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Achievement Respect Transformation


David Cooper


David joined the school in 1997 as a teacher of History and Sociology, and became Co-Head in 2017, following a succession of leadership roles within the school. He leads on school partnership work, which demonstrates his focus on the community and a broader approach to education beyond the school itself. David also sits on the LEP West Yorkshire Headteacher Area Network, the Employment and Skills panel for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, is the Chair of the Kirklees Careers Hub Steering Group and the Leeds Beckett University Strategic ITT Partnership Group. David has been involved in a number of successful bids on behalf of the school and in partnership with other agencies, including the NIHR, Erasmus + and the Change Project.

David was the first member of his family to attend University and knows first-hand the power of education to transform lives, having studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Leeds. His commitment to lifelong learning truly is inspirational as is his passion for building strong alliances to mutually deliver for the school and the community.



Debbie Goddard 

Co-Head of School 

Debbie’s role is to inspire students to accomplish beyond their expectations and to foster a motivation that stays with them throughout their lives. She has been at the school for over twenty years and, in working here, has been able to develop in an environment that shares the same ethos and values. Here at the school, we model best-practice of how to treat others and Debbie is a firm believer that everyone has something of value to contribute.

She demonstrates that inspiring students is integral to their success and encourages them to fulfil their potential. Debbie is mindful that as role models we need to connect on multiple levels; be committed yet disciplined in our approach, and work alongside students and staff to deliver the best outcomes for all.



Helen Sheldrake

Co-Head of School 

Helen began her teaching profession here and has now been with us for 18 years, which is testament to the school’s distinct principle of ‘growing our own.’ She feels very fortunate to have had this opportunity at the start of her career and has since undertaken a variety of roles both within the English department and across the whole school. Unsurprisingly, her teaching philosophy echoes the values at the heart of the school: Achievement, Respect and Transformation.

At the centre of Helen’s vision for the future is her belief in and commitment to the foundations of comprehensive education, which are demonstrated through her dedication to the development of every child, the department in which she works, the school and the wider community. Integral to the role of driving up standards and outcomes is the solid commitment to developing cultural capital for all students and providing a genuine breadth and depth of experience both within the curriculum offer and wider cultural experiences.



Bethan Shafiq

Assistant Head: Personal Development and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Bethan joined the team here in September 2021; her teaching career began in 2015 in the North East where she took on the role of Key Stage 3 Coordinator of RE in her first year of teaching. Bethan moved to West Yorkshire in 2017, where she has been Head of Religious Studies and Head of Personal Development in two schools across Calderdale and Kirklees. In 2019 she successfully completed a project on the development of mental health and wellbeing provision across schools in Kirklees, as part of the Teaching Leaders course with the Ambition Institute. She has also worked for the AQA examination board as a Team Leader, supporting examiners in effectively marking GCSE RE. Bethan has a real passion for developing the holistic child, which makes her a natural fit here, aligning to the school's values. She strongly believes wellbeing support for all students is a vital asset to enhance students’ personal development and allow them every opportunity in the future.



Emma Rodrigues

Assistant Head and Director of the Yorkshire Rose Teaching Foundation

Emma also began her teaching career here and remains, over 27 years later, as she finds the school such a rewarding, stimulating and enjoyable place to work. Since 2009 she has been responsible for the training of student teachers, working in partnership with universities and Higher Education providers to deliver the best possible teachers for future generations.

Emma is the Co-ordinator for The Yorkshire Rose Teaching Alliance, comprising a number of local secondary and primary schools, part of the national School Direct initiative, which has seen a significant change in the way teachers are trained. She strongly believes this is the optimum way to ensure students are taught by outstanding teachers. Emma is driven by the rewards from working with trainee HLTAs and, whilst challenging at times, it is often thought-provoking and always worthwhile.



Hayley Taylor

Assistant Head: Achievement 

Hayley has been at the school since 1995 during which time she has been fortunate enough to fulfil a wide range of roles and responsibilities, including a secondment working across Kirklees delivering sessions on revision and study skills. Her passion lies in understanding how students learn, how they learn best and this has developed into her undertaking a variety of extra-curricular roles including Study Skills and Gifted & Talented Lead. She has previously acted as Teacher Governor and was Head of the Maths Department for ten years, where she developed the team and saw it grow into the success it is today. Hayley has now been Assistant Head since 2014 with a priority focus on whole school achievement and options. More recently she has worked as a Specialist Leader in Education across the Trust as well as several schools in the Kirklees area and also achieved the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership.  



Gareth Goddard

Assistant Head: Behaviour & Attitudes 

Gareth has undertaken a variety of pastoral and curriculum leadership roles since 2003, when he joined the school, as well as serving as a staff representative on the Board of Governors 2011-2017. His current role allows him to focus on maintaining high standards of behaviour, rewarding students that get it right, and to help create a school where all students feel safe, happy and want to attend.

Gareth holds the school’s relationship with parents in high regard and he is keen to continue developing strong channels of communication to ensure they are fully aware of their daughters’ progress. He has introduced the ‘My Child At School’ provision and ‘School Cloud’ to help facilitate this open interaction. Gareth is extremely proud of the school and is committed to creating the best possible environment for everyone.



Michelle Hendry

Assistant Head: Quality of Education, Engagement in Learning - Fostering Reflective Practice 

Michelle has previously worked in schools in the Midlands, Cheshire and Kirklees before joining the team here as Head of Science in 2004. She then became Head of Faculty, which broadened her role and responsibilities to other subject areas including PE, DT, Applied Learning and Social Sciences. Michelle firmly believes in learning from the good practice of others and has benefited from the wealth of experience, teamed with enthusiasm, for teaching and learning pedagogy here at the school. She has always had a keen interest in the ‘attainment gap’ throughout her teaching career and is driven by a desire to ensure learning and achievement is as inclusive as possible. Her National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership project also had this theme at its heart. This has naturally paved the way for her role as Assistant Head today; where Michelle’s responsibility lies in promoting a culture that enables all students and staff to excel, through the development of reflective practice, to deliver highly effective teaching and learning.



Mark Limbert

Assistant Head: Operations Director 

Mark joined the team from a private sector background of IT support in 2007. Being new to education, understanding and adapting to the systems and procedures of a school were vital to making his role effective here. He became a Governor in 2011 to ensure he was best placed to fully support the BSF (Building Schools for the Future) government investment process and help to achieve the best outcomes for the school and its stakeholders.

Mark is now responsible for whole school operations, managing the site team and facilities at the school. He joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2017 which saw his role develop Trust-wide. He is driven by ensuring that all stakeholders have the spaces and equipment they need to deliver their roles at an optimum level.



Alan Brown

Finance Director

Alan has worked in the education sector since 1997 and has a background in a number of local authority finance teams. He worked in an advisory capacity, supporting schools in one local authority area, providing financial guidance, as well as training on budgeting and financial controls. He also led on external funding, managing the financial aspects of the European funding programmes (ESF and ERDF), as well as the Standards Fund grants delivering support for school funding bids to a range of providers.

After that, Alan was Finance Director in a large secondary school, in Leeds, for almost nine years, before joining the team here in 2017. He is well-versed in all aspects of funding and finance in education, taking great pride and enjoyment in his involvement with the day-to-day aspects of working in a school and is instrumental to the school’s development.


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Trust Adress

  • Batley Girls’ High School
  • Windmill Lane, Batley
  • WF17 0LD
  • Batley Girls’ High School is part of Batley Multi Academy Trust, company number 7732537, a Company incorporated as private limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales and an exempt Charity. Registered Office Windmill Lane, Batley, WF17 0LD.