Senior Management Team


Here at Sheldon we have a team of seven senior managers led by headteacher, Neil Spurdell



Sheldon is my sixth school and second in which I have been a headteacher. My career began in a large comprehensive in Newcastle upon Tyne and has seen me work in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and West Berkshire. Teaching was what I always wanted to do, with my initial aim being to inspire youngsters in my subject area, mathematics. Having taught thousands of students since starting out in 1992, I am as enthusiastic now as I was back then and, like all other teachers, I am passionate about education and about wanting to make a difference.

Away from school, I enjoy spending time with my wife and four children. In 2006, we were extremely fortunate to be able to travel the world for six months, which gave me the chance to reflect on my core beliefs and to spend quality time as a family. It also enabled us all to appreciate the opportunities that we have in the UK and to ensure that we make the very most of them. It is my aim to ensure that Sheldon students make the very best of their opportunities and that we provide an environment in which they are able to do so.


Dr alison simpson

I have lived in the South West since 1995 when I moved to the University of Bristol from the University of Liverpool to complete my PhD in Organic Chemistry. I then joined a local pharmaceutical company working in research and leading a team of chemists in the development of neurochemicals.

A career change in 2006 saw me retrain as a teacher with the University of Bath. The move to education is one that I am passionate about. I have a love of learning and recognise fully, that teaching is a privileged profession where we as educators have the ability to make a difference to the lives of the young people with whom we work.

My previous roles include Second in 6th Form, Head of Science, Assistant Headteacher and Director of the Avon Teaching School Alliance. Before joining Sheldon school I worked as Assistant Headteacher in two other schools in the region.

I am excited to be joining the Sheldon community and am looking forward to working with students and staff to develop further the supportive and nurturing environment in which all students can achieve their full potential.



After completing my teacher training in South Wales, I was fortunate enough to be appointed as a teacher of English and Media Studies at Sheldon School. I spent five incredibly happy years at the school in various posts, including Teacher in charge of AS/A2 Literature and Deputy Year Head, before moving on from the school in 2012 to become a Head of Faculty.

Since leaving in 2012, I have worked in range of schools, both in the UK and Australia, but it is the upmost privilege to have been appointed to the position of Assistant Headteacher and to have been able to return to the school where my career started.

I learnt so much in my initial five years at Sheldon School, and have learnt even more since. Therefore, it is a complete delight to be responsible for the Continuing Professional Development of my colleagues. It is my ambition to be able to give back to the staff that taught me so much in my early career, and to nurture the talent of new teachers, and teachers joining the school, so that we can become even greater.

Like all teachers, I am passionate about the importance of education and I firmly believe that a good education can transform your life. As Assistant Headteacher responsible for Pastoral Care, it is my aim to ensure that every student at Sheldon is supported and challenged to reach their full potential.



Originally from South Wales, I graduated with a degree in history in 1995 then trained to be a teacher at the University of Wales, Swansea. I first taught at Bryntirion School in Bridgend before heading oversees to work for the English Schools Foundation, at King George V School in Hong Kong. I returned to the UK to work as Head of history at Beechen Cliff School in Bath before joining Sheldon in 2015, as Head of Humanities. I was appointed Assistant Headteacher in September 2018.

Sheldon is a happy, inclusive and thriving school where students want to learn and expect excellent teaching. All our staff work together to ensure that students can succeed in the classroom. My main role is to develop teaching and learning across the school and I feel strongly that all students have the right to the very best education, both inside the classroom and through a variety of enrichment activities. I hope to work with staff to develop the curriculum further, ensuring that challenging and enjoyable lessons develop the independence and resilience of our students.



Born and brought up just outside Oxford, I moved to Bristol to study Politics and Sociology at the University of the West of England. After graduation, I spent some time working in London for a publishing company before going to the Institute of Education in London to complete my PGCE in Social Science. I started my teaching career in East London as a teacher of Sociology and went on to be Subject Leader and later, Head of Initial Teacher Training and member of the whole school pedagogy team.

I moved back to the West Country in 2010 for my first Assistant Headteacher role at Oldfield School in Bath. I then spent 7 years at The John of Gaunt School in Trowbridge with various leadership responsibilities. It was during this time that I was Acting of Head Sixth Form for a year and really enjoyed the role as I have always taught post-16 students and think it is such an exciting time in young people’s lives. I was really pleased to secure a permanent Head of Sixth Form role here at Sheldon and am proud to be part of an excellent team.



MRS Julia Finch

I have worked in the education sector now for over 18 years after starting my career in banking and then working in the commercial sector in financial & business leadership roles. I have also had the privilege to have lived overseas in Germany, Hong Kong and Brunei, experiencing different cultures and lifestyles.

I joined the education sector after returning to work following the birth of my daughter and have never looked back since. I love working in the school environment as you cannot predict one day from the next. Being involved in providing strong business services to ensure the best outcomes for all students is important to me. Therefore, following joining my first school in Buckinghamshire in 2004, as a Bursar, I studied to become qualified as a School Business Manager. My passion for this role and the value it adds then led me to become a trainer for the National College of Schools Leadership and it was a pleasure to see so many people develop their careers in schools, many of which I am still in touch with to this day.

It is clear the dedication that all staff have to their roles here at Sheldon, so it is my privilege to become part of the team, having recently relocated from Buckinghamshire.

In my spare time I love travelling, eating tasty food (I am married to a Chef!) and attending live theatre performances and music events. I also like adrenaline sports, such as horse riding, skiing, rock climbing etc. I am currently enjoying getting to know Wiltshire and the surrounding areas.