Meet our Staff

Ali Jaffer - Head Teacher (Interim)

Picture, Ali JafferAli has previously successfully taught Modern Languages at Castle Hall Academy in Huddersfield and both Modern Languages and Humanities at Yewlands in Sheffield. He brings a strong academic background having graduated from Magdalene, Cambridge with a 2.1 following four As at A-Level.

He was part of the original group of parent/teachers that conceived the vision for Chapeltown Academy in 2012. He has various interests outside the curriculum including business enterprise, sports (all manner of them!), debating and drama. In addition to Spanish, Ali taught some Economics and French and is looking after the school, while the Governing Body appoints the next permanent head teacher. 



Beth Thornton - Deputy Head Teacher (Interim)

BTHBeth is Deputy Headteacher having joined the school this September.  In her previous school, an 11-18 comprehensive in Lincoln, she was Head of Mathematics leading a very successful department of 15 staff, for 8 years.  She has taught across the entire age and ability range. 

In addition to her teaching career, Beth is a mother of two children, one of whom is now a keen ice skater.  As a consequence Beth can be found at the ice rink in Nottingham at ridiculously early hours some mornings of the week.

Since joining the school she has started sewing and knitting clubs and is also a skilful baker!

Lesley Starkes - Finance and Business Manager

Lesley Starkes

Lesley has a wealth of experience in HR, payroll, premises management and Health & Safety, gained from working in several local schools as well as for Sheffield City Council. Lesley has also worked as an Exams Officer, Admissions Officer and Cover Supervisor. She is highly organised and makes an excellent contribution to the efficient running of Chapeltown Academy.






Amanda Southworth

Amanda SouthworthAmanda is our Student Services Manager and teacher of mathematics and computer science. She came to Chapeltown Academy from a successful secondary school in Chesterfield, where she taught Maths and was the UCAS and Higher Education Coordinator. Prior to this she spent many years in the world of industry using her Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Liverpool as a project manager. Her credits include McLaren Cars, the company who made the first pager and a keyhole surgery instrument manufacturer.

In addition to her teaching she is a keen baker and backstage mum. Her claim to fame is that Alain Prost held the door open for her and that she has met Rowan Atkinson.




Dan Bailey

Daniel did his teacher training placement with us and we were delighted when he chose to relocate from Manchester and stay and work at Chapeltown Academy. He has a first class degree from Manchester Metropolitan University and teaches Philosophy and History. Since starting at the college he has run a successful History club as well as film club.






Helen Deighton

Helen teaches Economics and relocated to Chapeltown Academy from Leicestershire. She is a highly experienced economics teacher having taught A level very successfully for several years before coming here. In addition, she brings a wealth of hands-on experience with her having worked as a Marketing Manager for both Boots and L’Oreal. In her previous school, Helen’s Young Enterprise group have been highly successful and we have high hopes for similar groups at Chapeltown!





David Powell

David is our very own Latin American specialist having spent several years teaching English in Peru. He has a MA and Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from Sheffield University as well as having taught various modules in the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University. David now combines teaching Spanish part time at Chapeltown Academy with teaching Spanish to English translation to Erasmus students from Spain.





Jackie Skeer - Head of Sciences

Jackie is our highly experienced teacher of Biology who joins us after having spent several years teaching very successfully at Wales High School and most recently, Silverdale School. Jackie is passionate about her subject and is experienced at undertaking biological research, having gained a Ph.D. from Cambridge before going on to do postdoctoral research in Cambridge, Oxford, Stuttgart and Leeds.





Ms Molly Vellacott

Molly teaches English at Chapeltown Academy and her love of literature is such that she has not only studied works in English but has also studied French, Russian, Czech, Polish and Spanish literature. She has a first class degree in Slavonic Studies with Russian Language from Glasgow University and speaks both Russian and Czech. Additionally, Molly also provides fantastic enrichment opportunities in folk singing and camping activities through her role as a group leader on Forest School Camps. She also is central to welcoming new students so if you are in Year 11 and have applied to join us or are thinking about it you are likely to hear/have heard from Molly at some point.





Dr. Tim Montgomery

Dr Tim MontgomeryAs far as politics goes, you will not find anyone more knowledgable than Dr. Tim Montgomery. Tim has a Bachelor's degree in International Relations, two masters degrees in Refugee Studies and Political Research Methods and a PhD in International Politics. The doctorate (from the University of Sheffield) focussed on the resolution of armed conflict and Tim has previously worked in post-conflict zones for the United Nations. He recently acted as an election presiding officer in south-west Sheffield (in the May 2014 local elections). In addition to having direct experience and unparalleled academic qualifications Tim has also taught degree courses and A-Levels is fully qualified to teach in schools. 

Outside of the classroom, Tim is particularly interested in astronomy, birds of prey, art and debating.



Dr. Antje Pieper


Dr. Pieper joined us from Lady Manners in Bakewell where she taught Modern Languages. She completed her studies at the University of Birmingham - including her doctorate in Historical Studies. Antje brings further, real academic weight to the staff body - her approach is to encourage her students to unearth their innate need to "discover" and thereby create a platform for exploring their academic interest in the sort of depth that is necessary to succeed at the world's best universities. 

Apart from teaching German and History, Antje (given her academic background and interests) is likely to supervise the EPQ for a number of Chapeltown students. Willkommen!



Dr Juliet Rowson - Head of Humanities and Social Sciences


Dr. Rowson joined us after 16 years teaching Geography at Silverdale, one of Sheffield's most successful schools. She has a fabulous record and signifcant experience of teaching Geography at all levels (and A-Level in particular). Prior to Silverdale, Juliet completed her M.Sc and Ph.D. in Geography at the University of British Columbia which followed a 2.1 from the University of Durham. 


She is currently Managing Editor of Geography Review , a publication specifically aimed at A-Level teachers and students. In addition, Juliet is interested in sustainability and activities offered in Curriculum Bonus Time will reflect that. Juliet also coordinates the Extended Project Qualification at Chapeltown Academy and you can contact her directly for enquiries about this. 



Kirsty Wright - Head of English and Languages 

Kirsty PictureKirsty will undoubtedly have the staff record for the most number of A*s at GCSE, she has 12 of them! Since then she followed it with straight As at A-Level and a 2.1 in History from the University of Cambridge. Kirsty then trained to teach English and joined us from from Sheffield Park Academy where her record of teaching English at all levels, including A-Level, is outstanding. Her experience also extends to teaching Engish to teenagers at the Camford Royal School in Beijing, China. 

Kirsty runs marathons (despite claiming not to be particularly sporty) and is an exceptional pianist and will bring these skills and interests to the Academy. She is fluent in French, Spanish and dabbles in Italian and will likely to contribute to the Academy's extra-curricular languages provision. 





Dr. Khayzuran Hunter


Khay is a highly experienced teacher of Chemistry who has recently relocated from the South of England to the North. She has a BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Brighton where she also undertook post-doctoral research. Aside from teaching Khay has a keen interest in walking in the Peak District with her three dogs.





Catherine Clayton

Picture of CCLCatherine Clayton brings a wide variety of experience to her role as a Physics Teacher. Previously she has worked in the engineering industry developing Artificial Intelligence to control manufacturing plants as well as investigating telecoms faults due to rats gnawing through cables. She has a degree in Physics from Durham University as well as a MBA from Manchester Business School. She is passionate about teaching A level Physics and joins us from St Mary’s Catholic High School in Chesterfield. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading poetry, walking and climbing and has climbed to the top of the Shap Lime Kilns. 



Robert Wilkins

Robert has retired from over thirty years of teaching sciences at secondary level in several South London schools. He has moved up to Sheffield to live close to his daughters which is fantastic for us as we now get the benefit of him working part-time as our lab technician!








Tyrone Deugo

Tyrone is our Premises Manager and looks after our building with great care and attention to detail. He comes to us with a wealth of experience having worked as a self-employed building and maintenance engineer as well as having done property maintenance and caretaking for a local school and the University. Tyrone is much appreciated at Chapeltown Academy, not just because of the great work he does, but because he can always be relied upon to have a smile and cheery greeting for everyone, be it first thing in the morning or last thing at night!





Stephen Parry

Stephen Parry studied Computer Science at Sheffield University and worked for nearly twenty years in the IT industry before becoming a teacher. He has a passion for Computing and all things electronic and species gadget, a passion he delivers in the classroom in his own eccentric style. As a father of four and a committed Christian young people, their wellbeing and futures have always been very important to him.


Emma Rose

Emma is our Finance and Business Assistant who also covers on reception when necessary. She has previously worked in customer service and events co-ordinating and most recently has spent several years working as a credit controller for a distributor of communication products.








Abigail Eaton


Joined as Temporary Finance and Business Assistant from a school in Derbyshire also as a Finance Officer. Previously worked in a school as a Child and Parent Support Officer dealing with attendance. Abigail has a degree in Sport Events Management from Sheffield Hallam University. None professional time has spent several years completing piano and dance exams. 



Sarah Dawson

Sarah Sarah is our Receptionist/PA to SLT. Previously worked in Student Services for The Sheffield College and also as an Admin Officer for Sheffield City Council within various Primary Schools.




For questions, please email the Interim Head Teacher, Ali Jaffer