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Our Academy Council

Eileen Flynn                                   - Chair of Academy Council (Safeguarding Councillor)

Jen Southall                                    - Chief Executive Officer

Jo Grayson                                     - Vice Chair of Academy Council (SEND Councillor)

Aileen Morrison                             - Head Teacher, St Matthias Academy

Felicity Russell                               - Teaching Staff Councillor (Health and Safety Councillor)

Kamila Zielinska                            - Support Staff Councillor

Nicola Morgan                                 - Parent Representative

Sam Williamson                            - Councillor

VACANCY                                        - Parent Representative

Kerisha Stephenson                       - Academy Councillor

Emma Gundry                                  - Academy Councillor

VACANCY                                         - Academy Councillor 

VACANCY                                         - Academy Councillor 

If you wish to contact the Chair of our Academy Council, Eileen Flynn, you may do so by:

Writing to:  Chair of St Matthias Academy Council, c/o KnowleDGE Academy, Leinster Avenue, Knowle, Bristol, BS4 1NN

Emailing the Clerk of the Governing Body:

Telephoning the Clerk to the Governing Body: Louise Shepherd on 0117 456 6513


To contact the Clerk to the Governing Body, Louise Shepherd, please telephone using 0117 456 6513 x 2224 or 07458 102 618 or email using

To contact the Chair of the Academy Council, Eileen Flynn, please  email using



Aileen Morrison, Headteacher

Aileen has worked at St Matthias since 2006 and been Headteacher since 2014. A qualified English Teacher and SENDCo, Aileen also completed a Masters Degree in Raising Achievement in City Schools. She has led St Matthias as it moved from Local Authority Maintained status to becoming an Academy and in 2016 worked to open a second base in the North of the City at Brentry. She has been seconded into Leadership positions at BFA and Rushhill and is collaborating with Easton Primary on a KS2 Early Intervention Base.


Eileen Flynn, Chair of St Matthias Academy Council

Eileen Flynn (M Ed 'Raising Attainment in Inner City Schools')

Eileen has been a qualified teacher since 1978 gained her Master’s Degree in ‘Raising Attainment In Inner City Schools‘at the University of the West of England and has taught chemistry and science in secondary school for almost 40 years. For the last 3 years Eileen has been teaching in a primary school. Eileen was on the leadership team of an inner city comprehensive school for over a decade.

The Director of Inclusion and the designated Safeguarding Officer. Eileen has managed  Special Educational Needs , ‘English as an additional language’ department and learning mentors. Eileen led her school to be one of the first two secondary schools in Bristol to be awarded the Inclusion Standard and also to achieve the Healthy School’s award. She also led on the Aiming High project to support the achievement of African Caribbean students. Eileen has worked with colleagues across the city (Bristol) to avoid permanent exclusion of students and was a member of the Fair Access Panel. Eileen has also taught in Japan and worked with colleagues in Canada and Jamaica. 

Eileen has been on the Academy Council of St Matthias Academy for over a decade, her ambition is to ensure that all children receive the support and care that they need without having to go through the damaging process of permanent exclusion.


Jen Southall

Chief Executive Officer

Jen is extremely proud to have joined the trust in August 2021. Her vision is that across our academies we provide high quality learning opportunities and individualised therapeutic provision for children and young people who have been identified as having social, emotional, mental health (SEMH), social, language and communication needs (SLCN) and autistic spectrum condition (ASC). By doing so, provide our children and young people with the best possible education and to secure for them a positive and fulfilled future.



Felicity Russell

Teaching Staff Representative

Felicity is the English teacher at St Matthias Fishponds site as well as the literacy lead. After teaching for five years in mainstream education, she took a short break to travel in Asia. On her return Felicity made the move to specialist provision. She has now been teaching at St Matthias for the last three and a half years and loves challenges and rewards that come with working there.


Jo Grayson

Academy Councillor

Jo has been teaching for over 25 years, beginning her career as a mainstream maths teacher in London before moving to Bristol as a senior leader in 2004. She is an experienced school leader, having held a number of roles in both mainstream schools and special education, including Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and SENDCo. She is currently Deputy Headteacher in one of the Learn@ Academies.

Jo has a strong commitment to placing the learner at the heart of the school and ensuring that the necessary support, challenges and experiences are provided to ensure that each individual meets his or her full potential. She believes that all young people have the right to the highest possible educational standards and whilst qualifications open doors to students, school is about much more than gaining qualifications; it is about ensuring that the young people that leave it are fully prepared for life and for continuing education, are able to think, communicate, make appropriate choices and are valuable members of the global community.

Sam Williamson

Academy Councillor

Having grown up in the South West Sam Williamson began as a languages teacher in the world of education following a successful career in local authority revenues. Having worked all over the South of England in various senior leadership roles Sam took up a Headship of a very challenging school in coastal Kent and was fortunate to have been invited to speak at various events including The Headteachers Roundtable at Number 10 Downing Street on Coastal Challenge. Having taken this school on a transformational journey Sam returned to the South West as Principal of Merchants’ Academy leading it out of Special Measures.

Sam now holds the post of Executive Lead for Secondary at Venturers Trust and is developing a coaching culture and Professional development Institute for The Trust. Deeply committed to social equity Sam is invested in research- based approaches and grounded in authentic values driven leadership. Sam is very proud to be involved in system wide transformation via the involvement with the newly created Five Counties Teaching School Hub and acutely sensitive to the needs and benefits of a collaborative approach to building capacity to transform the outcomes for all young people in the South West.


​                                                              Kamila Zielinska

Support Staff Representative

Kamila’s passion for supporting the education of young people started with her degree in Sociology and Social Policy, and when she volunteered in Malawi as a community support worker for Nancholi Youth Organisation. Between running groups promoting gender equality, building an orphanage and teaching in a local primary school, this experience inspired her to continue working with young people. Kamila strives to support the mental health and well-being of students and raise their self-esteem by encouraging them to understand their strengths and weaknesses. She works to provide young people with strategies to overcome challenges, with the overarching aim of supporting them to be responsible, successful and independent adults in the future. Alongside this, Kamila works with staff to ensure the school is a stable and comfortable working environment in which staff can share their feelings and worries and ultimately thrive in their environment.

Kerisha Stephenson 

Kerisha is the Administration Assistant at Soundwell Academy, handling HR and new student transitions.

Kerisha is originally from Jamaica, having moved to England at the age of 10 years old for the chance of better educational resources and support.  It led to her being the first person in her family to go to university, gaining a degree in Film and Screen Studies with Media Communications from Bath Spa University, working in film and television production shortly after graduating.

Kerisha is passionate about the creative arts, different social justice causes, having grown up as a member of Bristol's BAME (Unity) and Green Capital Youth Forums.

Before starting her current role, Kerisha worked as a PR, Marketing and Business Administrator for a local adult social care provider, specialising in health and wellbeing for both staff and service users.  This has led to her being a volunteer with Coproduce Care, campaigning for and supporting parity with the NHS for the social care sector.  Working in Social Care has been the driving force to joining the special educational needs sector.  She aims to have a positive impact on the lives of students across the MAT.

Kerisha has launched mental health podcast and blog around health and wellbeing resources (helping anyone who gets in touch with research or finding support available in their local area, but lack of knowledge or resource to it themselves).


Emma Gundry

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Emma has worked in education for over 20 years and started her teaching career in Downend School in 2020. 

For the last 13 years Emma been based in Weston Super Mare and is now Principal of the Voyage Leaning Campus, the North Somerset pupil referral unit. 

As a Fishponds resident, she is  pleased to be part of the academy council and supporting staff in their work with the young people of Bristol.

Nicola Morgan

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