Central Staff Team

The St Benet's MAT Central Staff Team:

Richard Cranmer
Chief Executive Officer

Richard has 20 years’ experience of working at Senior Leadership level, most recently 12 years as a high school Headteacher, during which time he transformed the school into one which combined academic success with a very strong sense of being distinctively Christian in its ethos. Prior to Headship, Richard led a Training School where he played a key role in the recruitment and training of new teachers across Norfolk and Suffolk. In addition to his school leadership he has been actively engaged with local, regional and national developments in education through his involvement as Chair of the National Anglican Association of Secondary School Headteachers, on the Steering Group for the NPQH qualification provided by the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership and as an Associate with Viscount Nelson Education Network (VNET).

Email:  richard.cranmer@stbenets.org

Sam Nixon
Director of School Improvement

Sam joined St Benet’s as Director of School Improvement in April 2020 to support improvement across our schools.  Sam has previously been a Headteacher of a small rural school and Executive Headteacher of a small group of schools.  Most recently, Sam was Headteacher at Ashleigh Primary School & Nursery, leading it through substantial growth and to an Outstanding Ofsted.  He has also worked with a range of schools through LLE, VNET Change Leaders and NLE support initiatives.

Email:  sam.nixon@stbenets.org


John Lucas-Best
Professional Lead for New Schools

John took up his post in June 2020 and works with schools in both St Benet’s and DNEAT Multi Academy Trusts.  Prior to this, John was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors with Ofsted in the East of England for five and a half years.  John has inspection experience in primary and secondary settings, in independent schools and in Initial Teacher Training.  John was also a member of Ofsted’s national training team. Before joining Ofsted, John’s background was in school leadership, having served as a Headteacher in two schools. He also has experience working within a local authority school improvement team.

Email:  john.lucas-best@stbenets.org

Suzannah Kay
Personal Assistant

Suzannah’s career as a Personal Assistant includes working for senior leaders in the public and private sectors, both in London and Norfolk.  She spent 10 years at Lotus Cars, working for the Manufacturing Director during production of the iconic Lotus Esprit and Elise sports cars.  Whilst in London, Suzannah worked for the CFO of Visa Europe and for the Managing Director of Fortnum & Mason department store before returning to Norfolk as Office Manager for the Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary.  Most recently, she worked as Executive Assistant to the Group CEO of the TEN Group, an education group encompassing primary, secondary and Further Education.  Suzannah joined St Benet’s MAT in 2019.

Email:  suzannah.kay@stbenets.org