Meet the Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team have the overall responsibility for the strategy of the school and target setting.

Gill Shirt

Gill Shirt


It is my privilege to lead our Ambitious, Respectful, Caring and honest students and staff at Todmorden High School. I have been teaching for over thirty years, starting off in Liverpool and then spending fourteen years at Wardle High School. After leaving Wardle I taught in Preston and then secured the job as head of English here at Todmorden High School.

I have since teamed up with several Headteachers and Senior Leadership Teams here at Todmorden. Since being appointed Headteacher in September 2017 I have worked tirelessly in order to maximise all our students‘ learning potential. I believe developing and supporting staff is key. We have recently re-written the school’s vision and values, and these underpin all our work. As a values driven person I truly believe that it is my responsibility to ensure Todmorden High School unlocks each individual’s unique potential.

We know our children well, it is important to our governors , staff and myself that all children develop to make the right moral choices in life, that they develop confidence in their own opinions and abilities. We all aim to help every child succeed whilst they are at, and once they have left school.

I have enjoyed a long and varied teaching career and have taught thousands of children in five different schools, I can safely say that there is no where like Todmorden, the children here make up a fantastic student body, who are well supported by their families and the community. It is our duty to raise their aspirations so that after school they enjoy a happy and fulfilled adult life.

I was born and brought up locally and have a love of the area and the people, being Headteacher of Todmorden High School is an honour. The school is more popular now with local families than it has ever been, I will continue to aim high for all our students and for the local community.

Emily Rawlinson

Emily Rawlinson

Deputy Headteacher for Standards, Attitude to Learning and Personal Development

I am Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for Standards, Attitude to Learning and Personal Development. This involves ensuring our ARCH values are embedded into all aspects of school business.

I love working at Todmorden High School watching children from the community grow into young adults ready to tackle the next stage of their education.

I teach geography, and have done for the past 15 years; it a subject that changes on an almost daily basis and is tremendously relevant to understanding the world we live in.

Alice Coates

Alice Coates

Deputy Headteacher for Quality of Education

I am Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for Standards, Curriculum and Data. My key role is to ensure the very highest of standards of Learning and Teaching for all students.

Working at Todmorden High School is amazing, the students, staff and community are fantastic.

I teach Maths and passionately believe it is the most wonderful subject.

Alison Mansfield

Alison Mansfield

Assistant Headteacher

I am Senior Assistant Headteacher for Learning and Teaching. This involves working with all staff to ensure that the quality of teaching in the classroom is the best it can be and to ensure that students learn the things they are taught. I love the fact that I am able to see lots of different teachers and I can ethically pilfer their ideas for my own lessons. I also love being present when students get the ‘light bulb moments’ and the learning really clicks.

I have taught a number of subjects in my career including English, A-level law Drama and Dance. At Todmorden I am privileged to be teaching History of Art, Dance and Drama.

Claire Connolly

Claire Connolly

Assistant Headteacher /KS4 ARCH

My job is delivering a structured and high-quality induction programme that enables all new staff, ITT and NQTs to unlock their unique potential, demonstrating and upholding ambition, respect, care and honesty.

I am also responsible for ensuring that the quality of education in art, photography, drama, music, design technology and PE is ambitious for all, particularly disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND. Raising attainment and instilling ambition for all higher attaining students to make exceptional progress through imaginative and creative learning where pupils show an enjoyment and fascination for learning about themselves, others and the world around them is another responsibility of my role.

In addition I lead the KS4 pastoral team ensuring all Year 10 and Year 11 pupils behave and demonstrate positive attitudes towards their education and future choices, showing high levels of ambition, respect, care and honesty throughout our wonderful community.

I work in partnership with the community, opening doors and opportunities to secure successful, happy and ambitious young people within our community. Working strategically with parents and carers to secure personal and academic success.

I love having been given numerous opportunities to lead on key areas of school life, showing ambition and drive to make a difference. Unlocking the talent in pupils, professionals and being fortunate to work in a career and a school that changes lives. The pupils being the heart of our school, and the professionals I work alongside like a second family. There is a reason I have been at Todmorden High School for 18 years!

I teach Photography and Art.

Debra Todd

Debra Todd

School Business Manager

I am a graduate of the University of Huddersfield and dual qualified in both Accountancy and Human Resources. I have worked across all phases of education since the millennium, in a variety of roles as a senior leader encompassing compliance, finance, governance, and legal services. Whilst in the Sixth Form sector, I published Governance training materials that continue to be widely used throughout the UK.

My senior leadership responsibility centres on whole school finance and resources along with advising on the strategic aspects of estate, capital project appraisals, tendering of contracts and effective risk management. Planning for succession and bid securement remain crucial elements within the role.

I chair the Wellbeing Committee at Todmorden High and champion the continuing professional development of all colleagues, at all levels. We are an active learning environment.

Todmorden High School embody what it means to belong to a ‘second family of staff’, values and wellbeing are real here. It truly is a great place to be.

Gemma Cooper

Gemma Cooper

Associate Assistant Headteacher/SENCO

I am Associate Assistant Headteacher in charge of Key stage 3 Attitude to Learning and I am also SENCO.

I have worked at Todmorden High School for fifteen years and know our school, students and the local community well. I took on the role of SENCO in 2013 as I passionately believe all students should have the opportunity to unlock their unique potential. I wanted to use my own personal experience and understanding of SEND to help improve the provision offered for some of our most vulnerable students in school.

I have high expectations for myself and for our students and work hard to ensure all are supported and challenged to achieve ambitious goals for the future.

Andrew Nalborczyk

Andrew Nalborczyk

Associate Assistant Headteacher/Director of Science

I am the new Associate Assistant Headteacher and Director of Science. I have been teaching Science for 10 years and specialise in Physics and Chemistry.
My role as Director of Science will involve leading the Science team by ensuring Science lessons are engaging, challenging and safe to enable all pupils to leave Todmorden High School with the best possible outcomes in Science.

As Associate Assistant Headteacher I will be; supporting Learning and Teaching across the school, identifying CPD needs, providing coaching and CPD opportunities to staff and supporting the newly and recently qualified teachers induction programme. My goal is for teachers to be ambitious and become the best they can possibly be by unlocking their unique potential. I am also training to become the school’s educational visits coordinator, helping colleagues plan and run safe and enriching trips.

I am really looking forward to making a positive difference to the community in which myself and my family live.

Melissa Wells

Melissa Wells

DSL & Associate Assistant Headteacher for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare (SMSC)

My role is to lead on Personal Development across the school. That includes all the other things alongside lessons, like developing each student‘s understanding of our ARCH values, and helping them to enhance their learning opportunities so that they are able to unlock their unique potential. I’m interested in developing the whole person, so that means encouraging people to get involved in extra-curricular activities, and making sure they are ready to move to the next phase of their education, with the very best skills and qualities so they can do their very best.

What I love most about THS is the family and community feel. We all know each other really well, and, although we are becoming a very popular school, I still get to know all the children. It‘s a very special place and that’s why I‘ve just celebrated 25 years’ service here! I wouldn‘t want to work in any other school - I feel as if my roots are well and truly embedded in this fantastic institution! I’m happy teaching a range of subjects, but my first loves are EPR and the Preparation for Life/ ARCH lessons that I’m involved in designing and delivering each year- I think these lessons are so essential to a successful education and really help everyone become an active and engaged adult citizen of the world.

Catherine Vose

Catherine Vose

Associate Assistant Headteacher/Head of History

I am one of the Associate Assistant Headteachers working with the quality of education team. My job is to ensure that all new staff receive the best induction to Todmorden High School and to ensure that they are ready to help all of our pupils unlock their unique potential. I also oversee the provision of homework and revision. In addition to this, I am a History SLE which means I work with other schools to improve the provision of the History curriculum and am currently running a project aimed at raising the quality of History education across the country.

As the Head of History at Todmorden High School I am working with my department to provide a diverse, reflective and responsive curriculum that is challenging for all pupils at Todmorden High School. We want all of our pupils to leave the History department fluent in the art of argument so that they can apply their skills to any walk of life.

I have been teaching for 10 years now and am in my second year at Todmorden High School. I think the school is a wonderful place. The care staff and students show for each other is unlike anything I have experienced in my career before.

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