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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mr Liam Dwyer – Assistant Vice Principal – Sixth Form
Liam has recently joined the Senior Leadership Team, although has worked at the School since September 2016. He 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 and academic progress. He also supports the successful transition of our students into higher education, vocational training and employment.
Mr Robin Haslam – School Business Leader
Robin has had 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.
Ms J Quinn – Subject Leader
Ms L Saunders – Year 7 Leader
Mrs A Graham
Dr C Bownes – Subject Leader
Miss C Hempson – Second in Biology
Mrs K Smithson
Miss N Shafiq
Miss M Barton
Mr L Dwyer – Subject Leader
Miss D McFarquhar
Mr J Connell – Subject Leader
Miss S Heath – Subject Leader & Year 9 Leader
Dr J McCreary
Ms J Howard
Miss R Ahmad
Mr A Hamflett – Subject Leader
Ms K Warner
Mrs J Sultana
Mr E Addo-Boateng – Subject Leader
Ms C Branch
Mr A Herbert – Year 8 Leader
Miss S Barrington – Subject Leader
Ms L Sumerling – Second in English
Miss H Blackwell – Second in English
Mr O Souza Faria
Ms E Venables-Wood
Miss K Lockett
Mr S Washbrook – Assistant Sixth Form Leader
Ms F Walker
Ms E Jones
Mr A Hutchins – Interim Subject Teacher
Mr G Jackson – Subject Leader
Miss C Exton – Year 10 Leader
Ms H Parker
Mr J Ward – Subject Leader
Ms E Holmes
Miss E Billington
Ms C Haley – Subject Leader
Mrs L Holleran
Mrs I Lamarkbi
Ms E Hemraj
Mr T Beasley – Subject Leader
Mr J Jennings
Mr J Wassall
Ms A Lawlor Kennedy
Mr A Gameson
Mr G Knox
Mr D Clark
Ms G Pritty
Miss E Markman-Morris
Mr M Guler
Ms A Argyropulo-Palmer – Subject Leader
Mr R Fox – Interim Subject Leader
Ms R Kalsi
Mrs H Stemp – Subject Leader
Mr J Bennett – Year 11 Leader & Leader for DofE
Ms R Dunne
Mr R Elsmore
Mr R Campbell – Subject Leader
Mr S Boardman
Mrs K Watkin – Subject Leader
Miss J Winwood – Teacher of Psychology & Sociology
Ms E Ellis Bryant – Subject Leader
Miss H Moore
Mr K Cobane – English & Mathematics Teacher
Miss K Poulton – SENDCO
Ms A Crocker – Safeguarding Manager
Ms T Howell – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 7
Mr D Roberts – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 8
Mrs L Elliott – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 9
Mrs D Batten – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 10
Mrs S Stewart – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 11
Mrs S Drubhra – Pupil Pastoral Manager for Year 12 & 13
Ms S McKenzie – Pastoral Administration Assistant
Mrs H Kershaw – Sixth Form Administrator
Mrs O Aboderin – Learning Coach
Mr L Beddow – Learning Coach
Ms R Jan – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms S Karim – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms N Rajabali – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Di’lorio – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms C Adams – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Kyriacou – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms A Beaven – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr A Greaves – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mr J Leighton – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms D Orozco – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms C Hirst – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Ms C Harhen – Targeted Intervention Assistant
Mrs M Dimmock – Cover Supervisor
Ms M Khan – Cover Supervisor
Ms A Cosimetti – PA to the Principal
Mrs R Scarsbrook – Data & Timetable Manager
Mr R Concannon – Facilities Manager
Mr A Hoye – Facilities Assistant
Mr D Rouse – Facilities Assistant
Mrs A Lundy – Events & Enrichment Officer
Mrs A Proudman – Finance & HR Officer
Ms J Potrebko – Finance Officer
Mx J Bloomfield – Attendance Officer
Mrs S Mason-Burns – Examinations and Administrative Officer
Mrs S Giles – Technician Team Leader
Miss E Mitchell Finnigan – Art Technician
Mr M Zubeidi – DT Technician
Ms J Hyde – Biology Technician
Ms B Noden – Chemistry Technician
Mr J Scott – Music Technician
Ms H Middleton – Learning Resources Officer
Mrs E Mellon-Woods – School Receptionist
Mrs D Gupta – Pupil Receptionist
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.
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.
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 – 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.