Meet the LUSoM Team

Head of School

Peter Tiltman

Meet Pete Tiltman, our Head of School. Pete’s love of maths started at an early age, and he studied three separate maths A-Levels when he left High School. After College he went on to Cambridge University where he achieved his degree in Mathematics at Christ’s College. 

After University Pete decided to do Voluntary Services overseas where he travelled to a small village called Himbirti in Eritrea in Africa where he taught English and Maths to pupils from 12 to 22 years of age! 

Upon returning to the UK Pete qualified as a teacher and began his teaching career in the UK. He was Head of Maths at a Blackpool High school for several years before becoming Head of Sixth Form and then Assistant Head Teacher at Turton School in Bolton before he joined LUSoM.  

Pete was presented with an award for ‘Special Recognition for services to education and voluntary contribution’ at the British Education Awards 2024.

“I am incredibly excited to be the Head Teacher of LUSoM. It is the dream job for me: leading a community of students with a passion for maths and science; giving them an opportunity to go above and beyond the curriculum; preparing them to study at the top universities in the country; going on to prestigious careers in STEM. Housed in our brand new, state-of-the-art facilities, we can act as a central point to help develop maths and science provision across Lancashire.”

Deputy Headteacher, DSL and Teacher of Computer Science

Francis Goodburn

Francis Goodburn is LUSoM’s Deputy Headteacher. He has responsibility for safeguarding as the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (which draws on his experience in a previous career as a child protection social worker) and he is also responsible for the mathematics and computer science departments. 

A proud Yorkshireman, after studying 8 A-Levels at a comprehensive school in Harrogate, Francis attended Oxford University where he studied Mathematics and Computer Science. While at university, he was the organ scholar of his college, St John’s, and he still plays and teaches the piano and organ in his spare time.

Before joining the team at LUSoM, he taught in a variety of schools and colleges in Yorkshire, most recently as Head of Mathematics and lead teacher for gifted and talented students.

LUSoM is an incredibly special community, with talented, enthusiastic students and dedicated, expert teachers. I am proud that our school is a fully inclusive environment where everyone can be themselves and thrive – maths is for everyone regardless of their circumstances or background and rightly our school reflects the diversity of the community we serve. The only stipulation for being part of our community is a talent and passion for maths! 

As Deputy Head and Safeguarding Lead, my door is open to any student, parent or staff member who has a concern for a cup of (Yorkshire!) tea and a chat.

Head of Chemistry

Rachel Rowbottom

Rachel Rowbotton is our Head of Chemistry here at LUSoM as of August 2023. Rachel was always destined to pursue a future in science, her inquisitive mind leading her to constantly seek the answers to why things happen.

After obtaining A-levels in Chemistry, Maths and Biology, she went on to achieve a first-class degree in BSc Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. She always knew she wanted to teach and inspire others to pursue a future in such a fascinating field, so her next step was to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma of Education in teaching secondary Chemistry at Edge Hill University.

During her first two years as a qualified teacher, she taught a mixture of GCSE and A-level Chemistry, in addition to some KS3 science at a high school in South Liverpool. Rachel then decided to make the move to a sixth form college, following her love for teaching A-level Chemistry. For 7 years she was Course Leader of Chemistry in a college in Southport, before she joined the team here at LUSoM.

“I can’t wait to embark on this next step in my journey teaching chemistry. I am passionate about chemistry and feel very privileged that it is my job to share this with my students. I am excited for the opportunity that I will have to inspire the next generation of scientists and mathematicians and to play a part in helping them to achieve their dreams.”

Head of Physics

Zoe Knowles

Zoe Knowles is our new Head of Physics at LUSoM, joining us in September 2023. Zoe developed a love for maths and science whilst attending a local comprehensive school. From there she completed her A-levels, followed by a BSc (Hons) in Physics with Computational Physics at Lancaster University, where she achieved 1st class degree and was awarded a Bowland College Prize. Zoe then went on to study a PhD in Astrophysics.

Before becoming a teacher, Zoe worked in the field of research and development in the aerospace and defence industry, where she won an award for innovation. Zoe’s first teaching appointment was at UCLAN, teaching undergraduates.  She then became a physics teacher at Runshaw College where she worked for 13 years. During this time, Zoe progressed to course leader in physics and managed the physics course for 8 years.

Whilst a student, Zoe learnt to fly a light aeroplane. Zoe’s other hobby during this time was dancing. Although she had to turn down a place at stage school to focus on her studies in STEM, her love for the West-End was rekindled when she later opened a dance school, teaching Ballet, Tap, Modern, and Musical Theatre to children.

Teacher of Maths

Andy Bottomley

Andy Bottomley joined LUSoM in September 2023 as a Maths teacher. Andy has enjoyed the logical and problem-solving aspects of the subject from a very young age and after studying Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry for A Level at his secondary school in Oldham he went onto Oxford University to complete an undergraduate Master’s degree in Maths and Stats.

Andy went straight from university into teaching at an independent school in London, but returned to academia three years later to gain a Master of Research degree in Stats and Operational Research at Lancaster University. Missing the classroom, he soon found himself back teaching in London where he balanced his Maths teaching with plenty of sport – in particular playing, and coaching, a lot of football.

Andy joined Westminster School in 2018 but, after a total of 12 years teaching down south, Andy has been drawn back to the north-west to be part of the exciting LUSoM project.

Teacher of Maths

George Lythgoe

George Lythgoe joins LUSoM as a Teacher of Mathematics.  He studied Mathematics at the University of Manchester, graduating with BSc.(Hons).  He later qualified as a teacher and has now been teaching A-Level Maths and Further Maths for eighteen years, passing on his love of Maths to many hundreds of students and supporting them to progress to their chosen university destinations and careers.  He also works as a senior examiner.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at LUSoM and am looking forward to working with Lancashire’s brightest mathematicians.  I am really excited to be part of this new community and to contribute to its growth and success over the coming years.”

Teacher of Maths

Juan Bercial

Juan Pedro Bercial Vélez has been teaching Maths to groups of students since the tender age of 19 in a variety of levels, institutions and even continents. A key moment in his life is when in 1994 he decided to take an Erasmus grant to finish his Degree at the University of Liverpool and he has since never looked back.

He stayed in Liverpool to fully qualify as a teacher, although he had to first complete his Spanish National Service by doing his Social Service at the UES (University of El Salvador) helping in a program of Maths Education.

After teaching KS4 and KS5 at Bellerive FCJ in Toxteth, Liverpool he was invited to do an M.Sc at the University of Liverpool in 2000, and of course, he could not refuse. During that time he worked alongside Prof. Ian Porteous and Prof. Peter Giblin (his Masters’ director) helping to develop the Fun Maths Roadshow, taking it to many schools throughout Merseyside. He then did a PhD in Fracture Mechanics with Prof. A.B. Movchan, lectured Engineers and Mathematicians at Liverpool University.

In 2007  he returned to Key Stage 5 and teach in Outstanding institutions such as King George V, Winstanley College and most recently, at the School of Medicine at West Lancashire College. “I feel that now I can focus all my efforts and experience into preparing and enthuse future mathematicians in a dedicated environment; there is nothing more satisfying that seeing young minds developing and understanding deeper concepts”.

Operations Manager

Natalie Fleming

Natalie is our Operations Manager. Natalie is responsible for the administrative and student support functions alongside the management and coordination of the outreach programme for the Lancaster University School of Mathematics.

Natalie graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in Business Studies and then went on to pursue a longstanding career in retail management. After a fulfilling 16 years in the retail sector, Natalie made the decision to broaden her horizons and seek a new opportunity in the education sector working in a HR role previously. Natalie has worked at LUSoM since August 2023 and is thrilled to be part of the school’s exciting future.

Business Administrator Apprentice

Alyssia Clark

Alyssia is our Business Administrator. Alyssia made the move from Merseyside to Lancashire to study an apprenticeship in business administration at LUSoM through Runshaw College, which she is currently completing.

Working alongside Natalie, Alyssia sits on reception, offering a friendly face for students and parents alike. Alyssia is responsible for administration and support of Lancaster University School of Mathematics students and is available over the phone to help answer parent queries.