Who We Are
Our Committee Members are the driving force behind AASSH
See who makes up our Committee and read a little bit about what they do below.
Richard Cranmer - Chair
St Benet's Multi Academy Trust, Norfolk
Richard was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed St Benet's Multi Academy Trust in 2018. Since then, he has grown the MAT to include six primary-phase schools and one secondary-phase school, with more local schools looking to join. Richard’s early career started in farm management, with positions overseas and in management at the Blenheim Palace estate, before re-training to become a Teacher at the University of Oxford. He worked as Head of Biology at St Augustine’s Upper School in Oxford before moving to Norfolk as Head of Science then Assistant Headteacher and Director of the Training School at Notre Dame High School in Norwich. After 8 years there, he was appointed Headteacher at Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston in 2008, becoming Executive Headteacher in 2019. During his tenure, the school was judged Outstanding in its 2017 SIAMS inspection and in their 2013 Ofsted report, inspectors commented "The headteacher provides inspirational leadership and sets high expectations for the performance of the school.” Richard holds a degree in Marine Biology, a Diploma in Farm Management, a PGCE and NPQH (National Professional Qualification in Headship) and achieved the NPQEL (National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership) in 2020. Additionally, Richard is Chairman of the Anglican Academy & Secondary School Heads, Chairman of the Viscount Nelson Education Trust Secondary Network, and is a Director of the Diocese of Norwich Education Services Company. He has been published in ‘Mentoring for Science Teachers’, Open University Press 1997; and the Journal of In-Service Education, Volume 30, Number 3, 2004. Richard is married with two daughters and lives in Norfolk, where he enjoys sailing, sport and other outdoor pursuits in his free time
Kathy Griffiths - Vice Chair
Aquinas Church of England Education Trust, Bromley
Kathy was the founding headteacher at Bishop Justus CofE Secondary School in Bromley, before taking up the role of CEO for the Aquinas Church of England Education Trust. The Aquinas Trust consists one secondary and eight primary Church of England academies. She has spent all of her teaching and leadership career in London schools.
Kathy is married with a son and daughter and in her spare time likes walking, eating out and travel.
Richard Jones - Treasurer
St Christopher's CE High School, Accrington
Richard Jones is the headmaster of St Christopher's CE High School in Accrington, Lancashire, a successful and high-achieving 11-18 academy. His teaching career of over twenty-five years has seen him work in a wide variety of secondary schools, as a classroom teacher, head of faculty, head of year and for the last decade in senior management.
Married with three children, Richard enjoys the cut and thrust of political debate and, loyal to his Lancashire roots, is an avid supporter of Preston North End.
Holy Trinity CofE Secondary School, Crawley
Chrissie began her working life within the construction and then print industry before entering the Methodist ministry as an itinerant minister with pastoral care of four churches on the Isle of Wight. During a short ‘break’ from full time ministry she found herself working in a High School and has not left the world of education since! She spent 10 years in Cowes, and then went to work at a Church of England Academy in Ashford Kent. In 2016 she moved to Crawley as Headteacher of a multi-faith multi-cultural school of 1250 students. Chrissie is married with 3 grown up boys, all of whom are working within education. She has a passion for travelling and for football, spending many happy hours with two of her sons at Stamford Bridge.
Andrew Day - Conference Organiser
Northumberland Church of England Academy, Ashington
Leads the NCEA, an all-through, 2 - 19 academy, currently educating 2500 children on five campuses on the Northumberland coast. The academy is jointly sponsored by the Diocese of Newcastle and the Duke of Northumberland. Previously a teacher of English and History in both the independent and state sectors; Principal of an academy in London prior to taking up current post. His wife, Yvette, is the Headmistress of The Chorister School at Durham Cathedral.
St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, Bristol
Elisabeth Gilpin is Headteacher at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School at the Heart of Bristol. She was Headteacher of St Augustine of Canterbury Joint Roman Catholic and Church of England school in Oxford. She has taught Science in six other schools in Oxford, Bath and West Sussex. She worked for Oxfordshire Local Authority between Headships as leader of the ‘Unlocking Potential’ project jointly supported by a Farmington Fellowship at Harris Manchester College, Oxford. She loves salsa dancing.
Harleston Federation, Norfolk
Rob is Executive Headteacher of the Harleston Federation which is part of StBenet's MAT in the Diocese of Norwich. In his role, Rob has responsibility for Archbishop Sancroft High School which is the only Church of England Secondary School in Norfolk and Harleston Primary Academy. At present, alongside the daily adventure and privilegeof being actively involved in the daily lives of both school's, Rob is working on the strategic plans for the formation of an All Through School for the Harleston Community.A keen sportsman, Rob studied at Loughborough University before beginning a career in industry working in Foreign Exchange within the City of London. However, his passion and experiences of sports coaching and sports leadership soon led him to pursue a career in education. Rob is married with a son and a daughter and when not coaching his son's football team, enjoys running, cycling and is determined to resurrect his single figure golf handicap (with limited success at present!)
The Open Academy, Norwich
Jon has been Principal at The Open Academy - a Christian Ethos 11-18 Academy in Norwich since 2018. Over the last 27 or so years of his career in education, driven by my experience of a challenging upbringing which my teachers brought him through, he has been privileged to have spent over 20 years as a senior leader. He was Head teacher and then Principal of one of the largest schools in Norfolk, taking it from being just 124 schools from the bottom of the national league table as he started, to over 2000 places higher when he left 6 years later. He has trained teachers and set up a Science Teaching Diploma programme with VSO in the Republic of Maldives. He also enjoyed a spell as an education consultant working on projects in safeguarding, apprenticeships in education and inclusive education.
Durham High School for Girls, Durham
Simone is Headmistress of Durham High School for Girls and started her career in Hertfordshire, after a reading for a degree in English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, followed by a PGCE at Trinity College, Cambridge. Simone also worked in Stockport Grammar School before moving back to Cambridge to the Perse School for Girls. Working in a girls’ school convinced her that this was the sector in which she wanted to specialise and she went on to spend sixteen years at Shrewsbury High School followed by Queen Margaret’s School, York as Senior Deputy Head. Simone’s husband is also a teacher and they both enjoy golfing and catching up on reading in their Spanish apartment during the holidays.
St. Peter’s C of E VA, Exeter
Phil is Headteacher of St. Peter’s C of E VA school in Exeter. He is passionate about education for the ‘whole child’, creating a school where everyone is valued and belongs; empowering the entire community to be safe and humble, whilst also taking responsibility to be the best versions of themselves.
The Church of England Education Office
Andy joined the Church of England team as Executive Director of Education from the Nottingham Emmanuel School, where he worked for 10 years as Vice Principal, overseeing curriculum, teaching and learning and the school’s Christian ethos. During this time, he was part of the group that wrote the Church of England Vision for Education – Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good. He now oversees nationally the programmes, networks and research of the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership – www.cefel.org.uk working with thousands of school leaders across the country.Andy joined the Church of England team as Executive Director of Education from the Nottingham Emmanuel School, where he worked for 10 years as Vice Principal, overseeing curriculum, teaching and learning and the school’s Christian ethos. During this time, he was part of the group that wrote the Church of England Vision for Education – Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good. He now oversees nationally the programmes, networks and research of the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership – www.cefel.org.uk working with thousands of school leaders across the country.