Senior Leadership Team
Mr William Manning - Headteacher
William Manning graduated from Kings' College London with a degree in French and Latin in 1994 and left university to pursue arabic studies in Egypt and then work in industry before completing a PGCE with Oxford University in 1999. William worked as a teacher of languages and a Head of Year at the Marlborough School, Woodstock and then subsequently as a Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher with pastoral responsibilities at Tanglin Trust School, Singapore.
William, a keen sportsman, lives with his wife and three children in Freeland.
Mrs Briony Bowers - Deputy Head
Briony Bowers is a graduate of Cambridge University; she began her teaching career at a mixed school in London before taking up a post as an English teacher at St Birinus School. Having worked at both St Birinus and Didcot Girls’ School for the past twenty years, Briony is now in her tenth year of senior leadership with the Ridgway Education Trust. Her previous roles have included Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, Deputy Headteacher for Teaching and Learning at Didcot Girls’ School and Director of Teaching School.
Briony is a Specialist Leader of Education for the Didcot Girls’ School Teaching School Alliance. She has particular expertise in improving teaching and learning, including managing change, systems for quality assurance, and professional development for teachers and middle leaders.
Briony has recently completed her first novel and she enjoys sailing on the south coast with her husband and dog.
Mr Graeme Irwin - Deputy Head
Mr James Cross - Director of Sixth Form
James Cross graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Literature and Language, before completing a PGCE at the University of Keele and teaching in the West Midlands. He returned to Oxfordshire in 2014 to work at Didcot Girls’ School, where has held a variety of roles, most recently as Head of English and Associate Senior Leader. He has also worked across a number of schools as a Specialist Leader of Education, supporting English departments with curriculum development and raising standards.
James is responsible for the Didcot Sixth Form, working across both St Birinus School and Didcot Girls' School. He lives in Didcot, though hails originally from the North, and enjoys anything that takes him to more mountainous terrain.
Ms Julia Hopkins - Assistant Head
Julia Hopkins graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with a degree in English Literature and Studies in Modern Writing in 2001. She then spent two years working as part of the occupational therapy team at a dual diagnosis unit for adults with learning difficulties and mental health illnesses at Oxfordshire NHS Learning Disability Trust. Following this Julia qualified as a teacher in 2004 and began teaching English at St Birinus in September of the same year. Prior to being appointed as Assistant Head Teacher, Julia held a range of posts across the school, including Head of English, Head of Year and Literacy Co-ordinator.
As Assistant Head Teacher Julia is responsible for ensuring consistently high quality teaching and learning at St Birinus and supporting its delivery through a programme of carefully designed CPD tailored to deliver the best for the students.
Mrs Marianna Tottman - Assistant Head
Mr Andrew Binnington - Associate Senior Leader
Andrew Binnington studied Biology in Bath before moving to Oxfordshire to complete his PGCE at Oxford University. He worked at Bartholomew School, Eynsham as Head of KS3 Science and G&T Coordinator. Whilst working at Bartholomew School, Andrew returned to Oxford University to complete an MSc in Learning and Teaching. He joined St Birinus School in January 2018 as an Associate Senior Leader and the Faculty Leader for Science.
Andrew lives with his wife in Wantage and, having hung up his rugby boots, enjoys playing cricket and golf in his spare time.
Mrs Zoe Gothard - Associate Senior Leader