Robert Hardcastle – Acting CEO

Mr Hardcastle, has worked across Northamptonshire for the last twenty-four years.

He has a passion that all children from the locality receive the best education built on the highest quality of teaching and learning and exceptional pastoral care.

With experience in a range of roles including six years as Headteacher of a primary setting in Northampton that was graded by Ofsted as Outstanding in every category in 2015 and ten years working successfully as Deputy Headteacher across two large primary settings. Before becoming a senior leader he was an Advanced Skills Teacher.

In 2016, Mr Hardcastle was shortlisted for the national Pearson Teaching Awards in the category of Primary Headteacher of the Year.


Andrew Wilson – Head of Secondary Standards

Mr Wilson began his career as a Mathematics teacher in 2002 and had worked in Warwickshire, The Isle of Wight and Northamptonshire. Early in his career, he was encouraged to apply to Fast Track Teaching, SSAT Developing Leaders for Tomorrow and Leadership Pathways which together provided extensive leadership developments at an early stage.

Mr Wilson joined Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in January 2007 as Head of Maths and was instrumental in developing an outstanding team of Practitioners alongside an outstanding curriculum that ensured a rapid and sustained increase in mathematics achievement.

An early member of the National panel for Secondary Mathematics Mr Wilson has retained an ongoing passion for mathematics and education. More recently Mr Wilson has been Vice Principal, Director of Standards and Associate Principal during which time he completed his NPQH.

The Outstanding achievement at Sir Christopher Hatton during this time, along with his role as a PIXL Associate supporting other Secondary Schools and as the Challenge Partners Northampton Hub Manager, ensure that Mr Wilson has the experience and skills to support the Trust in rapidly raising standards in our secondary division.

Clare Raku – Head of School and SLE

Mrs Raku began teaching in 2008 as a Teach First teacher in a challenging school in inner city Nottingham. She quickly progressed into Leadership following her NQT year, taking on roles including Whole School Literacy Lead and Second in English.

In 2013, she joined Sir Christopher Hatton Academy as Head of English, and the following year she was designated as an SLE and was appointed Assistant Principal at SCHA. In 2015, she became Senior Assistant Principal with oversight for whole school Teaching & Learning, as well as retaining strategic leadership for English.

In 2016 Mrs Raku was appointed Vice Principal for Pastoral Standards and Student Support at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy. Through a combination of strategic overview, creative, practical solutions and careful monitoring, Mrs Raku ensured that behaviour and student support remained outstanding with fixed term exclusions being reduced by over 70% over two years.

Mrs Raku has a clear understanding of the importance of collaborative strategy, systems and procedure being at the heart of school improvement.

Mrs Raku has experienced 5 Ofsted inspections (3 in a Leadership role). She is currently accredited to facilitate the Olevi Outstanding Teacher Intervention programme (OTP) and has recently completed the Cambridge Effective Classroom Observation course and is a trained Designated Safeguarding Lead.

In 2018 Mrs Raku was appointed Head of School at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy.

Mr Nick Salisbury – Teaching & Learning Advisor / Science SLE

Mr Salisbury began teaching in Northamptonshire in 2002. His first role in management was as second in Science at a rural Hampshire school. In 2006 he became Head of Science at an inner city school in Southampton. Since progressing into management, he has done considerable outreach work with other schools.

From 2009 to 2013 he supported newly appointed heads of science in departments across the city of Southampton in conjunction with the LA Science Coordinator. During his time as Head of Science in Southampton, he became the lead teacher for OCR for the Southern region, supporting the exam board in delivering the gateway science exam syllabus.

In 2013 Mr Salisbury joined Sir Christopher Hatton Academy as Assistant Principal with responsibility for science. The following year he was appointed as Senior Assistant Principal with responsibility for standards and progress of students across the curriculum. Mr Salisbury is currently Vice Principal for Teaching & Learning supporting Middle Leader Training for the Hatton Teaching School Alliance.

Mr Salisbury has experienced 6 Ofsted inspections (3 in a leadership capacity)and has  recently facilitated the SSAT National Award for Middle Leaders (NAML) training.

Mr Alastair Mitchell – Closing the Gap / Curriculum Advisor / Maths SLE

Mr Mitchell is a Secondary school teacher with over 15 years’ experience, having taught in a variety of settings ranging from schools with Ofsted gradings of 3 to schools with Ofsted gradings of 1.

He has taught maths across all secondary key stages and was Head of Maths for 10 years.

 Mr Mitchell is a Vice Principal at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy and has helped the school gain its outstanding grading by delivering outstanding outcomes at KS4 and KS5.

He has also helped shape the curriculum offer to ensure that KS4 and KS5 students are placed on the most appropriate courses to suit their ability.  Mr Mitchell is an accredited SLT and is trained to deliver pupil premium reviews.

Mrs Keren Gunn – Senior Assistant Principal /Continuing Professional Development Advisor & PHSE SLE

Mrs Gunn has been teaching in Northamptonshire for over 20 years, beginning her career as an English Teacher and moving rapidly into leadership roles as Second in English and later as Head of Sixth Form and Head of English. She has been teaching at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy since 2003 and was promoted to the Leadership Team in 2015, with responsibilities including SMSC. A career-long interest in personal, departmental and whole school CPD, as well as mentoring, coaching and developing colleagues, has run in parallel with her other responsibilities.

Mrs Gunn joined the National PSHE Association’s Advisory Council in 2014 and has delivered workshops and training at several national PSHE events on the skills required of the non-specialist PSHE teacher and strategies for the delivery of the PSHE curriculum. 

Mrs Gunn is currently an Olevi Accredited facilitator for the Outstanding Teacher Programme and The Power of Coaching.

Mrs Gunn was formerly the Hatton Teaching School Alliance Leader appointed when the Academy gained Teaching School Designation and the former chair of the Northamptonshire School Direct Network and a member of the University of Leicester Partnership Management group for ITT.  Within that role Mrs Gunn worked in partnership with the other Teaching Schools in Northamptonshire to deliver a range of CPD programmes.


Dr Abby Bell – SLE Physics

Dr Bell has been teaching since 2004, and is the Lead Practitioner i/c Physics at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy. Dr Bell has extensive experience mentoring ITT and NQT colleagues and delivers some of the University of Leicester’s Physics subject specialism sessions for their PGCE students.

Dr Bell delivers two Physics subject specialism sessions per year, at the University of Leicester to their trainee teachers, as part of their PGCE or School Direct training and is also the School Based Physics Coach for the Institute of Physics Lead School programme.

Dr Bell supports up to 10 local schools by delivering Physics CPD sessions both at the partner schools and also full day sessions at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy.

Dr Bell is formerly an Ogden Teacher Fellow where she co-ordinated the Wellingborough Ogden Partnership to run Physics events for students and CPD for teachers.

The aim of the partnership is to increase the knowledge and understanding of all Physics teachers, increase the uptake of physics at A-level and to encourage more students go on to study physics at university with some receiving Ogden Scholarships.

Mrs Jennifer Coe – Assistant Principal /ICT & Business SLE

I have been teaching Business Studies and ICT for 13 years and have seen many changes to the curriculum throughout this time. I started my teaching journey by completing my PGCE at Worcester University, after which I relocated to the East Midlands. I accepted the role of Head of Enterprise Education at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in 2009.

In the 8 years I have worked at the academy, I have taken on new and challenging roles including Head of Faculty for Business Studies, ICT and Computer Science and I am now an Assistant Principal with responsibility for preparing our students for the world of work.  Mrs Coe has experienced 4 OFSTED inspections, 2 of which were in her current role.

Miss Coe has experience in running large events for whole year groups, she has also worked with outside agencies to deliver Enterprise initiatives and was part of the initial stages of the Enterprise Advisers Pilot which was launched in Northamptonshire 2014.

Miss Coe has undertaken the OTIP training (Outstanding Teacher Intervention Program) and has experience in delivering staff CPD to staff across the academies trust and has recently facilitated the SSAT National Award for Middle Leaders (NAML) training.