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About us

Staff

  

Senior Leadership

  • Charles Bartholomew

    Principal

    After training at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre, Charles worked as a professional actor in theatre, film and television. His stage work includes productions for Hull Truck Theatre, The Oxford Playhouse Company, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Contact Theatre Manchester, Orchard Theatre Company and The English National Opera Company. Alongside this, he also had screen roles in Clockwise, Coronation Street and Juliet Bravo. Following the completion of a PGCE in Drama, Charles worked extensively in creative education at Liverpool Community College, Newcastle under Lyme College and, most recently, as Assistant Director at Stoke on Trent College, where he had responsibility for Performing Arts, Music and Media. As a teacher, he has taught GCSE, A-Level and BTEC Levels 1, 2 and 3, as well as directing over 40 student productions. Charles is also a BTEC Performing and Production Arts Standards Verifier, assessing the quality of provision across England. Charles has continued to work alongside the industry through the National Skills Academy Creative and Cultural. This has resulted in developing exciting partnerships with The Royal Opera House, Live Nation and The Download Festival. In addition, he continues to act and direct where possible.

Administration

  • Joanne Beesley

    Administrator

    Joanne joined us in September 2016, having worked at the City of Liverpool College for more than a decade, where she undertook a range of administrative functions across different departments. These included the Drop in Study Centres, the Arts Centre and the Apprenticeship Team. Here, she is responsible for tasks ranging from enrolment and looking after student records to collating data, financial activities and communication with parents. Joanne enjoys working within a small committed team, and is impressed by the college’s vibrant atmosphere and the enthusiasm of our students. She is proud to follow students’ journeys and feels that to see them achieve their goals is one of the many rewards of her job.

  • Maria Dougan

    Administrator

    Maria came to LIPA Sixth Form College from The Academy of St Francis Assisi, where she worked as a receptionist. Prior to that, she gained over 15 years’ administrative experience working in a secondary school setting. She performed a range of roles including student services manager and specialist school administrator. Maria supports our Administrator and Receptionist on a day-to-day basis. She enjoys being part of a small hardworking administration team and is impressed by the talent she witnesses from both staff and students.

  • Julie Humphreys

    Admissions Officer

    Julie joined us in September 2016 and is the first point of contact for students, parents and visitors with regards to admissions. Julie processes the applications of prospective students. She has a strong background in customer facing roles, office and diary management as previous jobs have included teacher recruitment for both local and international schools and support for staff and students at the University of Liverpool libraries. She has also worked alongside social workers in After Adoption, a charity dedicated to supporting adopted children and adoptive and birth parents. Julie enjoys celebrating students’ achievements and is always on hand to provide administrative support to meet their daily needs.

  • Charlotte Whelan

    Receptionist

    Charlotte previously worked for the local authority in a One Stop Shop for 12 years and prior to this worked in other customer service and administrative roles. She loves performing arts, attending dance and theatre schools growing up, was part of school choirs and orchestras where she played the flute. Charlotte joined us in September 2020 to work on reception. She is the first point of contact for students, staff, parents and visitors on site and on the telephone. She also supports the admin team with their admin duties. Charlotte loves watching the students rehearsing and is very impressed at how talented our students are. She finds her job very rewarding seeing how happy the students are living their dreams by doing what they love most.

Inclusion & Support Staff

  • Amy Deane

    Inclusion Manager, Deputy DSL & SENDCO

    Amy was previously Curriculum Leader for English at St Helens College. She studied BA French and German at the University of Liverpool before completing a masters’ degree in English Language at Lancaster University. Our SENDCO, Amy achieved the National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination in 2017. She is responsible for overseeing additional learning support in college, leading on the student bursary, and overseeing GCSE English and maths courses. Amy is also Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. Amy teaches GCSE English Language and the highlight of her week is finding ways to capitalise on students’ creativity in her English classes through collaboration with the creative department staff.

  • Leianna Boodaghians-Nolan

    Learner Support Assistant

    Leianna graduated from LIPA with a degree in community drama in 2016 and completed the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Playwrights’ Programme. Leianna has a passion for creating and performing her own work - she was inspired by reading Unprotected (Everyman 2006) to write plays that she feels need to be heard, and to create conversation. Previous to starting her role at LSFC Leianna worked as an arts award advisor and drama Teaching Assistant at an alternative provision school in Liverpool for 3 years. Leianna feels her new role brings her passions together and she is able to support students in a creative environment in order to help them to succeed in their chosen discipline

  • Joe Cornmell

    Teacher of Maths

    Joe joined us from Wirral Metropolitan College, where he spent two years teaching GCSE and Functional Skills Maths to a wide range of vocational students. Having gained his PGCE in 2015, Joe continues to study, working towards a Masters’ in Education. Joe has also previously worked in the arts, within the finance department of the Liverpool & Merseyside Theatres Trust. Joe’s role is to deliver GCSE Maths to those students needing to re-sit exams, and he builds technology into his planning process. Joe particularly enjoys finding innovative ways to engage the students in Maths alongside their creative studies

  • Raquel Costabile

    Learner Support Assistant

    Raquel has a degree in Music Education from FMU University (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and in July 2017 she completed a Master’s degree in Education at Liverpool Hope University. She has studied singing, piano and recorder and is also a qualified fitness instructor - she delivers many classes in the Liverpool area. With over 15 years of experience in education, Raquel has worked with students of all ages as a music teacher and learning support assistant. In her current role, she provides academic and pastoral support to students across the college and runs extra-curricular activities such as fitness classes. Raquel really enjoys working in a performing arts environment as she believes students can develop confidence and become more equipped to face the challenges they might pursue in the future.

  • Ruth Crane

    Careers & Progression Coordinator

    Prior to this role, Ruth worked for Liverpool Hope University as part of the student recruitment and outreach team, delivering outreach and support sessions for schools and colleges and providing UCAS guidance. After this Ruth moved on to the Education Faculty at Liverpool Hope, where she supported recent graduates, communicating and supporting professional development events for graduates in their Newly Qualified Teacher Year, as well as tracking their destinations. Having gained her undergraduate degree in Education and Special Educational Needs in 2017, Ruth continues to work towards her Masters qualification in the area of Disability Studies.

  • Kali Diston-Jones

    Learning Support Assistant

    After graduating from LIPA Sixth Form College in 2019 with a UAL Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production, Kali has gained extensive music industry experience as the drummer of Liverpool five-piece band Monks, touring the UK, supporting critically acclaimed artists, and recording with successful producers. In 2022, Kali attained a BA in Music from LIPA, specialising in Music Production/Composition, and expanded his knowledge on musical disciplines that continually inform his day-to-day life as a professional musician. Kali has a strong belief that project-based learning can offer numerous invaluable skills to students wanting to work in the creative industries and can be hugely beneficial for a diverse range of learning styles.

  • Julia Kelly

    Teacher of English

    Julia is a qualified Advanced Skills Teacher of English with over 14 years’ experience of teaching English at GCSE and A Level. She is a fully trained journalist who also works as a freelance professional in PR and Marketing alongside her teaching career. Julia enjoys finding ways of making English come alive to students and showing them the practical application of good English skills outside the classroom in the professional world. Julia’s role is to deliver GCSE English to those students needing to re-sit exams. She loves engaging students and trying to increase their confidence when approaching English examinations by increasing their exposure to a wide variety of texts and working on strengthening written skills.

  • Kim McManus

    Student Counsellor

    Prior to joining LIPA Sixth Form College, Kim worked for a national organisation called We Are With You for 11 years in the substance misuse field whilst also working towards a career in Counselling. After 6 years of study she graduated with a BSc Hons First Class Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Staffordshire University. As an Integrative Counsellor she is qualified in various therapeutic models such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamic therapy and Person-Centred Therapy. Following her degree, Kim worked as a Young Person’s Recovery Worker. Kim is here to provide a confidential counselling service that is accessible to all students. She is passionate about providing a safe space for students to share their struggles and truly be themselves so that they can feel heard and supported without fear of judgment. As a result of attending a full-time performing arts school in Liverpool throughout her childhood, Kim has a natural passion and understanding for this industry. This coupled with her experience and love for counselling enables her two greatest passions to work in collaboration.

  • Adam Ward

    Learner Support Assistant

    Adam received a BA in Drama from Liverpool John Moores University, then a PGCE from Huddersfield University. Since then, he has been a Lecturer in Performing Arts, Drama and Theatre Studies at Harrogate College and Cirencester Sixth Form College. While at Cirencester, Adam also ran the Sundial Youth Theatre Company. Adam has worked for Opera North, Altru Drama, the Storybarn and Liverpool Arts Society as well as writing and directing his own work which has featured at the Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool Fringe Festival, Next Steps Festival, and Show Face Festival. Recently, his short play ‘Genius at Work’ won the Congress Theatre’s Virtual New Writing Festival. Adam greatly enjoys working with students to help them to achieve their goals and hopes to continue to do that in his role here at LIPA Sixth Form College.

  • John Kershaw

    Sound & ICT Technician

    A LIPA graduate in Sound Technology, John joined us in September 2017. He is a professional sound engineer with a Masters’ degree in new media production. He has worked as a sound technician in several schools in addition to working as a studio and live sound engineer. John supports staff and students with ICT-related issues and demonstrates the use of sound equipment in studio and live settings. He particularly enjoys working with young people who have a passion for the performing arts.

  • Steven Mitchell

    Apprentice Technician

    Before coming to work at LIPA Sixth Form College, Steven developed an app for Marks and Spencer to measure customer footfall during the COVID-19 lockdown. He has also developed several video games, with one currently available on Steam (a storefront for PC games). Steven’s role is to resolve hardware and software issues, assisting staff with use of technical equipment, and helping schedule the use of equipment. Steven enjoys that every day is different, going from repairing and upgrading equipment to helping resolve staff’s issues with technical equipment. Having only started with us late 2021, he already feels part of the LIPA family.

Managers

  • Nadeen Kemp

    Programme Manager, Music & Musical Theatre

    Nadeen came to LIPA Sixth Form College from her role as Curriculum Coordinator at Hugh Baird College, responsible for Music, Music Technology, Creative Media Production, Performing Arts and Dance. A graduate of the University of Liverpool, Nadeen is an experienced teacher of Music and Sound Technology who has taught for several years at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. She is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed as a session musician with many national and international artists. She continues to work in the music industry while teaching, and uses the concept of the ‘live brief’ as a basis on which her students can develop professional working practices and subject-specific skills suitable for working in the music industry.

  • Andrea McDevitt

    Programme Manager, Dance

    Andrea has a Masters’ degree in Dance Studies from Liverpool John Moores University, and extensive experience of teaching Dance in Further and Higher Education. Prior to full-time lecturing, she performed and taught freelance nationally and internationally with Gestures and Stark Dance Companies, working with choreographers such as David Massingham, Emlyn Claid and Earl Lloyd Hepburn. Andrea was an outreach dancer for Northern Ballet Theatre and Poetry in Motion and choreographed the opening ceremony for Manchester’s Olympic bid. Her television credits include both the BBC and Granada TV. Andrea believes that analysis and evaluation in Dance practice provides the depth of understanding that is vital to development as a dancer and for career longevity.

  • Edward Pinner

    Programme Manager, Acting, Technical Theatre & Design For Performance

    Edward is a graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. An experienced acting coach and drama teacher, he taught at the Oxford School of Drama, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Stratford-upon-Avon College. He gained a Masters’ degree in Drama & Theatre Education from the University of Warwick in 2010, and continues to work as an actor. Edward is keen for students to recognise the ever-diversifying nature of the industry, in which students need to be able to be flexible and take advantage of new opportunities.

  • Victoria Smith

    Progress & Safeguarding Manager (DSL)

    Victoria graduated from University of Liverpool, initially training as a retail banking graduate, later training and qualifying as a teacher. She came to LIPA Sixth Form College from Xaverian College in Manchester, where she spent six years as a teacher of business and accounting, becoming pastoral manager and eventually marketing manager. Victoria’s role is to ensure that all students make positive progress and get the most from their time with us. She is particularly impressed by the passion and commitment students show to their courses, and is proud to work in a college that changes students' lives for the better!

Teaching Staff

  • Brian Campbell

    Teacher of Music

    Brian is a Grammy-nominated musician with over 20 years’ experience in the music industry, plus six years teaching in Further and Higher Education. A founder member of the critically-acclaimed Clinic, he has toured internationally. Working with labels including Domino Records, Universal and Warner Brothers, Brian has released eight studio albums and a number of EPs and singles. He has toured with Radiohead, Arcade Fire, The Shins and Pulp. Brian is co-founder of Exquisite Corpses Records, a label dedicated to bespoke vinyl releases. An ASCAP award-winner for songwriting, he continues to write, record and tour alongside his teaching. Brian feels that work-based learning and research, combined with access to industry contacts and work experience, is the best way for students to learn.

  • Eddie Chinn

    Teacher of Musical Theatre

    A LIPA graduate, Eddie has 15 years’ experience of teaching in Further Education. He has worked as an actor/practitioner on a number of national tours, and spent time in Romania, working with orphans and street children to develop confidence through drama. Eddie founded and directed the Merseyside Young People’s Theatre and is a former board member of the Everyman Theatre Youth Theatre. He continues to be active in the industry, enabling him to offer students currency and honesty of practice and professional industry links. Eddie provides students with a safe space to take risks and explore creativity, offering constructive and honest feedback.

  • Abbie Coughlan

    Teacher of Dance & Musical Theatre

    A LIPA graduate, Abbie has worked mainly in the Jazz Dance industry, both nationally and internationally. She has performed on cruise ships, in cabaret shows, dinner spectacles and tribute acts, including Vegas Showgirls UK. As dance captain and lead dancer, she has had responsibility for rehearsals, sourcing costumes and communication with technical teams. Abbie’s experience has given her a deep understanding as to the requirements of professional performance, and her continuing activity in the industry provides currency, networks and links for her students, preparing them for future work and auditions.

  • Vicky Dawson

    Teacher of Design for Performance

    A LIPA graduate in Theatre Performance & Design, Vicky has also completed her PGCE at Liverpool John Moores University. She has taught at secondary and sixth form level for the past 13 years and has worked on many school and college productions. Vicky passionately believes that students should see as much live performance as possible to influence the development of their critical and design skills. She enjoys working with students on ‘live briefs’ as this gives a real-time context to the design work they are doing and an appreciation of the additional transferable skills needed to work successfully in the production arts industry.

  • Ian Driver

    Teacher of Music

    Ian has seventeen years’ experience in teaching Music and Sound Technology. Since receiving a first class degree at university, he has built up a wide range of skills through working in schools and colleges, in both teaching and leadership positions, directing bands, choirs and musicals. Ian still performs and is currently developing a recording studio with a view to creating a community hub for the arts. Ian believes that a lively practical approach is at the heart of learning music, and that this should be combined with how music theory works. He feels that when students step out of their comfort zone, real learning takes place.

  • Abi Gibbs

    Teacher of Dance & Musical Theatre

    Abi is a professional dancer who trained at Preston’s College Dance. She completed her BA Honours degree along with her ISTD and RAD teaching qualifications before embarking on her adventure with Disney Cruise Line as a professional Musical Theatre dancer for three years. Abi then went on to complete her PGDE in post-compulsory and further education before opening her own dance school based in Liverpool. She is also a guest teacher for many colleges and schools internationally. Abi is now completing her Masters’ degree whilst working at LIPA Sixth Form College. She offers her students inspiration and experience in the dance industry and is passionate in demonstrating her discipline in classes.

  • Theresa Hailwood

    Teacher of Technical Theatre

    A LIPA graduate, Theresa came to us from Coleg Cambria, where she taught Production Arts for four years. Throughout her teaching career, she has taught both Level 2 and 3 across different specifications (BTEC, OCR, UAL and apprenticeships) and since 2016 she has also been a Standards Verifier for BTEC in Performing Arts. She has professional experience as a freelance stage and production manager and also worked in the production department for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Alongside teaching, Theresa runs a community-focused theatre company in North Wales for 7-19 year olds. Theresa’s approach is industry-focused, enabling her students to develop skills and experience that they can take into the production arts workplace.

  • Lyndsey Healey

    Teacher of Dance

    Lyndsey came to LIPA Sixth Form College from the City of Liverpool College, where she taught across all age ranges and levels. She has worked nationally as a choreographer, performer and youth arts practitioner, working with students from primary age through to Higher Education. She has most recently completed a BA in Education from the University of Huddersfield. Lyndsey’s experience in youth arts gives her empathy and awareness of external factors impacting students’ learning, while her work across different levels of Dance supports her students as they look forward to career possibilities. Lyndsey’s classes offer students the opportunity to make mistakes until they succeed.

  • Tim Lynskey

    Teacher of Acting

    Tim has a BA in Drama & Theatre Studies with Fine Art & Design along with 15 years’ experience in teaching in Further and Higher Education. He has extensive experience as a performer, workshop leader, community and youth arts practitioner, playwright and director. A graduate of the Hope Street Physical Theatre Programme and the Everyman Playwrights’ Programme, he has toured the UK with award-nominated shows. Tim’s specialism is physical theatre and devising, which he has taught at both BTEC and A-Level, and to which he brings a high energy, high momentum approach. He believes in making education a worthwhile, enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

  • Carmel Moss

    Teacher of Musical Theatre

    Carmel has worked in further education for 11 years as both a performing arts teacher and head of department. She also works privately as a voice coach and piano teacher, preparing students for stage school auditions. A member of the Vocology in Practice network, she is committed to developing vocal technique and training the voice for an effective and sustained career in the industry. Carmel has been musical director for both West End and local shows and has had a devised contemporary performance showcased and exhibited at the Rush Art Gallery, New York. Carmel has also worked as a touring performer, musician and dance artist in a number of community settings. She believes that students working collaboratively on live projects in line with industry standards allows them to fully experience the industry while being supported through feedback and monitoring.

  • Beckie Price

    Teacher of Musical Theatre (Singing)

    Beckie has been teaching for 10 years, and trained as a Musical Theatre performer at Italia Conti. Since 2012, she has been managing director of her own performing arts academy, which specialises in vocal coaching and singing. She is currently studying for a certificate in modern vocal training. Beckie is very much an interactive teacher who loves to create and collaborate with students. Her main approach is to build confidence to get the best out of singers - for them to know that every voice is unique and to be proud of their voices.

  • Jenny Rees

    Teacher of Dance

    A graduate of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Jenny undertook further training at Limon School and Merce Cunningham studios in New York. She has been teaching in Further Education and Higher Education settings for 14 years, and has been consistently graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. Jenny has extensive performance experience both nationally and internationally. She has performed works by renowned choreographers such as Lea Anderson, Itzik Gallili and Gary Clarke. Jenny is also co-director of Taciturn Dance Company, which for the past ten years has been creating and performing work and delivering educational workshops. Jenny’s classes are a safe place to fall and fail as this is the moment where ‘dancing’ happens.

  • Mike Roberts

    Teacher of Music

    With a Masters’ degree in Music Production, Mike has enjoyed a diverse career encompassing school and university teaching, alongside working as a music and theatre technician and playing bass professionally for ten years. His production company was responsible for a sell-out show, and Mike is an Ashdown-endorsed artist. He performs as part of three bands - an award-winning group, an eight-piece ensemble and a three-piece function band. Mike believes in a practical approach to learning in which students’ develop holistic skills with a mixture of critique and support to succeed in the professional music industry.

  • Danny Smith

    Teacher of Music

    Danny joined LIPA Sixth Form College in August 2021, with five years’ experience of teaching music and sound technology. He also has a successful professional career, performing across the country in a range of ensembles. He has recorded and produced music of all genres for himself and other musicians and has experience in writing musicals and directing pit bands and choirs. Danny’s focus is on the practicality of music, with his industry experience allowing him to combine practical knowledge with teaching skills to tailor learning experiences that are engaging and industry-relevant. He believes in encouraging learners to be courageous and to keep progressing, whatever stage of their careers they are at.

  • Ally Southwell

    Teacher of Acting

    Ally has an MA in Performance Practice, with over 20 years’ experience teaching in schools, FE and HE, and has worked as a freelance workshop leader, director and acting coach. She has been Artistic Director of two small scale theatre companies and has toured nationally with work she has directed or produced. Ally has been an external examiner and Standards Verifier for Performing Arts for 12 years and has witnessed first-hand the enormous impact drama and theatre can have on the individual as well as on communities. Ally believes in giving students as many opportunities as possible, and giving them the confidence to try out new ideas. She creates a safe environment where all students feel valued and therefore feel safe to experiment and push their own boundaries.