Stour Academy

Who we are

The Stour Academy Trust currently consists of seven Primary Academies that work collaboratively to improve outcomes for all children. Please visit the individual Academy websites here to find out more about Academy staff.

Simon O'Keefe - Chief Executive Officer

Simon O’Keefe is the CEO of The Stour Academy Trust, established in 2012 with schools based around the Canterbury area and more recently in Sittingbourne, Ashford and the Isle of Sheppey. The primary only Trust has grown steadily since being established and is one of the first MATs to have both faith and non-faith schools. Appointed as a substantive Headteacher in 2002 and Executive Headteacher in 2009, Simon has many years of experience in leadership. In 2003 his school was top of Kent’s performance league table, in 2006 recognised as the second most successful school in the UK, with this achievement repeated in 2009 in another school. In 2012, following the establishment of the Trust, the sponsor school was amongst the top 100 schools nationally for sustained improvement and judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2015. His leadership has been described by Ofsted as “inspirational”, “passionate”, “very effective” and as having a “strong sense of ambition” Simon has recently been appointed as a National Leader of Education and his Trust identified as one of the top performing Trusts in the country.

Rachael Howell - Deputy CEO|Director of Education

Rachael Howell is the Deputy CEO and Director of Education for The Stour Academy Trust.  Appointed as a class teacher in 2005, Rachael Howell has a long and diverse history with the Trust, having undertaken most roles within its structures.  As a teacher in the sponsor school, Rachael led RE, English and Safeguarding whilst developing teaching strategies and approaches to improve the quality of education offered across the school.  Her role as lead for data and assessment emerged when the sponsor school federated with Hersden which led to her appointment of assistant Headteacher of the Sponsor school.  In 2012, Rachael moved into headship and was part of the successful team to secure an outstanding judgement for the school and SIAMs in 2015. She began her current role in September 2015 and is currently undertaking the Executive Educators training for future CEOs.

Central Team

PA to the CEO

Mrs S Harris

Director of HR

Mrs V Tottman

Director of Finance

Mr T Cullen