School leaders

Stephen Hawke

Acting Headteacher, Bentley Heath CofE Primary School

Bentley Heath CofE Primary School joined us in July 2021.

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.