SLT Bios

Executive Leadership Team –

Neil Rodgers

Neil joined James Calvert Spence College as Executive Headteacher in January 2016 and leads the staff team across both school sites with overall responsibility for all aspects of school life. Before joining JCSC, Neil was a senior leader in secondary schools in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Sunderland for 15 years.

Neil studied Mathematics and Computer Science at Newcastle University, followed by a Secondary PGCE qualification, which led to his first teaching post as a maths teacher at Hirst High School in Ashington.

Neil is passionate about ensuring all children have every chance to succeed, regardless of potential barriers. He truly believes that education is the key to success, and is determined that students at JCSC get the best possible start in life.

Outside of school, Neil is a father of two, he plays the guitar quite badly and cycles fairly well.


David Nisbet

David joined JCSC in January 2016 as Head of School. He is responsible for curriculum development and key outcomes at Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form and oversees several other leadership roles across the two sites. David is also JCSC’s Pupil Premium champion. He ensures that all children, regardless of background, can reach their full potential. As a senior leader in schools for over ten years, David brings to his role considerable experience in strategic curriculum design, PSHE, parental and stakeholder engagement and leading the pastoral and academic progress of schools and alternative education. He is an economics graduate who is passionate about business and its place in the wider world. David is a dad to two boys, and in his downtime, he enjoys running and likes to play an active part in his local community.

Above all, JCSC’s Head of School is a teacher and enjoys nothing more than spending time with his Year 10, 12 and 13 students.


Amy Crawley

Our Business Manager, Amy, joined the school in July 2011. She is responsible for the support functions across the two sites. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Amy provides strategic leadership and management on all aspects of school business. Part of her role is to drive the continuous improvement, effectiveness and performance of our schools.

Amy’s primary focus is to ensure our schools and staff have the best facilities and resources available to give our students the best education possible. Amy graduated with a first-class honours degree in Business Studies before working at the North East Strategic Health Authority, where she managed junior doctors’ speciality training. She loves working in organisations where you can see first-hand the benefits of high-quality care and education. A mum of three boys, Amy enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.


Jacqui Johnson

Jacqui is JCSC’s Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Diversity; she is also our SENCO and the Secondary Lead SENCO for Northumberland County Council. Jacqui is passionate about supporting all pupils to overcome barriers to learning and she has spent her career to date teaching and helping students across the North East. She started working as an RE teacher then quickly applied for an SEN teacher job. For the past 20 years, Jacqui has worked with vulnerable learners as a SENCO and led an Additionally Resourced Provision for pupils with Autism. She holds The National Award for SEN Coordination (NASENCO), and also holds specific qualifications in supporting pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH). Whilst working in North Tyneside, Jacqui supported other schools to improve their SEN provision as a Lead SENCO. She achieved Specialist Leader in Education for SEND status in December 2015, which led to further outreach support for other schools within the Local Authority.

Jacqui is a mother of  two boys and spends most of her ‘spare’ time watching them swim.

Neil McCudden

Neil joined JCSC in September 2019 as Assistant Headteacher in charge of Ethos and Culture. He has responsibility for the attendance, behaviour and safety of all our young people. Neil also holds other leadership roles across the school and is our Head of Pastoral. Neil is Designated Safeguard Lead (DSL) for the school, ensuring that all our students are safe from harm and safe to learn. Neil has worked in a pastoral setting in several schools across the North East, gaining over 20 years of experience in working with students from a wide variety of backgrounds. He is passionate about ensuring the very best for the young people who attend our school. As Head of Pastoral, vociferously states that if it is not good enough for his children, it is not good enough for the children of our community. Neil studied Economic and Social History at university and believes that the study of history allows us to learn from the mistakes of the past so as not to repeat them today. He is a dad of two boys and enjoys playing hockey and going on holiday to warmer places.

Neil loves being in the classroom, teaching.

Senior Leadership Team –

 James Moore

James joined JCSC in September 2014 as a teacher of Physical Education and he became Head of Sixth Form in September 2017. James works closely with Sixth Form students and oversees their progress and achievement at Key Stage 5. Alongside our pastoral team, he provides guidance to support student aspirations and progression.

James strives to ensure every student receives a high level of careers education and guidance and works with external partners and other schools to develop provision within JCSC. 

Before he joined the JCSC team, James completed a degree in Physical Education and Youth Sport. He is very passionate about his subject.  He coached sport in America before qualifying as a PE Teacher and worked as an athletics coach at The Institute of Sport in Sheffield. This sports enthusiast leads Key Stage 5 PE courses, KS4 exam classes and supports physical and fitness development at JCSC.


Janice Bailey

Janice is the Director of Science at JCSC. She is accountable for the science curriculum and key outcomes of biology, chemistry and physics for Year 7 through to Year 13. She is also part of the school’s health and safety team. Janice is passionate about working with students and parents and thrives on seeing our students succeed. She has been with the school since 2009 and is still as determined as ever to ensure our students achieve their potential. Before moving into the education sector, Janice worked within research and development as a scientist and manager in three blue-chip multinational companies; Procter & Gamble, Mars Inc and Reckitt Benckiser. Our students and the department benefit from Janice’s wealth of real-world scientific knowledge accrued during her time in industry, which saw her living in several different cities and even in Hungary for a short time.
Janice has a first-class honours degree in chemistry and holds professional qualifications in auditing and food safety. She has also completed the Ambition Institute school leadership programme.
As a member of the local community, Janice enjoys having a chat with our past and current students and their parents, when she sees them out and about. She is a keen mountain biker and can often be seen cycling around the area.

Jane Grey Lead Practitioner and NQT/ITT Tutor

Jane started at JCSC in 2012 as an English teacher and was appointed Lead Practitioner in 2017. She previously worked in schools in Newcastle and Blyth, holding middle leadership posts including whole school Literacy Lead and Assistant Leader of English. She believes in the need for teachers to be learners too. Jane has a Postgraduate Certificate in Practitioner Enquiry and holds a National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML). Jane is responsible for the training and development of our newly-qualified teachers and student teachers in school. She also leads whole school CPD programmes and provision. Promoting the love of reading in children is something Jane feels particularly passionate about and she strongly believes in the power of reading to change lives.

Outside of school, Jane enjoys live music and theatre and swimming. Her favourite literary genre is crime and detective fiction.

Kerry Payne

Kerry joined JCSC in September 2017 as Director of English. She is responsible for developing the English curriculum and raising standards and student outcomes in English at key stages 3, 4 and 5. Before moving to our beautiful county and joining JCSC, Kerry held a range of leadership roles at a secondary school in Shropshire, where she worked for eleven years. Her previous roles included leadership posts within the English department; she also worked as the Whole School Literacy Coordinator, Pastoral Head of Year 9, and the Newly Qualified Teacher and Initial Teacher Training tutor. Kerry is a mother to two children and enjoys spending quality time with her family. At university, she studied English and Media.

Kerry is passionate about education and its ability to empower young people to change their lives. She believes that English is a vital life skill and that studying the subject through diverse texts provides a window into the world.

 Russell Gaines

Russell started JCSC (then Coquet High School) in September 2007 as Head of IT. Russell’s current role is Director of Vocational Studies, which encompasses ICT, Computing, Business Studies, Health and Social Care, PE, and Music and Performing Arts. He is also the BTEC Quality Nominee for all Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC qualifications offered in school and ensures all subjects comply with BTEC delivery and assessment objectives. Russell is also responsible for assessing and approving all external visits planned by staff to take students out of school to enhance their educational experiences. Russell has been a senior leader in schools for over 15 years. In a variety of roles, he has contributed and led on whole-school focuses, including enhancing the profile of gifted and talented students, monitoring the progress of students requiring additional support and building praise and reward systems for students. Russell studied Business Information and Technology at university and then went on to complete a teaching degree. He has retained his passion for his subject and has a particular interest in how IT and Computing can amplify and support learning. Russell also holds the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL).

Marion Francis

Our Director of Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Marion
Francis, joined us in September 2021. She was previously the Head of Humanities and MFL at a large secondary school in Leeds. Before training to become a teacher, she studied History at Liverpool University.

Samantha Daniels

Samantha, our Director of Mathematics, joined the JCSC team in September 2019. Before taking up the role, she was Lead Practitioner of maths at Northallerton School. She was previously Second in Department with Responsibility for KS4 at a large school in Darlington for six years. Samantha made her move into teaching after working in finance for a heating company. She studied Accounting and Finance at university.

Jane Yuill

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