New Headteacher Appointed at St Mary's Junior Academy

January 9, 2024

St Mary’s Church of England Junior Academy in Long Stratton has promoted Miss Laura Richardson to Headteacher.

Miss Richardson has worked for schools within St Benet’s MAT for some time and had been seconded to St Mary’s since 2022.  Since then she has worked hard to build links with the local community, unite the school staff and promote a culture where everyone strives towards excellence.

Miss Richardson qualified from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA in Early Childhood Studies and began her career in Oldham working in challenging schools with high levels of deprivation.  Over 17 years, she has taught Early Years Foundation Stages, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, equipping her with a wealth of experience.

During her career she has qualified as a Primary Mastery Specialist, a Forest School Leader, passed her School Development Leader qualification with the NCETM, worked for the Angles Maths Hub as a maths advisor, become Trust Improvement Lead for Maths and more recently completed her NPQH (National Professional Qualification in Headship). She is now training to become a WalkThrus coach to ensure she can effectively support teaching and learning across the school.

When asked about her promotion Miss Richardson commented: “I am delighted to have this opportunity from St Benet’s MAT to continue to develop the foundations that we have put in place over the last 15 months. With the support of colleagues in the Trust and the school team, I have confidence that every child at St Mary’s will have access to high quality teaching and learning, opportunities to participate in aspirational experiences through a broad and balanced curriculum and develop to be good global citizens.  I look forward to working at St Mary’s as we embark on our journey to good and beyond. I have a hardworking and committed team who are passionate about ensuring every child has the opportunity to ‘Soar on wings like eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet’s MAT, said: “One of the many joys of my job is to see colleagues like Miss Richardson journey from being a middle leader, to senior leader and then on to Headteacher. She has a hunger and tenacity to be the very best she can be and her sole objective in her work is to ensure that no child in her school gets left behind and everyone is able to flourish. In the current educational climate, there is no better example of ‘growing your own leaders’ and I look forward to seeing St Mary’s thrive under her leadership.

St Mary’s has 178 pupils and employs 25 staff.  It was a stand-alone Academy for ten years before joining St Benet’s MAT in 2021.