Skip to content ↓

Leadership Team

Headteacher: Mr Richard Cronin 

Richard graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2003 and began his physical education teaching career in 2004 at the Priory School and Sports College, Barnsley. 

In 2010 he became Assistant Headteacher at Heritage High School responsible for behaviour and wellbeing. His leadership impact at Heritage was significant, including sustained improvements in whole school attendance and behaviour resulting in three consecutive Ofsted “good” judgements for behaviour and wellbeing in 2011, 2013 and 2015. In September 2015, Richard became Heritage High School’s Deputy Headteacher.

Richard completed a master's degree (MA) in teaching and learning in 2017, where he focused his research on emotional intelligence, the value of teamwork, classroom behaviour management and developing effective school cultures.

In June 2018, Richard joined Brookfield Community School as Deputy Headteacher and was asked by the Chair of Governors to become the school’s Acting Headteacher for the 2018/19 academic year following a disappointing Ofsted inspection prior to his appointment. Over the year, he re-established a culture of teamwork and respect, resulting in rapid school improvement. These improvements were recognised and acknowledged by the school community and subsequently by Ofsted, which removed Brookfield Community School from its category within nine working months. In Ofsted’s written report, the HMI inspector stated, ‘the deputy headteacher, as acting headteacher, has been influential in developing a positive ethos...providing stability and direction to the school.’  Richard is proud that, in the academic year of his departure, Brookfield Community School became the highest academically performing state secondary school in Derbyshire, topping the Derbyshire performance comparison table for progress ('Progress 8').

Richard joined Eckington School as Headteacher in April 2023. His inclusive educational philosophy is unwavering as he passionately believes that an outstanding education is one of the most powerful resources a child can receive to enable them to become a successful global citizen. 

In his personal life, Richard is a devoted husband to Sharon and father to Joshua. He enjoys playing a variety of sports, including badminton, cricket, golf and walking in the Peak District National Park.

Deputy Headteacher: Mr Chris Power

Chris Power, the Deputy Headteacher for Culture, brings a wealth of experience and a profound commitment to cultivating a positive school environment. With a dedicated career in education, that began in 2007, Chris is driven by the twin goals of student empowerment and safety.

Chris embarked on his career at Fir Vale School in Sheffield, starting as a geography teacher. His early interest in pastoral care led him to take on the role of Director of Key Stage 3, where he honed his expertise in safeguarding, nurturing culture, and student engagement.

Seeking fresh challenges and opportunities, Chris transitioned to Newfield School in Sheffield, assuming the role of Head of Upper School. Here, he not only oversaw Year 11 but also served as the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), exemplifying his unwavering commitment to student well-being and safety. During this time Chris completed a master’s degree in educational leadership and management at the University of Nottingham focussing on student engagement curriculums.

As Chris's career continued, he took on the position of Assistant Headteacher, shaping the educational culture within the school. His leadership extended beyond the school's confines when he assumed the role of Director of Safeguarding for the Mercia Learning Trust, where his deep understanding of safeguarding issues ensured the welfare of students across the trust.

In his role as Eckington’s Deputy Headteacher for Culture, Chris is dedicated to fostering a serene, secure, and supportive school environment where every student can flourish. His diverse experiences and strong leadership will guide his approach at Eckington School. Chris's steadfast dedication to nurturing a positive school culture aligns seamlessly with our mission,outstanding achievement for all, providing an outstanding educational experience that equips students not just for academic success but for a fulfilling life beyond the classroom.

Deputy Headteacher: Mr David Steed 

David came in to teaching following on from a career in the British Armed forces as a Royal Marine Commando, where he spent seven years in active service in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. David chose to leave the armed forces in 2004 to start a family, get married and follow his dream of becoming a PE teacher.

In 2004, David completed a degree in Sports Science and Outdoor Pursuits at the University of Wales and then went on to complete his teaching qualification at Leeds Carnegie. David started his teaching career in 2008 as a PE teacher at Heritage High School, Derbyshire and soon found a real passion for education and leading teaching developments. This passion developed in 2012 when David was appointed as a Lead Practitioner and, in 2014, he was promoted to Assistant Headteacher of Teaching and Learning. David chose to stay at Heritage High School for 14 years and in 2018 progressed to be the Assistant Headteacher of Behaviour and Culture. 

Following on from his time teaching in Derbyshire, he then became the Vice Principal of an outstanding alternative provision in Nottinghamshire city centre (Stone Soup Academy) before successfully becoming the Deputy Headteacher overseeing the Quality of Education at Eckington School in June 2023.

David is still a very keen sportsman and cyclist who regularly competes across the country in mountain biking and cyclocross along with his two sons, Alfie and Ben.

Assistant Headteacher: Mrs Amanda Gregory 

Prior to joining Eckington School, Amanda completed her degree in Applied Chemistry at Sheffield Hallam University and went on to work for Greater Manchester Scientific Services as a scientist. She completed her Chartership in Analytical Chemistry after three years and became a Senior Scientist and Expert Witness for Court. Amanda was then appointed as one of three Principal Scientists in charge of consumer product and food testing working closely with Greater Manchester Trading Standards.

After volunteering in a local secondary school, Amanda decided her vocation lay in education and decided to retrain as a science teacher. She completed her PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University and joined Eckington School in 2002 as a Science Teacher. Amanda has held several posts in school including Coordinator of Applied Science, Teaching and Learning Community Leader, Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Mentor, Director of Achievement (with a focus on underachieving and disadvantaged students), Director of Learning with responsibility for standards and behaviour in key stage 4, Associate Assistant Headteacher (strategically employed to improve pupil premium progress and attendance), before becoming an Assistant Headteacher and strategic lead for inclusion. 

Amanda achieved a National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership during her role as Director of Learning and she has had an active role within the Senior Leadership Team since 2017.

Amanda is a passionate believer in a high quality and rounded education for all the students within Eckington School, allowing them to achieve their full potential regardless of disadvantage or ability.

In her personal life Amanda is married to a Shepherd and spends a considerable amount of her spare time sourcing tractor parts and attending various agricultural events. She is lucky enough to have two wonderful children of whom she is extremely proud. 

Assistant Headteacher: Mr Christian Horsfield 

Christian spent four years studying at the University of East Anglia, graduating in 1995 and then continuing to study a master’s degree in English History. After a brief sojourn working in advertising at the Sheffield Star, Christian decided to pursue a career in teaching, taking up his first post as a history teacher in 1998 at the Pingle School in Swadlincote.

During his time at the Pingle School, Christian gained experience as an Assistant Head of Year, before moving on to Aston Comprehensive School (today known as Aston Academy), where he became Head of History. During that time, he was selected for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trusts’ Developing Leaders of Tomorrow programme. In 2005, Christian was appointed as Assistant Headteacher at Eckington School.

During his time at Eckington School, Christian has experienced many roles that have given him significant leadership experience. As well as gaining further post-graduate qualifications in Innovation in Education, Leadership and Management in Schools, and the National Professional Qualification for Headship, Christian has led areas of school life that continue to be recognised as a strength of the school today and are being built upon by colleagues on the leadership team. For instance, Christian led the school’s first successful award of the Quality in Careers Standard kitemark.  Christian’s current areas of responsibility are assessment and examinations, and reporting to parents. He also organises the key stage 4 options process, and the favourite part of his job is creating and maintaining the school timetable. Christian is a big fan of a spreadsheet!

In his personal life, Christian has two children: both of whom thrived at Eckington School from Year 7 to Year 13.  He enjoys karate, a pastime he has trained for over many years, and is a keen runner.  You may recognise Christian as the member of Eckington School staff you often see running around the local streets in any weather!

Assistant Headteacher: Mrs Laura Moor 

Laura graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in September 2002 and embarked on her Business Education teaching career at Eckington School as a Business/IT teacher. After a successful first year in teaching Laura moved on to become an Assistant Head of Year for Year 7, working with that year group for 3 years as a pastoral leader. Laura further established her pastoral leadership as a Head of Year at Eckington for 10 years, successfully leading numerous cohorts through their journey in education and personal development and building positive relationships with many local families. 

In 2016, Laura began a new leadership journey as Head of Business, developing and leading a thriving and popular department to achieve some of the best GCSE and A-level results at the school. In addition, Laura utilised her whole school leadership skills by becoming Attendance Manager and Deputy Safeguarding Lead. In 2018, Laura became the school’s PSHE Coordinator and Careers Leader, helping to shape the personal development and PSHE curriculum across the school and Sixth Form. 

Laura has been particularly successful in leading whole school Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG), which resulted in the school achieving the ‘Gold’ Quality in Careers Standard (a nationally recognised award for excellence in CEIAG) annually since 2018.  Laura also achieved her Level 6 Careers Leadership qualification at this time. Laura and her careers team have successfully introduced an employer mentoring system and highly effective careers learning opportunities across the school to complement the post-16 student curriculum. 

Laura’s leadership and commitment to the school community and to the personal development of its students extends well beyond the classroom. Leading numerous teams to success in the Young Enterprise Company of the Year competition, becoming an enthusiastic Head of House, Student Leadership Coordinator and House System Coordinator, Laura is passionate about providing opportunities for students to develop and shine wherever their talents lie.  Laura endeavours to support students to raise their aspirations and be the best they can be. 

Following a successful secondment to senior leadership in 2021, Laura embarked on a role as Associate Senior Leader in 2022 leading on Culture.  In September 2023, she embarked on her latest role as Assistant Headteacher with leadership responsibility for Safeguarding and Personal Development, where Laura continues her learning journey in areas of children’s mental health and safeguarding.

Laura is a devoted wife and mother. She enjoys family time, dog walks in the Peak District and attending classes at her local gym. 

Assistant Headteacher: Mr Ben Shore 

Ben has over 10 years’ experience working in various educational settings and has always had a passion for helping others achieve their full potential. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at Worcester University and then his Master’s degree at Sheffield Hallam University in 2012, he worked as a lecturer at the university in the fields of biomechanics, physiology and physical activity for health. After a couple of years, he undertook his PGCE at Sheffield Hallam knowing he could have a greater impact teaching at secondary school by helping a larger number of students. He draws from experiences working in scientific settings including working as a physiologist at Sheffield Hallam and within the diabetes laboratory at the University of Alberta, Canada.

He trained as a science teacher and taught biology and physics at Firth Park Academy in Sheffield from September 2015. His first year was filmed for a CBBC TV show called ‘Our School’ which helped to develop his teaching greatly, knowing the world was watching. After 2 years, he became Deputy Head of Science, due to the academic success of his science classes, before being seconded to the Senior Leadership Team in 2020. His whole school focus was improving progress for pupil premium students and closing the disadvantage gap. Alongside these roles he worked as an Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT)/Early Career Tteacher (ECT) mentor and has been Head of House. 

Ben joined Eckington School in May 2022 for career progression as an Associate Assistant Principal, focusing on underachieving boys and becoming the strategic lead for pupil premium. In September 2023, he became Assistant Headteacher, leading on whole school interventions and extracurricular activities. He firmly believes that all students can achieve both inside and outside the classroom, if given the opportunity.

In his spare time, Ben plays rugby for Sheffield Rugby Club, enjoys the gym and occasionally has a go at karaoke. 

Associate Assistant Headteacher: Mrs Katherine Needham 

Katherine graduated from Bretton Hall, University of Leeds with a BA Honours degree in Drama and Arts Education in 2000.  She then completed her Drama PGCE at Middlesex University.  In 2001, she began her first secondary drama teaching role at a school in London.  Relocating to Derbyshire in 2003, she joined Eckington School as Head of Drama and in 2009 became Leader of Teaching and Learning in Expressive Arts. In both these roles she developed an ambitious curriculum including a range of enrichment programmes and improved teaching and learning.

Since 2012, Katherine has been a member of the Senior Leadership Team, developing pupil premium and student leadership programmes. She became an advocate of student leadership and developed a very successful, school wide programme where students were empowered to develop their softer skills whilst helping to improve the school. Katherine also worked closely with other senior leaders on school improvement and supported teaching and learning across the school. 

In 2020, Katherine became responsible for Sixth Form.  She firmly believes that our older students are important role models for our younger students and leads the Sixth Form team to ensure that all our students are challenged in their work and leave with clear goals, excellent achievement and a wealth of experiences that will ensure their success once they leave school in their next steps and beyond. 

In her personal life, Katherine enjoys spending time with her family and friends, visiting the theatre and walking her dog.

Business Support Services Manager: Mrs Kelly Pardoe

After working for more than 20 years in financial services in both advisory and operations management positions, Kelly made the move into education by joining Chorus Trust in November 2020 as the Business Support Services Manager at Silverdale School.

Kelly’s experience in managing and overseeing finance, HR, health & safety and premises put her in a great position to use her transferable skills in this role. Whilst at Silverdale School, Kelly was involved in the management, at school level, of the new school expansion, which has now successfully opened to enable the school to welcome more students.

When Eckington School joined Chorus in April 2023, Kelly moved across to Eckington to join the new Senior Leadership Team. Being local to the area, Kelly is passionate about being part of the new team to support school improvements going forward.

Outside work, Kelly spends most of her time with her husband and son (and 2 dogs), mainly spent supporting their son’s sporting ambitions.