was a specialist in marketing, communications and business development in blue-chip, global businesses for 20 years.

Sarah is committed to developing young people and adults to fulfil their potential through education and training in career-focused courses.

Debbie McKenzie

Acting Headteacher, the Compass School

Debbie McKenzie has a wide ranging background in the development of inclusive education provision for vulnerable children and young people in Southampton. She has many years’ experience gained within a Local Authority, a Further Education College and the last 10 years within alternative provision. She is committed to ensuring that pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs are able to participate fully in education to gain a range of skills to equip them for their next steps. Debbie is currently undertaking a Master’s Degree in Education.

Alex Scott (Vice-Chair)

Principal and CEO, Itchen College

Alex Scott studied English Literature/Film and Education at the Universities of Glasgow and Leicester respectively. Raised and educated in Southampton, he returned to the City to develop his career in teaching and management roles at Barton Peveril College and at Brockenhurst College, where he was Vice Principal, with overall responsibility for curriculum and quality. An ex-rugby player, Alex is active in sport and maintains a strong interest in film. He is committed to social mobility and justice and improving the life chances of those in the community he serves.

Ben Bond

Principal of Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill

Ben is an experienced school leader in several different contexts and is passionate about school improvement. He has had significant success with improving Ofsted inspection and student performance outcomes. Having graduated from the University of Southampton in History and Politics, Ben became a senior leader in two city schools prior to leading an academy in Wiltshire and, most recently, was the Headteacher of a maintained school in Hampshire. He holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Management, also gained from the University of Southampton, and is committed to ongoing professional development. Ben is delighted to be back in the city and ensuring that every child, regardless of their context, gets the very best from their time in education. Outside of school, Ben is a committed Bristol City FC fan and holds the dream of Premier League football one fine day!

Claire Taylor

Principal, Oasis Academy Mayfield

Claire Taylor has significant experience of leading school improvement, including seven years in a challenging inner-London academy as Senior Vice-Principal. She holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Studies. Having led SEND reviews as part of the London and Somerset challenges, Claire has a particular interest in meeting student needs through quality first teaching and curriculum development. She enjoys working collaboratively to capture and share best practice, particularly regarding effective systems leadership and organisational change management.

Martin Brown

Principal, Oasis Academy Sholing

Martin Brown is passionately committed to working to transform lives and to creating a culture where “striving for excellence” is for all. He also believes that success is achieved when we work, learn and develop together. He holds a Masters degree in Educational Management from the University of Southampton, and he has worked in Southampton since 2005. Martin believes the City is a great place in which to teach. He has particular interest in developing teaching as a celebrated profession, supporting both world-class ambition and tomorrow’s outstanding school leaders. Martin also believes that Newcastle United will one day win the Premiership!

Anne Hendon-John

Headteacher, the Polygon School

Primary trained, Anne enjoyed working with children with very complex social and emotional issues, and discovered her “niche” very early in her career. Subsequently, she has worked in residential settings, and in Secure estate. She has a broad range of experience of developing and managing outreach provision for two different local authorities. She gained her first headship in 1995, with responsibility for two Pupil Referral Units. Anne's hallmark is her unconditional positive regard for all. She is also committed to the wider aim of achieving good outcomes for the young people of Southampton.

Jason Ashley

Headteacher, Redbridge Community School

With an academic background in Politics/Economics and Education, Jason is also a qualified Ofsted inspector and a neurolinguistic programming (NLP) practitioner. He is committed to using the school curriculum to motivate and engage students, and he has a particular interest in transformational leadership. He describes himself as driven by a strong sense of social justice with a unique sense of humour. As headteacher, Jason’s focus is on developing the school culture to create a ‘can do’, happy school and working collaboratively for the greater good.

Samantha Barnes

Headteacher, Regents Park Community College

With a background in Design and Technology and a degree from the University of Manchester, Sam has worked in schools in Wiltshire and in senior roles in Southampton schools for over 20 years. As a senior leader, she maintains a particular focus on raising standards; at present, she is strengthening the school’s high quality teaching and learning offer, as well as managing a £4.2 build project. Sam has long experience of developing leadership teams with stretch and challenge.

Paul Swindale

Principal, Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

Paul studied Music at the University of Southampton. After a short career in performance, he moved into teaching and has been at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College since 2007. In that time, Paul has taken on a variety of challenges, from leading an outstanding performing arts team to establishing a shared data service in the wider Lighthouse Learning Trust. Continuing his involvement in music through the Southampton Music Hub, Paul is now focussed on leading a college that champions social mobility and outstanding progression onto HE.

James Rouse

Headteacher, St Anne's Catholic School and Sixth Form, and Chair of SEF 2021-22

James Rouse studied Oceanography, Science and Education at the University of Southampton. Having trained to teach in Southampton schools, he rose through the ranks to become Headteacher at St Anne’s Catholic School. He is currently the chair of SEF having been chair of Southampton’s Secondary Heads’ Forum over the last three years. James believes there are myriad opportunities for teachers and leaders to grow and develop their careers in the City. He continues to focus on providing outstanding educational opportunities for students at St Anne’s and is committed to working collaboratively to raise standards across the City.

James Habberley

Headteacher, St George Catholic College

James comes to his current post after holding previous roles as Head of Physical Education, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher at St George. He is particularly interested in the curriculum, teaching/learning and school improvement. James is committed to ensuring that students leave school with the skills and attitudes to enable them to lead happy and successful lives. His current focus is on curriculum and challenge for all, to provide the best possible educational experience for pupils in the school family.

Stephanie Bryant

Executive Headteacher, St Mark’s CE Primary School (All–through School from September 2022)

Stephanie Bryant is the Executive Headteacher of St Mark’s CE Primary School in Southampton. She became the Headteacher of St Mark’s in September 2014, leading the school on its improvement journey to ‘Good’. Since 2018, Stephanie has been working with the Local Authority on the development of the school from primary to an all-through school by September 2022. Stephanie’s passion is ensuring that the expanding school meets the new visionary strap line: One School – Serving All – Through Excellence.

Stuart Woods

Headteacher, Upper Shirley High

Stuart joined the education system in 2000, bringing a decade of experience as a production designer. Having graduated from York University and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Stuart has collaborated with some of Britain’s leading directors. Stuart worked at The Petersfield School and The Warblington School, before taking up his first headship at Upper Shirley High in 2013. Stuart’s commitment to Southampton is underpinned by his belief in a self-improving education system and he is deeply committed to the values of the SEF partnership. Stuart has served two terms as SEF Chair; he is currently the Ex-officio Chair. He is currently undertaking a Master’s Degree in Education.

Jim Henderson

Headteacher, Woodlands Community College

Jim Henderson is the Headteacher of Woodlands Community College in Southampton. He is an English specialist and has worked previously as an English Advanced Skills teacher in Hampshire and as Deputy Headteacher at Regents Park Community College, where he was the lead for teaching and learning, progress and the curriculum. Jim is a former chair of the SEF Operations Group and is committed to working in collaboration to achieve the best outcomes for students in Southampton.

Kali Warwick

Vice Principal at Oasis Academy Mayfield and Chair of SEF Operations Group

Having moved to Southampton twenty-three years ago, Kali is passionate about driving improvement within the City. She chairs the Operations Group, working collaboratively with the deputies across Southampton secondary schools and colleges, with representatives from the universities, to lead a variety of professional development programmes. She has worked as a senior leader for almost a decade and currently leads on teaching, learning and research, working closely with other Oasis academies in the South Coast Region.

Richard Thomas

Access and Widening Participation Manager, Solent University

Richard studied Physical Education (QTS) at the University of Chichester and has 8 years’ experience of working in school at Bay House School and Sixth Form in Gosport. He was an elected staff Governor and Senior Leadership Team member with responsibilities for outdoor education, behaviour, school ethos and alternative provision. Richard also brings leadership experience of working for the Southern Universities Network and Hampshire County Council where he specialised in careers guidance, progression to higher education and STEM activity. Richard now leads the university's outreach activity, which is targeted at disadvantaged learners within schools and colleges. When he is not spending time with his family, he volunteers as a community Governor at Gomer and Elson Infant School Federation

Dr Chris Downey

Deputy Head, Southampton University School of Education

Dr Chris Downey is currently a Deputy Head of the Southampton Education School. After a period spent working in industry, he applied to train as a teacher at the University of Southampton and found he loved teaching. This led to a new career as a science teacher, followed by Head of Department and Assistant Headteacher roles. Since joining the University of Southampton, Chris has worked in a range of teaching, research and leadership roles. He enjoys studying the use of data to inform strategic decision making and educational improvement, and he is fascinated by the networks of social interaction that facilitate many aspects of learning, teaching and leadership at all levels of education.

Derek Wiles

Service Lead – Education, Southampton City Council

Derek brings to his role significant experience in education across a range of school, government and industrial contexts. Having studied sciences at London and Oxford universities, he has held senior leadership roles in the petroleum industry, in government and in education. Derek currently has oversight of primary, secondary and special schools across the City of Southampton and works to negotiate and facilitate solutions to a broad range of educational issues.

Dr Jill Lueddeke

Network Co-ordinator, Southampton Education Forum

Dr Jill Lueddeke is the Subject Network Co-ordinator for the Southampton Education Forum. She has studied at universities in Canada and in the UK. With a lifelong interest in developing students’ literacy skills to improve their life chances, she also has research interests in gender, language and professional identity. Having enjoyed twenty years’ experience as a teacher trainer and gained longstanding senior management experience in the post-16 sector, she currently co-ordinates the activity of the Southampton Education Forum subject networks.