Senior Leadership Team

Meet the Team

Mr Craig Hewitt, Headteacher

Craig became Headteacher at Stratford School Academy in September 2020. He has been teaching in schools in North London for over 20 years, with over 15 years of experience in senior leadership. Craig studied Sociology at Nottingham University, has a Master’s Degree in Education and the National Professional Qualification
for Headship.

He is particularly interested in the latest research evidence about what makes schools effective, teaching and the curriculum. Married with 2 children, Craig enjoys spending time with his family but also tries to find some time to kick around a football, keep fit and read.


  • The overall performance of SSA

Mr Mark Rogers, First Deputy Headteacher

Mark has been the Deputy Headteacher at Stratford School Academy since 2010 and a teacher in north and east London for the past 17 years. Before a career in teaching, he worked in project management. He is particularly adept at designing and implementing teaching strategies that have the biggest impact on the progress pupils make in school.

Mark has a degree in Product Design and the National Professional Qualification for Headship. He is a member of the Design & Technology Association and the National Science Learning hub and has a deep interest in contemporary Art and Design. Mark is married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren he enjoys travel and is a keen gardener, his secret passion is growing chillies.


  • Oversight of Curriculum and Timetable
  • Academy financial management
  • Staffing and recruitment
  • Performance Management

Mr Ashley Dixon, Deputy Headteacher – Grosvenor Road

Ashley joined Stratford School Academy in May 2017. He has been a teacher in London since 2003 and he has been a senior leader since 2009. Before teaching Ashley worked in the City of London. Ashley has a degree in Social Science and he is graduate of the Future Leaders Programme. He enjoys helping teachers to become excellent classroom practitioners which ultimately improves pupil’s progress and achievement. Ashley is married with 2 children; he enjoys playing tennis and he is a long suffering supporter of Middlesbrough Football Club.


  • Manage day to day operation of Grosvenor Road site.
  • Ensure that the school’s behaviour and pastoral systems are highly effective.
  • SEND 
  • Attendance

Mr Mark Pratt, Deputy Headteacher – Upton Lane

Mark has taught at Stratford School Academy for 20 years, starting out as a Newly Qualified Teacher in PE, then moving into the role of Head of PE and has worked as an Assistant Headteacher and more recently as a Deputy Headteacher. Mark enjoys spending time with his two sons playing any type of sport including football, tennis and golf. You can normally see Mark playing football every Saturday using his silky skills for the Old Parmiterians Vets football team. One of his proudest moments as a teacher was when a pupil he taught for nearly 5 years went on to become a PE teacher.


  • Manage day to day operation of the Upton Lane site.
  • Ensure that the school’s teaching systems are highly effective.

Ms Naila Salim, Assistant Headteacher and Safeguarding Lead

Naila gained a BA in Religion and Philosophy at Brunel University and after several years in the private sector she trained to be a teacher of RE at the Institute of Education. Naila started as a Newly Qualified Teacher at Stratford School Academy in 2003. In 2008 she became a pastoral leader and since 2011 has been an Assistant Headteacher. Naila is passionate about working with young people, helping them overcome barriers and be the best they can.


  • Safeguarding
  • Attendance
  • Looked After Children

Ms Charlotte Robinson, Assistant Headteacher

Following the completion of her Geography degree, Charlotte trained as a teacher in London, through the Teach First programme. Prior to joining Stratford School Academy, she taught in a central London school for 7 years, during which time she completed a Master’s degree in Leadership. Charlotte is passionate about ensuring all students experience the highest standard of education, and joined Stratford School Academy in 2018 with a responsibility for staff development across the school.


  • Evaluation of teaching and learning
  • Design and implement the school’s professional development programme
  • Support the development of trainee teachers, ECTs and new teachers to the school
  • Design and implement the schools coaching programme

Mr Sam Ahmed, Assistant Headteacher

Sam joined the Stratford School Academy community in 2023. Prior to coming eastward, he dedicated nine years to teaching in South London and is a proud Teach First Ambassador. He studied Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge and has a Masters in Leadership from the Institute of Education. Sam is among the mere 1 in 2,000 students who was on Free School Meals who successfully gained admission to Oxbridge in his intake year, fuelling his deep passion for eradicating educational disparities and ensuring all students reach their full potential.  

He is an often frustrated Manchester United fan and he enjoys reading and writing about Ancient Stoic Philosophy.


  • Head of Key Stage 3 Progress
  • School Admissions
  • School Behaviour Systems and Rewards
  • KS3 Student Transition Phases (Year 6-7, Year 9-10)

Mr Josh Jarvis, Assistant Headteacher

Josh read Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, before completing his PGCSE at Canterbury Christchurch University through the Schools Direct Programme. Josh has over 10 years of experience in Education, teaching in India before spending several years teaching at a school in Essex.  Josh joined Stratford School Academy in 2018 and is currently completing the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership. Josh is passionate about all students having the highest level of educational experience possible to enable them to achieve excellent outcomes.  

Josh’s interests include education, music and cycling. In his spare time, he enjoys attending concerts, socialising with friends and family, and following his beloved Tottenham Hotspur.  


  • Head of KS4 Progress
  • Interventions
  • Exams

Ms Lara Cuddihee, Assistant Headteacher

Lara gained a BA in Geography and Economics at Sheffield University. Lara’s original career plan was to be a lawyer, but after volunteering in schools in the local area, Lara changed her mind and decided to become a teacher instead! Lara completed her PGDE in Geography education at Sheffield. Lara has worked in schools across Sheffield, Luton and West London before coming to Stratford in 2019. Prior to her role in SLT, Lara was Head of Geography, and mentoring newly qualified teachers. Lara is a big believer in ongoing professional development and is currently completing her NPQSL, after successfully gaining her NPQLTD in October 2022. In her spare time, Lara likes climbing volcanoes, staying active and eating lots of cheese and chocolate. 


  • In charge of whole School Literacy, Reading tests and interventions.
  • Parental engagement & Parents evenings
  • Support and monitor student voice, comms and marketing

Ms Nadirah Khan, Assistant Headteacher

Nadirah is an alumni of Stratford School Academy, having previously studied and lives in the area. She joined Stratford School Academy in 2017 as a Head of House. Nadirah studied Law at Queen Mary University, gained her QTS from the Institute of Education and  completed her  Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from UCL. She had previously worked in Barking and Dagenham as a Head of Year.  Nadirah’ s passion includes education, wellbeing and working with young people. She wants to ensure that students develop and progress to their full potential, and go on to lead fulfilling and purposeful lives.

In her spare time Nadirah spends time with family, friends and thoroughly enjoys West End shows.

Mr Dan Bracken, Associate Assistant Headteacher

Dan joined the Stratford School Academy community in 2017. Dan is a Newham native having grown up in Plaistow and attended St. Bonaventures, such are his ties to the area that his grandmother attended this school under its former title of Stratford Grammar School. Dan attended the University of Greenwich where he studies Fitness Science and upon completion he attended the University of East London to complete his teacher training.  

In his spare time Dan is a keen sportsman who has played both youth and veteran International rugby.


Mr Michael Leach, Associate Assistant Headteacher

Michael joined Stratford School Academy in 2015 as a Head of Department.  Michael is from London and studied History at the London School of Economics.  He worked in Public Relations before entering teaching in 2007, and he has worked across East London schools.   Michael believes that every student should have the experiences and knowledge to achieve all of their ambitions, and that as a teacher, it is his job to give students the greatest possible access to these opportunities.  Outside of work, Michael spends time with his friends, family, and dog.  He especially enjoys long walks and exploring places where he has never been before.