Helen Ashton-Braithwaite joined the Elizabethan Academy in 2012, as Curriculum Leader for Design Technology and Foundation Learning Education.

In 2017 Helen became Director for SEND and Inclusive Strategy. She is the SENCO for the school, responsible for Catch Up Premium and the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children. In addition to this, Helen acts as a Specialist Leader of Education with the Minster Teaching Alliance.


Alison Clark joined the Elizabethan in September 2007, as a Head of Year, having previously worked in the same position at Tolworth Girls School in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames for 18 years. 

Her area of teaching is Physical Education, but she has also taught History, Geography and PSHME.  Now, as Vice Principal, she is the Designated Safeguarding Lead, responsible for Pastoral care and guidance including the attendance, behaviour and the welfare of all students, and aspects of achievement.   Her philosophy is to encourage all students to achieve great things by challenging themselves and developing their leadership skills and qualities by making the most of every opportunity presented to them.  She is always amazed by the generosity of spirit amongst our students and proud of all they achieve.


Lee Dainty joined the Elizabethan Academy as Assistant Principal in January 2012 having previously been a Head of Maths and Advanced Skills teacher for the Wakefield Authority.

His responsibilities have been wide and ranging throughout his time at The Elizabethan including transition work with the primary feeder schools to whole school ICT.  His two main responsibilities now include the achievement and progress of all students across the Academy as well as being the Director of Sixth Form.

Having two children he regularly finds his weekends filled with attendance at football, cricket or netball events.


Mary Duffy is a non-teaching member of the Senior Leadership Team having joined the Elizabethan Academy in August 2015 as Chief Finance & Operations Officer.  She has many years’ experience in Public Sector finance and was previously employed as a Finance Director at an Academy in Lincolnshire.  

She has overall responsibility for the financial and operations management, overseeing Finance, Health & Safety, Admissions, Trips & Risk Management.  She is also the Company Secretary for the academy.

Outside of school, Mary’s interests are hill walking, travelling, reading and interior design.


Christine Horrocks joined the Elizabethan Academy as Principal in 2015, having previously been a Principal at a school in Lincolnshire. She was not looking for another headship but had been a deputy at The Elizabethan and couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work in a school close to her heart.

Her background is in teaching Economics and Business Studies. She is passionate about educating the whole child and ensuring students have as many opportunities as possible and develop a lifelong love of learning. She likes to challenge herself and will have a go at any sport or activity, she loved coasteering and is currently into cycling, although this has taken a toll on her knees! Other hobbies include travelling, playing the piano and reading a good book, preferably a thriller.


Kelly Ward grew up in Brigg in Lincolnshire and went a local school before moving on to study A-Levels at a sixth form college.  Kelly was the first in her family to attend university.  She attended Loughborough University to study Industrial Design and Technology with Education, before commencing her teaching career in Stoke on Trent, before  relocating to Berkshire.  Prior to joining The Elizabethan, she undertook roles as both a Head of Department and a Head of Year. 

Kelly joined The Elizabethan Academy in September 2009 as Faculty Leader for the Design & Technology Department, and was promoted to Assistant Principal in 2014.  Kelly currently has overall responsibility for Curriculum and Transition.

Outside of school, Kelly's interests are varied, including yoga, skiing (both on water and snow), snowboarding, mountain climbing and reading.


Raised and educated in the town, Sarah Withall is a true Retfordian, having attended Thrumpton Primary and then King Edward VI School. She joined The Elizabethan Academy at Easter 2010 as a Senior Lead Practitioner after working as an Advanced Skills English Teacher in Rotherham for many years and prior to that, at a school in Worksop. 

Sarah's role includes all aspects of daily classroom practice and she is passionate about students receiving quality first teaching. Her responsibilities also include overseeing SEND provision, supporting more able students and promoting literacy across the Academy. Outside of school Sarah relaxes through yoga, skiing, reading and walking her boxer dog.