Skip to content ↓

Our Governors

Richard Monk

Richard Monk, BSc(Hons), MBA, Trust Member, TDS Governor and Chair of the Governing Body

Richard joined TDS as a Governor at the end of 2020 and was elected Chair of the school’s Governing Body.

He was a Chartered Engineer for almost 40 years, working across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He is now retired.

Richard strongly believes that a broad, high quality education can provide a launch-pad from which students can excel and realise their personal and career aspirations. He is looking forward to working with fellow Governors and TDS’s leadership and staff to build on the school’s success to date and help lead it to its future as an excellent school for the benefit of the all students and the community of Duston.




Gabrielle Knowlton-Maile

Gabrielle Knowlton-Maile - BSC (Hons) - Trustee and TDS Parent Governor, Member of the Resources and Audit Committee  


Gabrielle joined the Governing Body in 2015 taking up a position of parent governor. As a Duston resident and mother of two young children, Gabrielle has a keen interest in the local community and continuing success of both the primary and secondary phase at TDS. Her clinical background in healthcare, and medical sales and training experience, whilst not being directly linked to school education, does have transferable skills and the ambition to always achieve the best means that Gabrielle makes valuable contributions for the benefit of TDS pupils and staff.



Maria Deacon-Viney

Maria Deacon-Viney -  BA (Hons), Fellow of CIPD - Trustee and TDS Parent Governor and Nominated Governor for Safeguarding


Maria joined TDS as a governor in December 2016. She has 2 daughters; the youngest currently attends The Duston School and the family have lived in Duston for 21 years. Maria is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and has spent the majority of her career in HR, primarily in the automotive industry. She also lectures at the University of Northampton and provides training and executive coaching for senior leadership teams. She is committed, motivated and enthusiastic and hopes that her previous experience and skills can assist in the role of Governor, helping The Duston School move forward positively and successfully into the next phase of development in providing an excellent education for the children of the community.


Monica Pruthi

BA (Hons), FCCA - Trustee and TDS Governor, Chair of the Resources Committee and the Nominated Governor for Finance


Monica is a Chartered Accountant with Fellowship status from the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). She is a working mother with a background in both public and private sectors covering local multi site and International; working in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Mumbai. Monica has covered many leadership roles at senior level where accuracy, strategic planning, compliance and governance have been key.

Monica was appointed as a Governor in April 2019. As a local resident, Monica has a keen interest in the surrounding community which is displayed by the work she does for a local Beaver’s group. Utilising her personal and professional experiences, she is committed to help direct and support the vision and growth of TDS, ensuring that the school offers all students the very best start in life to achieve the best they can, whilst at the same time maintaining a secure, safe, nurturing and happy environment.

Sam Strickland

 Sam Strickland—Principal—BA (Hons), MA, NPQH

Sam Strickland began his teaching career as a history teacher at Wootton Upper School in Bedfordshire having completed his PGCE in secondary history at the University of Cambridge. Sam’s career quickly accelerated, becoming a Head of history and Classics. With an aptitude for Teaching and Learning and Assessment for Learning, Sam then moved on to become a Lead Professional in these fields and worked for the North Beds SCITT Consortium. Sam has also had educational resources and research published, most notably for History Today and Classroom Resources. He has also delivered courses nationally for Philip Allan. In 2008 Sam became an Assistant Head at Hitchin Girls’ School in Hertfordshire where he had responsibility for the Sixth Form and led a Post 16 consortium arrangement within Hitchin. In 2011 Sam became Vice Principal at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby. He directly oversaw student care, the Sixth Form, the curriculum and served as the safeguarding lead for the entire Brooke Weston Trust. Whilst working for the Brooke Weston Trust Sam also served as the lead facilitator for NPQSL, working for Inspiring Leaders. In 2015 Sam was the Acting Associate Principal of Brooke Weston Academy and oversaw GCSE and A Level results which have received commendation from the DFE, Nick Gibb and the SSAT.                                                                                     In 2016 Sam was seconded to Corby Technical School to help guide the school in its first year of GCSE  examination                                                                                    results and to establish a Sixth Form. He is now the Principal of The Duston School.


Anne Jones

Anne Jones— Trustee and TDS Staff Governor

Anne lived in Surrey for 30 years before returning to Duston in 2008 with her husband. Her daughter attended TDS before leaving in 2013 to take up an apprenticeship with a company in the town. Anne has worked at the school since September 2011, initially as a Teaching Assistant supporting SEN/D students in lessons. She is now a Technician in the Art, Design and Technology faculty. Anne thrives on a full workload, problem solving and being creative, which in turn helps to support students and colleagues alike.  She enjoys being part of a professional, enthusiastic and caring team.  Anne has always felt the strong sense of ‘community’ and ‘family’ that pervades throughout the school. Anne is committed to supporting the school in any way she can.  She hopes that her varied life and professional experiences will help on the journey to move TDS forward to where it should be.


Lester Martin

Lester Martin—Trustee and TDS Staff Governor

Lester was newly appointed as a Staff Governor in May 2019. He has worked at The Duston School (TDS) for the past 3 Years as their Designated Officer for Safeguarding and Child Protection. Until his move to Northamptonshire in February 2016, Lester was based in Berkshire, working for Berkshire County Council and Bracknell Forest Borough Council within Residential homes, Youth Clubs, Family Centres, the LEA and more recently in secondary schools. Lester made the decision at an early age that he wanted to work within the field of Children and Families.

He has for the past 30 years worked in a variety of settings and environments as a Residential Worker, Youth Worker, Family Worker, Education Welfare Officer, Senior Learning Mentor and, prior to his move to TDS, was employed in a secondary school within Bracknell Forest Council as their Inclusion and Learning Support Manager. In addition to being lead practitioner for Safeguarding and Student Wellbeing Lester directly oversaw the Inclusion unit and the Learning Support Centre, and set up a very successful Peer Mentoring programme. Furthermore he also served as a Staff Governor at Easthampstead Park Community School for 4 years and was part of the team who had responsibility for Student Welfare and Wellbeing.  Finally, as a Staff Governor Lester is committed to working with our students to ensure they all have an opportunity to have their voices heard. He is an advocate of students and strives to make certain that a child centred approach is taken to promote the safety and wellbeing of all our students.


Emma Hopkins

Emma Hopkins— Trustee and TDS Governor


Emma is the Director of Humanities at Corby Technical School and has been for two years. She has been a member of staff at CTS for four years. She has also worked in two other Brooke Weston Schools in her teaching career; Corby Business Academy and Brooke Weston Academy. Emma wanted to become a governor at The Duston School as she would like the opportunity to be a part of an improving school’s journey which is very different to the context of her own school. She hopes from her experiences in outstanding schools that she will be able to offer challenge in order to help the school progress further. Similarly, as a Director of Subject, she has acquired a variety of skills which she feels will be able to add value as a Governor. Firstly, her day to day experience of managing and analysing data to spot trends and areas of development and the ability to offer solutions and suggestions to key problems. Secondly, the main part of her role is to provide rigour and challenge to the department and herself in order to hold others accountable to ensure she is persistent so the students achieve the best they can. Outside of her role, her interest in the changing world of education and the implication on schooling and the next generations she hopes will bring a new sense of enthusiasm and energy to the role.  

Paul Gillam

Paul Gillam— MA, PGCSE - Trustee and TDS Governor


 Paul has worked in secondary education for over 25 years as a Biology teacher and Head of Department.  He studied Medicine at Trinity College, Oxford before making the transition to education and a PGCE at the University of Sheffield.  His first teaching role was at The Perse School, Cambridge and after three years there he moved to Eton College where he spent 21 years.  As well as his primary teaching role at Eton, Paul had additional responsibilities as a university advisor, pastoral tutor, football and rugby coach, Head of Cricket and a boarding housemaster.   Two years ago he moved back to his home town of Northampton after many years away and he currently works at Kimbolton School as Head of Biology.  

Paul is looking forward to using some of the experience he has gained to help the staff and students at The Duston School.  He has a specific interest in pupil safeguarding and ensuring school cultures are positive and supporting to all pupils and staff alike.


Adam Crawte

Adam Crawte - BA (Hons), PGCE - Trustee and TDS Governor


Adam has lived in Duston for over five years and been a History teacher and senior leader in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire for over 15 years.  Adam studied History and Politics at the University of Liverpool before becoming an executive search consultant in the City of London. He then studied for a PGCE in Secondary History at the University of Leeds, before settling in Northampton. In his time in education, Adam has worked at Magdalen College School in Brackley , Sponne School in Towcester, Bilton School in Rugby and DSLV in Daventry. At DSLV, Adam was Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning, and Curriculum. Adam currently works for the David Ross Education Trust as a subject adviser for History and he also carries out interim senior leadership roles across the eleven secondary schools in the Trust. Outside of teaching, Adam has contributed resources and articles to Teaching History magazine, history resource books and local record offices. As a local resident of Duston, Adam hopes to drive the academy forward to become one of the best schools in Northamptonshire and the East Midlands.


Cath Kitchen

Cath Kitchen 


Cath has lived and worked in Northamptonshire for the last 20 years and joined the governing body in 2020. She has 2 grown up children and 2 grandchildren about to enter the education system. Her day job is as the CEO of a multi academy trust for settings that provide education for pupils with medical needs who cannot attend school full time, and she has worked in this sector for over 20 years, starting as a teacher at Northampton General Hospital.  Along with her experience in medical alternative provision, Cath also has a Masters in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and one of her academies provides the education in the local CAMHS inpatient units. In her role as the chair of the National Association for Hospital Education, she regularly meets with the DfE on proposed changes to the wider alternative provision sector and speaks at national events. Cath is passionate about equality of opportunity for all learners, particularly those with special and additional needs and is looking forward to supporting The Duston School in these  areas in her role as a trustee.  




Emma Wimpress                                                                                                    


   Emma Wimpress - TDS Governor


   Emma joined the Governing Body in 2021 taking up a position of parent governor. Emma is a parent of two children within the primacy phase of the school. Emma’s background is within the public sector having been head of volunteering at Northampton General Hospital for the last 5 years and has recently been appointed to strategically lead Kettering General Hospital Volunteer Services in addition to Northampton General Hospital. Prior to this she has worked in the welfare to work environment so brings a wealth of experience from volunteering, safeguarding, fundraising, career development and people management. Emma received a British Empire Medal in the October 2020 Queens honour’s list for health related services provided during the COVID19 pandemic.






Georgina Stockley

Georgina Stockley - BA (Hons), PGCE, MA - Trustee and TDS Governor


Georgina is a policy adviser at the Department for Exiting the EU. Georgina taught History, Geography and English in Coventry, before teaching Humanities at an innovative and high-performing London free school. She has a Masters in Education Policy and Leadership from the IOE, and (when a teacher) tutored Teach First trainees. Georgina is proud to be a Governor at the Duston School and convinced that knowledge-rich teaching can transform children’s life chances. Interests, when not pontificating about politics, include learning the saxophone, reading history and windsurfing (badly).