Senior Leadership Team

Mark Lehain

Mark Lehain

Principal

Mark went to his local state comprehensive school and then on to Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he studied Economics, Politics and Computing.

After graduation he worked in the City for a couple of years, when he realised that he still wanted to teach. After seven years at Wootton Upper School, he left in 2010 to campaign for a new school for Bedford – which grew to become Bedford Free School.

He is married to Janet, and has four daughters, aged between 3 and 10. Whilst he likes to think he is the boss, they know otherwise.

Jane Herron

Jane Herron

Deputy Principal

Bachelor of Education from the University of Brighton (Bed)
National Award for Special Educational Needs (SENCO)
Jane has in excess of twenty years teaching experience in secondary schools in Bedfordshire. Her specialism is Drama and spent the first ten years of her career teaching Drama, getting great GCSE and A Level results, inspiring young people (at least five ex-students are now Drama teachers themselves) and writing, directing and producing school shows such as Godspell, Bugsy Malone and Blood Brothers. She became a Head of Drama, and then a Head of Year/ House. Jane is in her fourth year at Bedford Free School having been one of the founder members.
She enjoy’s being with young people, their energy and openness and to engage them through earning their trust.

As the pastoral leader at Bedford Free School Jane oversee’s the care in a wider sense beyond the classroom. She has an interest in what motivates young minds. Jane did not particularly enjoy school herself and hope’s she is humble enough to draw on her own experiences to help young people overcome some of the barriers to learning they may face in and out of school.

Paul Donald

Paul Donald

Deputy Principal

Name: Paul Donald
Role: Deputy Principal (Academic)
Education: BA (Hons) in History from the University of Surrey specialising in 19th Century political history in Europe.

Post-graduate qualification in newspaper journalism.

PGCE (History).
Brief career history: I taught History and Politics in Kettering before moving to Bedford Academy to be Head of Humanities in 2010. Whilst there I successfully qualified as a Specialist Leader of Education.
I joined BFS in September 2013 as Assistant Principal in charge of Teaching and Learning. I now run all the academic parts of school life as well as teaching History as part of the Humanities department.
Why did you become a teacher? I come from a family of teachers. My mum was my head of year at school and I have an aunt and an uncle who are head teachers. I loved school myself both in terms of my studies and the extracurricular activities available which were mainly playing rugby and cricket. I always felt I would become a teacher having been inspired mainly by my History teacher Mr Dolman and Mr Spalding, who taught me A Level English Literature and was the first person who really challenged me to push myself .
What do you enjoy about your subject? I have always loved history because it is a demanding subject. I get great pleasure when I learn new things, and I find the study of the past to be full of fascinating events, people and situations. At university I specialised in political history, but since graduating I have increasingly become interested in the Medieval period and most students and staff at BFS would know that my main passion now is Viking Age England.
Your TLAC PM priorities for the year: (How are you going to improve your practice this year?)
This year I will be looking to build the work I have done on embedding a knowledge based curriculum and assessment system at BFS further into my own teaching. Therefore I will be working hard helping students to achieve mastery of the content I teach them in my GCSE History class.

Bridget Edge

Bridget Edge

Business Manager

Tim Blake

Tim Blake

Assistant Principal

Name: Tim Blake
Role: Assistant Principal – Teaching & Learning

Education: (University)
Tim studied at the University of York, including a year on exchange at the University of Illinois in the USA. He graduated in 2009 with a BA (Hons) in History.

Brief career history:
Tim spent time teaching English in China and South Korea before pursuing his teacher training. He originally trained in the local Bedfordshire area before starting his careers in an inner London secondary school. After a number of years Tim became a founding member of Bedford Free School and has overseen the development of the Humanities department.

Why did you become a teacher?
His passion for teaching history stems from his desire to ensure all students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. He believes that studying the subject provides students with a core of academic knowledge but also enables student’s to develop their analytical and evaluate expertise. He hopes to foster a lifelong love of learning amongst his students.

What do you enjoy about your subject?
Tim has a passion for all things Victorian and the Industrial Revolution. He is often heard giving rousing historical speeches prior to exams.
Your TLAC PM priorities for the year: (How are you going to improve your practice this year?)
This year Tim is working on a number of TLAC strategies in his classroom. These include: ‘Turn and Talk’, ‘Precise Praise’, and ‘Simple to complex’.

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