Skip to content ↓

Leadership Team

Head of School: Mrs Sarah Sims 

Sarah grew up in the North East of England and subsequently studied Natural Sciences at King’s College, Cambridge University. She completed her PGCE at Sheffield University before moving to London to begin her teaching career as a physics teacher.

Sarah moved to Sheffield in 2000, where she worked in Rotherham and thoroughly enjoyed her role as Head of Science. She gained further leadership experience in Sheffield before joining Silverdale in 2016.

Deputy Headteacher: Mr Richard Horton 

Richard studied History at the University of Huddersfield and undertook his PGCE at the University of Sheffield. Through this Richard developed a love of Early Modern British History, especially the Tudor period.

He began teaching in 2002 in Oxfordshire. He became Head of History in 2005 and then Faculty Leader for Humanities in 2007, where he led and managed the History, Geography, RE, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy and Law departments. Following nearly 10 years in middle leadership Richard returned to the north of England as an Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning at a school in Rotherham.

Richard joined Silverdale School to pursue his passion for post-16 education and became Head of Sixth Form in 2016. In 2017 Silverdale School recorded the best ever A-level results and this significantly contributed to the school being recognised as the best state secondary in the north by the Sunday Times.  After a successful year when Richard supported SLT as a Deputy Headteacher, he was successful in becoming a full-time, permanent Deputy Headteacher in 2018.

Head of Sixth Form & Deputy Headteacher: Mrs Samira Hussain 

Samira joined Silverdale School in 2014, originally as Assistant Headteacher. She has worked at a number of local secondary schools and has taught abroad in Washington DC and Kashmir. She studied Economics and Accountancy at the University of Sheffield, before training as a teacher.

During her career she has been involved with London Challenge, a school improvement programme which originated in the capital and saw dramatic improvement in underperforming schools.

She is relentless in her drive to raise and maintain high standards in education, with a focus on achieving excellent student outcomes, particularly for those young people who are vulnerable and/or disadvantaged. She is passionate about ensuring that all students have the opportunity to achieve success and played an instrumental role in the ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted judgement in November 2014, leading on Pupil Progress and Assessment. She now also oversees the Strategic Co-ordination of the Sixth Form.

Assistant Headteacher: Mr David Dalrymple 

David began his career in education as a teaching assistant in 2012, having studied history at Newcastle University. He then trained to become an English teacher in Manchester with the Teach First Leadership Development Program, before achieving the NASENCo award and becoming deputy SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator). Joining Silverdale in 2018, David spent five years as the SENDCo before becoming Assistant Head responsible for culture and personal development.

From the earliest moments of his career as a classroom teaching assistant, David has enjoyed working with students of all backgrounds and abilities. As SENDCo, his work has been focused on equity, diversity and inclusion, and now as assistant head, he plans to build on this to support the development of a representative and inclusive school community to which all feel they can belong.

Assistant Headteacher: Mr David Jones 

David joined Silverdale as Head of Science in 2018 and has taken on the role of Assistant Headteacher from January 2020. Since becoming Assistant Headteacher, David has held a wide array of responsibilities but throughout all believes that education should be aimed at developing and supporting young people to be ready for their future.

David has been teaching science in schools across South Yorkshire since 2008. He grew up in South Wales and has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Swansea University, and completed his PGCE at Swansea Metropolitan University. He has held numerous middle leadership roles and has acted as an NQT and ITT mentor. He is passionate about providing training and support to all colleagues to help them be the best they can be.

David has a strong belief in developing students through wider school activities, effective teaching pedagogy and practical skills in the classroom. He is passionate about the need to collaborate between subject areas and the wider community to ensure that all students receive a high-quality learning experience.

Assistant Headteacher: Ms Kathy Simpson 

Kathy has been working in Sheffield schools since 2008 after graduating from the University of Sheffield with a degree specialising in Sociology and Social Policy. Kathy has a PGCE from the University of Leicester and teaches Sociology and Psychology; she joined Silverdale in 2021 as an Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Professional Development.

During her career, Kathy has worked in several secondary settings across the UK and has had a number of different roles, including ITT Coordinator, Deputy Head of House, Professional Tutor and Trust Director for Professional Development. Kathy has extensive experience of training Early Career teachers, is a qualified coach and is currently completing her NPQSL.

Kathy is relentless in her drive to raise and maintain high standards of teaching and believes our role as educators should be to offer quality teaching and learning, to enable staff to grow and afford students of all abilities and backgrounds opportunities to achieve their aspirations.

Assistant Headteacher: Mrs Jenny Verney 

Jenny joined Silverdale in 2007 as an English teacher and held several whole school posts before becoming Assistant Head responsible for Teaching and Learning in 2018. 

Prior to joining Silverdale, Jenny taught in a range of settings in the primary, secondary and adult education sector in the UK, and in extra-curricular language schools when she lived in Spain and Japan.  It was while working as a Lecturer with international post-graduate students at Durham University that she recognised the need to bring Academic Literacy pedagogy to the secondary classroom.

Her work on literacy strategies has featured in case studies with the National Literacy Trust and NALDIC (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum), and she has presented at regional and national conferences.  In 2017 Jenny became a trainer on the EAL in the Mainstream Programme funded by the Bell Foundation and EEF.  She has worked extensively with NQT and ITT colleagues since joining Silverdale. 

Jenny’s current work includes developing a coaching culture at Silverdale and delivering a whole school approach to reading that seeks to address the social, linguistic and cognitive issues faced by struggling readers. 

Business Support Services Manager: Mr Blake Foster 

Born and raised in and around Sheffield, Blake holds diplomas in management and strategic leadership from the Institute of Leadership & Management. After a career in the NHS, including 14 years as a Practice Manager, he joined Silverdale in 2023.

His ambition is to take the school's current support service from good to exemplary, and he is passionate about providing the support structures necessary for others to develop and flourish. After many years in the NHS, Blake appreciates the shared and unifying focus of the students’ education as the thing that ties everything we do together.

Away from work, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching science-fiction and fantasy.

Associate to SLT: Mr Thomas Atkin 

Information to follow

Associate to SLT: Mr Alex Hylan 

Alex joined Silverdale in 2016 as a maths teacher and held various roles in the school before becoming co-head of maths in 2021. He joined the Senior Leadership Team as an associate in 2023 with a strategic focus on how homework can be best used to support learning.

He studied for an undergraduate degree in politics at the University of Sheffield, going on to study a master’s degree in international political economy. He completed his PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University.

Throughout his time at Silverdale, Alex has enjoyed collaborating with colleagues and developing practice within both the department and the wider school. He has acted as a mentor for both initial teacher trainees and early career teachers and has also enjoyed working with colleagues across Chorus Trust.

Alex became a teacher because he believes that every child deserves to have access to quality education, regardless of their background or economic situation. Teaching provides the opportunity to make sure that all students are given the right tools and knowledge to achieve success in life.