Graduating from Leeds University in 1993 with a First Class Honours in Political Studies, Shirley did not take a ‘traditional’ route through education, returning to take her A levels at the age of 23. From leaving school, she worked in a variety of sectors, particularly industry and hospitality, latterly running her own business while under-taking her degree and teaching qualification as well as bringing up her family.
After working in a series of teaching positions in further education, Shirley arrived at Dixons City Technology as a teacher of Humanities in 1996. By 2000, she was promoted to Head of Post-16 at Dixons City Technology College. During this time, Shirley continued to take a substantive teaching role. With the conversion to academy status in 2005, Shirley was appointed to the substantive post of Deputy Principal, later becoming Principal in 2011.
Shirley became an Executive Principal in 2016 and the Trust has appointed a new Principal for Dixons City to expand her role from September 2018 . In her Executive role, Shirley is responsible for line managing Dixons City, Dixons Cottingley, Dixons Manningham and Dixons Marchbank. She continues to take a keen interest in learning in the classroom and one of her strategic roles is working with the middle leaders in developing world class learning schemes and resources for the benefit of all our children.
Shirley remains first and foremost committed to making a difference in economically challenging areas and is therefore very proud of everything that Dixons has done over almost 30 years to improve the life chance of young people in Bradford.