Meet the senior leadership team

Gareth Burton – Headteacher

I am a proud Yorkshireman and having completed my A Level studies in Rotherham, spent four years at the University of Exeter, graduating in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics. Having spent three years teaching in central London and a further eight years in north Gloucestershire, I joined Bournside as Deputy Headteacher in 2012, before being appointed Headteacher in September 2017.

Away from school, I have two daughters, aged 10 and 8, who keep me very busy and having recently hung up my own rugby boots, I am a keen follower of Gloucester Rugby and enjoy cycling and long distance running, having completed three marathons and looking forward to my next in April 2019!

I was a late-convert to the love of literature, but now it is rare to find me without two or three different books on the go at once.  My New Year’s resolution for 2018 was to learn to play the piano and play a song in assembly in front of each year group of 270 students; I’m pleased to say that this was one New Year’s resolution that I managed to keep!

Karen Hanley – Deputy Headteacher

I grew up in Wiltshire, went to Reading University where I studied Economics and Sociology and initially trained as an accountant with KPMG.  In my mid-20s, I retrained as a teacher and lived and worked in Dorset for 10 years after qualifying as a teacher.  After spending 7 years as a Head of Department down south, I moved to Cheltenham to be nearer my friends and family and take up a job here at Bournside in 2005.  I have been very fortunate to have been able to work my way up to Deputy Headteacher having also spent time as an Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form.

Outside of work, my twin passions are tennis and travelling.  I am an avid tennis fan and love watching it live or on TV.  I have also travelled widely and am always planning my next trip. This year I have trips planned to Spain, Scandinavia and in October, I am back off to New York, my favourite city on our bi-annual Sixth Form trip to New York and Washington which I lead.

I love to read, and always have several books on the go. I sing and I love live theatre. I am a member of a book group and the Cheltenham Film Society, and can also be found occasionally treading the boards for the Leckhampton Players, a local am-dram society. 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 – Assistant Headteacher

Having grown up in Gloucestershire I know how lucky I am to work at a school like Bournside. 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!

I was in the sixth form when I knew that sport and teaching were going to be my future. Growing up I was lucky enough to have had a loving, supportive family and some wonderful role models who inspired me to complete my degree and subsequent teacher training. I have since spent thirteen happy years developing and nurturing incredible talent both in the classroom and on the sports field. Throughout this time I have had a range of leadership responsibilities but have had the privilege of leading Bournside Sixth Form for the last 5-years.

Out of school I am a proud Gloucester rugby fan, but a prouder father to Darcy and Ben. Saturday afternoon rugby has been replaced with children’s swimming and gymnastics lessons, kid’s parties and family fun, but I love it! I enjoy the outdoors and reading, especially biographies, leadership and military books. I like film and have been known to take on the odd DIY project!

My life as a teacher and father are hugely rewarding. I am extremely fortunate and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Beth Warren – Assistant Headteacher

I loved school as a child, and always wanted to teach, but didn’t think I’d end up teaching Chemistry when I was younger, as most of my spare time was spent playing badminton for the county or playing the cello in the South Wales Youth Orchestra. I completed my Chemistry degree and PGCE with the University of East Anglia, and spent the first 12 years of my career teaching in Essex and Suffolk.

In my life before children my husband and I did quite a bit of travelling, walking and climbing.  We are both still pretty dedicated to keeping fit, and you’ll usually find me on the bike or running whenever I get the chance.  I would rather be outdoors than in, and we now take our children walking and camping whenever we can.

I still enjoy learning and over the years have become far more thoughtful about the psychology of teaching, how people learn, what makes good leadership, and regularly keep the senior leadership team busy with reading about current research and practice to do with education and leadership.

Sally Lees – Assistant Headteacher

I was born in Cornwall and it was there that I completed my education until I was 18. From an early age I always knew I wanted to teach music and allow others to experience and enjoy all the opportunities i was given as a child. I then left the county to pursue my studies at Cardiff University. It was here that I studied Music for 3 years, graduating with a BMus (Hons) before embarking on my Teacher Training at Bath College of Higher Education.
I taught as a music teacher initially in Bristol before becoming Head of Expressive Arts in Cirencester. I joined Bournside in 2008 as Assistant Head. I recently embarked on further studies to gain the NASENCo award which has enabled me to become the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for the school.

Away from school, I have my son, Ethan, aged 8, who keeps me very busy. He is a very keen rugby player which is great as I have followed rugby all of my life supporting Cornwall, Bath and England. My support for Bath Rugby though is coming home to haunt me now though, as my son is an ardent Gloucester supporter! It certainly adds fun to a day out at the rugby!

In my ‘free’ time I like to play tennis, watch live sport and listen to music. I love walking and exploring the countryside with my two black Labradors, Murphy and Molly.

David Hillyard – Assistant Headteacher

Born and bred in Cheltenham I attended Bournside Sixth Form Centre as a student many years ago. After A levels I studied Computer Science and Business Information Technology, graduating with BSc honours. To gain some industry experience before entering the teaching profession, I was an analyst-programmer at what was then Messier-Dowty.  Creating database systems to track aircraft parts, distribute technical drawings to engineers in airports across the globe, and instrument calibration.

I have taught at three of the largest schools in Gloucestershire: Chosen Hill, Cleeve and Bournside. In addition to teaching, I was a subject leader with the University of Gloucestershire for initial teacher training for six years, a chair of Governors and founding member of the Gloucestershire Learning Alliance, a multi-academy trust of primary schools.

In my spare time I am a proud father to two boys and just about find the time to host a popular GCSE/A level YouTube channel. I am an avid freshwater and saltwater fish keeper. I love miniature wargaming, contemporary board games, reading about astronomy and mixing the occasional cocktail!

Rob Waters – Associate Assistant Headteacher

I am from a small village called Caerleon in South Wales where I grew up on a farm and went to school completing my A levels in Computing, Biology and Geography before moving onto University in Swansea. I spent three happy years there living by the sea, playing rugby and graduating in information systems.

First and foremost, I am a teacher of Computing and ICT, but since joining Bournside more than 5 years ago I have had a range of responsibilities that are predominantly pastoral.

Away from school and during the breaks I enjoy travelling around the world including Asia, America and anywhere I can ski. When in this country you will find me taking my dog on as many walks as she can get me on and spending time with family. Reading brings me pleasure, as it allows me time away from screens; I especially enjoy autobiographies. I am also a lover of many sports including golf and squash and have a lifetime season ticket for an unsuccessful rugby team in South Wales!

Lucy Hemsley – Associate Assistant Headteacher

Born and bred in Cheltenham, I completed my undergraduate degree at York University in History before spending two years working in magazine publishing in London. Knowing I wanted a change of career but not quite knowing in what field, I spent a year backpacking the world before settling in Mexico for a year to teach English. Once inside a classroom, I knew that was where I belonged! I returned to Cheltenham in 2012 to work at Bournside teaching History and Politics and have been here ever since! I have been fortunate enough to hold a range of responsibility posts in the school, joining the senior leadership team in 2018.

Aside from school, I am a busy mum to my two-year-old son and, whilst travelling is more Butlins than Bolivia these days, gardening has become a new hobby of mine having recently built a vegetable patch – Monty Don eat your heart out!

Kevin Warren – Associate Assistant Headteacher

I started my teaching career in South Wales having graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 1996 with a degree in Geography. Having worked in South Wales for 13 years I moved to Cheltenham Bournside School in 2009.

Outside of school, I have two sons aged 16 and 15 and I enjoy nothing more than taking them to their various sporting fixtures every weekend and watching them compete on a rugby or football pitch. Coaching rugby at Hereford RFC under 16s and supporting Wales in the Six Nations also gives me a huge amount of satisfaction. Away from the rugby pitch I am a keen runner and enjoy keeping fit and I have recently completed a double ultra-marathon in aid of Motor Neurone Disease running from Bath to Cheltenham. I am determined to ensure that this was not a one off experience and plan to run several more ultra-marathons in the future.

In addition to sport, I take pleasure in reading and I try and make time every evening to read for pleasure where I particularly enjoy reading autobiographies and thrillers.