Our Team

Josephine valentinaDr Josephine Valentine OBE: CEO Danes Educational Trust

Dr Josephine Valentine was Headteacher of St Clement Danes School, Hertfordshire, from 1998 to December 2017 when she moved to become CEO of the Danes Educational Trust full time. In October 2011 the school received an ‘outstanding’ grading from Ofsted for every aspect of school provision and performance.  The school’s results are amongst the very best in Hertfordshire and the country. Since 2008, St Clement Danes has been a National Support School and Dr Valentine is a National Leader of Education. In 2013 St Clement Danes was designated a National Teaching School and as such it leads the Herts & Bucks Teaching School Alliance. Most recently, it was awarded "World Class School" status, a mark only bestowed on 43 other schools in the country. In December 2018, it was announced that Dr Valentine was to receive the OBE for Service to Education.

Indport p03Stephen Thompson MA (Cantab), PGCE: Headteacher

Having taught Chemistry in two other comprehensive schools, Stephen joined St Clement Danes as Head of Science in September 2000, becoming Assistant Headteacher in September 2002.  He has held responsibilities across many areas of the school, including Assessment and Monitoring, School Development and Strategic Planning, School Self-Evaluation, Curriculum, ICT Strategic Development Planning, Initial Teacher Training and the induction of Newly Qualified Teachers.  He worked extensively on the education plan for the original application and was appointed Deputy Headteacher in March 2015, taking on the project management of Croxley Danes School. In December 2016 he was appointed Headteacher of Croxley Danes School and took up this post in January 2017.

Orla Ridge, BSc: Deputy HeadteacherOrla Ridge

Orla started her career as a teacher of Physical Education in 2006 and has since held the roles of Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher at Mill Hill County High School. Her responsibilities to date have been broad and encompassed a number of whole school, pastoral and curriculum responsibilities. From June 2018, Orla took on the post of Deputy Headteacher at Croxley Danes School part time and commenced the full time role in September 2018. In this role, Orla has responsibility for the pastoral life of the school and is the Designated Senior Person for Child Protection and Looked After Children.


Katie Wilding: Assistant Headteacher Kate

Katie started her career as a teacher of Physical Education in 2007 and has since held the roles of Head of House and Assistant Head of Key Stage 3 at Queens School. Katie moved to Croxley Danes School in September 2019 as Careers Lead and also Head of Years 8 & 9, with responsibility for pastoral support and student well-being. In September 2020, Katie joined the Senior Leadership Team as an Assistant Headteacher with whole school responsibilities for Pupil Premium Provision, Careers, Enrichment and Engagement. Katie is also Head of Year 10 and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead.