Skip to content ↓


TDS Trustees

  • Sam Strickland
  • Joe McCann (Chair)
  • Monica Pruthi
  • Lester Martin
  • Kelly McColl
  • Emma Hopkins
  • Adam Crawte
  • Cath Kitchen
  • Tim Marston
  • Nik Patel
  • Pippa Gilbert
  • Kirsty Powell
  • Andrew Mumford
  • Matthew Downing
  • Richard Helson
  • Tom Pieroni
  • Claudia Wade
  • Gary Pettit
  • Matthew Golby

Clerk: Clerk to the School


Address: The Duston Education Trust, Berrywood Road, Duston, Northampton, NN5 6XA

Resources and Audit Committee Meeting

  • Monica Pruthi (Chair)
  • Joe McCann
  • Sam Strickland
  • Pippa Gilbert
  • Gary Pettit

Standards Committee

  • Adam Crawte (Chair)
  • Lester Martin
  • Emma Hopkins
  • Sam Strickland
  • Matthew Downing
  • Claudia Wade
  • Richard Helson
  • Tom Pieroni

Governance Bios

Joe McCann

Joe McCann, MBA, NPQH, Managing Director of IQM, Trust Member, TDS Governor and Chair of the Governing Body

Joe McCann - MBA, NPQH, Managing Director of IQM - Trust Member

Joe was a governor from 2009 until 2016. Joe is now a member of The Duston Education Trust. He is currently Managing Director of Inclusion Quality Mark (U.K) Ltd and works with schools across the U.K and further afield to recognise and improve inclusion in schools. He has a background in education both as a teacher and senior leader, having previously worked with schools in Special Measures as an education consultant leading a team of interim managers. He has delivered training in England, Ireland, Egypt, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Kuala Lumpa on the importance of an inclusive education. Joe attends regular meetings of Trust Members with the Principal and the SLT to ensure the school is constantly moving forward and delivering a high quality of education for all. He has a keen interest in ensuring every child at Duston receives the best possible inclusive education, and reviews targets and progress continually.


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.

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.

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. 

Adam Crawte

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

Adam has lived in Duston for nearly 10 years and been a History teacher and senior leader locally for nearly 20 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 in four schools in Northamptonshire and one in Warwickshire. Adam was previously a Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning, and Curriculum. Adam has also worked for a multi-academy trust as a subject adviser for History and as an interim senior leader. Currently, Adam is the Director of Curriculum for the Brooke Weston Trust, a multi-academy trust based in North Northamptonshire. As a local resident of Duston, Adam is keen to provide support and challenge for The Duston School, to continue its recent journey of improvement and realise the high aspirations set by the academy community and leadership team. 

Cath Kitchen

Cath Kitchen -  Trustee and TDS Governor

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.  

Tim Marston

Tim Marston – Trustee

Tim is teacher of two 'good' secondary schools in Leicestershire. As a current headteacher Tim was keen to join the governing body of Duston, both to offer support and expertise but more selfishly to learn from the excellence on show at Duston.





Nik Patel

Nik Patel - Trustee and TDS Governor


Nik works as an Assistant Principal in a local secondary school. Nik has worked in education for over 10 years. He trained as a Maths teacher, prior to this Nik completed a degree in Mathematics at Coventry University.

Nik has a keen passion for ensuring students get the best personal development support. He also works as a team leader for the exam board. Nik is currently signing up to be a school inspector.

Nik enjoys travelling the world when he can (which is most holidays) and enjoys playing cricket for a local team.


Pippa Gilbert

Pippa Gilbert  -  Trustee and TDS Governor 

 Pippa  joined The Duston School Governing Body in 2022. Pippa lives locally and is parent to two young people in the   secondary phase of the school.

 Pippa manages the local 0-19 service (Health Visiting and School Nursing) and has clinical leadership of the emotional   wellbeing pathway. Pippa’s clinical background is Children’s Nursing and School Nursing and she has been a passionate   advocate for tackling the inequalities which impact on health and impact children’s chances of reaching their full  potential. Pippa is a specialist public health nurse and will bring this knowledge and skill base to support the school with building on our strengths in relation to providing a health promoting, inclusive environment. Pippa will support the  school in navigating the health and social care system to enable children and young people timely access to services outside of school.