Challenge Week & Upcoming School Closure
04 – 08 July 2022 – UoB School Challenge Week: Pupils, students, and staff are off usual timetable and offsite for a number of days. We apologise for any delays you may experience with correspondence from staff members. If you need to contact someone in School please click here to see contact details.
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
Mr Colin Townsend – Principal
Colin joined the School as its second Principal in September 2018 from Denbigh High School in Luton where he was Head Teacher. Colin leads our School community, delivering the vision for University of Birmingham School, fostering outstanding achievement, behaviour, teaching and learning, and leadership across the School. As a mathematics specialist he studied at the Universities of Kent, Oxford, and Southampton – latterly gaining a Masters qualification in management. He holds 29 years of experience in education as a teacher, and for the last 22 years as a senior leader in Schools and for the Department for Education’s National Strategies. He works in close collaboration with the University of Birmingham, ensuring that the activities developed between the two organisations meet the strategic intents of the School and Trust, and that the School continues in its mission to positively enhance the educational landscape in the City of Birmingham and beyond.
Mr David Ashmore – Assistant Vice Principal (Teaching & Early Career Teaching)
David is Assistant Vice Principal for Teaching & Early Career Teaching at University of Birmingham School. He has worked at the School since it opened in 2015, first as a subject teacher, and then as subject leader for chemistry. 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.
Miss Sarah Barrington – Assistant Vice Principal (Teaching & Teacher Development)
Sarah joined University of Birmingham School in 2016 as subject leader for the English department. She graduated from Lancaster University and worked in various social care settings as an IT trainer and programme tester before completing a PGCE at the University of Warwick, qualifying as an English and drama teacher in 2009. Prior to joining the School, she worked for several years in the middle School system in Worcestershire.
Mr Liam Dwyer – Assistant Vice Principal – Sixth Form
Liam graduated from Nottingham Trent University and completed his PGCE at the University of Warwick. Liam leads the Sixth Form, being responsible for the day to day management as well as overseeing student welfare, academic progress, and standards. He also supports the successful transition of our students to higher education, vocational training, and employment.
Mr Robin Haslam – School Business Leader
Robin has enjoyed a varied career only entering the education sector in 2012. Prior to this he worked in corporate banking before moving into the third sector to work within a number of children’s and disability charities at a national level. He joined the School upon its opening in 2015 and is responsible for human and physical resources, financial management, oversight of the School’s facilities and lead for the School’s non-teaching related professional services team. He holds a DSBM for School Business Leadership.
Miss Kelly Poulton – Associate Senior Leader (SENDCo)
Kelly has worked in Birmingham Schools for more than 15 years as a teacher of geography, within pastoral leadership roles and most recently as achievement leader. She graduated from Coventry University with a BA in geography, and went on to complete her PGCE and Masters at the University of Birmingham. Kelly is the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-Ordinator (SENDCO) at University of Birmingham School and also oversees pupils and students with medical needs.
Mr Arthur Reeves – Assistant Vice Principal (Teaching & Assessment)
Arthur joined the School in September 2018. He is responsible for developing teaching across the School and for ensuring all pupils flourish academically through careful monitoring, support, and evaluation of pupil progress data. Arthur co-ordinates the diagnostic assessment of pupils and co-ordinates the appropriate interventions to enhance pupil progress. He also ensures the development and progress of pupils from disadvantaged circumstances at all levels. Arthur further leads on parental and community engagement and the whole School reading programme. He has an undergraduate degree and Masters qualification from the University of York. In addition to his PGCE from the University of Warwick, he also holds a Masters in Education.
Mr Mark Stow – Vice Principal (Education)
Mark joined the School in 2017. With seven years of experience in senior leadership in Schools in the Midlands and the South West, Mark now oversees all aspects of education including curriculum, teaching, assessment, and professional development of teaching staff at University of Birmingham School. He is passionate about developing sustainable working conditions for teachers, social mobility, and evidence-informed approaches to education. He holds a degree in biochemistry from the University of Warwick, a PGCE from the University of Bristol, and has recently completed a MEd in educational leadership at the University of Birmingham.
Mrs Rebecca Tigue – Director of University Training School & Character Education
Rebecca started her teaching career in Liverpool after previously working in corporate hospitality and marketing. She benefits from over 20 years in leadership roles in several Schools around the country and is currently Director of the University Training School and Character Education, shaping the strategic vision of art-of-the-possible when a School is partnered with a world class University. She is a graduate of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and completed her PGCE at the University of Liverpool and has recently completed a Masters in Educational Leadership at the University of Birmingham. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow at University of Birmingham and is the Jubilee Centre’s first Ambassador of Character.
Mrs Gemma Walker – Vice Principal (Pupils)
Gemma has worked at the University 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 and students have the right environment for learning. Gemma is the School’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, and manages pupil and student welfare and attendance. Gemma is a graduate of the University of Birmingham where she studied geography and undertook her PGCE. She has been teaching since she qualified in 2004 and benefits from experience of a number of middle leadership roles throughout her career, both curriculum and pastoral based.
Ms J Quinn – Subject Leader
Mrs A Graham – Acting Subject Leader
Miss L Whitham
Ms S Wright
Dr C Bownes – Subject Leader
Miss C Hempson – Second in Biology
Miss M Barton
Miss N Shafiq – Year 8 Leader
Mrs K Smithson
Miss D McFarquhar – Subject Leader
Mr L Dwyer
Miss S Heath – Subject Leader
Mrs R Ahmad
Ms J Howard – Year 10 Leader
Dr J McCreary
Mr A Hamflett – Subject Leader
Mrs J Sultana
Ms K Warner
Mr E Addo-Boateng – Subject Leader
Ms C Branch
Mr A Herbert – Year 9 Leader
Miss S Salim
Ms S Astley – Subject Leader
Miss H Blackwell – Second in English
Ms L Sumerling – Second in English
Mr O Souza Faria – Acting Second in English
Ms F Walker – Acting Second in English
Mr K Cobane
Mr A Hutchins
Miss E Jarrett
Ms E Jones
Miss K Lockett
Ms E Venables-Wood
Mr S Washbrook – Assistant Sixth Form Leader
Mr G Jackson – Subject Leader
Miss C Exton – Year 11 Leader
Ms H Parker
Mr J Ward – Subject Leader
Miss E Billington
Ms E Holmes
Ms C Haley – Subject Leader
Mrs L Diprose
Mrs L Holleran
Mrs I Lamarkbi
Ms S Powell
Mr T Beasley – Subject Leader
Ms A Edematie – Second in Mathematics
Mr K Akmal
Mr D Clark
Mr K Cobane
Mr A Gameson
Mr M Guler
Mr J Jennings
Mr G Knox
Ms A Lawlor Kennedy
Miss E Markman-Morris
Ms G Pritty
Ms A Argyropulo-Palmer – Subject Leader
Mr R Fox
Ms R Kalsi
Mrs H Stemp – Subject Leader
Mr J Bennett – Year 7 Leader & Leader for DofE
Ms R Dunne
Mr R Elsmore
Mr R Campbell – Subject Leader
Mr S Boardman
Ms W Glover
Miss E Iboro Offong
Ms C McManus
Mrs K Watkin – Subject Leader
Ms J Green
Miss J Winwood – Teacher of Psychology & Sociology
Miss H Moore – Subject Leader
Miss S Clarke
Mrs O Aboderin – Learning Coach
Ms C Adams – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Akhter – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Ali – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Miss K Asghar – Family Support Worker
Mrs D Batten – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 11
Mr L Beddow – Learning Coach
Miss M Bossetti – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Crocker – Safeguarding Manager
Miss C Dickens – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Di’lorio – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mrs M Dimmock – Senior Cover Supervisor
Mrs S Drubhra – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 12 & 13
Mrs L Elliott – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 10
Mr A Greaves – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms C Harhen – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms C Hirst – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms T Howell – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 8
Ms S Karim – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms S Khaliq – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms M Khan – Cover Supervisor
Ms A Kyriacou – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr J Leighton – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms S McKenzie – Pupil & Pastoral Administration Assistant
Mr M O’Neill – Learning Coach
Ms C Payne – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 12 & 13
Ms G Peters – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr D Roberts – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 9
Mrs S Stewart – Lead Pupil Pastoral Manager & PPM for Year 7
Mrs O Sotonwa – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr M Stocker – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms K Wassell – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr T Whitehorn – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr D Ahmed – ICT Network Manager
Mx J Bloomfield – Attendance Officer
Ms A Cosimetti – PA to the Principal
Mrs S Giles – Technician Team Leader
Mrs D Gupta – Pupil Receptionist
Mr A Hoye – Facilities Assistant
Ms J Hyde – Biology Technician
Mrs H Kershaw – Sixth Form Administrator
Miss J Lee – DT Technician
Mrs S Mason-Burns – Examinations and Administrative Officer
Mrs E Mellon-Woods – School Receptionist
Ms H Middleton – Learning Resources Officer
Miss E Mitchell Finnigan – Art Technician
Ms B Noden – Chemistry Technician
Ms J Potrebko – Finance Officer
Mrs A Proudman – Finance & HR Officer
Mr D Rouse – Facilities Assistant
Mrs R Scarsbrook – Data & Timetable Manager
Mr J Scott – Music Technician
Miss C Siggers – Enrichment, Events, and Partnerships Officer
Mr D Thomas – Facilities Manager
Professor 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.
Mr Ernest Addo-Boateng
Ernest is subject leader for design technology at University of Birmingham School and has been in this role since 2019, having previously worked as a department lead in engineering at Birmingham Metropolitan College. Ernest is a product design and engineering graduate from Birmingham City University and University of Central England, and has a PGCE in design technology & engineering from Gloucester University. He qualified as a teacher in 2007 and has worked as an assistant head of department and head of faculty in several Schools.
Ernest enjoys volunteering at his local Church as a pastor to help give back to the community. Having served as a local council governor in Birmingham Schools since 2017, Ernest now supports University of Birmingham School as a staff governor, ensuring its vision of providing a warm, friendly, and secure environment, conducive to learning, inclusion, and high standards.
Professor Julie Allan – Chair of Pastoral Committee
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 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.
Ms Nicola Bradfield
After university Nicola qualified as a solicitor at Pinsent Masons LLP and specialised in education law, acting for many of the UK’s universities and colleges. After 15 years she moved to Coventry University where she heads the University’s legal, data compliance and student appeals, complaints and disciplinaries teams.
Ms Anna Brinkworth
Anna graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2007 with a BA in Sociology. She then qualified from Birmingham City University in 2012 with a PGCE in Primary Education. Anna has worked at Ark Victoria Academy (previously known as Ark Chamberlain) since 2012. She has held various Head of Year roles since 2015 and has completed the NPQSL (National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership).
Dr Claudia Favero
Claudia is an e-learning specialist and instructional designer with a passion for education in all its forms. As a parent and a professional, she believes in inclusion, promotion of excellence and opportunities for all. After graduating in Italy with a Degree in Political Science, she began working in distance education and e-learning almost immediately. She holds a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Education from the Open University (UK) and has worked in educational institutions in several countries across the world. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham and also works with a charity that encourages and supports children from non-selective state schools in their journey towards university studies.
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.
Professor Prem Kumar – Chair of Teaching & Learning Committee
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.
Ms 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.
Professor Andrew Peterson
Andrew Peterson is Professor of Character and Citizenship Education and Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. His research focuses on the relationship between character and citizenship education, including civic virtues, compassion, civility and democratic deliberation. He has nearly twenty years of experience working on teacher education programmes in England and Australia, and has undertaken a range of research projects on young people’s citizenship and social action.
Mr Mark Senior
Mark is Chief of Staff at the University of Birmingham. Mark works closely with the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar and Secretary to support University strategy, governance and project delivery. He is Director of the Executive Support division, and leads the University’s engagement with higher education policy and the office for students. Prior to joining the University in 2014, Mark worked for ten years in a variety of NHS management positions, having completed his Graduate Management Training scheme in 2006. He is a Music graduate from the University of Birmingham, and has an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and Management from the Universities of Birmingham and Manchester. He is also a trustee of Bournville Bookfest, one of the biggest children’s book festivals in the UK.
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.
Mrs Katy Watkin
Katy graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in psychology, before studying for her PGCE at the University of Warwick. After starting her teaching career at a large comprehensive School in London, Katy began working at University of Birmingham School in 2018 and is now subject leader of social sciences. As an experienced examiner of A Level psychology, Katy has worked with a national awarding organisation as an advisor for the development of GCSE and A Level psychology specifications. Katy was elected as a staff governor in September 2021.
Professor Deborah Youdell
Deborah Youdell has been a member of academic staff at the UCL Institute of Education, the University of Cambridge, and Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Before joining the School of Education at the University of Birmingham she was Professor of Education at the UCL Institute of Education. In her early career she was an education researcher at the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, and the Institute of Education.
Deborah Youdell is Head of the School of Education and Professor of Sociology of Education. She is a member of the Centre for Research in Race and Education and leads the Biosocial Research Network.
Her work is at the forefront of the developing field of biosocial education, which brings emerging knowledge in the new biological sciences together with social science accounts of education to generate new insights into learning and the learner. This builds on her earlier work concerning inequalities in education.
Deborah is the author of four books: Biosocial Education; School Trouble: identity, power and politics in education; Impossible Bodies and Impossible Selves: exclusions and student subjectivities; and Rationing Education.