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The Trust Team

Our trust team is led by our CEO, Marcus Cooper, who oversees a team that supports every aspect of school organisation:

  • Alex Lindley is the Trust Executive Head supporting leadership and school improvement across the Trust.
  • Corinna Semon leads the business & finance team that support every aspect of the business of running a school business.
  • The school Improvement Team includes subject leaders and a SENCo who support the quality of teaching and learning and SEN across the Trust.
  • Kevin Byrne supports premises managers across the Trust.
  • Richard Sherwood provides IT support and technical services.

Marcus Cooper - CEO



Marcus joined Spiral as our new CEO in October 2022.  He brings with him many years of experience of school leadership and school improvement in Hertfordshire and beyond, most recently as the Assistant Director of Education for Southwark Dioscesan Board of Education (SDBE) and CEO of the SBDE Multi-Academy Trust.


Marcus looks forward to building on the current strengths of Spiral to ensure it remains at the forefront of effective primary education, being both outward looking and responsive to the needs of our schools and the communities they serve.


Alex Lindley, Headteacher


Alex believes in creating a happy, caring and supportive school environment.  She is passionate about inclusion and providing a climate for learning that enables every child to grow and flourish.  Alex believes in the importance of collaborative relationships with parents, the local community and other partners to promote a shared understanding of education and care for all children.  As a long standing member of the senior leadership team, she helped develop a creative, rich, flexible and balanced curriculum to optimise learning.


Cathy Longhurst, Headteacher


Cathy is passionate about teaching and learning and feels strongly that every child deserves and has a right to high quality education which is personalised to their own needs.

As a long standing member of the Senior Leadership Team at Mandeville, Cathy has helped shape the ethos and direction of the school on its journey from special measures to outstanding and as Acting Head Teacher at Chaulden Junior School prior to the school joining the Spiral Academies Trust.


Clare Whitehouse, Headteacher


Clare is passionate about creating an inclusive school where individual differences are celebrated and the curriculum reflects the diversity of the school community.

Having worked as a school leader and SENCo in a number of schools, Clare is committed to offering an inspirational, personalised and engaging school experience to all children.  She recognises the importance of having high expectations and offering children opportunities to show their strengths and leaderships skills in the wider aspects of school life.


Karen Cayford, Headteacher


Karen is passionate about putting the children at the heart of teaching and learning, believing that every child should have the chance to excel.  An experienced leader in change and creating effective teams, she is proactive in working with other schools to share opportunities and exploiting chances to extend learning wherever possible.

Whilst the education of our pupils is the number one priority, Karen also strives to make the school a learning place for all.  Supporting parents in supporting their children's learning is a key area of our continuing development, as is providing professional development opportunities for all our staff.


Leanne Williams, Headteacher


Leanne passionately believes we all learn and grow due to the experiences we have in life and that it is the responsibility of all educators to make the learning experiences within our schools positive, engaging and aspirational for all to inspire them to be lifelong learners.  As an experienced school leader and SENCo, she is committed to equality of opportunity for all children and this vision is embedded in the MPL curriculum with opportunities through visitors, trips and clubs to inspire our future generations to strive to be the best they can be.  Leanne believes every situation is a learning opportunity and through quality teaching and coaching we can feel safe to challenge ourselves and others.  She works closely with parents and carers, external professionals and other headteachers to further develop her own knowledge and that of her team.


Corinna Semon, Chief Finance Officer


Corinna is a qualified accountant (FCCA) with almost two decades of finance experience.  She joins the Trust team having worked in audit and most recently as the Financial Controller of a private company, in a fast-paced industry, with a remit far outreaching that of a typical Financial Controller.  Corinna has a breadth of experience in leading a company and prides herself on having strong business acumen and financial astuteness.  Her approach is asking "how can we work differently, more innovatively, more efficiently, ensuring that we get more resources to the front line and benefit our children?"  Corinna works collaboratively by listening and empathising whilst helping formulate a workable solution.  Underpinning her motivation is Corinna's passion for providing children the best start in their academic journeys.  Outside the Trust, she is the treasurer for her children's school PTFA.