Chair: Mr Paul Houghton BSc FCA

Paul has been a governor since 2013 and Chair since 2016. A chartered accountant by profession, he is Chief Executive of Kingdom Bank. Paul is married with three children, two of whom have been Birkdale pupils.

A practising Christian, Paul is an active member of his local church in Fulwood, and he also serves as a volunteer leader on Gloddaeth Holidays which runs fun-packed activity holidays for pupils from independent schools, giving them the chance to explore the Christian faith and its relevance for today. Paul is also on the governing Council of Oak Hill Theological College in London.

Whilst managing partner of Grant Thornton’s Sheffield office for seven years until 2020, Paul was heavily involved in working for the benefit of the city and wider region.  After a four-year term as a private sector board member of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, he was a member of both the City Growth Board and City Partnership Board.  From 2020, as CEO of Kingdom Bank, Paul has been responsible for shaping the mission and growth of a organisation which exists to support UK churches with the provision of financial services.

Mr Neill Birchenall

Neill is a local business leader, active across multiple voluntary boards. He serves as the Vice Chair of both the Sheffield City Partnership Board and the Sheffield Diocesan Board of Finance as well as a founding director and board member of Sheffield Digital.

Alongside these roles Neill holds multiple charity trusteeships. His professional career ranges from his role as a Director of local technology companies ASK4 and Appt to interests in start-ups providing clean affordable energy to Africa and software development in South West China.

He is an active member of Network Church Sheffield and lives in Crosspool with his wife Lorna and their three children.

Mr Ben Bowles MEng MMath

Ben was born in Rwanda but grew up mostly in Yorkshire. He went to University in Oxford where he split his time between lectures and rowing.

He taught at a country boarding school, a Swiss international school, and a London day school before becoming Deputy Head (Academic) at The Manchester Grammar School.

He is married with four small children and is a supporter of Gloddaeth holiday camps. He has been a Governor at Birkdale since January 2020.

Professor Jeremy Dawson PhD

Jeremy Dawson was born in Sheffield, and educated at Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex.

After gaining degrees in Mathematics (BSc, Durham University), Statistics (MSc, University of Sheffield) and Management (PhD, Aston University), he spent several years working as a statistician in different university research groups.

He is now Professor of Health Management at the University of Sheffield, where he works jointly across the Management School and the School of Health and Related Research, lecturing in statistics and conducting research into how NHS organisations can be better organised to lead to improved outcomes for both staff and patients.

He is an active member of Sheffield Cathedral, where as a semi-professional musician he sings in the Cathedral Choir. Hobbies include being an Extreme Cellist, playing cricket, and watching Sheffield Wednesday.

Mr Matthew Dennis BMus (Tonmeister)

Born and bred in South Yorkshire, Matt is a former pupil and Head Boy of Birkdale Senior School and, before attending university, also worked as a Gap Year Student at the Prep School.

He graduated from The University of Surrey as a Tonmeister and taught Music Technology at Eton College during his time in the South. Now living back in Sheffield, Matt runs Resound Audio: a small business providing a range of professional audio services.

Matt is married to Stephi (also a former pupil of Birkdale and now a primary school teacher) and they enjoy music, eating out and exploring new places in the campervan. As committed Christians serving together at Oughtibridge Parish Church, they are passionate about getting to know Jesus better and love spending time with God’s people.

Mr Stephen Drury

Information to follow

Mr Luke Fanthome

Luke has lived in Sheffield since 2007, having moved to the city to attend the University of Sheffield. He works in the cyber security industry and is married with two children.

Luke enjoyed an eclectic education in the state and private sector both in the UK and abroad, notably attending Christ’s Hospital School in West Sussex. He is an active member of Christ Church Walkley and has been a Christian since 2003.

Mrs Ann Hetherington

Born and educated in Sheffield, Ann is a Registered General Nurse with a specialist qualification in Community Nursing.

She has several years experience of working in Oncology and until recently held a post in the Academic Unit of Oncology at Weston Park Hospital. Ann is currently Head of Therapy Services at Cavendish Cancer Care, a local charitable organisation. Ann is married with two children both of whom attended the sixth form at Birkdale. Hobbies include running and playing the clarinet. Ann is a Worship Leader at Christ Church, Stocksbridge.

Mrs Sarah Turner MA ACA

Sarah Turner was appointed as a Governor in 2016 and chairs the Finance and Development Committee. She was educated at Sheffield High School and Edinburgh University and is a chartered accountant by trade.

She is married to Charles, a manufacturer of steel products and they have four children.The elder two boys have now left Birkdale and are going to Leeds and Newcastle universities. The youngest son is a current pupil and their daughter is at Sheffield High School. Sarah is a practising Christian and the family are members of Christ Church Fulwood, where she is involved in the preschool and children’s work.

Mrs A M Rees BEd MA FRSA

Angela Rees holds a senior academic post at Sheffield Hallam University. Her early career as a teacher led her into teacher education in which she has held senior leadership, management and external examining roles.

Leadership and management consultancy have provided opportunities to work in Pakistan and South Africa. Her experience and expertise in collaborative provision UK and Overseas involve her in significant cross university activity. She became a governor at Birkdale School over 20 years ago, and her son was educated there. Angela is an active member of Sheffield Cathedral and sits on the Cathedral Community Council. Her hobbies include travel, walking, theatre and entertaining.

Mr S Ushewokunze MB CHB, MRCS (Glas) FRCS (Glas) (Neuro. Surg)

Shungu Ushewokunze was born in London and grew up in Zimbabwe. He attended St Ignatius College Chishawasha and St George’s College Harare Zimbabwe.

He went on to study medicine at the University of Zimbabwe, graduating in 1997 and went on to complete neurosurgery training in Birmingham. He undertook a paediatric neurosurgery fellowship at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne Australia in 2011. Shungu has been working as a Consultant Neurosurgeon in Sheffield since 2012. Shungu is married to Emily and they have six children. His son is a pupil at Birkdale. He and his family worship at Bent’s Green Methodist church.

Mrs K M Walker MA

Kathryn Walker was educated at Eastbourne High School followed by Newnham College Cambridge where she read Natural Sciences.

After her degree she moved to London where she worked in IT for a Lloyds Insurance broker in the City of London.
She is married to Ian and they moved to Sheffield in 1992. They have four children and three have attended the School. They are all members of All Saints Ecclesall Church.

Mrs Heidi Wragg BSc Hons, PGCE 5-11

Heidi was born in California and moved to England at the age of 12. She was educated at Croft Lodge Convent in Torquay & Cheltenham Ladies College before attending UMIST, where she completed a degree in Textile Technology.

She has had a diverse career change, from operating a textile manufacturing business to completing a PGCE, which opened the way for her to teach at Ashdell Prep School and more recently, at S Anselm’s in Bakewell. She is currently working as an indirect tax specialist for a local firm, specialising in support for the care sector. Heidi is an active member of Fulwood Sports Club where she enjoys her voluntary role as Membership Secretary.

She is married to Jonathan and they have three children; both boys attended Birkdale and are now working in London, where their daughter, son-in law and two grandchildren also reside. Heidi & her husband are members of Christ Church Fulwood

Clerk to the Governors:

Mr Ronan Wade MA FCA

If you wish to contact the Chair of Governors, please use this contact form.