The Senior Leadership Team at John Spence
Jonathan Heath – Headteacher
I have been Headteacher at John Spence since September 2018 and feel privileged to work with such an amazing group of students, staff and governors. I am committed to providing the very best quality of education for all so that every individual leaves us with the skills, attributes and qualifications needed to be successful in life. I am also fully committed to providing staff with a safe and enjoyable working environment where all are encouraged to develop through high quality support and training.
Originally from Southampton, I have now lived and worked in the North East for over 20 years and will never leave; I truly value the strong sense of community, identity and pride that sums up the region. Prior to my current position I held two senior leadership roles, prior to which I was Head of English. My passion for my subject remains, in particular through my determination that all students should be effective communicators, but although my day job now means that I am only in the classroom for a short time each week I thoroughly enjoy the varied days of Headship and working in the best school in the North East!
Helen Blair – Assistant Headteacher
Helen Blair was born in North Shields and has ended up back in North Shields having spent some time further afield. Helen studied for her degree in Sheffield, then headed to London to take up her first teaching post. After three years she moved abroad to teach in the largest government school of The Bahamas. Island life was great and the opportunity to travel all over South America from there was something she will never forget but after nine years, home beckoned and Helen returned to England. She was lucky enough to be appointed to teach PE at John Spence and is now the longest serving teaching member of staff (25 years). Helen has been involved in sports all of her life and that has meant meeting lots of like-minded people. She is blessed to have two fabulous sons who, as they have grown up, have given her plenty to be proud of.
Louise Bray – Assistant Headteacher
Louise Bray has spent almost 20 exciting and rewarding years working as an English teacher, middle Leader and now senior Leader at John Spence. She cares deeply about everyone in the school community and, in her current role as Assistant Head, is proud to be working as part of a team that continually strives to make a positive difference to the lives of others. Louise has whole school responsibility for Teaching and Learning, professional development and quality assurance.
Leanne Clay – Deputy Headteacher
Leanne Clay entered teaching after completed a science degree at university and spend the first 12 years teaching in a school in Hartlepool. She has now been at John Spence for 13 years and still thoroughly enjoys teaching and supporting students to reach their goals. As a Deputy Headteacher her role involves developing the school curriculum, assessment systems and timetable.
James Redpath – Assistant Headteacher
James Redpath is very proud to have joined John Spence in September 2018 having started his teaching career 14 years ago at Ashington High School before becoming an Assistant Headteacher. When the opportunity to join John Spence arose, James knew it was right for him, and was confident he could help make a difference for the students, sharing the belief and having the necessary skills and experience to ensure all students regardless of need can achieve and succeed. As Assistant Headteacher, with responsibility for Student Progress, Pupil Premium, Transition, Student Voice and Celebration & Rewards he aims to do this, in collaboration with all students, parents and carers, and other members of the community, to ensure our students are supported and challenged, are provided with the best opportunities and aspire to be the best they can be.
Karen Yellowley – Assistant Headteacher
Karen Yellowley have been a history teacher since 1994. She joined John Spence Community High School in 1999 as Head of History. She remains in this position whilst also becoming a member of the Senior Leadership Team in 2017. She has never wanted to work anywhere else and remains as passionately committed to the school now as she was when she arrived in 1999.
Melissa Tunney – School Business Manager
I am both proud and privileged to be the School Business Manager at John Spence Community High School. The majority of my career has been spent working within the education sector from Primary right through to Higher Education. I believe the fundamental role of the SBM is to assist the school in ensuring that all pupils are provided with the resources they need to fully participate and excel in their learning journeys.
My areas of expertise are Business and Finance, Strategic Human Resources, Health and Safety and Premises Management. Being part of the Senior Leadership Team provides me with the fantastic opportunity to be directly involved in the strategic decision making process that exists to ultimately benefit our whole school community.
I am passionate and committed to maximising school resources to ensure our school facilities and buildings provide a safe and stimulating environment for students to be able to learn.