Our Team.

Rethinking education,
helping tomorrow’s minds flourish

Our aim is to create a space for you to do the best work you’ve ever done as an educator; a School where every member of our community can truly flourish. We are fortunate to have a team of inspiring staff, who are brought together by our mission to make real progress every day to build better communities, and a better world.

Senior Leadership Team

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Mr Colin Townsend


Colin joined the School as its second Principal in September 2018 from Denbigh High School in Luton where he was headteacher. Colin leads our School community, delivering the vision for University of Birmingham School, ensuring that there is outstanding achievement, behaviour, leadership and teaching and learning across the school. He works in close collaboration with the University of Birmingham, ensuring that the activities developed between the two organisations meet the strategic vision for the School, and that the School continues in its mission to positively enhance the educational landscape in the city of Birmingham. He attended the University of Kent where he studied mathematics, before completing a Master at the University of Southampton. He holds a PGCE from the University of Oxford and has 26 years of experience in education – firstly as a mathematics teacher, and latterly in senior leadership.

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Mrs Rebecca Tigue

Head of School

Rebecca started her teaching career in Liverpool after previously working in corporate hospitality and marketing. She has had leadership roles in several schools around the country and is currently Head of School with particular responsibility for Enrichment and Character Education at the University of Birmingham School. She is a graduate of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and completed her PGCE at the University of Liverpool.

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Mr Mark Stow

Vice Principal

Mark joined the School in 2017 from Turves Green Boys’ School where he was Assistant Head Teacher, looking after assessment, progress and curriculum. Prior to that, he was head of science at Chipping Sodbury School. He graduated from the University of Warwick and completed his PGCE at the University of Bristol.

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Mrs Gemma Walker

Assistant Vice Principal

Gemma has worked at the School since September 2017. She leads the School’s pastoral team, maintaining and developing the School’s positive behaviour systems to ensure teachers have the freedom to teach, and pupils have the right environment for learning. She supports the Head of School in responding to serious breaches of the School’s Behaviour and Exclusions Policy and manages student welfare and attendance.


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Mr Arthur Reeves

Assistant Vice Principal

Arthur’s position is a new position for 2018/19. He will ensure all pupils flourish academically through careful monitoring, support and evaluation of pupil progress data. He will co-ordinate the diagnostic assessment of pupils and lead the implementation of the specific resultant interventions. He will also ensure the development and progress of disadvantaged pupils at all levels, evaluate provision for pupils with SEN and lead the progress monitoring cycle. He has an undergraduate degree and masters qualification from the University of York, and a PGCE from the University of Warwick.

Teaching Staff


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Ms S Haynes

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Miss J Quinn

Subject Leader


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Ms C Hempson

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Ms K Smithson

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Miss N Shafiq

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Dr C Bownes

Subject Leader


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Ms J McCreary

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Mr D Ashmore

Subject Leader

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Miss S Heath

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Mr J Connell


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Mr A Hamflett

Subject Leader

Mrs J Sultana

Design Technology

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Ms C Branch

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Mr D Walji

Subject Leader

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Mr A Herbert


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Mr O Souza Faria

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Ms L Sumerling

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Miss H Blackwell

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Miss K Lockett

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Mrs S Barrington

Subject Leader

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Mr S Washbrook


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Miss R Till

Subject Leader

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Miss C Exton


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Miss E Connolly

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Mr J Ward

Subject Leader


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Miss C Haley

Subject Leader

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Miss G Isbell

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Miss L Smith


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Ms A Lawlor Kennedy

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Ms R Lewis

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Mrs H Watson

Second in Mathematics

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Mr T Barr

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Mr I Taylor

Subject Leader

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Mr D Clark

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Miss S Cohen

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Mr R Jhalli

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Ms G Pritty


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Ms A Argyropulo-Palmer

Subject Leader

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Mr D Norris

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Miss H Edge

Physical Education

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Miss C Scullion

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Miss H Stemp

Subject Leader

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Mr J Bennett

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Mr D Miller

Sports and Enrichment Coach


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Miss M Rahman

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Miss D Cross

Subject Leader

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Mr R Britton


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Mrs K Watkin

Subject Leader

Religious Studies

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Ms E Ellis Bryant

Subject Leader

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Miss H Moore

Other Teachers

Mr K Cobane

English & Mathematics teacher

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Ms Kate Campbell


Prior to joining the School, Kate worked as the SENCO at New College in Worcester. She holds a Masters from Keele University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Birmingham. She joined the School upon its opening, is also a qualified teacher of the visually impaired and has a vast amount of experience working with children and young people with a wide variety of needs.

Professional Services Staff

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R Concannon

Facilities Manager

A Hoye

Facilities Assistant

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B Heath


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T Webb

Learning resources officer

H Kershaw

Sixth Form Administrator

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B Craddock

Exams and data officer

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A Cosimetti

PA to the Principal

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D Batten

Reception & Family Liaison Officer

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S Mason-Burns

School Services Assistant

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R Haslam

School Business Manager

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J Bloomfield

Attendance Officer

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A Proudman

Finance & HR Officer

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A Lundy

PA to Head of School

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L Dwyer

Sixth Form Manager

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K Nunes

Enrichment Officer

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S Drubhra

Pastoral & Progress Manager

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H Stacey

Library and Learning Manager

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D Thomas

Building Services Coordinator

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S Brookes


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A Evans

DT Technician

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A Perkins

PE Technician

S Giles

Technician Team Leader

Our Governors

Prof Jeff Bale

Chair of Governors

Professor Jeff Bale was the University of Birmingham’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, overseeing the University’s educational agenda until his retirement. He was a member of the University Executive Board and led on issues related to teaching and quality, curriculum, e-learning, student recruitment, widening participation and the student experience. Jeff graduated with a first class honours degree in Agricultural Zoology from Newcastle in 1973 having spent a sabbatical year as President of the Students’ Union. He gained his PhD in 1977 in the area of insect ecophysiology and was then awarded the Lord Adams Fellowship at Newcastle for studies on soil pest species. Jeff was appointed as Professor of Environmental Biology at Birmingham in 1992.  He was a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) until 2012.


Prof Prem Kumar

Prem graduated as a Physiologist from the University of Leeds in 1982 and went on to complete a D.Phil (Ph.D) at the University of Oxford. He is Head of the Institute of Clinical Sciences at the University of Birmingham. He is proud to be a physiologist and has worked in a number of key positions within the Physiological Society of UK and Ireland to help promote the subject. In addition to serving as a Council and Executive Member of the Society, he has also held the Chair position of the Meetings Committee, where he took a lead role in the development of the Society’s strategy for Conference organisation and delivery and in the organising of a number of International Meetings and the Publications Committee.  He holds key roles in the administration of Education in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences and in the 5-year medical (MBChB) course and the 3-year Biomedical Science programme at the University of Birmingham, working with colleagues to ensure its appropriate delivery and assessment.

Fionnaula O’Connor

Fionnaula is Assistant Principal at Ark St Alban’s Academy where she is involved in strategic planning both in teaching and learning but also in ethos and culture of the school.

Kirandeep Saini

Kiran is a final year medical student at the University of Oxford, but is passionate about education in his home city of Birmingham. Whilst at Oxford, he has been involved in a number of committees and outreach initiatives, may of which combine his passion for education with his medical expertise and background. He is the president of OxPal and is currently launching a pilot project to educate medical students without consistent access to high quality teaching in other countries and co-ordinating teaching from Oxford’s leading doctors to meet the educational needs of Palestinian medical students. He is also president of the Oxford Global Health Group, which aims to engages Oxford students and healthcare workers in global health.

Mr David Ashmore

David is the subject leader for chemistry at University of Birmingham School. He has worked at the School since it opened in 2015, first as a subject teacher, and then latterly, as subject leader. David holds a 1st class degree in chemistry from St Catherine’s College, Oxford. In addition to his PGCE, he also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Warwick.

Professor Richard Black

Richard Black joined the University of Birmingham in April 2018 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences. He was previously Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise) at SOAS University of London from 2013, and founding Head of the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex from 2009.  He received his PhD in 1990, and worked as a Lecturer at King’s College London from 1989 before moving to Sussex in 1995.  Over recent years his specialist area of research has been the relationship between migration, poverty, and climate change. He is the Chair of the University School Advisory Group.

Professor Julie Allan

Prof Julie Allan is Head of the School of Education and Professor of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Birmingham. Her work encompasses inclusive education, disability studies and children’s rights and she has a particular interest in educational theory and the insights offered through poststructural and social capital analyses. Julie has been advisor to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Dutch and Queensland Governments and has worked extensively with the Council of Europe.

Professor James Arthur

Chair of Teaching and Learning Committee

Prof James Arthur is Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staffing and Professor of Education and Civic Engagement at the University of Birmingham. He is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues which has created a bespoke programme of character education for the School. He is the leading academic in the UK on character education, and on policy entrepreneurship in education. He previously directed the Learning for Life project which completed the largest UK-based study into issues surrounding character development, looking at over 70,000 responses from young people aged 3-25.

Ms Eleanor Ellis Bryant

Eleanor Ellis Bryant is currently the subject leader for religious studies, and associate senior leader at University of Birmingham School. She graduated from the University or Birmingham and also holds a Masters degree from the institution. She is passionate about nurturing and developing character virtues in young people and through her recent appointment as associate senior leader, will use this passion to develop and advance the character education programme through the school’s personal learning and development (PLAD) programme.

Mr David Davies OBE

David Davies spent more than twenty years as a correspondent and presenter with BBC Television and is a former Executive Director of The Football Association (FA). He was also BBC Television’s Education Correspondent between 1986 and 1989 and is passionate about education’s capacity to change lives at home and abroad. David joined The FA in 1994 as its first Director of Public Affairs, and rose to become The FA’s Executive Director with responsibility for international relations. He now travels widely, advising sporting organisations and others on communications and corporate governance. David broadcasts regularly on radio and television, and contributes to newspapers and magazines. He was awarded an OBE for services to sport in 2006 and became a member of the University of Birmingham Council in 2011.

Mrs Cathy Gilbert

Cathy joined the School’s Board in 2018. She is Director of External Relations at the University of Birmingham where she has a remit covering UK and international student recruitment (undergraduate and postgraduate), international partnerships, marketing and communications, student admissions and developing online programme delivery. Cathy has an Economics degree and an MBA from Warwick Business School. She spent 15 years in the health sector with a range of senior roles with a particular focus on business development and marketing before joining the university sector nine years ago initially as Director of Sales and Student recruitment at Staffordshire University. She then moved to UCAS, the UK’s central university admissions centre as Director of Customer Strategy and joined Birmingham five years ago.

Miss Natalie Howard

Natalie is a social worker, working across many of Birmingham’s communities. Prior to this, she was the exams and data officer at the University of Birmingham School. Having graduated from the University of Liverpool with a first class degree, she initially began her career in hospitality, before being drawn to the school’s ethos and approach on opening. This has since led her to train to become a social worker to work to improve outcomes for families and children across the city. Her passion is to remove barriers to learning and personal development for children. Natalie is also part of the outreach team for TEDx Brum, bringing both the format itself, and the ideas it shares, to new audiences.

Mr Joey Islam

Chair of Audit Committee

Joey Islam is a successful project and programme manager with almost 20 years of experience in industry, most recently at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). He has spent much of his career working closely with boards within organisations to help develop strategies, drive change and transform organisations. He also has experience in a voluntary capacity, mentoring children in Birmingham through a charity which aims to raise aspirations of children in less affluent areas.

Mr Lee Sanders

Lee Sanders is as Registrar and Secretary of the University of Birmingham. He is the University’s Chief Operating Officer responsible for Professional Services and a member of the University Executive Board who is involved in University strategy and policy and providing advice to the Vice-Chancellor and other senior colleagues. As Secretary to the Senate and Council, he is responsible for University governance. Lee is involved in national and international work in Higher Education. He is currently Chair of the UK Association of Heads of University Administration and a member of the UK-Sweden Registrar’s Group. He has served as director of a number of university companies and is a regular contributor to national and international conferences, reviews and development programmes, and serves as external adviser on appointments at other universities.

Mr Stephen Washbourne

Steve Washbourne is an accountant by profession, with more than 20 years’ experience working in the NHS. He currently works at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust where he is the finance lead for the acquisition of Heart of England NHS Trust. Prior to that, he was Director of Strategy and Planning. Steve has significant experience of working as a member of a Board holding corporate responsibilities, being held to account, and challenging others. Among his other roles, he was also regional head of specialised commissioning for NHS England.