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Our Staff

Simon Russell

Headteacher, Lady Katherine Leveson C of E Primary

Simon Russel Headteacher of Lady Katherine Leveson C of E Primary joined us September 2020.

From an early age, Simon always wanted to become a teacher and he still thinks it is the greatest job in the world.  Simon finds joy in seeing the wonderful potential in every child and witnessing them flourish during their time in school.  Simon has worked in a range of schools across the Midlands throughout his career, from small to large primaries and in a pupil referral unit.  This has given him a wealth of experience about the incredible diversity of learners.  He was appointed Headteacher of Lady Katherine Leveson in 2017.  Simon is passionate about the outdoors, music and sport.  His favourite saying is ‘Be kinder than is necessary.’

Susan Friend

Headteacher, Warton Nethersole's CE Primary

Susan started her role as Head Teacher at Warton Nethersole’s CofE Primary School in November 2020 after living and working in Bristol for the past 7 years. Susan has had a varied teaching career including teaching in London and at an International School in Prague, Czech Republic. Having worked in two Church of England schools previously, she was keen that she followed this path into headship and hopes that with her team at Warton they can ensure that all of their children thrive through wide and inspiring experiences that develop their understanding of the world around them. Susan’s vision for education is one where all pupils, regardless of background and barriers, have equitable opportunities to learn and grow as well as many, many moments of wonder, joy and friendship.

Mark Bowman Dalton

Headteacher, Christ Church, Church of England Secondary Academy

Mark joined Christ Church, Church of England Secondary Academy as Headteacher in September 2020 to prepare the school for opening at its new purpose-built site in Yardley Wood in September 2021. Prior to this, Mark was a member of the senior leadership teams of Church of England schools and schools within the Ark network, having most recently led Ark St Alban’s Academy for three years as Principal.

In addition to school leadership, Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Teach First’s West Midlands Steering Group.

Sara Eley

Headteacher, Austrey CE Primary & Newton Regis CE Primary School

Sara was appointed as Headteacher at Austrey CE Primary & Newton Regis CE Primary School in April 2020. Both schools joined Birmingham Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust (BDMAT) on 1st September 2019.

She began her career in 1992 and has worked as a teacher and Senior Leader in schools since then across the Midlands. Most recently, she was the Deputy Headteacher of a church school in Leicestershire for six years. Sara enjoy new challenges and feels very lucky to have had the opportunity to take over the leadership of these schools.

Khadija Bibi


Khadija joined the BDMAT Central Team in July 2020 as a PA to the CSEO & CFOO. Before joining BDMAT, Khadija was a HR administrative officer, and is looking forward to supporting all our schools. She has a lot of skills that she has picked up throughout her career and is ready to support us in all the ways that she can.

Louise Darby

Teaching & Learning Consultant

Louise took up the post of Key Stage 2 Teaching and Learning Consultant in September 2019.  Prior to this she was a senior teacher at St Michael’s Primary School, Bartley Green, where she taught for 15 years.

Over the course of her career she has taught children of all ages and abilities although her main experience lies within Key Stage 2 with a particular focus on Year 6.  She believes that the children should be at the heart of everything schools do and that learning should be proactive and centred around the child’s needs.  Louise endeavours to celebrate children’s academic achievements as well as developing their moral and spiritual awareness.

Louise has been curriculum lead for various subjects during her teaching career however her passion and main expertise is within mathematics.  She has led and managed maths for most of her career in two different schools and more recently also took on the role of pupil premium champion.

Gurpreet Dhariwal

School Finance Partner

Gurpreet joined BDMAT in October 2020 as a Schools Finance Partner for the Central Schools Hub. For the last two years she’s worked as a Management Accountant for an athletics governing body and prior to this she worked in a commercial environment where she trained to become a ACCA qualified accountant.

Georgia Fisher

Finance Apprentice

Georgia joined BDMAT Central Team as a Finance Apprentice in September 2020. She is studying for her AAT qualification and aspires to gain chartered accountant status.

Marc Humphries

Senior IT Technician

Marc has worked in IT for 12 years and have enjoyed the variety it brings in working in various different sectors from education, to law, to the oil and gas industry. Outside of work he enjoy doing Tough Mudder runs, hiking up the Peak District, and baking very sugary snacks.

Amy Kiely

Payroll Officer

Amy joined BDMAT Central Team in August 2020 as payroll officer, she had previously worked for 10 years in accountancy practices and more recently spent nearly 3 in the finance department of a steel manufacturing firm.

Amy lives in Stourbridge with her partner Jamie, two dogs, two cats and two rabbits. When she is not looking after the mini zoo she loves to travel.

Lisa McIntosh

School Improvement Partner

Lisa joined BDMAT as a School Improvement Partner in January 2021. She is passionate about inspiring and motivating others to provide children with excellent, positive learning opportunities. She has a wealth of experience of working across a range of schools to improve standards for the children. This has included modelling and demonstrating teaching; writing and delivering tailored professional development as well as completing school reviews to analyse school performance. She has led a number of areas in different school settings with dedication and enthusiasm, including: English, Maths, Art, DT, History, Geography and overseeing the spend and provision for disadvantaged pupils. Lisa has worked as a visiting lecturer for Birmingham City University. She has experience as an end of KS2 writing moderator, working with Birmingham Local Authority to ensure consistency and accuracy of judgements for Year 6 pupils across the city.

Kayleigh Powers

Teaching and Learning Consultant

Kayleigh will be joining BDMAT as a KS1 Teaching and Learning Consultant and Literacy support in April 2021. She has spent the majority of her career so far teaching and leading KS1 in different settings. She strongly believes that all children should be ambitious and encouraged to have dreams and high aspirations for themselves which can be achieved through a good standard of teaching that is broad, inspirational and that can be accessed by every child. She holds the children at the forefront of everything that she does and encourages others to do the same. During her career, Kayleigh has led different areas in school such as the wider curriculum, phonics and is currently a member of the Literacy team. In 2017, she completed her Master of Arts in Educational Innovation with Warwick University and enjoys researching important topics in education. She has been involved in official KS1 moderations from the local authority including a phonics moderation. Kayleigh is looking forward to joining the team at BDMAT and working alongside the families and children that we serve.

Tammy Smith

Teaching & Learning Consultant

Tammy took up post as EYFS and KS1 Teaching and Learning Consultant in September 2019.  Prior to this, for the past 15 years Tammy has worked in Early Years and Key Stage One in Sandwell and Birmingham schools. She was the Early Years Leader for the schools in the Barchelai Trust and more recently became a Lead Practitioner for EYFS where her passion for EYFS is evident.

Tammy believes that quality early education is vital as it is forms the foundations for all future learning. As EYFS and KS1 Teaching and Learning Consultant, she encourages an atmosphere of curiosity and engagement in learning where children are encouraged to take ownership of their thoughts and ideas; where their voices are listened to and respected but also challenged. Tammy believes children early in EYFS should be recognised as competent learners who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured whilst also being aware that they develop in individual ways and varying rates . Supporting staff across the BDMAT promote these skills in our youngest pupils is her aim as she takes up post with the Central Team.

Revd Barrie Scott


Barrie has been Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Perry Barr since January 2015 and was previously Honorary Assistant Priest (SSM) at St Michael’s Handsworth for sixteen years. Between 2004 and 2015, Barrie was Headteacher of two different schools in the Midlands, having previously served as Deputy Headteacher, Head of Modern Languages and Advisory Teacher for Languages in schools across the Midlands. Barrie was headteacher of Granville Community School in Swadlincote, an 11-16 comprehensive school, which moved over 3 years from Serious Weaknesses to becoming the best school in the area, the rise in KS3 SATS and GCSE results making it one of the top ten most improved schools in the country. Following this, Barrie became Headteacher of Cannock Chase High School, a large 11-19 comprehensive school in Staffordshire and oversaw its successful conversion to a free-standing academy and a rise in results of 18% on GCSE headline measures and a comparable increase in A Level/sixth form results. The school also saw a rise from 4% to 20% of sixth-formers obtaining places at Russell Group universities. Barrie was elected to the Association of School and College Leaders National Council in 2011, and was a member of the Ofsted monitoring and the Curriculum and Standards committees. He also served on the Academies and Direct Employers Group.

Steven Skakel

Steven is an Independent Director and Trustee with a portfolio of roles. He is currently Chair of Shirley Deanery and Birmingham Diocesan Synods. In addition to joining the Birmingham MAT, Steven is a member of Bishop’s Council for The Church of England Birmingham, a member of the national Church of England Peer Review team, a trustee of the Barrow Cadbury Trust and a school governor.

Dr Jan Smart


Jan is the Diocesan Secretary for Church of England – Birmingham. She is the senior non-clerical executive in the diocese, leading its projects and administrative structures and is responsible for staffing and allocation of resources. She acts as Company Secretary for finance, investments, property and office services across the 184 churches.  Prior to this, Jan was the HR Director of the Church of England, Birmingham. She was also CEO of the Renewal Christian Centre in Solihull for seven years and from 1989 to 2008 she held various senior management roles at Cadbury Limited, including: Sales Analyst, Market Research, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Finance, Training & Development, HR and Employment Law . Her specialist HR experience will support the BDMAT in developing high quality people practices and ensuring compliance with statutory requirements relating to HR policies and procedures, while her general business experience will support strategic planning and development.

Sarah Smith

Sarah came to the Diocese in February 2015 from her post as Executive Head Teacher of St John’s CE Primary School in Sparkbrook, rated ‘outstanding‘ by Ofsted, which she led successfully for eleven years. A National Leader of Education, she has been involved in supporting schools on their journey of school improvement and has served as Chair of Birmingham Local Authority Primary Forum.