SARAH FRAHER – CAMPTON ACADEMY
Principal – Campton Academy
Sarah completed a degree in Psychology in 2005 followed by a PGCE in 2006. She joined Campton Lower School in September 2006 as a Newly Qualified Teacher and played a key role in seeing the school progress from Satisfactory to Outstanding in just three years.
In her time at Campton, Sarah has taught across all year groups and has experience of leading a range of subjects across the school. In 2015 she took on the responsibility of leading SEND and ensuring every child can access the full curriculum remains a huge passion of hers.
Campton Academy joined BEST in November 2020, shortly after Sarah had taken on the role of Assistant Headteacher. With the support of the trust, she helped to lead the school successfully through the pandemic. In the spring of 2022 she was appointed as the school’s permanent principal.
Since becoming Principal, Sarah has worked closely with teachers, and the BEST central team, to develop the school’s curriculum and strives to ensure every child achieves the best possible outcomes. Sarah aims for Campton Academy to continue to be a school of choice for future generations of children and is immensely proud of the school’s inclusive culture.
Outside of school, Sarah is a keen runner and has completed a variety of half marathons, marathons and even a 100km ultra marathon.
JOANNE YOUNG – Etonbury ACADEMY
Principal – Etonbury Academy
Jo is passionate about the power of education to transform lives. She has a First Class Honours Degree in Physical Education and History and is a qualified headteacher, completing her NPQH in 2018 at University College London.
Jo has taught and led in three schools: St Thomas More Catholic Academy, Kempston Challenger Academy and Etonbury Academy. At St Thomas More, whilst teaching a number of subjects she led on standards, as the school realised rapid improvement and gained an Outstanding grade from Ofsted. At Kempston and as Vice Principal, Jo played a major role in the school securing its first-ever Good grade from Ofsted.
Since 2019, Jo was Vice Principal at Etonbury. During this time, the school continued to grow, enjoyed a successful Ofsted inspection and secured their first set of GCSE results.
At the start of the 2022/23 academic year she became Head of School and then Principal ahead of the 2023/24 academic year.
Outside school, Jo is a national level qualified swimming coach and until recently was a member of the coaching staff at Modernian swimming club.
Jo was a national level competitive swimmer, qualifying for the 1992 Olympic swimming trials. In 2022, she was thrilled that her daughter also qualified for the English national swimming finals.
THOMAS CLARKE – Gothic Mede AND ST CHRISTOPHERS AcademIES
Executive Principal – Gothic Mede Academy and St Christophers Academy
Thomas became the Principal of Gothic Mede Academy in September 2016 having been Vice Principal for three years. Thomas could not have wished for a better first opportunity to lead a school, as the previous Principal and Thomas had worked hard together to improve the provision that they make for the children of Arlesey and this is a pathway that the staff and Thomas have continued along.
Thomas’ personal journey started as a learning support assistant in a special school which inspired him to train as a teacher. After qualifying, Thomas led PE in a lower school, became a special educational needs coordinator then moved to Gothic Mede as Vice Principal in 2013.
Thomas’ background in special educational needs, as well as striving to adopt a growth mindset, has led him to have high expectations for all children and a belief that all children can progress and achieve across the curriculum. Thomas firmly believes that the challenge and support that being part of a multi-academy trust brings is a huge benefit to the staff, and consequently children, of Gothic Mede Academy.
In 2023 he became Executive Principal of both Gothic Mede and St Christophers Academies.
dEBBIE RANDALL – GRAVENHURST AND LANGFORD VILLAGE ACADEMIES
Principal – Gravenhurst Academy and Langford Village Academy
Having been Headteacher at Moggerhanger Lower for three years Debbie became Principal at Langford Village Academy and Gravenhurst Academy in September 2017.
Debbie enjoyed management roles in insurance as an underwriter before taking advantage of a career break with her two children to revert to her first love of teaching and qualify as a primary school teacher in 1997. She began her teaching career at a multicultural school in Bedford before moving to Russell Lower School, Ampthill, in 2000. She enjoyed nearly 14 successful years at Russell Lower becoming Head of Key Stage 1 and Early Years before rising to Senior Teacher with Deputy Head responsibilities.
Debbie has high expectations and is determined to further develop the excellent work of staff and governors at both schools and continue to ensure they work closely together for the benefit of each other and the children.
Wraparound care, the involvement of parents and working with the wider community feature highly in Debbie’s priorities. She is totally committed though inclusion and interaction to providing the children of both schools with an outstanding enjoyable and memorable educational experience.
CHERYL JOHNSON – LAWNSIDE Academy
Principal – Lawnside Academy
Cheryl began her teaching career in 1994 after four years studying for a BEd. (Hons) degree in West Sussex. She completed her NPQH in 2006. Cheryl has been a headteacher since 2005, initially in Luton, and also in Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.
All of Cheryl’s headships have been in either infant or lower schools and early education continues to be her passion – the EYFS is most crucial in every child’s development, and during these years most basic skills and attitudes to learning and socialising are established. As the name suggests, it lays many of the foundations which the later key stages in our school build upon.
Cheryl was appointed as Headteacher of Lawnside Lower School in January 2018 and is now Principal of Lawnside Academy; the school becoming part of BEST in January 2019. In Cheryl’s third headship, in 2017, in Milton Keynes, she led the school to a Good Ofsted outcome, moving its overall effectiveness from Requires Improvement.
Outside of teaching, Cheryl is a keen photographer and loves to travel and see new places. Among her most memorable holiday experiences have been a safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya, walking along the iconic Great Wall of China and seeing the pandas, snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and photographing polar bears in Churchill, Canada.
steve adams – pix brook Academy
Principal – Pix Brook Academy
Steve was appointed as the inaugural Principal of Pix Brook Academy in 2019. Prior to this appointment, he had been headteacher at a middle school and deputy headteacher at a large upper school. Having spent 25 years working in a number of schools from East London to Central Bedfordshire he has undertaken most roles associated with school leadership.
Prior to working in education he worked as a quantity surveyor and tries to maintain an appreciation of the business world when organising the school. Steve appreciates the responsibility and the opportunity associated with starting a new school and is delighted to have a committed and professional body of staff and governors to work with.
John Linehan – ROBERT BLOOMFIELD ACADEMY
Principal – Robert Bloomfield Academy
John completed his degree in English Literature at Aberystwyth University in June 2002. He tried out a few different careers before eventually deciding to move into teaching in 2006.
Since then he has taught in schools in Stevenage, Luton, Milton Keynes, Bedford and now Shefford, having become Principal of Robert Bloomfield Academy in June 2023.
He has held leadership roles since his NQT year, when he was made acting head of a sixth form. He has led on literacy, behaviour, teaching and learning and outcomes in his time as a senior leader and as such feels he has a strong understanding of all areas.
He completed his NPQH in 2021 and this post is his second headship, having successfully completed a year’s secondment to be the Principal at Daubeney Academy in Kempston. He is very proud of the transformation that took place at Daubeney in the time he spent there and that the improvements were both swift and sustainable.
His main interest in life, outside of making Robert Bloomfield Academy the best school it can be, is his family. He has three daughters (and a dog!) who keep him very busy indeed. When he gets the time he always enjoys reading and occasionally enjoys supporting Tottenham.
NICK MARTIN – SAMUEL WHITBREAD Academy
Principal – Samuel Whitbread Academy
Nick joined Samuel Whitbread Academy as Vice Principal in 2013. He became Head of School a year later and took up the role of Principal in September 2016. Previous to this he worked as Deputy Headteacher at Harlington Academy for five years.
He has also worked for the National College of School Leadership and for the Local Authority as a School Improvement Advisor.
His aim is for Samuel Whitbread Academy to be a school which offers students an exceptional curriculum and extracurricular experience, with outstanding academic results for all.