Primary School

Google Services

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search


Trustees & Members

Birdwell School Members and Board of Trustees

The Birdwell Primary School Academy has five named Members. They work with the Board of Trustees to set strategic direction for the Academy. All members can be contacted via the school office.

The Academy’s Board of Trustees (aka directors or governors) comprises the Headteacher, a minimum of two elected Parent Directors, up to three Staff Directors and up to six other Directors. Directors are appointed for an initial four year period (with the exception of the Headteacher). Assuming they remain eligible, any Director can be re-appointed or re-elected. In addition to our main committee we also have four sub-committees which are: Finance & Audit; Premises, Health & Safety; Curriculum & Standards and Renumeration.


For the 2020-21 academic year, our Chair of Trustees is Geoff Mountjoy and our Vice Chair is Tabetha Newman. Chair of Finance is Robert Goodwin, Chair of Audit is Ashley Cartman, Chair of Premises Health & Safety is Marc Cornford, Chair of Curriculum & Standards is Rebecca Murray and Chair of Renumeration is Geoff Mountjoy.


We are interested in recruiting new members to our Board. If you are interested in joining, please contact the Chair or Vice Chair via the office. 



Birdwell Members


Geoff Mountjoy

Geoff Mountjoy is a Member and Trustee of Birdwell School Academy, and is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees. He also sits on the Curriculum & Standards Committee and is Safeguarding Lead.

Geoff works with the Teaching School Council as Regional Governance Lead helping to broker support for schools in the Region who have Leadership and Management issues. He is also works part time as a governance coordinator for the Cathedral School Trust.

Since September Geoff has being studying part-time for a Doctorate in Education focussing on constructive governance relationships.


Dr Tabetha Newman

Tabetha has sat on the Board of Trustees for nine years, and is currently Vice Chair. In 2019 she was also voted in as a Member. In the past she has acted as Chair and has chaired a number of subcommittees. Her particular skills and interests involve working with the Curriculum and Standards Committee and supporting staff and pupil wellbeing. She has also written several successful funding bids for the school, and helps organise the school website structure and content. 

Tabetha is an honorary research fellow at the University of Bristol. She moved from academia to science communication, and in 2003 she set up Timmus Limited, a digital research consultancy. She is a mum to two children, both have attended Birdwell.

Mike Shelley

Mike is a Member, having been a governor and trustee for Birdwell School Academy for over 12 years. Mike has been heavily involved in the development of the school during his time here, from the building of the pre-school to the re-build and expansion of the current school.

Mike has three daughters who have attended Birdwell and they all had such a wonderful experience with some very special memories of their time spent in a vibrant, friendly, safe environment.

Mike comes from a background in Horticulture, Police and Facilities Management. Mike feels very privileged to be able to offer his knowledge and experience to help continue the wonderful development of a very special learning environment.

Nick Thompson
Nick was a trustee for four years, and was Chair of the Finance committee for much of that time. At the end of his four year term he was asked to become a Member.

Ashley Cartman

Ashley Cartman is a Member. He has lived in the Long Ashton ward with his family for over 10 years and was a previous parent of Birdwell School. He is a Parish Councillor for Long Ashton and Leigh Woods and is Chair of the Finance & Performance committee of North Somerset Council. He qualified as a chartered accountant and recently specialised in Internet technology and software businesses.

Birdwell School Trustees (Directors)

Rob Goodwin

Rob joined Birdwell School Board of Trustees in 2018, and acted as Chair in the 2018-19 academic year. Rob is now the Chair of the Finance Committee and sits on several other sub-committees.

Maxine Houghton
Maxine grew up in North Somerset and returned to live in Backwell a few years ago. She has worked as a secondary English and Drama teacher, Learning Mentor and SENCo in South Gloucestershire schools since 1998. Since 2003 Maxine has taken a particular interest in working with young people who struggle to access learning, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities. She is an advocate for inclusion and believe that anything is possible given the right support, a lot of resilience and a solution-focused approach.
Recent ill-health gave Maxine the push needed, to re-evaluate my work/life balance and in 2016, she travelled to Kerala, Southern India, learning yoga and meditation. Maxine came back full of energy, ready to find new challenges and opportunities and keen to give back to the local community through voluntary work. Although Maxine is not a parent herself, she has 5 godchildren aged from 5 - 15 and a niece and nephew who attend a primary school in Nailsea. Maxine hopes to be able to share her knowledge and experience of child development, school leadership and SEND and is proud to be a new member of the Birdwell family. Maxine became a Director in October 2016.

Rebecca Murray
Rebecca is a primary school teacher in Bristol, a member of their Senior Leadership Team and English lead.  Rebecca is currently on a career break to focus on her young family.  Rebecca is a member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee.

Marc Cornford
Marc Cornford is a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. He has spent the majority of his career teaching young pilots to fly various types of military helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. In recent years he has worked extensively in the governance and assurance of flying standards in the Fleet Air Arm. Marc lives in Long Ashton and has two children who attend Birdwell School Academy. He became a Trustee in September 2019 and is currently the Chairman of the Premises, Health and Safety Committee.

Paul Sainsbury
Headteacher of the school, and sits on all of our committees and subcommittees.

Lucy Durham
Lucy is an Assistant Head and Reception Class Teacher at Birdwell School. She is a Staff Director and also sits on the Curriculum and Standards Committee, and the Premises, Health and Safety Committee.

Emily Jones
Emily is a Staff Director. She currently runs our pre-school nursery, and has previously worked as an Early Years LSA. She also runs the Birdwell School Holiday play scheme. Emily also sits on the Premises, Health and Safety Committee.

Hannah Jones (Company Secretary)
Hannah Joined Birdwell School Board of Trustees as the Company Secretary in 2013. Hannah attends all of our committee and sub-committee meetings, providing administrative and clerking duties. She is also responsible for coordinating the processes and outputs from all board members.

Birdwell School Register of Interest (2020-21)