Governance & Funding

Chivenor Primary School is a member of the Griffin Schools Trust. The Griffin Schools Trust is a family of primary and secondary schools in the Midlands and the South East of England. We are committed to providing an outstanding education for all students, whatever their starting points, backgrounds and needs. Trust Heads lead communities focused on finding and nurturing talents so that students enjoy personal fulfilment as well as achieving their best in classroom. Trust schools educate world citizens, preparing them to make a difference wherever their futures may take them and offer staff a wide stage to use their talents and grow their careers across and beyond GST.


Governance is a key element of the leadership and management of the Trust itself and of the schools individually and collectively. We take it very seriously indeed.


The Trust (itself accountable to DfE) is the ultimate body to whom schools are directly accountable and it delegates autonomy to each Local Governing Body (LGB) or Improvement Board (IB) according to the Scheme of Delegation. The more successful a school is in serving all its pupils, (measured by outcomes, pupil engagement in school life and the richness of the experiences offered to them), the more autonomous its LGB.


The Trust Board is made up of experts in UK and international education as well as public and private sector leadership, so that the quality of its not for profit business management is supported and challenged at the same time as its core purpose of improving education and life opportunities for all pupils. The Board is strengthened in its connection to and relationship with schools by the fact that a number of Chairs of LGBs serve two year terms on the Trust Board.


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 show 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/Improvement Board and the Trust to bring about rapid and lasting improvement for the pupils they serve. Schools are treated equally and equitably and there are no hidden agendas. In practical terms governors usually meet less frequently with the Head, have fewer committees serviced by the school and more Working Groups run by the LGB itself according to their own and the school’s Development Plans.


The Trust is responsible for the quality, performance management and professional development of the Heads and all governors, though the LGB’s/SIB’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, at which they discuss in detail the Head’s updated School Self-Evaluation and reports from LGB Working Groups. Through these and their work in and for the school, governors come to know well the school community and 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, as one of only twenty four sponsors in England responsible for more than ten schools. We hope that governors find reward in the impact they make on young lives, the friendships they form as part of their service and their individual experience of the living reality of the GST motto: Proud Traditions Wide Horizons High Achievement.


The Chivenor Improvement Board is:


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


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 headteacher 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.



If you have any queries relating to students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities, or have any other issues you wish to raise, please contact the Improvement Board via

Wendy Mercer – Clerk
Contact details:
0121 675 9833


Please click on the following links to view the Supplemental Funding Agreement.

Please click on the following link to see the Griffin Schools Trust latest Annual Report and Financial Statements

Please click on the following link to see the Governor’s attendance and Register of Business Interest