Meet the Senior Leadership Team

Matt Hillier,

I am extremely proud to be the Headteacher of Dorothy Stringer school. I have been in post here for three years and prior to joining the Stringer family I was Headteacher of another East Sussex school. I have worked on senior leadership teams for over sixteen years, and I am fortunate to be supported by a great team who have huge amounts of experience and embody our values here at Stringer.

My educational background is as a Geographer; however, I have been fortunate to teach a raft of subjects over the years, including ICT, French and Music. As well as teaching, my other passion is sport and I have recently taken up golf, in the hope of sustaining fewer injuries than I do when playing cricket!

Richard Baker,
Senior Deputy Headteacher

I have been at Dorothy Stringer since 1998 and have held many roles in the school along the way. I enjoy sport and exercise and being outside. I have a long-standing relationship with Dolawen, the school’s outdoor centre, and love taking students here each year.

Andrea Cumming,
Deputy Headteacher

My responsibilities include all aspects of the curriculum, including options and timetabling, monitoring and reporting on student progress, and overseeing exams. I line manage Maths and Modern Foreign Languages. I’m also a Maths teacher and lead our Advanced Maths option at KS4.

Teaching is my second career. I moved to Dorothy Stringer to train as a teacher slightly over twenty years ago, having had a previous career in IT Security, managing a team of security experts. This required me to travel around the world at the drop of a hat to test systems and speak at conferences. I came to Stringer to ‘just teach’, which didn’t last long! I joined the Senior Leadership team in 2010.

Tom Backshall,
Assistant Headteacher

I joined Stringer in September 2021 and have responsibility for Teaching and Learning across the school as well as staff Professional Development. My degree is in History and Sociology. Over the last 20 years I have worked in schools in East and West Sussex, and prior to joining Dorothy Stringer, I was Head of Sixth Form in an 11-18 school.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my two young children and family. I also like running, listening to classical music and reading massive history books!

Sara Bailey,
Business Manager

I joined Dorothy Stringer as Business Manager in January 2023. Prior to this I held various management and leadership positions within the international education sector. I have always held the school in high regard as both of my children came to Dorothy Stringer and I am absolutely delighted to now be part of the team here. As well as having overall responsibility for all financial matters at Dorothy Stringer, I also oversee health and safety, as well as the facilities, cleaning and catering functions within the school.

When not working I love keeping fit – especially strength training and long walks on the Downs – and travelling.

Paul Watson,
Assistant Headteacher

Following a career in Pharmacy in the NHS, and then training and practicing as a primary school teacher in West Sussex, I joined Dorothy Stringer in 2001 as a PE teacher. I subsequently became the PE and School Sport Professional Development lead teacher for Brighton and Hove. In 2013, I changed professional focus to help lead and develop the special needs and disability support for our school community. My hope is to enable all our students to reach their potential and receive the support, care and guidance necessary to help them successfully through their secondary school career. 

Outside of school I enjoy cooking, walking, cycling and travelling the world around us, both near and far. 

Nick Imrie,
Assistant Headteacher

I line manage the History, Music and RS/PSHE departments across the school, and have responsibility for Behaviour and Rewards. I have been at Dorothy Stringer since 2006, when I joined the school as a History teacher. I became Head of History in 2011. I also led the Brighton and Hove History teachers’ network, worked on the council’s ‘Poverty Proofing the School Day’ Programme and qualified as a Specialist Leader in Education for History. In 2021, I joined the Senior Leadership Team.

Outside of school, I love going to see live music, watching movies and cycling. I am also trying to understand cricket so I can enjoy watching my son when he plays!  

Loretta Lloyd,
Assistant Headteacher

I joined Dorothy Stringer school as a trainee Geography teacher in 2005. I was appointed Head of Geography in 2009 and was promoted to the Senior Leadership Team in 2016. Dorothy Stringer School feels like home.

Teaching is a second career for me. Among other things, I have worked on female empowerment projects in India and ecological projects in Nepal; run a sustainable tourism company in Morocco and discovered a new subspecies of woodmouse in the Inner Hebrides. I have managed an estate agency and driven fork-lift trucks. As such, I am very qualified for and very much enjoy my role as Careers Leader at Dorothy Stringer School. I also coordinate the school’s ‘levelling-up’ programme, facilitating equal access for all students to the full range of opportunities we provide. 

I enjoy camping holidays in remote locations, regularly visit the Sahara Desert and enjoy going on walks in our local environment. I am a keen amateur artist and was thrilled to be shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.

Giles Ward,
Head of Lower School

I joined Dorothy Stringer in September 1999 as a Science teacher, having previously taught in London and Turkey. I currently teach PSHE, which complements my role as Designated Safeguarding Lead and Head of Lower School. My other responsibilities include managing the Year 6 Transition process. 

I used to play cricket and football competitively and I am a passionate York City and Brighton and Hove football supporter. I have four children and I like to go paddle boarding and camping with them. 

Cassie Dale,
Head of Upper School

I joined Dorothy Stringer in April 2023 and am the newest member of the Senior Leadership Team.  Despite this I have over 10 years experience as an Assistant  Headteacher with a focus on Inclusion and Wellbeing.  I am also a qualified SENDCo. My area of responsibility is the Upper School and I work closely with the Heads of Years 10 and 11.  English is my teaching subject and I particularly enjoy looking at new texts and working with children who may find English challenging. I have four children who keep me busy outside of school. The beach or on the South Downs wearing out the children and dog are where you’ll find me at weekends – usually at least one of us is covered in mud!