Governance & Funding

Governance is a key element of the leadership and management of the Trust itself and of the schools individually and collectively. Please click here to see our Governance Structure.



The Trust (itself accountable to DfE) is the body to whom schools are directly accountable. It delegates autonomy to each Local Governing Board/Body (LGB) or School Improvement Board (SIB) according to the  Scheme of Delegation. 


The Trust Board is made up of experts in UK and international education as well as private sector professionals with a wide range of commercial experience and expertise. In keeping with our vision we also place an emphasis on attracting Trustees who have backgrounds and networks in Sport and the Arts. The Board acts as guardian to the Trust vision, and ensures that progress towards its fulfilment is underpinned with the highest standards of compliance with our regulators so that public funding is very well-used.


Serving as a governor in a GST school requires a commitment to the seven principles of public life and to a code of conduct which puts the school and its pupils at the centre. GST governors meet formally every thirteen weeks (i.e. once every school term) and much of the real work is done between these meetings, through Working Groups and individual contributions to the school’s life according to each governor’s skills and the needs of the school.


The role is very different from that of a governor in a Local Authority school, recognising that the Head is the school’s Chief Executive and the Board is there to advise, support and challenge through appropriate channels and to evidence the impact that governance is having on the school’s progress. As in the world of non-executive directors, GST governors are expected to bring their skills to bear and to work in co-operation and collaboration with the staff team, the whole Local Governing Body and the Trust to bring about rapid and sustained improvement for the pupils they serve.


The Trust is responsible for the appointment, performance management and professional development of the Heads, though the LGB’s work has a vital role to play in highlighting and evidencing the impact that the Head and governors are making through their termly meetings. Through their work in and for the school, governors come to know the school community and to be well-informed about its performance, able to talk about it confidently and accurately to the Trust, to Ofsted, to parents and to interested local groups.


We very much appreciate the work that governors do and the part they play in the success of the schools they serve and indeed of the Trust. We hope that governors find reward in the impact they make on young lives and their individual experience of the living reality of the GST motto: Proud Traditions Wide Horizons High Achievement.


The Chivenor Improvement Board is:

Graham Clifford

Lisa Crook

Jo Donnellan

Trevor Edinborough

Lisa Guest

Anne Powell

Alison Ramsay



Graham Clifford

In 2003 Graham began his career in teaching, with his school leadership roles beginning in 2009. Graham initially joined GST as Deputy Head of Willow Brook in 2014 and was appointed Head in Summer 2015. Graham has a career to date that includes extensive school improvement and development and he has an absolute commitment to driving forward improvements in provision for all children. His work in the field of CPD illustrates his commitment to the ethos that investment in staff is vital.


Lisa Crook

Lisa Crook is an experienced school leader having worked as a Head and a School Improver. She brings expertise in all Key Stages and has specialist knowledge in English, Data analysis and the curriculum. She is currently completing her Masters in Applied Educational Leadership and Management with IOE and UCL. 


Jo Donnellan – Head

Jo is an experienced Head and School Improver, who was a Graduate of the Future Leaders ‘Fast Track to Headship’ programme. Her degree in engineering led her to a career in education as a secondary maths teacher, where she changed the mindsets of pupils who were reluctant mathematicians. Her love of primary headship comes from a deep held desire to change the lives of young people and to create an aspirational school culture where everyone can succeed. Jo was herself educated in Birmingham and is proud to be the Head of Chivenor Primary.


Trevor Edinborough – School Improvement

Trevor has many years of experience in the education sector and in school improvement, working across the public, private and charity sectors. He has worked extensively in the UK as well as internationally. He was a successful head in two very different inner city comprehensive schools and has had wide ranging experience in the delivery of local authority services at Assistant Director and Deputy Director levels. In addition, Trevor has significant international experience in the delivery of major education priorities and has a successful track record in the development and delivery of national government contracts.


Lisa Guest – Safeguarding

Lisa began teaching in 1994 and has taught in two schools before taking on the Head of Bramford role towards the end of 2016. She was a subject leader in her first year of teaching and quickly moved through leadership roles of head of year, key stage, assistant head, deputy before taking on an acting headship. Lisa’s whole teaching career has been in poor socio-economic communities where she has a passion for offering a wide range of experiences and opportunities for all pupils, whilst raising aspirations and achievement. Assessment and curriculum have also always been at the heart of her school improvement initiatives. Lisa is a firm believer in team work and that ‘together we improve’ this stems from her sports background. Sport is still one of her passions, especially football and golf. However, many would say shopping and holidays are also her main hobbies. Lisa is driven to do all she can to ensure her school has happy children and staff, helping everyone of them reach their potential, to find skills and talents within each of them and developing them. She wants learning to be non-stop and where everyone cannot wait for the next day to begin.


Anne Powell – Chair

Anne Powell is a music graduate who found her vocation in teaching in the least affluent communities in East London. She has had a proud association with Riverley Primary school, having led high quality provision in the primary phase and served on the school’s leadership group for some time. When Riverley joined the Griffin Schools Trust, she took every opportunity to expand her skillset and was delighted to become the Head of the new academy school and then Executive Head of Riverley, Willow Brook and Lordswood primaries. She embraced the vision to provide rich classroom and extra-curricular experiences for children as the heart of a good education and worked to establish and host the ever-growing Griffin Arts Festival, now in its fourth year, remaining ever more determined that good exam outcomes are the corollary of a great education and not its sole focus. Having led two schools from special measures to outstanding and consecutive years’ outcomes to well above national, Anne has also worked widely with primary, secondary and Trust colleagues to support a range of strategic issues. Anne has led and supported school improvement projects, senior appointments and Ofsted inspections in many Trust schools with impressive impact and has also supported the Founding CEOs in key aspects of MAT leadership. In her new role as CEO Anne is honoured to be the first embodiment of GST as a truly Head-led Trust.


Alison Ramsay

Alison joined GST as Deputy Head of NCS before becoming Acting Head and then was officially appointed as Head of in October 2015. Alison has been teaching for over 25 years in a range of schools; her leadership experience includes Deputy Headship in 3 schools as well as working to support underachieving schools in a school improvement capacity. Alison is dedicated to raising ambition in all its forms, especially for disadvantaged students and, being a linguist, is passionate about opening up the world to students.


Jenni McKenzie – Clerk

0121 675 9833


Address of Chair: 

Chivenor Primary School, Farnborough Road, Castle Vale, Birmingham, B35 7JA


Improvement Board Member’s Details

Supplemental Funding Agreement

GST Memorandum of Association

GST Articles of Association

Griffin Schools Trust latest Annual Report and Financial Statements

Governor’s Register of Business Interest 2018/19

Governor’s Attendance 2017/18