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Our People

Meet the staff at The Spires Academy.


Senior Leadership Team


 John Shannahan, Executive Principal (East and Central)


I am currently working for Catch-22 Education as Executive Principal for the East & Central. I have been with Catch-22 for two and half years where I started as Head Teacher at Include Suffolk. There are three academies currently within my region. Two are SEMH Specialist Provision Academies and one is an Alternative Provision.


I have been in education for over 30 years and had been fortunate enough to have experienced a wide variety of roles and responsibilities including a wide range of leadership roles. I have experience in a wide range of sectors in education, including; private independent, denomination faith, LA comprehensive, international oversees, academy and academy groups, primary, secondary and post 16. Most have been mainstream, my work with Catch-22 is specifically specialist provision.



Rachel Clews, Headteacher


I am proud to be a part of Catch22 and for The Spires Academy to be my first Headteacher position. I have been in Education for over 30 years.  I have worked in mainstream primary as well as SEMH special schools in both classroom and leadership roles.   I have a B'Ed honours degree specialising in The Arts. I have a National SENCo qualification and I have been a Team Teach tutor for over 10 years.  I joined The Spires in 2018 as a class teacher and then as Primary Assistant Head when we moved to site in 2020.  I have taught all key stage 2 ages.  I have led on many areas of the curriculum but predominantly PE, achieving Active Mark Gold status whilst in mainstream and Sports School of the Year at Kings Meadow SEMH.  I am passionate about learning and providing all children with the love and skills to explore and discover the world we live in and to celebrate themselves and their achievements. Working within SEMH as a class teacher and Deputy Headteacher I understand the challenges and barriers young people and families face and the need for understanding, support, and guidance.  I believe strongly that emotional well-being and mental health are key factors in providing a safe and welcoming environment for all and to find the right path and opportunities to allow learning to thrive for every individual. 

The Spires Academy Staff