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 C 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 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, and for the last 23 years as a senior leader in Schools and for the Department for Education’s National Strategies. Colin serves currently as an advisor to the Department for Education as a member of the Secondary Headteacher Reference Group, contributing views to Ministers and officials on the potential impact of national policies on the School system. 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.
Mrs G 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.
Mr L Dwyer – Senior 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 A Reeves – Senior Assistant Vice Principal (Curriculum & Assessment)
Arthur joined University of Birmingham School in September 2018. He is currently responsible for the development of a broad and balanced curriculum across the School, ensuring the implementation of this curriculum through the thoughtful sequencing of learning and quality-first teaching for all. Furthermore, Arthur oversees assessment so that it is purposeful and is an integral part of teaching – aiming for all pupils and students to flourish academically. Arthur teaches History and Politics and 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 R 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.
Mr D Ashmore – Assistant Vice Principal (Early Career Teachers & Assessment)
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 S Barrington – Assistant Vice Principal (Continuing Professional 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.
Miss C Exton – Assistant Vice Principal (Pastoral & Wellbeing)
Charlotte joined University of Birmingham School in 2016 as a subject teacher for Geography and then as Year Leader. She graduated from Keele University where she studied Geography and in addition to her PGCE she also holds a Masters with Distinction in Education from the University of Birmingham.
Ms C Haley – Assistant Vice Principal (Pupil Progress & Personalisation)
Clare graduated with an MA in Modern and Medieval Languages from the University of Cambridge, including study abroad at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg. After graduation, she began teaching as a lectrice at the University of Perpignan Via Domitia and returned to the UK to complete her PGCE at the University of Warwick. Prior to joining University of Birmingham School as Subject Leader of Languages, Clare taught at an IB World School before becoming Head of German. She has recently completed the NPQSL and leads on pupil progress and personalisation.
Mr D Lowy – Director of Information & Systems
David is the Director of Information and Systems at University of Birmingham School. He joined the School at the beginning of 2023. David graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in 2006 and has worked in the education sector for the last 14 years. He has particular experience of working in data and analysis.
Miss K Poulton – Assistant Vice Principal (SEND & Inclusion)
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. You can contact Kelly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr C Bownes – Associate Senior Leader (Aspiration)
Claire is Associate Senior Leader for Teaching & Early Career Teaching at University of Birmingham School. She has worked at the School since it opened in 2015, first as a subject teacher and then as a subject leader in Biology. Claire graduated with a PhD from the University of Birmingham and worked as a research fellow at Warwick University and the University of Birmingham in the field of virology and cancer biology before moving into teaching in 2013. She then completed her teacher training with the King Edwards Consortium and gained a PGDipEd from the University of Birmingham.
Mr J Bennett – Associate Senior Leader (Attendance)
Jack is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, completing his degree in 2014. He achieved his PGCE in Physical Education at Loughborough University and completed his Masters in Education in 2019. Jack joined University of Birmingham School in its second year of opening as a subject teacher, pioneering the School’s successful Duke of Edinburgh programme which has grown to provide Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels to over 230 pupils and students each year. Jack progressed to middle leadership as a Year Leader and embarks on a new journey as Subject Leader for Physical Education and Associate Senior Leader responsible for supporting attendance.
Visual & Creative Arts
Ms J Quinn – Director of Visual & Creative Arts
Mrs A Graham – Year 9 Leader
Ms C Branch – Sujbect Leader for Food & Nutrition
Mr J Piggott
Dr C Bownes – Subject Leader & Associate Senior Leader
Miss M Barton
Miss C Hempson
Miss N Shafiq – Year 10 Leader
Mrs K Smithson
Miss D McFarquhar – Subject Leader
Mr L Dwyer – Senior Assistant Vice Principal
Miss S Heath – Subject Leader
Mrs R Ahmad
Ms J Howard – Year 7 Leader
Dr J McCreary
Ms R Whyte-Wilding
Computing & Technology
Mr A Hamflett – Director of Computing & Technology
Miss A Kazi
Mrs A Nithiananthan
Mrs J Sultana
Mr O Tsang
Ms S Astley – Subject Leader
Mr O Souza Faria – Second in English
Miss S Barrington – Assistant Vice Principal
Mr K Cobane
Ms E Jones
Miss K Lockett
Mrs H Maclean
Ms H Powell
Ms F Seera
Mr L Sheldon
Ms E Venables-Wood
Mr S Washbrook – Assistant Sixth Form Leader
Mr G Jackson – Subject Leader
Miss C Exton – Assistant Vice Principal
Miss H Zulfiqar
Mr J Ward – Subject Leader
Miss E Billington
Ms E Holmes – Year 11 Leader
Ms M Spink
Mrs L Holleran – Subject Leader
Mrs L Diprose
Ms C Haley – Assistant Vice Principal
Miss E Hemraj
Mrs I Lamarkbi
Miss E Le Roux
Ms S Powell
Ms G Pritty – Acting Subject Leader
Ms A Lawlor Kennedy – Acting Second in Mathematics
Mr K Akmal
Miss A Anish
Mr C Clarke
Mr K Cobane
Mr C Daniels
Mr A Gameson
Mr M Guler
Mr J Holland
Miss E Markman-Morris
Mrs H Tucker
Ms C Seall – Subject Leader
Ms R Kalsi
Mr J Bennett – Associate Senior Leader & Subject Leader
Ms R Dunne – Year 8 Leader & Leader for DofE
Mr R Elsmore
Mr M Stocker
Mr R Campbell – Subject Leader
Ms W Glover
Miss E Iboro Offong
Dr S Llewelyn
Ms E Billington – Subject Leader
Mr A Reeves – Senior Assistant Vice Principal
Miss H Moore – Subject Leader
Miss S Clarke
Mrs A Saif
Miss J Winwood – Subject Leader
Ms J Green
Mrs R Ahmad – Cover Supervisor
Ms K Astley – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr L Beddow – Assistant SENDCO
Ms A Collins – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Miss L Denning – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Di’lorio – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mrs M Dimmock – Senior Cover Supervisor
Miss T Duberry – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Miss L Glynn – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr D Hale – Learning Coach
Ms C Harhen – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms C Hirst – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms J Huang – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms L Kambanis – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms S Khaliq – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Kyriacou – Learning Coach
Miss S Mahay – Cover Supervisor
Ms H Melhado – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms G Peters – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mrs O Sotonwa – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr T Whitehorn – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr A Williams – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms C Heard – Safeguarding Manager
Ms K Shaw – School Counsellor
Miss P Greaves – Family Support Worker
Mr C Szczepanski – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 7
Miss D Richards – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 8
Mrs S Stewart – Lead Pupil Pastoral Manager & PPM for Year 9
Miss N Harper – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 10
Miss K Asghar – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 11
Mrs S Drubhra – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 12 & 13
Ms C Payne – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 12 & 13
Mr D Ahmed – ICT Network Manager
Ms J Bradshaw – Biology Technician
Ms A Cosimetti – PA to the Principal
Mrs S Giles – Site Manager
Ms I Gunarwardena – Examinations & Data Processing Officer
Mrs D Gupta – SEND Administrative Assistant
Mr P Hayes – Music & PE Technician
Mr A Hoye – Site Manager
Mr S Huckstep – Careers Education, Information, Advice, & Guidance (CEIAG) Manager
Mrs L James – Pastoral Administrative Assistant
Mrs N Lawson-Hollingsworth – Enrichment Officer
Miss J Lee – DT Technician
Ms S Lee – Sixth Form Admissions & Administration Officer
Mr T Lynock – Facilities Assistant
Miss S McKenzie – Attendance Officer
Mrs E Mellon-Woods – School Receptionist
Ms H Middleton – Learning Resources Officer
Miss E Mitchell Finnigan – Art Technician
Miss A Nawaz – Marketing, Communications & Content Officer
Ms N Steadman – DT Technician
Ms K Tennant – School Business Officer
Mrs E Williams – Finance Officer
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. You can contact Jeff via email@example.com.
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.
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).
Mr Kevin Cobane
Kevin has been a teacher for 27 years and has worked in a range of schools and educational settings across the West Midlands. He has taught in both the Primary and Secondary education phases, including time at a Pupil Referral Unit, and has also worked as a Senior Lecturer in Education at Birmingham City University. He has a first class honours degree in Primary Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Management. He is currently completing a Masters Degree in Character Education at the University of Birmingham. He has worked at University of Birmingham School since 2018, teaching the Nurture Groups for English and Mathematics, and was elected as Staff Governor in the Summer Term of 2023. He is an avid reader and is the West Midlands Representative for the UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association). He is also a judge for Empathy Lab’s annual Read for Empathy list.
Mr Mark Davis
Mrs Seema Drubhra
Seema joined University of Birmingham School in 2017 as Sixth Form Pastoral Manager, and has been working in education since 2006 in a range of roles, including a teaching assistant, teacher of Religious Studies, and Head of Department. She graduated from the University of Leicester with a BA in History and Politics, and completed her PGCE in Religious Studies at the University of Warwick.
Professor Joanne Duberley
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.
Professor Karen Guldberg
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.
Ms Rebecca Lambert
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.
Professor Jeremy Pritchard
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.