Andrew Jordon, Sarah Harty and Katrina Handford-Smith

Andrew Jordon has been appointed executive principal of Thorp academy in Gateshead in addition to his current role as head of Dyke House school in Hartlepool.

He will start his dual role in January and says that leading the two schools, both part of the Northern Education Trust (NET), will be a “significant challenge” but one that can prove beneficial.

“At Dyke House we have spent quite a lot of time trying to build a leadership model involving middle and senior leaders that is sustainable so that we have people who can further develop the school without me being in the building all of the time.”

Geography will also be a challenge as Thorp is about an hour from Dyke House.

Jordon says there is a “cross fertilisation of ideas” between the two schools, which means they can “lean on each other’s strengths” to improve outcomes.

He studied geography at Durham followed by a PGCE.

Sarah Harty is also joining the NET as its new procurement adviser, where she will look after the trust’s support services as it grows from its current ten primary and ten secondary schools.

Harty has spent most of her career working in the public sector, including a series of senior roles within various London boroughs, latterly as an assistant director with Wandsworth in south London where she was responsible for managing staff in the capital programme, departmental and schools finance, HR, IT, schools traded services and contracts.

She says her new role will allow her to “build on all my experience to date” although it will be “enormously challenging.

“My short-term goal is to review how all 20 academies are operating now and to better understand the issues involved. With such ambitious future plans, it is essential for the trust to have a procurement strategy in place that supports value for money and quality services for academies.”

She read modern history at the University of Oxford.

Katrina Handford-Smith has been appointed as the new deputy head at Nottingham girls’ high school.

She takes on the role on from Julie Keller, now the school’s headteacher.

Handford-Smith was deputy head of the school’s sixth form and pastoral assistant head.

She joined Nottingham from the University of Birmingham where she studied economics and social history, before completing a PGCE and master’s in education.

An advocate of single-sex education, she says her priority is to “ensure the happiness and well-being of the girls” and make them “able to compete and succeed in male-dominated professions.

“I have benefited hugely from a single-sex education where I gained confidence and was encouraged to be the best I can be.

“Having experienced first-hand the benefits of an all-girls’ environment, I am delighted to be able to offer our girls a similar experience to help them to develop into the leaders of the future.”


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