St Michael's
C.E. Primary School

Believe, Achieve, Succeed


  • Local Academy Board Information

    St Michael’s CE Primary School is committed to a high quality of education for all its pupil in an atmosphere of nurture and care.

    As part of the Birmingham Diocese Multi-Academy Trust we work with the trust board to ensure that our school community experiences ‘life in its fullness’ John 10:10.

    Members of the Local Academy Board (LAB) undertake various roles as you will see from the details below. The board meets formally each half term and you will also see members around the school at various times.

    If you wish to contact any of us, please speak to the school office who will be happy to pass a message onto us.

    Dr Stephen Pihlaja

    Chair of Governors

    Our Governors 2022-2023

    Name Governor Type Term of Office
    Stephen Pihlaja Chair of Governors

    01.03.2020 - 28.02.2024

    (Diocese Appointed)

    Jonathan Goll Vice Chair of Governors/SEND Governor

    (Reappointed) 25.09.2021 -24.09.2025

    (Diocese Appointed)

    Reverend Ruth Atkinson Safeguarding Governor

    Ex-officio
    (Incumbent)

    Jane Bruten Headteacher/Governor

    01.01.2020 - 01.02.2024

    Ex-officio

    Elizabeth Flannagan Governor

    (Reappointed) 24.09.2021 - 24.09.2025

    (Diocese Appointed)

    Charlotte Jordan Co-opted Governor

    24.09.2021 - 02.09.2025

    (Co-opted by LAB)

    Dan Whisker  Governor

    20.07.2021 - 19.07.2025

    (Diocese Appointed)

    James Pearce Governor

    20.07.2021 - 19.07.2025

    (Diocese Appointed)

    Dilwara Begum Governor 

    28.09.21 - 28.09.2025

    (Diocese Appointed)

    Saida Chowdhury Parent Governor

    01.09.2020 - 31.08.2024

    (Appointed by Parent Vote)

    Phil Clifton Parent Governor

    28.09.2021 - 28.09.2025

    (Appointed by Parent Vote)

    Samantha Goode Staff Governor

    Non-voting member

    Kate Coe Staff Governor

    01.09.2021 - 31.08.2025

    (Appointed by Staff)

    Wendy Burke Staff Governor

    01.09.2021 - 31.08.2025

    (Appointed by Staff)

    BDMAT Articles of Association
    BDMAT Master Funding

    BDMAT Memorandum of Association

    Meet our Governors

    Stephen Pihlaja

    Originally from Chicago, I have been lecturer in English Language at Newman University since 2014. I teach and research about the ways people use language to talk about their religious belief, particularly on the Internet. I’ve written several books on the topic of inter-religious dialogue online and how people’s beliefs change over time.

    As Foundation governor at St Michael’s, I am hopeful to work with people of different faiths and no faith to work together to find shared values and grow together as a community.

    My partner, Yoko, and I have three daughters, and when I’m not researching or teaching, I enjoy long distance running, writing, and sitting quietly in coffee shops.

    Jonathan Goll

    I came to the Christian faith, in my teens, being deeply influenced by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien (the latter I met). My faith has sustained me through many difficult years. In recent years I have used my trade union experience to be involved in local Church politics, so, for example, I am now on Birmingham Diocesan Synod – the central discussion body of the Church of England in Birmingham – and I am Lay Chairman of Edgbaston Deanery Synod (one level down from that, for south west Birmingham). I am on the Parochial Church Council (the PCC) which runs St Michael’s Church, and have been appointed by the PCC to be a Governor of St Michael’s school.

    I have an adult education qualification, and have recently also qualified to teach English as a foreign language. I love Gospel I serve, and I would like the same joy I have experienced to be in the life of St Michael’s school.

    Reverend Ruth Atkinson

    I am Vicar of the St Michael and All Angels Church and visit school on a regular basis to help lead collective worship and as a Governor. The children often visit the church for the beginning and end of term services and as part of their curriculum.

    I was born in West Yorkshire and I was a teacher for many year in Worcester. I grew up in the Christian faith; I was ordained in 2009 when I became curate at St Mary’s Church Old Swinford and then became Vicar here in October 2014.

    I administer the church food bank which you can access through the school. We have a range of activities for children in church which you can find out about on the church website.

    I enjoy working with the children and helping them explore issues of faith.

    Jane Bruten

    In April 2020 I became the Headteacher at St Michael’s. I was previously Headteacher of Quinton Church Primary School, another school within BDMAT.

    I was born and brought up in South Wales and came to Birmingham for university - and I never left!

    I have taught in all year groups in the primary phase, leading Numeracy, Literacy, Music and PE in a number of schools in Birmingham throughout my career. I enjoy participating in sports and am a keen musician.

    The education of the whole child through opportunities to enrich their lives in activities that broaden and deepen learning is at the heart of my philosophy for education.

    A priority in my headship is encompassing the Christian values of St Michael’s alongside welcoming the children of the community into a caring, secure and safe environment.

    Elizabeth Flannagan

    I have been a serving governor at St Michael’s for around 12 years.  I first took on the role of staff governor whilst working at the school, initially in the capacity of Teaching Assistant before developing my career into teaching. 

    I had the pleasure of working at St Michael’s for 23 years; a place I often called ‘home’ due to the families and children within the school community.  During these years, I have worked alongside numerous staff who all hold the children at the heart of the school; strive to develop opportunities for the children to enjoy learning and flourish.  Currently I work as an Assistant Headteacher within an inner city school and hold a Diocese Trust governor post.

    Charlotte Jordan

    I began teaching in 1999, working as an English teacher in a challenging inner city school in Shepherds Bush, London. I learned so much about working in a special measures school and my journey there has influenced my career in such a significant way.  
    Working for more than two decades with so many esteemed colleagues and children, is a blessing and one I cherish.  I am now a Headmistress, and having moved away from the classroom, my admiration has not waned. Working in schools is simply the best!

    When I am not working, I focus on bringing up my two children, a13 year old son and 9 year old daughter.  They bring me great joy and keep me grounded.

    Underpinning my work ethics and parenting are strong Christian beliefs which are to serve others and give my very best in all my endeavours. It is an honour and great privilege to help contribute to the students and staff at St Michael's school. 

    Dan Whisker

    I’m originally from Chorley in Lancashire, in the catchment area for the mighty Preston North End, came to Birmingham to study and never left. I worked for several years in secondary schools around Birmingham and now lecture in ‘Working with Children, Young People and Families’ at Newman University. 

    I have two children and spend a lot of time taking them to activities I’d rather be doing myself, and in my limited spare time, I enjoy making music, playing board games, reading and taking long solitary walks. 

    James Pearce

    I’m currently a stay at home father (the most tiring job I’ve ever had!) and the proud parent of two young girls, both of which attend St Michael’s school. Starla’s confidence and progression have come along in leaps and bounds since joining the school – I’m certain that the warm atmosphere and welcoming nature of St Michael’s and its staff has played a huge part in that.

    Having been impressed with the strong sense of community and inclusivity that runs through the school I was more than happy to accept the opportunity to join this traditional yet forward thinking team. Your governors care very deeply about the welfare of this school and its diversity of opinion means that all viewpoints are well represented.

    I’ve worked in secondary education before, having been a teaching assistant and long term cover teacher in various schools. This experience was invaluable and I hope that it will help me in offering support in any way I can. Please don‘t hesitate to day hello if you spot me in the playground or anywhere around the school.

    Dilwara Begum

    I have worked in the arts, cultural and education sectors for 20 years. As a former Muslim Chaplain at Newman University where I provided pastoral care and spiritual guidance, and awareness-raising training on the Islamic faith, cultural practices and diversity. The common thread in my career has always been to enable, support, nurture and empower people, through empathy and lived experiences. 

    I enjoy travelling, hiking, gardening and different food cuisines all of which support well-being and a sense of connection to my curator. 

    As an Appointed Governor and a parent of a daughter who attends St Michael’s, I am hopeful that we - the governors, the school and the families can all work in partnership to create a stimulating environment for the children to develop holistically. 

    Saida Chowdhury

    I grew up in West London and moved to Birmingham 15 years ago after getting married.

    Currently I am a stay at home mother of two boys that both attended St Michael’s.  From a very young age both myself and my partner have encouraged our children to be inquisitive and develop a love of learning about the world around us.

    I have worked in various administrative focused posts after completing my degree from Queen Mary, University of London.  I continued my learning after having children by taking part in child development focused courses.

    Over the years I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at St Michael’s, listening to children read, helping in the classroom and during various school trips.  I am hopeful for children of all abilities to reach their full potential. 

    I believe in creating friendships, as well as improving understanding across different faiths and communities.

    I am an open minded, approachable individual who is always happy to have a chat.

    I love exploring new places and cultures, running, hiking, cooking, writing poetry, and spending quality time with friends and family.

    Phil Clifton 

    Christian, father, teacher and hockey player. 

    Thirty years ago I moved from 'Geordieland' to study at Birmingham Uni, and have never really left the area.  My youngest, of three, is currently working her way through St Michael's and is thriving through their teaching and care. 

    It is an honour to serve and support the school as a Parent Governor; to give back, in some small way, for the time, care and attention that St Michael's staff are investing in her.

    As a secondary teacher working close by I am able to "pop in" to help out, to share the successes that the school is producing, be it through external assessments, school productions, sports days, praise assemblies as well as to hear of the the many, many mini wins their staff achieve lesson by lesson day by day with their pupils.

    Samantha Goode

    My name is Samantha Goode and I am the Deputy Headteacher here at St Michael’s CE Primary School.

    I have many years of experience as a teacher, in both Primary and Secondary schools across the city; most recently being an Assistant Headteacher and leading a change of programme in Maths across the whole school.

    I am really looking forward to working alongside the governing body to effect positive change and progress.

    Kate Coe

    Having moved back to Birmingham from London with my family two years ago, I am thoroughly enjoying working in this amazing school in my home city. St Michaels have welcomed me as one of their own and I feel honoured to work in such a nurturing school; where learning, knowledge and aspirations go hand in hand with fun, friendship, and community.

    As an early years trained teacher, and mum to a three year old, I am passionate about learning through play and child led learning. I bring this passion into my learning environment and teaching practice, diving in to the highs and challenges of nurturing our youngest school children. It is so rewarding to watch them grow and see the progress they make throughout the year and I feel privileged to be the nursery teacher at our lovely school.

    I am excited to join the governing board of a school that has made me feel so valued as part of their teaching staff and I feel great pride in the fact that I will be able to represent my colleagues in order to have a positive impact on our school and community.

    Wendy Burke 

    I have worked at St. Michael’s for many years working mainly as a Teaching Assistant in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

    I have lived in and around Birmingham all my life. I studied at Newman University and have experience working in many different educational settings. My passions at school are helping the students to develop their spirituality and phonics knowledge.

    I am honoured to be Support Staff Governor on the Governing Board, and hope that in this role I will represent my colleagues well. St. Michael’s is a family and I am proud to be part of it.