At Ark Helenswood Academy we pride ourselves in the quality of our staff. They are, after all, the backbone of the academy and the level of education we provide. As well as the teaching staff the academy also boasts a full quota of support staff.

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Yvonne Powell, OBE


Yvonne Powell has been the Principal at Ark Walworth Academy since 2012 and, before that, headed Little Ilford School in Newham.  Yvonne was recognised for services to education in The Queen's Birthday Honours in 2012.  She supports the leadership at Ark Helenswood and Ark William Parker and is passionate about improving the opportunities for children in Hastings.


Nigel Youngman







Chris Connor


Teaching is an addictive vocation. Seeing that moment when a student grasps a concept or adjusts a behaviour is the reason why I do this job. My role this year involves ensuring students are performing towards their target grade and that they achieve the best results possible as well as designing the curriculum and writing the timetable. I enjoy working with teachers to ensure they are delivering high quality, bespoke lessons to ensure they inspire students to achieve and excel beyond their believed capabilities. 

Being a Maths teacher I enjoy analysing the data on students’ performance and ensuring they know what they need to do to succeed, and through hard work I know this success can become a reality. My main responsibilities this year are:

  • Target setting
  • Reporting to parents
  • Using student data to inform planning
  • Ensure assessments are carried out
  • Ensure assessments are moderated
  • Line manage the Science faculty
  • Designing the curriculum
  • Writing the timetable

Matt Keyes


Our vision at Helenswood Academy is to ensure that all of our students are inspired and challenged constantly to help them succeed. My role as Vice Principal is to foster a culture of high expectations and a sense of belonging to all of our girls. This also carries through into the Vision and Values of Helenswood Academy which are respect, cooperation, excellence and commitment. We want to make sure all of our students are taught exceptional lessons  in a focused and calm environment both in the classroom and around the site. My role includes the Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare of our students and I am the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the Academy. I also have a key focus on Raising Aspirations within school and developing a robust Careers program. I want our girls to have the drive and determination to be the best and compete and develop successfully in the wider world.  I have been privileged to teach and be a Senior Leader at a number of schools around the country including inner city Manchester and London as well as more rural establishments. I bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to my role as Vice Principal and I have a passionate belief that every student can succeed and achieve.

Juliet Horton






Stephen Weakley


My passion lies in Teaching & Learning and increasing student participation within lessons to help students achieve outstanding progress. I am very privileged in my role at Helenswood Academy as I get to work with teachers, both new to the profession and longer serving, to develop their practice in order to continue to improve the overall quality of the learning experience within the academy.

As a Professional Tutor, I am responsible for the progress of trainee and newly qualified teachers. I work strategically within the academy and network to ensure that these staff have access to high quality professional learning which will facilitate the development of their teaching practice and impact on the progress of our girls. 

I am also responsible for coordinating and facilitating the school coaching programme as part of the wider professional learning structure of the school. By working collaboratively staff will continue to improve the overall quality of teaching and learning within the academy.

Jen Lelliott


I am proud to be working at Helenswood alongside a team who are dedicated and motivated to ensure the success of our girls. My experience in education lies within the personal development and welfare of students, and it is this role that I enjoy here at Helenswood. I work to ensure that behaviour across the lower school allows our students to achieve their potential. Further to this, one of my primary concerns is ensuring that all of our students attend school as regularly as possible, and arrive at school ready to learn and to excel. I aim for all students at Helenswood to feel that they have effective support and guidance throughout their time here, and to ensure that they leave us fully equipped to succeed in their lives beyond school and that they are ‘proud to be at Helenswood’.

Heads of Year

  • Mrs H Phillips - Head of Year 7
  • Ms J Atkin - Head of Year 8
  • Mrs E Walker - Head of Year 9
  • Mrs C Brand - Head of Year 10
  • Mrs C Fautley - Head of Year 11

Interested in working for Ark Helenswood? Find out more here.