Back to top

Yewlands Academy

Our Staff


Vicky Simcock - Executive Principal

I joined the Trust in December 2018 as Executive Principal of Hinde House 2-16 Academy and became Executive Principal at Yewlands in October 2021. I have over 15 years senior leadership experience, including Regional Education Director for the Midlands working for the E-ACT Trust. I have been married for 25+ years and I have 3 sons.

Contact at:


Kelly Howes - Associate Principal

I joined Yewlands Academy as Associate Principal in September 2019.  I started teaching in 1999 and have 10 years senior leadership experience, including as Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning in Liverpool and a range of Assistant Principal roles across schools in Liverpool and Suffolk.  I am a teacher of Science, specialising in Biology.

Contact at:


Nikki Bissett - Assistant Principal CIAG, Personal Development and Welfare

I joined Yewlands in 1999 as a Geography NQT. Originally from ‘down south’ I soon made Sheffield my home and have lived for 20+ years on the outskirts of Sheffield with my partner and 14-year-old son.

I have been privileged to spend my entire teaching career (22 years) working with young people in the NE of Sheffield. I have had numerous roles including Head of Geography and Head of Humanities. I moved into a Leadership role 5 years ago and currently lead whole school Personal Development. This role includes all things PSHE, RSE, Careers, Post 16 Transition, and Enrichment. This year I am completing the Level 6 Careers Leader course with Teach First.

Contact at:


Rich Bowns - Vice Principal Curriculum and Outcomes

I joined Yewlands Academy in 2017 as Vice Principal from Hinde House 2-16 Academy. I have been teaching for 18 years in schools around Rotherham and Sheffield as a maths teacher, Head of Maths and a senior leader. I am happily married with two amazing children.

Contact at:


Lou Bullen - Assistant Principal SENDCO


Dan Cross - Extended Leadership Team / Curriculum Lead - Science, Health and IT

I joined Yewlands Academy in September 2019 and have line managed Science, PE and ICT. I have previously taught both in Sheffield and in The Seychelles where I had roles including Head of A-level Studies and Deputy Headteacher (3-18 years). I am also senior consultant for Cambridge University Assessment. Beyond school I am lucky enough to have a wonderful family (2 children) and I enjoy running, travelling and scuba diving in my spare time.

Contact at:


Samantha Delany - Extended Leadership Team / Curriculum Lead - Maths, Art and Technology

I joined Yewlands Academy in 2003 as a Maths NQT. Over the past two decades, I have been privileged to work with the young people of our community, as a teacher, a Head of Maths and now as a senior leader. Away from the Academy, I am a mum, a wife and a geek – I love a good spreadsheet and have a niche repertoire on maths jokes.

Everyone knows that 6 is afraid of 7 because 7 8 9... But why? Because he wanted 32 meals a day!

Contact at:


Gemma Hirst - Vice Principal Behaviour, Attendance and Welfare / Designated Safeguarding Lead

I began working as a teacher of PE for Yewlands Academy in 2011 having previously taught in schools across Rotherham and Hull. I have held various roles during my time at Yewlands including PSHE lead, head of year and Assistant headteacher. This is my third year as Vice Principal with strategic lead on inclusion and safeguarding.

Outside of the Academy I love gymnastics and run my own club. I am very lucky to have a wonderful husband of 16 years and two teenage daughters. As a family we have a massive passion for travelling and love exploring new places.

Contact at:


Joe McCrudden - Extended Leadership Team / Lead Practitioner - Voice Brigantia Lead

I joined Yewlands Academy in 2021, having previously worked in schools in London and Sheffield. I have held various roles, including leading Year 11 English and being a Head of Year. At Yewlands, I am a Lead Practitioner, with a particular focus on whole-school literacy and oracy. Outside of work, I am a keen climber and walker and I can usually be found outdoors in any weather!

Contact at:


Dave Owens - Extended Leadership Team / Lead Practitioner - Making the Difference Lead

I have worked in Brigantia Learning Trust since 2015, and at Yewlands since 2019. In my time here I have been a Maths teacher, Head of Department and Lead Practitioner. I have also been privileged to have mentored a number of Early Career Teachers within the Trust.

Outside of the Academy, I enjoy playing the guitar and am (for my sins) a Newcastle United fan.

Contact at:


Mark Rusling - Extended Leadership Team / Curriculum Lead - English, Humanities, MFL and Performing Arts

I joined the Trust in September 2019 and have line managed English, Humanities, MFL and Performing Arts. I have previously taught in West Yorkshire and North London. Before teaching, I worked as Head of Office for an MP and was the elected Council Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and support York City FC through little thick and lots of thin.

Contact at:


Gaynor Wolstenholme - Extended Leadership Team / Lead Practitioner - Early Career Framework Provision Lead

I began working at Yewlands Academy in 2003 as a Science NQT. For the last 14 years, I have worked as a mentor and coach supporting newly qualified teachers. I gained SLE status in 2013 based on this work and was privileged to work alongside teachers in alternative settings (including mentoring an NQT in Malawi).

For the last 4 years I have led Early Career Teacher Development across Brigantia Trust. 

During exam season I enjoy being an examiner for AQA, and really value the added benefits this brings for our students in terms of exam expertise.

I am kept busy at home with my 2 brilliant teenagers.

Contact at: