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Academy Leadership Team

The Academy Leadership Team (ALT)

Please find below the ‘pen portraits’ for members of the Academy Leadership Team:


KATHY HARDY: Principal

I am delighted to be Principal of The de Ferrers Academy , which is my sixth school and my second Headship in my educational career.  I previously worked as a Principal and an Executive Leader for a larger Trust and I have always lived and worked within the East Midlands area. 

My subject specialism are Physical Education & Geography.  I am also a qualified, practising Ofsted Inspector and also contribute to the PGCE mathematics and PE course lecturing on the Professional Standards at Loughborough University.

I firmly believe in educating the whole child.   I want students and staff to enjoy coming to de Ferrers and for us all to become a highly effective team, striving to be the very best we can be; I want us all to be proud to be part of de Ferrers and be proud to celebrate our wide and varied achievements.  We offer an excellent academic, pastoral and enrichment opportunities.



ALISON BICKLE: Senior Vice Principal:

Quality of Education (QoE)


Alison Bickle is the Senior Vice Principal at the de Ferrers academy and leads the Quality of Education team to ensure that students receive high quality education which is supported by a well-balanced curriculum taught by hard working and dedicated staff.  She is passionate about getting things right for the staff, as she genuinely believes that if leaders look after their staff, staff are more able to look after the students.  She is qualified to NPQH level. 

Alison has had a number of leadership roles at de Ferrers since 2002 specialising in Teaching & Learning, KS5, Human Resources and Staffing.  She was part of the team that led the successful acquisition of the Sixth Form Campus in 2018.  She has supported two schools in Staffordshire leading on school improvement.  Alison was a Principal Examiner for OCR ICT and co-authored 2 vocational text books.  Prior to de Ferrers she worked for 7 years in an inner-city school in Birmingham teaching PE and ICT whilst having responsibility for Careers and Vocational education at KS5.  Her Bachelor of Engineering degree is in Manufacturing Systems and she worked at the Ford Motor Company in both the UK and Germany.  



CHRIS ALLEN: Vice Principal:

Performance (QoE)


Mr Allen is Vice Principal for Performance. He works closely with the rest of the Quality of Education team to improve performance and support best practice across the academy.  He leads the regular data tracking and reporting at the Academy to provide timely summaries of performance for parents, students, staff and Governors.  His major responsibility is for faculty performance overseeing a review process to hold faculty leaders to account for student outcomes.  Mr Allen also leads an Operational team responsible for data systems, examinations and cover. 

Previously, Mr Allen has been responsible for the whole Academy timetable introducing systems to enable efficient utilisation of staff and facilities across three sites. He has also been the Educational visits coordinator and the Director of Learning for Science, successfully leading an improvement in outcomes for students across Science over a sustained period.



ANDY JONES: Vice Principal:

Teaching & Learning (QoE)

Andy Jones is a Vice Principal responsible for Teaching and Learning. He is responsible for developing teaching and learning across the Academy, as well as quality assuring teaching provision. Mr Jones is an SLE with a specialism in teaching staff CPD. He has developed and led development programmes for various groups within the school setting as well as whole school CPD. He leads programmes for ITT and NQT, as well as being Academy coordinator for these groups. 

Mr Jones has an MA in Education and has completed the National Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL). He is currently part of Ambition Institute’s Fellowship in Teacher Education programme. Through this programme he has helped teachers to develop their understanding of how students learn and improve, via well designed and effective CPD sessions. 

Since joining de Ferrers Academy in 2012, he has fulfilled the roles of Director of Learning for PE and Assistant Principal, before becoming Vice Principal in 2019. Mr Jones is a PE teacher who has led students to achieve excellent grades in various examination subjects at KS4 and 5. 


GREG HUGHES: Vice Principal:

Curriculum & Learning Technologies (QoE)

Greg Hughes is Vice Principal: Curriculum & Learning Technologies at The de Ferrers Academy, responsible particularly for curriculum intent/implementation and the highly successful 1:1 iPad programme as well as  ICT integration across the curriculum. He is also Trust Leader for digital strategy. Greg is an Apple Professional Learning Specialist (APLS), Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) and former member of the EMEIA ADE Advisory Board, a qualified CEOP Ambassador, Showbie and Nearpod Certified Educator and Gender Equality Charter (GEC) Advocate. In 2020, Greg was recognised as one of the UK EdTech50 Educators and is part of the UK EdTech Advisory Forum.

Since joining The de Ferrers Academy in 2008, Greg has overseen ICT developments and led the Academy through ICT Mark status (2008/2010), BECTA ICT Excellence award finalist (2009), recognition as both an Apple Regional Training Centre (2014 onwards)  and Apple Distinguished School (2015/2017) and a finalist for a TES Digital Innovation Award (2017).

Greg has previously been a Beacon Schools Manager, Assistant Science College Director: (Community) and Head of Physics. In 2005, he received the Salters-Horners A-level Physics Teacher of the Year award, and co-authored the rewrites of AS and A2 Physics textbooks with The University of York. He worked alongside Birmingham Advisory Schools Service (BASS) supporting struggling inner city Science Faculties/Heads of Science and also supported Birmingham ICT Services as an early adopter and researcher into VLEs, video conferencing and Interactive Whiteboards.

Greg has worked with several dozen schools in the UK and overseas on digital strategy, leadership of education technology and STEM integration. He is a published author of 10 digital books on Physics and EdTech leadership as well as a regular speaker at both national and international conferences and training events across UK, Ireland, Scandinavia and Hong Kong. He has been involved in several Erasmus+ research projects on STEM/Mobile technology, as well as delivering numerous  ICT vision/strategic planning workshops for schools, MATs, universities and technology briefings for leadership teams from Espresso, Apple, DFE, ASCL, SSAT and TeachFirst.



DAVE LOVELL: Vice Principal:

Head of Dove Campus (B&S)

Mr Lovell is Vice Principal – Head of Dove Campus, with day to day responsibility for the pastoral care, support and progress of the 820 Year 7 and 8 students on the campus. Mr Lovell is also responsible for writing the Academy timetable for the 2,200 students and 130 teaching staff working across our three campuses, as well as being one of the  Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSL) within the Academy. He teaches Physical Education and has a proven track record of consistently achieving excellent outcomes for students at both GCSE and A Level. He also chairs the Secondary Management and Development Board for the School of Education at The University of Nottingham and is a governor of a local primary school.

Mr Lovell started teaching in 2002 in an inner city school in Nottingham having graduated from Loughborough University with an honours degree in Physical Education and Sports Science. He joined de Ferrers in 2007 as the Director of Learning for PE and was promoted to the Academy Leadership Team in 2012. From 2014 to 2019, Mr Lovell with responsibility for the quality of teaching and learning across the Academy, the professional development of staff and co-ordinated our initial teacher training programme in partnership with a number of higher education institutions. 

He was involved in the development and establishment of The de Ferrers Trust in 2015, liaising with the DfE and ESFA to establish the multi academy trust (MAT). Mr Lovell was seconded part time from his Vice Principal role at de Ferrers to support the development of the quality of teaching and CPD provision across all academies within the Trust during 2017-18. He was also responsible for leading the successful bid to the DfE which resulted in the Academy gaining the outstanding facilities that have housed our Sixth Form Campus since September 2018.


GREG HAND: Vice Principal:

Head of Trent Campus (B&S)

Greg is Vice Principal with the responsibility of being Head of Trent campus which houses approximately 1,100 students on site. Greg started teaching at the de Ferrers Academy in September 2005 as an NQT. Before that he worked for 6 months as an undergraduate through a supply agency and was posted to a wide range of schools in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle Under Lyme. 

He is now currently in his fifteenth year of teaching and has been successfully appointed in a number of roles. He started his career as a teacher of Physical Education and he progressed to become Key Stage 5 leader of PE, Achievement and Guidance Leader – Key Stage 4, Director of Support and Guidance – Key Stage 4, Associate Assistant Principal, Assistant Principal and, for the past four years, a Vice Principal. He is ‘Level 2 Safeguarding’ and ‘Level 4 Safeguarding (DSL)’ trained and is currently part of the safeguarding team. 

Greg’s experience includes the line management of English, Mathematics and CRESS, Groups Intervention Leader (including subgroups such as PP and SEN performance) as well as line managing Pastoral staff, such as Heads of year, Assistant Heads of Year, Learning Mentors and Careers Advice. In addition to these responsibilities he has also been line manager to the Literacy and Numeracy coordinator and has also been the EVC (Educational visits coordinator) for the Academy.


HANNAH ROBERTS: Vice Principal:

Head of Sixth Form Campus (B&S)

Hannah Roberts is Vice Principal: Head of the Sixth Form Campus. Her responsibilities include: creating a culture whereby students have high expectations of themselves and are encouraged to be the very best they can; tracking and monitoring student progress and ensuring relevant intervention strategies are implemented as early as possible; preparing students for life after the sixth form in terms of developing soft skills and providing impartial careers and destinations advice; raising aspirations of subgroups and supporting students through the university application process and preparing students for Oxbridge applications. 

She graduated in 2001 with a BA Hons in Humanities (Geography, Sociology and Politics) and began her teaching career as a Teacher of Geography at the de Ferrers Academy in 2002. She held positions of responsibility within Citizenship and Outdoor Education before joining the KS5 pastoral team. 



Safeguarding Lead

Kate joined the de Ferrers Trust in September 2019 as the Trust Director for Safeguarding and the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the de Ferrers Academy. This role entails ensuring safeguarding policy and practice at de Ferrers and across the Trust is of the highest standard. Key priorities are keeping our students safe, encouraging them to report any incident where they have felt unsafe and educating them on issues of child abuse, grooming, exploitation, extremism and bullying. 

Kate works closely with social services and the police on all matters relating to the students in the care of the Trust and attends child protection meetings and strategy discussions relating to those students who have been identified as being at risk. Kate leads a team of safeguarding staff at the de Ferrers Academy and also across the Trust and has formed cross trust collaboration in respect of policy and practice. 

Kate delivers safeguarding training to all staff at de Ferrers and across the Trust. Additionally she delivers training in other aspects of student and staff well being. 

Previous roles include Head of Student Support and Safeguarding and Special Educational Needs Coordinator in a large secondary school in Leicestershire for 15 years.  Kate has spent a number of years volunteering with the Police Authority and with a national children's charity advocating the rights of children and vulnerable adults.

Kate has qualifications in counselling and advocacy, an honours degree in Law and has trained as a barrister.

Kate's passion is supporting children who have additional needs or who have faced adversity and trauma in their lives. 


DAVID GRIFFITHS: Associate Principal

Director of SENDCo

David Griffiths joined The de Ferrers Academy in January 2010 as a Newly Qualified Drama Teacher and has had numerous roles within the Academy since then. He has been Reading and Communication Coordinator and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Coordinator, but has always had a passion for supporting students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

David became the Academy's SENDCO in September 2017 and oversees the provision for all students on the SEND Register. In August 2019, David completed his Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET) and Examination Access Arrangements and is currently studying for the National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordinators (NASENCo). David is also a registered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS). David works with the Academy's ‘Quality of Education’ team with a focus on driving standards for SEND students. David is also a member of the Academy's Safeguarding team and is Level 4 trained.