• Vickey Poulter

    Acting Head of School

  • Duncan Cooper

    Principal of Bassingbourn Village College
    Deputy CEO and Director of Education (Secondary)

  • Jonathan Russell

    Principal of Sawston Village College

  • Jenny Rankine

    Principal of Bottisham Village College

  • Chris Tooley

    Principal of The Netherhall School and Sixth Form

  • Rachael Johnston

    Headteacher of Bottisham Community Primary School

  • Mark Askew

    Headteacher of Fen Ditton Primary School

  • Christine Spain

    Headteacher at Stapleford Community Primary School

Vickey Poulter

Acting Head of School


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Bassingbourn Village College, South End, Bassingbourn, Hertfordshire, SG8 5SG

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01763 242344

Duncan Cooper

Principal of Bassingbourn Village College
Deputy CEO and Director of Education (Secondary)


Duncan studied Biology at the University of Leeds which led to his first teaching position in a large comprehensive school in London, eventually becoming Lead Teacher for Science across the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Currently Principal of Bassingbourn Village College, a rapidly improving 11–16 secondary Academy in Cambridgeshire, Duncan was previously Deputy Principal of a small Multi-Academy Trust where he was responsible for the leadership of the Curriculum, Outcomes and Quality Assurance across Primary, Secondary and Post 16 learning phases. Both of these roles have been clearly focused upon improving standards.

For the past five years, Duncan has been a practicing Ofsted Inspector. This has greatly supported his School-to-School support work. He currently supports six secondary schools and two primary schools, and is also supporting an HMI improvement project across Cambridgeshire. For the last eighteen months he has also been a primary school Parent Governor in Suffolk.

Appointed Principal of Bassingbourn Village College in 2013, Duncan is proud of the strong positive ethos that has developed at Bassingbourn, where all students are known as individuals and where each student enjoys an education that focuses on their own individual skills, strengths and aptitudes. He believes that education is most successful when the College, the students and their parents form a strong partnership.

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Bassingbourn Village College, South End, Bassingbourn, Hertfordshire, SG8 5SG

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01763 242344

Jonathan Russell

Principal of Sawston Village College


Originally from Kent, Jonathan studied at the University of Stirling including a scholarship year at the University of Kansas, USA. After extensive worldwide travel including trekking in the Himalayas, he completed a Masters degree at the Institute of Education, University of London, and a PGCE at the University of Nottingham.

His professional career in education began in Suffolk in 1996. Jonathan has worked in local schools ever since. He has led departments at Sharnbrook Upper School in Bedfordshire and, as Head of English, at Impington Village College and International Sixth Form Centre. In 2005, Jonathan joined as Assistant Principal at Sawston Village College and gained promotion to Deputy Principal five years later. He was appointed as Principal in September 2018.

Jonathan is proud of the strong, caring, protective ethos of Sawston Village College, where Henry Morris’ inspired vision for comprehensive, inclusive education at the heart of its community is richly realised. He admires the professionalism of his colleagues and shares in their highest expectations for and of all pupils.

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Sawston Village College, New Road, Sawston, Cambridge, CB22 3BP

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01223 712818

Jenny Rankine

Principal of Bottisham Village College


Jenny has been teaching in a variety of roles at Bottisham Village College for the past 22 years, enjoying the collaboration and friendship of dedicated and talented staff, wonderful students and supportive parents.

She trained as a music teacher at Aberdeen College of Education and started her married life and her first school placement in Fife, Scotland. Moving to Cambridge 2 years later she enjoyed the role of Head of Music in a middle school in Suffolk but missed teaching and working with older students and applied for a job at Bottisham. Starting as Head of Music in the old sewing rooms at the back of the school site, Jenny has fond memories of annual musicals such as West Side Story, Grease and Little Shop of Horrors.

Jenny’s interest in using research led to studying for a Master’s in Education with Cambridge University Faculty of Education. This evolved into further work with the faculty working internationally with teachers in Kazakhstan over a period of 4 years on a school improvement action-research project.

As deputy principal for the past 3 years she has been very involved with student wellbeing, inclusion and students with special needs as well as being Head of Lower school.

She feels both privileged to be the Principal of such a wonderful school and excited to be entering a new and unique phase within Anglian Learning and impending 17 million pound capital build project.

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Bottisham Village College, Lode Road, Bottisham, Cambridgeshire, CB25 9DL

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01223 811250​

Chris Tooley

Principal of The Netherhall School and Sixth Form


Born in Bury St Edmunds, Chris has taught in Cambridgeshire throughout his career. He studied for a Bachelor of Education degree with Natural Sciences at Cambridge before starting teaching at Soham Village College in 1990. There he qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher in Science and authored five texts used in primary and secondary schools.

In 1998 Chris completed his Masters degree in Education at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, before becoming Assistant Principal at Soham. In 2005 Chris gained promotion to Deputy Principal at Bottisham Village College where he led the development of the school curriculum and the introduction of Information Technology across the school, in addition to working on the development and implementation of the school and parent intranet.

In 2014 Chris became Acting Principal at The Netherhall School and Sixth Form, being appointed as permanent Principal following the school’s conversion to Academy status in March 2016.

Chris’ vision for Netherhall is summed up in the words: Inspiring. Individual. Inclusive. The Netherhall family is committed to offering the broadest opportunities and standards for each member of the school - students, staff and parents.

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The Netherhall School and Sixth Form Centre, Queen Edith's Way, Cambridge, CB1 8NN

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01223 242931​

Rachael Johnston

Headteacher of Bottisham Community Primary School


Rachael is a local girl having grown up and attended school in Cambridge.

Having studied Psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Rachael completed her PGCE in Primary Education at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Her first teaching post was at a large school in Huntingdon.

Rachel has a particular interest in Child Development and especially developmental disorders, which led to taking on the role of SENCo in her second year of teaching. She is passionate about school to school support and became a Specialist Leader in Education in 2015 and supported a number of schools in this role.

As the Deputy Head Teacher of Bottisham Community Primary School, Rachael was very involved in assessment, supporting staff with professional development and pupil wellbeing as well as continuing the role of SENCO. She became Head Teacher of Bottisham Primary in Sept 2016 and is extremely proud of the happy, caring and stimulating environment that has developed in the school where children are able to achieve their fullest potential.

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Bottisham Community Primary School, Beechwood Avenue, Bottisham, Cambridge CB25 9BE

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01223 811235

Mark Askew

Headteacher of Fen Ditton Primary School


Mark began his teaching career in Newham, East London in 1998 after he successfully graduated from St. Martin’s University, Lancaster, where he studied for a Bachelor of Arts, with Hons, in Primary Teaching.

Mark taught in both mainstream and special schools in London where he gained valuable experience as a subject leader for Maths, ICT, PE, Design & Technology, as well as leading on Teaching and Learning. Mark then became a Deputy Head of another mainstream school in Waltham Forest, before relocating with his young family to sunny St Ives, Cambridgeshire in 2013.

This new chapter in his career has enabled him to gain further leadership experiences by working in a large primary school in Cambridge and having responsibilities for KS2, Pupil Premium and EAL. Mark was briefly acting Head Teacher at this school before securing his first headship at Fen Ditton Community Primary School in April 2016.

Before Mark went into teaching he qualified as an electrician and worked for 7 years in the shipyard in Barrow-In-Furness, working on nuclear submarines. He often looks back at fondness of his time in the yard and the journey he has been on to get to where he now finds himself. Mark is a sports enthusiast and this has been a big part in his life, with cricket being his main love.

Mark feels privileged to be part of Fen Ditton school’s community and is determined to help the school to become the best it can be. It has a wonderful family, caring ethos with 4 main school values of Respect, Kindness, Courage and Resilience.

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Fen Ditton Primary School, Horningsea Road, Fen Ditton, Cambridge CB5 8SZ

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01223 292342

Christine Spain

Headteacher at Stapleford Community Primary School


Christine qualified with a Batchelor of Education(Hons) in 1988 having studied at Bath. She began her teaching career that year in a 2 form entry primary school in North Weald, Essex.

Christine has taught in a range of schools, some very small ie under 100 pupils to two form entry, across Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, including 2 years as Head of Juniors in an independent school.

Having completed her NQPH in 2003, Christine was appointed to her first headship in 2006 and moved to Stapleford Community Primary School in 2015.

She is a proud founding member of the Chartered College of Teaching and she is as enthusiastic and passionate about teaching as she was in the 80's. Christine wants the best outcomes for all pupils, ensuring they are confident and resilient learners so they can embark on whatever career choice they desire.

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Stapleford Community Primary School, Bar Lane, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5BJ

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01223 508720

Vickey Poulter

Acting Head of School

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Duncan Cooper

Principal of Bassingbourn Village College
Deputy CEO and Director of Education (Secondary)

Staff Profile Image

Duncan studied Biology at the University of Leeds which led to his first teaching position in a large comprehensive school in London, eventually becoming Lead Teacher for Science across the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Currently Principal of Bassingbourn Village College, a rapidly improving 11–16 secondary Academy in Cambridgeshire, Duncan was previously Deputy Principal of a small Multi-Academy Trust where he was responsible for the leadership of the Curriculum, Outcomes and Quality Assurance across Primary, Secondary and Post 16 learning phases. Both of these roles have been clearly focused upon improving standards.

For the past five years, Duncan has been a practicing Ofsted Inspector. This has greatly supported his School-to-School support work. He currently supports six secondary schools and two primary schools, and is also supporting an HMI improvement project across Cambridgeshire. For the last eighteen months he has also been a primary school Parent Governor in Suffolk.

Appointed Principal of Bassingbourn Village College in 2013, Duncan is proud of the strong positive ethos that has developed at Bassingbourn, where all students are known as individuals and where each student enjoys an education that focuses on their own individual skills, strengths and aptitudes. He believes that education is most successful when the College, the students and their parents form a strong partnership.

Jonathan Russell

Principal of Sawston Village College

Staff Profile Image

Originally from Kent, Jonathan studied at the University of Stirling including a scholarship year at the University of Kansas, USA. After extensive worldwide travel including trekking in the Himalayas, he completed a Masters degree at the Institute of Education, University of London, and a PGCE at the University of Nottingham.

His professional career in education began in Suffolk in 1996. Jonathan has worked in local schools ever since. He has led departments at Sharnbrook Upper School in Bedfordshire and, as Head of English, at Impington Village College and International Sixth Form Centre. In 2005, Jonathan joined as Assistant Principal at Sawston Village College and gained promotion to Deputy Principal five years later. He was appointed as Principal in September 2018.

Jonathan is proud of the strong, caring, protective ethos of Sawston Village College, where Henry Morris’ inspired vision for comprehensive, inclusive education at the heart of its community is richly realised. He admires the professionalism of his colleagues and shares in their highest expectations for and of all pupils.

Jenny Rankine

Principal of Bottisham Village College

Staff Profile Image

Jenny has been teaching in a variety of roles at Bottisham Village College for the past 22 years, enjoying the collaboration and friendship of dedicated and talented staff, wonderful students and supportive parents.

She trained as a music teacher at Aberdeen College of Education and started her married life and her first school placement in Fife, Scotland. Moving to Cambridge 2 years later she enjoyed the role of Head of Music in a middle school in Suffolk but missed teaching and working with older students and applied for a job at Bottisham. Starting as Head of Music in the old sewing rooms at the back of the school site, Jenny has fond memories of annual musicals such as West Side Story, Grease and Little Shop of Horrors.

Jenny’s interest in using research led to studying for a Master’s in Education with Cambridge University Faculty of Education. This evolved into further work with the faculty working internationally with teachers in Kazakhstan over a period of 4 years on a school improvement action-research project.

As deputy principal for the past 3 years she has been very involved with student wellbeing, inclusion and students with special needs as well as being Head of Lower school.

She feels both privileged to be the Principal of such a wonderful school and excited to be entering a new and unique phase within Anglian Learning and impending 17 million pound capital build project.

Chris Tooley

Principal of The Netherhall School and Sixth Form

Staff Profile Image

Born in Bury St Edmunds, Chris has taught in Cambridgeshire throughout his career. He studied for a Bachelor of Education degree with Natural Sciences at Cambridge before starting teaching at Soham Village College in 1990. There he qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher in Science and authored five texts used in primary and secondary schools.

In 1998 Chris completed his Masters degree in Education at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, before becoming Assistant Principal at Soham. In 2005 Chris gained promotion to Deputy Principal at Bottisham Village College where he led the development of the school curriculum and the introduction of Information Technology across the school, in addition to working on the development and implementation of the school and parent intranet.

In 2014 Chris became Acting Principal at The Netherhall School and Sixth Form, being appointed as permanent Principal following the school’s conversion to Academy status in March 2016.

Chris’ vision for Netherhall is summed up in the words: Inspiring. Individual. Inclusive. The Netherhall family is committed to offering the broadest opportunities and standards for each member of the school - students, staff and parents.

Rachael Johnston

Headteacher of Bottisham Community Primary School

Staff Profile Image

Rachael is a local girl having grown up and attended school in Cambridge.

Having studied Psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Rachael completed her PGCE in Primary Education at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Her first teaching post was at a large school in Huntingdon.

Rachel has a particular interest in Child Development and especially developmental disorders, which led to taking on the role of SENCo in her second year of teaching. She is passionate about school to school support and became a Specialist Leader in Education in 2015 and supported a number of schools in this role.

As the Deputy Head Teacher of Bottisham Community Primary School, Rachael was very involved in assessment, supporting staff with professional development and pupil wellbeing as well as continuing the role of SENCO. She became Head Teacher of Bottisham Primary in Sept 2016 and is extremely proud of the happy, caring and stimulating environment that has developed in the school where children are able to achieve their fullest potential.

Mark Askew

Headteacher of Fen Ditton Primary School

Staff Profile Image

Mark began his teaching career in Newham, East London in 1998 after he successfully graduated from St. Martin’s University, Lancaster, where he studied for a Bachelor of Arts, with Hons, in Primary Teaching.

Mark taught in both mainstream and special schools in London where he gained valuable experience as a subject leader for Maths, ICT, PE, Design & Technology, as well as leading on Teaching and Learning. Mark then became a Deputy Head of another mainstream school in Waltham Forest, before relocating with his young family to sunny St Ives, Cambridgeshire in 2013.

This new chapter in his career has enabled him to gain further leadership experiences by working in a large primary school in Cambridge and having responsibilities for KS2, Pupil Premium and EAL. Mark was briefly acting Head Teacher at this school before securing his first headship at Fen Ditton Community Primary School in April 2016.

Before Mark went into teaching he qualified as an electrician and worked for 7 years in the shipyard in Barrow-In-Furness, working on nuclear submarines. He often looks back at fondness of his time in the yard and the journey he has been on to get to where he now finds himself. Mark is a sports enthusiast and this has been a big part in his life, with cricket being his main love.

Mark feels privileged to be part of Fen Ditton school’s community and is determined to help the school to become the best it can be. It has a wonderful family, caring ethos with 4 main school values of Respect, Kindness, Courage and Resilience.

Christine Spain

Headteacher at Stapleford Community Primary School

Staff Profile Image

Christine qualified with a Batchelor of Education(Hons) in 1988 having studied at Bath. She began her teaching career that year in a 2 form entry primary school in North Weald, Essex.

Christine has taught in a range of schools, some very small ie under 100 pupils to two form entry, across Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, including 2 years as Head of Juniors in an independent school.

Having completed her NQPH in 2003, Christine was appointed to her first headship in 2006 and moved to Stapleford Community Primary School in 2015.

She is a proud founding member of the Chartered College of Teaching and she is as enthusiastic and passionate about teaching as she was in the 80's. Christine wants the best outcomes for all pupils, ensuring they are confident and resilient learners so they can embark on whatever career choice they desire.

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