Meet Our Leadership Team



Scott Jacques – Executive Principal

Scott has experience of teaching and senior leadership in Primary, Secondary and Special education as well as ten years work in school improvement with Leeds City Council. He was seconded to work as a Primary Teacher Adviser for the LA and later as a Secondary Consultant within the National Strategies team, working with a wide range of schools on securing improvement and developing and implementing strategy. Scott worked for five years  as an Adviser with the Local Authority in Leeds, creating, developing and implementing eLearning strategy and supporting school improvement. Scott also worked with DFE, QCA and National Strategies on the development of training and materials at a national level.

Scott was Head of School at an outstanding special school in Leeds, before joining the Wellspring Trust as an executive leader working at the Forest Academy in Barnsley. He spent two years as Executive Principal of Phoenix Park and Sevenhills Academies in Grimsby before moving to set up and open Springwell Leeds Academy in 2016. Scott has worked with Springwell Harrogate since it joined the Wellspring Trust and also works as an Executive Principal with Springwell Leeds Academy, Forest Moor School, Green Meadows Academy and Penny Field School.

Alex Bentley – Head of Centre

Alex is a passionate teacher and leader who has followed a career path focussing on ensuring the best teaching is available for those individuals who need it most.

He has lead science in schools in some of the most deprived areas of Leeds, and led his departments to excellence.  

Alex, was part of an action research group researching links between poverty, aspiration and how schools can increase attendance and engagement in learners. The teams findings were published in Urban Review. 

Having lead a science department in mainstream schools Alex made the move to alternative settings, taking the role of Lead Teacher of science in the Grove Academy, ensuring excellent outcomes for students, and leading the school in teaching and learning. In this role Alex has worked collaboratively with the British Council and  with Albanian education leaders in sharing best practice as Assistant Principal with responsibility for teaching, learning and curriculum. Alex has developed the online provision, behaviour tracking and intervention planning  for the school.
Alex became head of centre in January 2021.


Screen Shot 2018-05-05 at 09.35.30 Mary Ruggles – Associate Principal

Mary is the current Associate Principal of Springwell Leeds Academy (North) and works with the team at Springwell Harrogate providing additional leadership capacity, monitoring and support.

Mary trained and started her career as a teacher of special education needs in Boston, Massachusetts before moving to England in 2005. Since then, she has spent 13 years working in inclusive inner-city schools and pupil referral units in Leeds. Throughout her career she has specialised in developing provision of the highest quality for young people with complex additional needs both in specialised settings as well as in mainstream high schools.

Mary is inspired by seeing the impact of unconditional positive regard as a vehicle for developing relationships that transform young people and their engagement in education.

She is driven by a passion and understanding that all students, particularly those that are most vulnerable, deserve education experiences of the highest quality in highly nurturing learning environments to develop them into resilient and successful adults.