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Members & Directors

Birdwell School Members

The Academy has five named Members.  They work with the Board of Directors to set strategic direction for the Academy.

All members and directors can be contacted via the main school office:



C/O Birdwell School 

Hollis Close

Long Ashton

BS41 9AZ





01275 392496

Geoff Mountjoy

Geoff Mountjoy is a Member and Trustee of Birdwell School Academy having had an extended period as Chair of the Board. He is currently Chair of the Curriculum & Standards Committee and 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.

Mike Shelley

Mike has been a Governor for Birdwell School Academy for over 12 years and during that time have seen many changes. 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 has been heavily involved in the development of the school during his time here, from the building of the Nursery to the re-build and expansion of the current school.


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.


Mike has been a Director of the school since it’s conversion on 01/04/2013 until July 2014, and a previous Governor of the school from September 2010. Mike remains a Trustee at this time.

Nick Thompson


Awaiting information

Ashley Cartman


Ashley Cartman 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 Directors

The Academy’s Board of Directors 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, except that this time limit does not apply to the Headteacher.  Subject to remaining eligible to be a particular type of Director, any Director can be re-appointed or re-elected.

Rob Goodwin (Chair)

Rob joined Birdwell School Board of Trustees on 20/05/2018.  Rob was voted in as Chair of Trustees on 26/09/2019.  Rob sits on the following committees and is the Chair of the Finance Committee:


  • Full Trustees
  • Finance (Chair)
  • Audit
  • Premises Health & Safety
  • Renumeration

Dr Tabetha Newman

Tabetha is an honorary research fellow at the University of Bristol and has a degree in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Animal Behaviour. In 2000 she moved from academia into the field of science communication and e-learning, producing solutions for clients such as GlaxoSmithKline, the NHS, and KPMG. In 2003 she left to set up Timmus Limited, a research consultancy. She is a mum to two children, both have attended Birdwell. Tabetha has been a Director for nearly eight years, during which time she has acted as Chair and Vice Chair and sat on a number of subcommittees. Her particular skills and interests involve working with the Curriculum and Standards Committee and supporting staff and pupil wellbeing.


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 the Chairman of the Premises, Health and Safety Committee.

Paul Sainsbury

Paul joined Birdwell School Board of Trustees on 01/04/2013 (when the school converted to an Academy).  Paul is the Headteacher of the school, so sits on the following committees:


  • Finance
  • Audit
  • Premises Health & Safety
  • Curriculum & Standards
  • Renumeration

Emma Bellis

Emma is Deputy Headteacher and SENCO.  Emma joined Birdwell School Board of Trustees on 01/04/2013 (when the school converted to an Academy).  Emma sits on the following committees:


  • Finance
  • Audit

Lucy Durham

Lucy is an Assistant Head and Reception Class Teacher at Birdwell School.  She has been a Director since 1 April 2013.  Lucy is a Staff Director and member of both the Curriculum and Standards Committee and Premises, Health and Safety Committee.

Emily Jones

Emily joined as a Director in November 2016. She works as an Early Years LSA and runs the Birdwell School Holiday Playscheme.  Emily is a member of the Premises, Health and Safety Committee.

Company Secretary

Hannah Joined Birdwell School Board of Trustees as the Company Secretary on 01/04/2013 (when the school converted to an Academy).  Hannah attends the following committees, providing administrative / clerking duties:


  • Full Trustees
  • Finance
  • Audit
  • Premises Health & Safety
  • Curriculum & Standards

Birdwell School Register of Interest