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Members and Directors

Spiral Partnership Trust Members


Sarah Ainsworth

Sarah is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years finance, risk and audit experience in both private and public sectors.  Sarah has significant experience in the education sector having been a Governor of two of the Trust's schools for over 7 years, including roles as Chairs of both the Finance and Audit Committees and as Chair of Governors.  Currently a Finance Director of a Central London conference venue, Sarah had a past executive finance role at a Bedfordshire Multi Academy Trust.  She has three children, all of whom attended a Trust school.


Geoff Harrison

Geoff is a former Mayor of St Albans and a St Albans City & District Councillor and has many years' experience and a deep local community knowledge.  He is very active in local charity and voluntary work.


Two of our directors are also Trust Members

  • Julian Earl
  • Robin Douglas



Spiral Partnership Trust Board of Directors

The Board of Directors bring together a wide range of skills and expertise that support the executive team in running the Trust; these areas of expertise include education, finance, legal, business and HR.


Robin Douglas, OBE


Chair of the Board of Directors

Specialist area:  management & HR consultancy

Robin facilitates system change with senior leaders across organisational and professional boundaries.  With over 30 years' experience of successful service improvement and leadership development throughout the public services, he retains a commitment to improving human outcomes.  He works creatively with senior managers, clinicians and politicians as coach, team and board facilitator and with wider partnership groups on local change.  Robin is also a Member of Spiral Partnership Trust.



Kathryn Burton


Specialist area: finance

Kathryn  is a Chartered Accountant  working as a partner at Hays MacIntyre, an audit and accountancy firm based in London with a specialism in charities and not for profit organisations. With over 12 years experience, she currently oversees a client portfolio of charitable organisations including many educational organisations and schools. She is also a holder of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Diploma in Charity Accounting.


Outside of work and her duties as a Trustee and Governor,  time is taken up with family life.  Kathryn has two children who attend Mandeville and enjoys going to the theatre and socialising with friends.



Emma Murphy


Specialist area:  human resources

Emma has a wide experience and expertise in human resources.   She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and currently Human Resources Manager at Murco Petroleum Limited, based in St Albans with responsibility for all human resources activities within the UK operation.  Emma has a degree in Environmental Biochemistry and  over 19 years experience in the oil industry.


Emma has two sons who attend Mandeville Primary School, and is heavily involved in many aspects of school life, such as the PTA and after school weekly craft club. With any spare time available Emma enjoys art, music and spending lots of time with her family and friends.



Julian Earl


Specialist Area; PR & communications

Julian is a marketing and advertising Strategy Director and has 20+ years of experience in communications strategy and branding across many industries and disciplines.


He first became a school governor in 2009 and was Chair of Governors at Fleetville Infant & Nursery School for eight years. Julian is also a Member of Spiral Partnership Trust.



Deborah Godbold


Specialist area: education

Deborah has worked in education for almost 40 years in schools in London and Hertfordshire.  Most of this time has been in senior leadership roles and for the last 7 years Deborah has worked with school leaders and governors providing challenge and support in school improvement.  She is passionate about education as a whole and Early Years and Special Educational Needs in particular.  Deborah has previously served on a Governing Body of a secondary school is also Chair of Governors at Springmead Primary School.


Rodney Allen


Specialist area: business & IT

Rodney has worked in the Medical Devices field for nearly 20 years and is currently a Director of Sales & Market Access.  However hs background was built around science and technology, he has a BSc in Chemistry with Computational Chemistry and was an early adopter of IOT (Internet of Things).  Rodney has a daughter at Mandeville and is Chair of Governors at the school.


Aaron Wanford


Specialist area: education

Aaron is a Headteacher and Executive Headteacher working as part of a national Multi-Academy Trust, REAch2, which is the largest primary-only trust in the country with over 60 schools.  With over 15 years’ experience, he currently provides other schools within REAch2 with school improvement and leadership support.  He has opened a brand-new free school in Buckinghamshire successfully, and led schools as Executive Headteacher to good and outstanding.  Aaron is also part of the school reviewing team within REAch2, affording him the opportunity to work alongside serving Ofsted inspectors to provide school-to-school support and peer challenge.  Aaron has completed his National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership and has experience and leadership of MAT growth and acquisition from this.  He has also been a Chair of Governors for an academy as part of a MAT in Hertfordshire and led a variety of schools including those Church of England, academy and maintained, and has been part of the leadership in bringing new schools into a trust. 


Outside of work and his duties as a Trustee and Headteacher, Aaron is a keen musician and runner, and enjoys spending time with his family. 


Iain Nettleton


Specialist area: finance and project management

Iain is a management consulting Partner at one of the large accounting firms and leads the internationally focused project management team.  The majority of his work relates to delivering economic reform projects in developing countries.  He is also a people partner for 200 staff around the world and sits on the firm's governing board.


Iain's academic background covers social policy, government, international development and business administration; he is also a chartered accountant.


Iain is dyslexic and understands what it is to struggle to meet expectations when you don't fit the normal distribution.  He has also achieved exceptional academic success at some of the world's greatest universities and so is acutely aware than SEN does not have to mean lowered expectations or achievement.


Prior to becoming a Director of Spiral, Iain was a co-chair the Local School Committee at Fleetville Infants & Nursery School.


Ariadna Stanciu


Specialist area: HR

Ariadna has progressive experience and expertise in Human Resources.  She is currently working as an HR Partner in London with responsibility for all HR activities within the UK and South Africa.  Ariadna has a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and a Batchelors Degree in Business Administration.  


Outside work, Ariadna enjoys swimming and spending time with her family.  Since 2019 she has been part of the Steps Ahead Mentoring Program with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) helping young individuals improve their employability skills, boost their confidence and self-esteem, preparing for interviews and finding work in their preferred industry.


Ariadna is passionate about education as a whole and would love to make a difference in the education sector.