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Strive4 Academy Trust

Striving for excellence...





Alex Macneill - Chair of the Trust

Alex is responsible for the financial accounting and controls at the East West Railway Company, which is a rapidly growing public sector company that is designing and building a new railway.  Prior to his current role, he worked for the Department for Transport and the National Audit Office (NAO).  This background helps the Trust to ensure taxpayers' funding of the schools is spent effectively, efficiently, economically and ethically. At the NAO he was responsible for the audit of the Department for Education’s Academies Sector Annual Report & Account, so he has excellent knowledge of the operating environment that academies and public services work in. He has served as a school governor in LB Redbridge since 2007, and has helped to guide three schools from unsatisfactory to either Outstanding or Good (with many aspect of outstanding). His full CV can be found on LinkedIn.


Paul Canal

Term of office: 1-9-17 to 1-9-21

Paul was the Managing Director of a Recruitment and Exhibition Company and has extensive experience both as a Charity Trustee and Chair of Governors in a London Primary School. A former Director of Regeneration body Stratford City Challenge, and Adult “Back to Work” training company Newham Wise, his commercial experience encompasses insurance, sales and marketing, “Search and Selection”, logistics and Social Media. Paul is also a London borough councillor.


Chris Curtis

Term of office: 1-9-19 to 31-8-23

Chris retired as Headteacher in December 2017 with over thirty years experience of working in good and outstanding schools. She also worked as a mentor and Local Leader of Education supporting schools in experiencing difficult times. She was an active member of the Diocese of Brentwood as well as the Redbridge Education Partnership working with Headteachers on various projects in schools.




Steven Hogan

After many years impacting on the lives of the young people around the Woodford area, Steven Hogan is the headteacher at Woodbridge High School within the London Borough of Redbridge.  Steven is an experienced leader of school strategy and direction, manager of systems and finances, student welfare and conduct and is fully committed to catering for all students' needs and ambitions, whatever their background.  He believes that being part of  schools with a child-centred approach is the very best way to increase life chances for young people and to help them learn about the world around them. He believes children and young people should have every opportunity to achieve the very best that they can. 




Amanda Jennings

With a proven track record of educational innovation, development and improvement, Amanda has an extensive range of leadership and strategic experience across the primary and middle school sector.  Prior to her role as CEO in Strive4 Academy, Amanda had successfully led several schools from requiring improvement to good and outstanding with Ofsted reports reflecting the ambitious culture of aspiration within each organisation.  Amanda has particular expertise in teaching and learning, safeguarding and developing leaders; she has led to school improvement work both locally and nationally.  Amanda has over 30 years’ experience in Education, with over 15 years experience of being a headteacher and she has held many positions of responsibility and leadership within schools.  Amanda holds both the national professional qualification for executive leaders and the national professional qualification for headship. 


Megan Searson

Being a lawyer, Megan has a number of skills including exercising sound judgment, living up to professional ethical standards of objectivity, honesty and integrity and upholding the rule of law. In her day to day work, she develops contracts for clients which address particular risks and issues identified. Having been a qualified lawyer for over three years now she enjoys a certain level of responsibility – supervising juniors, managing transactions and relying on my her judgment to make decisions. She understands the importance of reasoned debate and is not afraid to voice my opinion and to challenge others. 
Having studied at Cambridge University and having enjoyed a successful academic career, Megan’s main driver for becoming a governor is to develop keen intellect, hard work ethics, dedication and also enjoyment of and interest in education. 


Momtaz Begum

Momtaz is the Head of Law for London Boroughs of Newham and Havering.  She is a solicitor specialising in Contracts, Procurement, Construction, Pensions, Academy Transfers and Company Law.  Momtaz sits across a variety of shareholder and project boards including mixed use developments, in/out-sourcing, complex transitions and multi site education expansion schemes.  Momtaz has a keen interest in corporate governance and has experience of local democracy including supporting various decisions making bodies in local government.


Justine Lesforis

A finance professional having worked in the Education, Charity and private sector most of her career. Justine also has an interest in HR & People development. Justine is a Mentor, life coach, Charity Trustee & Diversity champion.

Justine has won an award for her contribution in STEM and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in a range of areas but one of her main passions is having an input in enriching all children's school/ learning experience.




Strive4 Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee in England and Wales registered number: 10863245.
Registered Address: Strive4 Academy Trust, Ray Lodge Primary School, Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green, IG8 7JQ