Our Senior Leadership Team

Steve Jefferies – Headteacher 

Growing up in the quiet market town of Frome, I was considered quite the oddity when I went to read English at the University of Warwick, where I also completed my PGCE in English and Drama. From there, I moved to Evesham for my first teaching job in English and Drama at Pershore High School.

In the course of my professional life, I’ve obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham, the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers, and experience in pretty much every area of school leadership. Before joining Bournside in 2020, I spent 6 years as Headteacher of Henley in Arden School in Warwickshire.

I learned a huge amount during a three-year sabbatical working as a missionary for the Christadelphian Bible Mission in South America. As well as the ability to speak Spanish, the experience taught me that education is emancipatory. Your future is what you decide it to be – and education opens the door to that future. I’ve seen it first hand and that’s why I’m so passionate about Bournside’s vision. Lives really are ’inspired… through learning’.

Outside of school, I enjoy mountaineering, rock climbing, and cycling, and on quieter days, time in the garden, walking in the countryside, and working voluntarily for my church.

Karen Hanley – Deputy Headteacher 

I grew up in Wiltshire and went to Reading University where I studied Economics and Sociology. I initially trained as an accountant with KPMG, and in my mid 20s retrained as a teacher and taught in Dorset for 10 years before moving to Cheltenham and joining Bournside in 2005. I am fortunate to have worked my way up to Deputy Headteacher, having also been Assistant Headteacher, and Head of Sixth Form.

I am passionate about all students having the chance to succeed and have always worked in comprehensive schools that champion equality for everyone. At Bournside we all share the same goals and values for our school and that is what I most enjoy about working here – alongside teaching of course! As Deputy Headteacher, I am responsible for our curriculum, timetabling, staffing, and school data, and I still get a real buzz from teaching Economics.

Away from work, I am an avid tennis fan and love travelling. I am always planning my next trip. I also love the theatre and go as often as I can and belong to a book club.


Will Penny - Deputy Headteacher

Having completed my degree in Geography at the University of Liverpool and my PGCE at the University of Bath, my passion for excellence in the classroom is unrelenting and hence my role overseeing teaching and learning at Bournside is one that I love.

I am passionate about every student making the very best of their talents within the classroom but also away from it, where learning at Bournside continues in so many ways. It is also my firm belief that every student understands that learning does not stop at our school gate, but that we foster and develop a love for learning that they carry throughout their adult lives, where we hope they achieve their ambitions and dreams. 

Before joining Bournside in 2019, I spent 14 years at St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon as Director of Sixth Form, Head of Geography, and also a Head of House in a vertical tutoring system. Away from the classroom I love the outdoors, so teaching Geography was written in the stars! I keenly follow my two beloved sports teams Somerset CCC and, sorry if it causes offence, Bristol Bears Rugby where I am a proud season ticket holder! 

Rob Waters – Deputy Headteacher

I grew up on a farm in a small village in South Wales before heading off to the University of Swansea to complete my degree in Information Systems, followed by a PGCE in Computing at Cardiff University. When I joined in 2012 I felt clearly that Bournside was a special place with an unshakeable belief in the capacity for all students to experience success. I have held a range of responsibilities, including working within the Sixth Form team, as a Head of Year and Head of House. I joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2018 as an Assistant Headteacher responsible for Behaviour and Alternative Provision with the aim of raising standards to impact overall academic success and became Deputy Headteacher in 2023.

I am committed to the value of education in transforming lives. As a pastoral team, we work relentlessly and are inspired daily to do our utmost to educate our students to be well-rounded individuals. I am passionate about instilling high expectations and developing authentic relationships with our students. Our team is committed to achieving the right balance between ensuring our students exhibit positive behaviours, compassionate welfare support and intervention for students who need it most.

Away from school I enjoy spending time in the outdoors and travelling the world with my family. I am also a lover of sport, playing golf and squash and have a lifetime season ticket for an unsuccessful rugby team in South Wales.

Anne Alsop – School Business Manager

I was raised in Worcestershire before moving to London to study for my degree in Business Studies at City University Business School. I started out as an Information Specialist at IBM and was fortunate to gain experience in several blue chip companies including Honeywell, London Stock Exchange, and 10 years at Microsoft UK where I rose to become Head of Windows. 

After moving back to Worcestershire and taking a career break to raise my two children, I was hankering for the world of work again and felt that my skillset could be put to good use within the education sector.

The School Business Manager role is seen as the champion for best value within the school and I am passionate about ensuring that money is directed to the enhancement of student learning. I have worked as both a school and trust Business Manager since 2015 and love the vibrant and varied atmosphere that working in a school offers.

My family are the main focus of my life outside of work and I also enjoy property renovation, having completely refurbished 5 properties in 7 years. I am always on the lookout for my next project!

Sally Groves – Assistant Headteacher

I was born in Cornwall and from an early age I knew I wanted to teach so I went to Cardiff University to study Music, before embarking on my Teacher Training at Bath College of Higher Education. I taught as a music teacher in Bristol before becoming Head of Expressive Arts in Cirencester, and joined Bournside in 2008 as Assistant Headteacher. 

In 2016 I undertook further studies to gain the NASENCo Award which has enabled me to become Bournside’s Strategic Special Needs Coordinator (SENCo), and I am also the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead. I am passionate about empowering our young people to thrive and I am immensely proud of the teams I lead who ensure all of our students are understood as individuals and receive care and support to maximise their potential.  

Away from school, you’ll normally find me supporting my son at his various sporting fixtures and activities. I enjoy exploring the countryside with my Labrador, Lottie who is our second school welfare dog and loves being with our students. I am passionate about training dogs to work within schools and welfare situations.  

Lucy Hemsley – Assistant Headteacher

Having grown up in Cheltenham, I completed my degree in History at York University. I returned to Cheltenham in 2012 to teach History and Politics at Bournside as a NQT, and have been here ever since! Alongside teaching, I gained my Master’s in Teaching and Learning at Oxford University, specialising in teaching the most able and widening participation to the most competitive universities.  

I have been fortunate to hold a range of posts at Bournside and in 2019 I became Assistant Headteacher, responsible for professional development and leading on the quality of teaching. I am dedicated to championing a culture of professional learning as we recognise that to improve student learning, we must improve teacher learning and that of all our support staff. I am completing the TDT’s Associate Qualification in CPD Leadership and it is my privilege to provide our staff with CPD which engages, challenges and excites.  

I am very proud to be a South West Network Lead for #WomenEd and the Gloucestershire Representative for the MTPT Project, both organisations that champion female leadership in education and family-friendly schools. I am also a busy mother of three and whilst travelling is more Butlin’s than Bolivia these days, gardening has become a hobby.

Leo Kelly - Assistant Headteacher

I grew up on the Isle of Wight and went to Swansea University where I studied Business and Communication. I initially started working in London at Woori Investment Bank, Rio Tinto Minerals and then the BBC, before following the family tradition of teaching and embarking on a PGCE in Business and Economics at the University of Worcester. Having grown up on a small island where education and opportunities are limited and having to consider traveling to schools and jobs on the mainland, south coast, means I am incredibly passionate about ensuring the local community of Hatherley and surrounding areas are offered first-class opportunities here on the doorstep at Bournside. 

I started my teaching career in Cheltenham spending 12 years at a local school, carrying out the role of Director of External Relations and Head of Faculty: Business, DT and Computer Science. I joined Bournside in 2019, leading Business, Economics and Law. I also held a Lead Practitioner role in CPD, before becoming Assistant Headteacher in September 2022. It is a privilege to ensure students from all backgrounds, but particularly pupil premium students make significant progress in all aspects of school life, whether that is in or outside of the classroom to enhance life experiences. I work closely with the local community, forging partnerships with local business and working with the Cheltenham Education Partnership between neighbouring secondary schools to enhance opportunities for young people here at Bournside. 

Outside of school, I have a young family who keep me busy. I love to surf, paddleboard and play football in an attempt to try and keep relatively fit. 

Gareth Taylor - Assistant Headteacher

I grew up in Solihull, a town on the outskirts of Birmingham. After five fantastic years at Alderbrook School, I studied three A-Levels at Solihull Sixth Form College before moving to Nottingham and completing a Sports Science with Biology degree at Nottingham Trent University.

From an early age, sport was a real passion of mine and in particular rugby union. From representing the district of Solihull, Warwickshire and the Midlands, I went on to represent England U21's in my final year of university. I was lucky enough to play over 250 national league games for Nottingham and Moseley RFC, playing alongside some outstanding players and making many friends along the way. I began teaching alongside my rugby commitments and I try to instil the values of respect, support and ambition, I learned on the rugby field to those pupils I teach.

Kevin Warren – Assistant Headteacher 

I grew up in South Wales and graduated with a degree in Geography from the University of Portsmouth before completing my PGCE at Swansea University. I started my teaching career in South Wales where I spent 13 years as a Geography teacher, and progressed to Head of Year and Head of Sixth Form.  

I joined Bournside in 2009, having pastoral responsibility for the Sixth Form, and in 2018 I became Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form. It is an absolute privilege to lead our wonderful Sixth Form as I am passionate about providing our students with the opportunities and support they need, both academically and pastorally, to reach their potential and successfully move on to the next stage of their lives.   

Outside of school, I enjoy taking my 2 sons to their various sporting fixtures and watching them compete on a rugby or football pitch. I am a proud Welsh rugby fan and keen runner, completing the odd ultra-marathon here and there to keep fit!  

Paul Lockyer – Associate Assistant Headteacher

I graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Economic and Social History before spending 4 years working in marketing and finance. I found delivering training sessions incredibly rewarding, so I went back to university to train as a teacher and started my new career in 2000. I joined Bournside as Head of History and Politics in 2005 and I’ve loved every minute since!  

I have been an Associate Assistant Headteacher since 2019 and thoroughly enjoy being involved in school-wide initiatives such as the delivery of CPD for staff and overseeing the training of NQTs and RQTs. I am fascinated by the fact that we (staff, students, and parents) can always learn from each other. Education is a life-long process which works best when people are open to collaboration and helping each other achieve success. 

So many of our students have a real passion for the past – whether it be honouring the Last Post at the Menin Gate; listening attentively in freezing conditions to the horrors of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp; or the 2 minute silence at our annual Remembrance Day Ceremony. At home, my main interests are my family, Liverpool FC, and running – I have run the London Marathon 5 times and completed over 30 half marathons. 


We are curiousWe are ambitiousWe are supportiveWe are purposefulWe are respectfulWe are proud