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Meet the Committee Members

Mark Brierly (Chair)

I am an architect and was director of my practice in Frome between 1980 and 2017. I have spent a large part of my career designing schools and I have developed a good understanding of the needs of both staff and pupils and the issues involved in managing school premises. I developed a good relationship with the Diocese of Bath and Wells and I have also worked with the dioceses of Bristol and Lincoln.

An interest in education runs in the family; my mother was a history teacher and both my children have chosen careers in education; biology at a secondary school and climate change at a university. Following this theme I was pleased to be appointed as Chair of the Education Committee for the Trust. 

I am now retired from full time architecture and excited to be involved with The Redstart Learning Partnership as a trustee and the link trustee for Priorswood Primary School.

Jordan Murphy (Deputy Chair and Assistant Head of School)

I started my teaching career at Priorswood in 2013 as a Newly Qualified Teacher in a Year 5 class. I have since taught across the school from Year 2 to Year 6 and I lead a number of areas including Maths, History and PE. Since COVID, I have taken the role of Assistant Head of School and have been really proud of the school’s progress over the time I have been here.

During my spare time, I enjoy visiting the coast, supporting Manchester United, running, and playing darts and golf.

Carly Ellis (Head of School)

I began my career as a Nursery Nurse and was a Teaching Assistant before attending university.  My dream, since the age of 5, was to become a teacher, and after a lot of challenges, I finally achieved it!  The only encouragement I had, to follow my dream and persevere, was from my family, not my educators.  Therefore, it is really important to me that children are supported and guided to reach their full potential.  

I started teaching at Redstart Primary School in Chard in 2006 and became a Maths Lead.  I trained and completed The Primary Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST), became a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) in Maths and completed a master’s degree in Primary Education with a focus on mathematics.  With a maths focus, I visited Shanghai and welcomed Chinese teachers to Redstart to support and promote the implementation of mastery.   

In 2016, I taught in Minerva Primary School as a maths lead developing the maths curriculum and supporting teachers.  The following year I was appointed as Assistant Head and then as Acting Head of School.  I left this post to have my daughter in 2018 and returned from maternity leave as Head of School at Priorswood Primary School.  I have since had a son - I have been busy!  

The Priorswood team have recently celebrated the success of moving the school from an Ofsted judgement of inadequate to good. 

Katie Vaughan

I have a 9-year-old son who is currently in Year 4 at Priorswood. When the school announced that they were looking for parents to join the Teaching and Learning Committee several years ago, I was keen to get involved. I believe that everyone should have access to a great education and it has been a privilege to watch the positive transformation that the school has undergone in recent years. 

I am a Maths teacher at a local secondary school, where I am also involved with Exmoor Challenge and Ten Tors training.  I particularly enjoy taking students on residential trips abroad each year. 

In my spare time I enjoy walking, swimming and gardening on my allotment. 

Daniel Sumner

I’m a parent of 6 children, the youngest being 14 and my eldest being 26.  All of which attended Priorswood Primary School.  I have also worked at the school for around 5 years where I did various roles from mainly being a lunchtime supervisor, to helping out in classes and fetes and other fundraising events.

I am a grandparent of two, aged 13 months and 3 years with which I now look after so their parents can go to work. As a family we enjoy swimming and visiting different beaches and going on walks around the countryside.

I have always loved the school and my children were always happy here, so when I was asked to join the Teaching and Learning Committee I was happy and honoured to join.  I have now been a member for a number of years.  I am passionate about seeing and helping the school progress and provide a happy and safe place to learn and educate young minds.

Carly Sharpe

I am the parent of a child in Year 5 and started as a member of the TaLC in September last year (2022). I moved my son across from another local school in 2021. I am a true advocate for the school and everything it stands for and have been so impressed and proud of how the school has developed over the last few years. I have worked within the NHS for 25 years within Improvement specialising in benefits realisation giving an opportunity to transfer these skills into my TaLC role. 

During my spare time I enjoy long dog walks, family time and watching/supporting Rugby.


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