Chris Stainsby

Interim Principal

Chris leads on operations, improving systems and quality across the school. He has been in education for over 20 years and much of this time has been spent as a senior leader of schools and further education institutes. Prior to joining Wixams, he was one of His Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools for the East of England.

Lindsey Pearson

Lindsey Pearson

Assistant Principal

Lindsey will lead on ‘Teaching and Learning’ at Wixams, ensuring that your children’s lessons are of the highest quality and that we are constantly striving to develop the most effective, engaging and innovative teaching practice in our school.

Lindsey is a performing arts teacher specialising in dance, music and drama. She is currently completing her lead practitioner qualification which will mean she is among the best in the UK and recognised as an expert in her field. Lindsey has been Assistant Principal responsible for Teaching & Learning at the Stockwood Park Academy in Luton.

Living in Marston for 13 years, Lindsey’s two children attend the local school. She says: “I love my job and I hope to be able to shape the education of the young people I work with so they aspire to and achieve their very best.”

Jacqueline Hepburn

Jacqueline Hepburn

Assistant Principal

Jacqui leads on assessment and student progress at Wixams. She is responsible for monitoring and evaluation processes in assessment including reports, testing and examinations. Jacqui also ensures that academic interventions are in place and is proud that over 100 students at KS3 are supported annually with reading interventions to help their progress.

Jacqui is passionate about mathematics having pursued the discipline from a first-class degree to an extremely successful industrial research and teaching career. A highly experienced Mathematics teacher and leader, Jacqui’s expertise is recognised and valued across the county where she has served as Bedford’s Mathematics Lead and chaired the Professional Study Group for Maths leaders.

Jacqui has previously been Director of Mathematics at secondary and upper schools in the region. Jacqui has three adult children and is currently the Chair of Governors at her local secondary school. Jacqui recently told us: ‘I strongly believe in the importance of Years 7 and 8 in developing well-rounded young people and giving students the skills to be successful at GCSE and beyond’.

Andrew O'Rourke

Andrew O’Rourke

Assistant Principal

Andrew leads on pastoral care, student wellbeing and behaviour systems at Wixams, ensuring that students receive the highest quality of support and care both in-house and through access to external providers such as counsellors and therapists.

Andrew is a Physical Education specialist who has a range of experience with teaching across the curriculum. He has vast experience of organising and leading on a range of whole school interventions (academic and pastoral) and has a passion for encouraging a personalised and fair approach to managing behavioural needs, encouraging student participation, inter-house competition and in organising a wide range of opportunities for all students.

In previous leadership roles, Andrew has been an Achievement Leader for both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 and has been an Assistant Principal responsible for pastoral care, academic outcomes and student wellbeing. Andrew told us “I am thrilled to be joining such a caring and hardworking team and will ensure that our students receive the absolute best care and guidance throughout their time at the Academy”.

Rob Mercel

Rob Mercel

Assistant Principal – Head of Sixth Form

Rob leads KS5 development and management at Wixams, which includes curriculum development, pastoral care, careers and enrichment. He is passionate about the role of Sixth Form students in school life and how this prepares them for future life.

Rob has over 13 years of experience developing and leading Sixth Forms and has worked recently in one of the highest attaining state Sixth Forms in the country. His aim is to ensure that Wixams Academy Sixth Form delivers a personalised, aspirational and cutting edge KS5 experience to all its students.

A musician and performing arts specialist, Rob enjoys leading A level Photography, supporting Wixams wide offer of enrichment subjects and, when he gets the chance, still plays Bass guitar. As a firm believer in the power of extra-curricular activities to enhance students’ school experience, he has run Warhammer and Dungeons and Dragons clubs for many years.

Rob has two young boys at school in Buckinghamshire, who attend and sometimes help him run his local village Cub pack.