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Academy Directors

Professor Andrew Mayo


Chair of the Board of Directors

Specialist area:  business and organisation

Andrew Mayo was born and brought up in St Albans, and has lived there or close by for the last 32 years. He was a Governor of Mandeville School from 2008, and his late wife was Chair of Governors for several years previously. He became Chair of the Board of Directors of Spiral Academies Trust on its inception in January 2013.  He spent some 30 years in industry, latterly being Human Resources Director of a large international company. Since starting a new portfolio career in 1995 he has run a successful consultancy company and been a part time Professor at Middlesex University. He has held many honorary positions professionally, and now holds two charity directorships – working with children in Africa - in addition to his work with the Spiral Academy Trust. Andrew is the author of several books on human resources and learning. He and his second wife Jenny now live in Welwyn; he has a son and daughter and five grandchildren.



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.


As well as being a trustee and director of Spiral Academies Trust, she is also a community governor of Mandeville Primary School, having joined the Governing Body in October 2012.


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



Ben Evans


Specialist area:  education

Ben is Headmaster at Edge Grove School in Aldenham, a 3-13 years co-educational day and boarding school.  He took up his post at Edge Grove in September 2012 and has overseen a significant increase in the pupil roll, the introduction of new curricula and a number of redevelopment projects.   He is committed to providing an academically rigorous, creative and innovative education to ensure all pupils achieve their potential.


Prior to joining Edge Grove, Ben was for four years Head of the Junior School of The British School in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a large primary school of 760 pupils.  Other posts include Deputy Head of Bramdean School in Exeter and Head of History at Brighton College Prep School.


Ben lives at Edge Grove with his wife Alex and two young sons Edward and Thomas.  In their limited spare time, the family enjoy exploring Hertfordshire, swimming and looking after the resident Dartmoor ponies.



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.


Amanda Phillips


Specialist area: business management

Amanda has worked with academies since 2007. She worked within the Education Department of the Mercers' Livery Company in London for 4 years.  During this time she supported Hammersmith Academy project team from its initial conception, through to meeting the first students coming through the door in a brand new building. She also carried out work for the additional 17 schools, including St Paul’s, St Paul’s Girls and Thomas Telford, within the Mercers’ consortium of schools. This provided a strong basis to become more involved as a Governor at Fleetville where her two children attended the school.


Amanda started as a Fleetville Junior school governor in 2011 and was then elected Chair of Fleetville Trust when the schools converted to academies in 2012. She currently works as a strategic Business Support Manager at a large academy. With the help of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and a large corporate recycling company she is also involved in a pilot scheme for schools which aims to recycle old technology into funds to boost school IT budgets. Her professional memberships include BELMAS, NGA and NASBM. 

James Maton


Specialist area: law

James is a partner in international law firm Cooley, working in domestic and international disputes and investigations.  He has lived in the Fleetville area of St Albans since 2009, and is also the Chair of Governors of Fleetville Junior School.  James was previously a Governor of Fleetville Infant School from 2011 to 2013 and was a director of Fleetville Trust from 2012 to 2015.  As well as being a director and governor, he has daughters at the Fleetville schools.  James provides legal support to the Trust.   He is an author of various book chapters and publications on civil asset recovery in grand corruption cases.  



Julian Earl


Specialist Area; PR & communications

Julian  is a Strategy Director at London advertising agency AMV BBDO and has a wide range of experience in communications strategy and branding across many industries.


As well as an Academy Director, Julian is also the Chair of Governors for Fleetville Infant & Nursery School.  He first became a School Governor in 2009 and was a founding member and director of Fleetville Trust in 2012.


Julian has a son at Fleetville Junior School and two older children now at Secondary schools in the St Albans area.  Julian and his family have lived in St Albans since 1997.



Sarah Ainsworth


Specialist area: finance

Sarah is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of finance, audit and risk management experience in the private sector for a global trading organisation and 5 years public sector experience, most recently as Finance Director for a medium sized multi academy trust. Sarah has 3 children, all of whom have attended Fleetville schools with the youngest still at the Junior School. Sarah was a governor of Fleetville Junior School from 2010 and chaired the Audit Committee until early 2015. After a break of a year, Sarah has returned as a director of Spiral Partnership Trust.


In addition to the non-executive directors the Board also includes the CEO and executive head.


Androulla Peek


Chief Executive Officer 

Specialist area:  Education and school improvement

Androulla has 19 years’ experience as a senior leader and Headteacher in a number of schools. Her focus on high quality education led to attaining Beacon status for her previous school and an outstanding OFSTED grading twice for Fleetville Infant and Nursery School before becoming the Executive Headteacher of Fleetville Junior School in 2014.



Amanda Godfrey


Executive Head

Specialist area:  Education and school improvement

Amanda has 20 years' experience as a headteacher and has successfully led and transformed several schools.  She is accredited by the National College of Teaching & Leadership as a National Leader of Education (NLE) and is passionate about school improvement.    She is a founder board member of Herts For Learning and Governor at Edge Grove School.  Amanda is also a trained Ofsted inspector and has an expert knowledge of teaching and learning.