Senior Management Team
Here at Sheldon we have a team of seven senior managers led by headteacher, Neil Spurdell.
Mr 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.
Miss Susan Powell
Born and brought up in Wales, I moved to Bath to study languages at Bath University. After graduation, I spent some time working in Europe for a travel company before going back to Wales to complete my PGCE.
I started my teaching career at Beechen Cliff in Bath as a teacher of French and Italian and went on to be Head of Languages and, eventually, Acting Deputy Head in charge of the curriculum.
Since moving to Sheldon, my focus has changed and my key areas of responsibility are now pupil care and guidance, teaching staff personnel issues, Initial Teacher Training and Newly Qualified teachers. I am proud to be part of the Sheldon community where we are all working together to provide a high quality education which centres around the development of the whole child.
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.
Miss Sian Mundy
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.
Miss Judith Owen
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.
Mr Eugene Spiers
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.
Mr James Couchman
I still feel hugely privileged to have been appointed to my current role which I started in August 2014. Before joining Sheldon I had worked in a similar role at St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School in the centre of Bristol for 7 years. Despite being an inner-city school with a different pupil demographic it shared many characteristics with Sheldon - a strong sense of community, a pupil-focused approach to education, and a great reputation which spread far beyond the boundaries of the Local Authority.
The role at St Mary Redcliffe was my first in education, having worked for Lloyds Bank for 15 years in a variety of management positions. Although my degree in French & Theology was not particularly relevant to the roles I undertook, I did very much enjoy helping people sort out their finances. As banks started to become more like financial services shops and expected their branch managers to sell to every customer they met, (including PPI!), I decided it was time to seek a move to the bank's head office in Bristol where I re-trained as a project manager in the marketing department.
I now live in Bath with my wife and 4 children. It is a great blessing to be able to live in a beautiful part of the world and to be able to work amongst people - pupils and colleagues - who are both stimulating and supportive. Many thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome!