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 ’empowered … 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 am also on the Committee of the Leckhampton Village Hall as I am keen for such facilities to be preserved in our communities.
Mike Stratford – Deputy Headteacher
Having grown up in Gloucestershire, I have many fond schoolboy memories of battling the mighty Bournside on the rugby field – and not winning as often as I would have liked! From a young age I knew that sport and teaching were my future, and since completing my degree in Sports Education and Physical Geography at the University of Gloucestershire, I have spent many years developing and nurturing incredible talent both in the classroom and on the sports field.
I have held a range of leadership responsibilities since joining Bournside as an NQT in 2006, including leading our thriving Sixth Form for 5 years. As Deputy Headteacher (culture), I am passionate about high standards of behaviour and quality pastoral care, and take immense pride in leading on this aspect of our provision. My team works tirelessly to break down barriers to learning that children may face, ensuring our students are understood as individuals and have every opportunity to learn in a safe, supportive, and distraction-free environment.
Out of school I am a proud Gloucester rugby fan, but a prouder father to my children. Saturday afternoon rugby has been replaced with children’s swimming and karate lessons, kid’s parties, and family fun, but I love it!
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!
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 Lees – 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, Molly who is also our 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 two and whilst travelling is more Butlin’s than Bolivia these days, gardening has become a hobby.
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!
Rob Waters – Assistant 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 my PGCE in Computing at Cardiff University.
First and foremost, I am a teacher of Computing and ICT but since joining Bournside in 2012 I have had a range of responsibilities that are predominantly pastoral, including working with the Sixth Form team, and as a Head of Year and Head of House. I joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2018.
As Assistant Headteacher (culture), I am passionate about instilling high expectations in our students and developing authentic relationships with learners. I am committed to the value of education in transforming students’ lives and work closely with our Heads of House and Culture Team on targeted intervention for students who need it most.
Away from school I enjoy travelling the world, especially to anywhere I can ski. I am also a lover of golf and squash and have a lifetime season ticket for an unsuccessful rugby team in South Wales!
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.
Matthew Gray – Associate Assistant Headteacher
Whilst growing up in Ohio, America, I wanted to understand the world, which led me to study Philosophy at the University of Maryland. Yet it was my desire to improve the world which led me to teaching. I fell in love with Britain during an exchange year at the University of Bristol, completed my teacher training and went on to my Master’s Degree at King’s College London.
I joined Bournside in 2012 and the SLT in 2019 to work with our disadvantaged students - helping those most in need to succeed and achieve their goals. In 2018, I completed the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL), with a focus on using academic target-setting to raise student ambitions. As a teacher, my core purpose is helping others and I am interested in research on how to improve the experience of students whilst ensuring staff maintain a healthy work-life balance. In my other role as Head of Religious Studies, I seek to ensure that students develop the respect, tolerance and understanding to allow us to live positively together in a diverse and vibrant society.
In my spare time I am an avid follower of sport - especially football, American football, surfing and basketball, and can sometimes be found practising my guitar in the music department.