About >

Our Staff

Our Staff and Directors combine humility with determination. We see this in the example of Jesus. They are the nurturing leaders, who do not want credit, but want success to sustain over a longer period of time, long after they are gone. Staff and Directors will identify and include people who share the vision and can contribute to the direction of the Trust as well as having the skills and knowledge needed to meet the objectives. They will not shy away from facing and accepting brutal truths and realities of data, numbers and situations but at the same time they won’t lose hope of a better future. All Staff and Directors share the same values regarding education provision.
Educating for Dignity and Respect
Educating for Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
Educating for Hope and Aspiration
Educating for Community and Living Well Together

BDMAT Company Structure

Joanne Alexander

Headteacher, Nethersole CE Primary Academy

Jo became Headteacher at Nethersole Academy in June 2019.  Prior to this, Jo was Deputy Head at St George’s, Edgbaston from September 2018.

Shirley Atkar

Headteacher, St George's CE Primary Academy, Edgbaston

Shirley is the Head teacher at St Georges Church of England Primary School, Edgbaston.
Shirley has passionately worked for the Church of England from newly qualified teacher to her appointment as Head Teacher of St Georges Church of England Primary School, Edgbaston in January 2013.
Shirley’s love and aspirations for the pupils, staff, families and the wider school community are at the heart of all she strives to do.

Paula Burns

Head teacher, Holy Trinity CE Primary School

Paula became Headteacher at Holy Trinity CE Primary Academy in September 2015. Prior to this, Paula spent 15 years teaching at schools in Sandwell. 

Sue Bostock

Headteacher at Warton Nethersole's CE Primary School

Sue is Headteacher at Warton Nethersole’s Primary School.  Warton Nethersole’s joined Birmingham Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust (BDMAT) on 1st September 2019.

Sue was officially appointed to the Head Teacher’s role in 2012. Prior to that she taught in classes across both Key Stages including some years in Reception.  Sue feels privileged to lead a dedicated and professional staff, and to feel part of the local community of Warton.  Most importantly, she enjoys working with, and getting to know, the children who continue to delight her with their endless energy and desire to learn new things.

Jane Bruten

Interim Headteacher at St Michael's CE Primary School

In January 2020, Jane became the Interim Headteacher at St Michael’s CE Primary School in Bartley Green. Previously, Jane was Headteacher at Quinton Church Primary School.
The education of the whole child through opportunities to enrich their lives in activities that broaden and deepen learning is at the heart of Jane’s philosophy for education.
Encompassing the Christian values that are key to BDMAT alongside welcoming the children of the community into a caring, secure and safe environment is a priority for Jane in her headship.

Anita Delaney

Headteacher, St. Margaret's CE Primary School

Anita became headteacher at St Margaret’s CE Primary School in September 2018. Prior to this, Anita has been teaching for 24 years, spending most of her teaching career in Solihull.

Linda Francis

Headteacher, St George's CE Primary Academy, Newtown

Linda was appointed Headteacher at St George’s, Newtown in September 2019.  Linda has served within the primary education sector for twenty years teaching in Birmingham, Dudley and Sandwell local authorities. She is extremely proud to be the head teacher of St. George’s Primary Academy, Newtown.

Matthew Edwards

Headteacher, Coleshill CE Primary School

Matthew returned to his roots when he was appointed Head Teacher of Coleshill C of E Primary School in April 2018, having previously spent his teaching career in Staffordshire.

Melanie Johnson

Head of School, St Michael's, Handsworth

Melanie became Head of School at St Michael’s CE Primary Academy in June 2019.

Lee Kilkenny

Headteacher at Austrey CE Primary & Newton Regis CE Primary School

Lee is Headteacher at Austrey CE Primary & Newton Regis CE Primary School.  Both schools joined Birmingham Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust (BDMAT) on 1st September 2019.

Lee became Headteacher of both Austrey and Newton Regis primary schools in September 2015 and this is his 3rd Headship.  He began his teaching career in 1997 in Acocks Green in Birmingham.  He has had many and varied roles in education including working as a maths consultant in Walsall, Deputy Head and Headteacher of 2 schools in Staffordshire.   He is passionate about ensuring that pupils have access to a rich and vibrant curriculum, one which engages all learners and prepares them for life in the 21st century.

Sally-Ann Roberts

Headteacher, Nonsuch Primary Academy, Woodgate Valley

Sally has worked at Nonsuch Primary School for the last sixteen years and has been the Headteacher since January 2019.
Sally strongly believes that a quality education gives children both choices and life chances. This belief is at the heart of everything she does.

Devina Shryane

Headteacher, St Clement's CE Primary Academy

I have developed and grown in my passion for teaching, guiding and supporting children, staff and families during my 16 years at St Clement’s CE Academy. There was a period during this time when I worked at a very different type of school, but quickly realised that working within a Church of England inner city school was where I felt most effective.

Awen Simpson

Headteacher, Woodside CofE Primary School

Awen became headteacher at Woodside C of E Primary in 2009 and prior to that she had worked in both C of E and Catholic schools across North Warwickshire.  She feels that the core Christian values of love and respect for all, underpin all that she strives to achieve for the children and wider school community.

Sam Smith

Headteacher, Hawkesley Church Primary Academy

Sam became Head of School at Hawkesley Church Primary Academy in January 2019.

Carl Watkins

Acting Headteacher, Quinton Church Primary School

Carl was appointed Acting Headteacher at Quinton Church Primary School in January 2020. Previous to this, he was Assistant Headteacher at the school for 3 years. Throughout his teaching career, Carl has taught in all year groups and has led maths, PE, history, geography, science, pupil premium and behaviour at a number of schools across Sandwell.

Christopher Mansell

CEO and Accounting Officer

Christopher took up post as CEO of the new BDMAT on 01 September 2017. Prior to this, he had been Headteacher of 4 schools during a period of 17 years in Derby City, Derbyshire and Warwickshire, having commenced his first headship in 2000.

Samantha Cosgrove

Chief School Effectiveness Officer

Sam took up the post of Chief School Effectiveness Officer in September 2018. Prior to this she was Executive Head Teacher of the Barchelai Multi Academy Trust which was based in the south of Birmingham. 

Sheila Benbow

PA to the CEO

Sheila took up her post as Administrator in October 2017 and now with the development of the MAT in its second year, has a new role as PA to the CEO. She began her career in marketing and administration before training and teaching in Birmingham, and later Staffordshire.

Anita Devenport


Anita joined the team as an Administrator in November 2018. Prior to this she worked for 12 years as the School Secretary and Clerk to Governors for a Church Of England Primary School in Solihull.

Christopher Manning

Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Chris joined BDMAT as Chief Finance and Operations Officer in March 2019, having spent 10 years working for Landau Forte Charitable Trust, a multi academy trust based in the midlands, as Group Financial Controller, and then Executive Director of Finance & Administration. Prior to this Chris trained to be a Chartered Accountant within KPMG working across the public sector.

Lee Davis

Head of Finance

Lee is now Head of Finance at BDMAT.  Prior to this, Lee was School Finance Partner at BDMAT and had recently acted as the Chief Finance and Operations Officer.  Lee also worked within the trust at St Clement’s Church of England Academy as a School Business Manager before taking up post as a School Finance Partner in September 2018. 

Michele Fullwood

Schools Finance Partner

Michele is a Schools Finance Partner for BDMAT, having been seconded to the BDMAT finance team in January 2019. Previously, she was the full time School Business Manager at St George’s Church of England Academy, Newtown. Prior to this, she had 10 years’ experience as a Bursar at a Local Authority School.

Stacey Sheldon

School Finance Partner

Stacey joined the BDMAT Team in September 2019 as the School Finance Partner for schools in our South Hub.  She has previously worked as an Accountant for five years, having completed AAT and most recently CIMA to gain Charted Management Accountant status.  

Luke Smith

Finance Apprentice

Luke joined the BDMAT Central Team as a Finance Apprentice in December 2018. Prior to joining the team, he worked in sales, administration and finance.

Jane Martin

Christian Distinctiveness Advisor

Jane Martin is a Christian Distinctiveness Advisor for BDMAT.  She began her teaching career in a Church of England VA school in 1985.
Before taking early retirement in summer 2018, Jane was a head teacher at a CE (VA) School for thirteen years. During her headship the school was judged by SIAS/SIAMS to be outstanding in all areas in 2008, 2013 and 2018. The school was judged to be outstanding in all areas by Ofsted in 2013. 

Jill Stolberg

Christian Distinctiveness Advisor

Jill is a Christian Distinctiveness Advisor for BDMAT, in addition to her role as a Church School Distinctiveness Adviser for The Church of England Birmingham Education Team. 

Vicki Sumner

Executive Leader

Vicki Sumner is Executive Leader at St Michael’s CE Primary, Handsworth and Hawkesley Church Primary Academy.

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. 

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.

Mark Pryce

The Revd Canon Dr Mark Pryce

The Revd Canon Dr Mark Pryce is Director of Ministry, Church of England  – Birmingham and Chaplain to the Queen.  
Originally from Wales, Mark moved to the West Midlands in 1987 to serve as Curate of All Saints Church, West Bromwich, where he was also part-time Chaplain at Sandwell District General Hospital, Governor of two Church Primary Schools, and Community Governor of a large Secondary School.
He was elected as a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1990, and served there as Dean of Chapel and Tutor for twelve years before returning to the Black Country as Vicar of Smethwick Old Church, where he led the development of the Dorothy Parkes Community Centre.

Sarah Smith

Diocesan Director of Education

Sarah came to the Diocese in February 2015 from her post as Executive Head Teacher of St John’s CE Primary School in Sparkbrook, which she led for 11 years.

Matt Thompson

The Very Revd Matt Thompson, Dean of Birmingham

Dean Matt is Dean of Birmingham. He was installed as Dean of Birmingham on 30 September 2017.
Throughout his ministry, he has been particularly involved in schools, urban regeneration, interfaith ministry and community cohesion. He is interested in public theology and Ignatian spirituality.

Christine Arrowsmith


Since 2012, Christine has worked as a ‘Hotline’ officer with the Association of School and College Leaders, offering telephone advice to all ASCL members, which requires up to date expertise and knowledge of curriculum, data for accountability, inspections, pay, performance management, employment law, management of staff and students and Governance and Trusts, as well as strong people skills. Christine has also worked since 2011 as a self-employed education consultant, supporting schools in the primary, secondary, special and pupil referral unit sectors. Her specialisms include supporting Senior teams and Governors on school improvement, particularly involving leadership and management, subject and pastoral leader training, pre and post inspection support, school evaluation and school improvement planning.

Melanie Crooks


Mel is Director of Finance across a number of church related entities – the Diocesan Board of Finance, Cathedral, Thrive Together Birmingham, and previously with the Diocese of Birmingham Education Trust (DBET), the umbrella trust for sponsored diocesan school academies prior to Sept 2017. She was a member of the DBET Academy Finance and Scrutiny Committee, with oversight for school financial management and audit effectiveness. She also provides financial governance and management training to governing bodies/accounting officers and school business managers.

Geoff Harley-Mason


Geoff works both as a mentor to church youth workers supporting them in their ministry to young people and as a learning mentor to year 6 young people at school in Sparkhill. He has qualifications in both youth work and theology and has worked for several churches in the West Midlands. Currently he is chair of Governors at Arden Academy in Knowle and is also a director of the Arden Multi Academy Trust. As part of these roles he sits on the Solihull LEA Schools Forum.

Olivia Jenkins


Olivia is a solicitor in the dispute and resolution team (DART) at Trowers and Hamlins LLP currently specialising in litigious construction matters. She is well versed in providing advice to corporate bodies / exec boards on the commercial running of their business.

Kabir Khan


Kabir has worked in senior business roles for multi-national engineering, construction and manufacturing companies prior to joining BDMAT. With his academic background in Management & Law, he has a good understanding of corporate governance, compliance and education sectors.

Heidi Leung


Heidi currently works as a Senior Education Advisor for FFT Education Ltd, a leading non-profit independent provider of education data for schools in the UK. In this nationwide role, she supports local authorities, Dioceses and Multi-Academy Trusts in the use of insightful data and analysis to improve outcomes for children and young people. A key part of her advisor role is to ensure she keeps abreast of changes in the national education landscape and their impact on school improvement strategies.

Nigel Oram


Nigel is currently the head teacher of Harper Bell Seventh day-Adventist Primary, a unique one form entry school, serving children and the community in the heart on Birmingham.
Nigel has worked in education for 19 years and has a continued desire to ensure all children are given the guidance, love and inspiration leading them to a fulfilled and purposeful life.

Nick Pilditch


Nick joined the team in June 2017 and comes from a business background; his expertise in that world is in business transformation and culture change. Nick is commercial trained and gained his MBA from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016.

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.

More in this section


Welcome to our website. On this page you can find out more about our Vision, History, Growth Strategy, Staff and news. This page is under development.