School leaders

Hannah Cook

Headteacher, Bentley Heath C of E Primary

Hannah is thrilled to have been appointed as Headteacher at Bentley Heath C of E Primary. She is passionate about education and feels privileged to have enjoyed a career in teaching for over 12 years. In this time, she has experienced a range of roles, including Deputy Head and SENCO. She has also completed her Master’s in Educational Leadership, which she was awarded in January 2018.

She truly believes that when children feel happy, safe, and secure, they are able to learn best and reach their potential, and that every child, regardless of their circumstances, deserves the very best education possible. Bentley Heath is a truly inclusive school with an emphasis on nurturing and developing the whole child, and she is committed to building on Bentley Heath’s successes and its Christian ethos, allowing every child to become the very best version of themselves – rooted in Jesus and loving one another.

Natasha Johnson

Headteacher, Woodside C of E Primary School

Natasha is excited to be appointed as the new Headteacher at Woodside.
For the last 8 years, she has worked as a leader across three very different Staffordshire schools. Having worked in two Church of England schools within Lichfield Diocese, Natasha feels privileged to be appointed for her first Headship working within the Birmingham Diocese and for BDMAT.

Natasha’s philosophy is that she hopes to provide an education for every child, that allows them to ‘live life in all its fullness’ through a curriculum that is inclusive, diverse and focusses on developing the whole child through her committed leadership. She believes through her vision of ‘together in God’s love, we inspire and grow’, she can achieve this at Woodside.

Stephen Hawke

Deputy Headteacher, Bentley Heath CofE Primary School

Stephen took on the Deputy Headteacher role after being Acting Headteacher and part of the Senior Leadership team previously. He has worked at Bentley Heath for four years now and was previously a teacher and Senior Leader in East London prior to this. He has a passion for IT and for seeing a Christian centred approach to education for all children based on mutual love and respect. With Bentley Heath joining BDMAT in July 2021, there is a real excitement about the journey the school is on to provide the best possible education for the children.

Simon Russell

Headteacher, Lady Katherine Leveson CofE Primary

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 CofE Primary School

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 CofE Primary & Newton Regis CofE Primary School

Sara was appointed as Headteacher at Austrey CofE Primary & Newton Regis CofE 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.