Meet the Committee Members

Teaching and Learning Committee

Simon Billington

I am thrilled and honoured to Chair the Redstart Learning Partnership Trust Board. I hope to support and to play a part in helping children and staff across the partnership to achieve, thrive and be content in their time with us. To my role I bring a passion for high quality education which equips children for life, and particularly to see children grow holistically as responsible citizens in an ever-changing world through the promotion of Christian values, and a discovery of their value and worth to a God who loves them. I also am strong strategically and organisationally. 

My wife Rachelle and I have 4 boys - Jonah, Reuben, Gabriel and Caleb - and in our spare time we enjoy a range of sport, music and being with friends. I am also a passionate reader, currently working my way through all the Booker Prize winners since 1969!

Jeremy Handscomb

I have been Head of School at Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School since September 2017 and was previously Head of School at Castle Primary School in Stoke-sub-Hamdon. Prior to this, I was Assistant Head at Redstart Primary School and have been helping to lead on various parts of school improvement within the Redstart Learning Partnership since its formation in 2015. I am particularly passionate about the use of rich, engaging texts in the classroom and the role that the arts can play in children’s development.

I am Dad to three sons, aged 6, 12 and 14 and am actively involved in the life of my church, as well as leading a team of young people each August to run a residential camp for children aged 7 - 12: Somerset Christian Camps. I am passionate about the role of Collective Worship within the school and how a shared understanding of a set of school Christian values can help everyone in the community navigate a sometimes tricky world.

Sarah Marshall

I have two children at Holy Trinity School, currently in year 5 and 3. I was elected as a parent governor three years ago and it has been an enormous privilege to be involved with the school and wider trust partnership since then. I am Course Manager for Biology and Teaching and Learning Lead at Richard Huish College in Taunton where I have worked for over 20 years. I am passionate about education and providing opportunities that ensure all children can thrive. I am also a member of Creech St. Michael Baptist Church which I attend regularly with my children and I value the church status of Holy Trinity.

Isabelle Ashton

I have 2 children at the school, in Year 1 and Year 6 and I have loved being part of the school journey over the last few years. I teach French & Drama at secondary level and also have experience of teaching French in EYFS & at primary level. I have held middle leadership roles in both pastoral and academic positions. I am passionate about education and providing all children with a broad and balanced curriculum as well as a wide breadth of experiences. In my spare time I love running, walking with the family and our dog, gardening on my allotment, cooking and baking.

Sophie Cowdell

After studying in Manchester then Plymouth and a period working in Cheltenham, I moved back to Taunton in 2007 where I grew up. 

I am a self-employed facilitator, supporting communities with complex social issues. I have spent 20 years working in community development in the charity and private sectors, and am passionate about the power of a community and what can be achieved when confidence increases. I have a keen interest in inclusion and accessibility in its widest sense and look forward to supporting Holy Trinity share the opportunities and benefits of learning with all its pupils and families. 

Oliver Ridley

I am Head of Sixth Form at King’s College Taunton. A teacher of English, I started my career working as an EAL teacher in Poland and France. After my PGCE I worked at a Sussex comprehensive and Lancing College, where I was Head of English for seven years. I moved to King’s in 2013 to focus on progression through the sixth form and post-18 transition to Higher Education and the workplace. I am very keen on school debating, and have experience of a range of inter-school competitions. In my own time I play the piano, voraciously consume novels and follow sport, in particular cricket and football – all enthusiasms I attempt to share with my own, often bewildered, three children. I believe passionately that all learning – and in particular the study of literature, music and art – has enormous power to expand people’s personal and intellectual horizons.


Ethos Committee

The 2021/2022 Ethos Committee members are Sarah Marshall (Chair) Fr Julian Laurence, Jeremy Handscomb, Isabelle Ashton, Verity Saunders, Joanne Skitteral.