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 West Midlands Governing Board is:
Lisa Crook – Chair
Suzanne Beston – Head of Perry Wood
Suzanne has been teaching for 22 years in the primary sector. She has worked predominately in Sandwell, only recently relocating to Worcestershire. Suzanne has taught in 4 schools and has been a subject leader in many areas, ranging from DT, Maths, ICT and RE. She rapidly became a member of the senior leadership team taking a more active role in whole school initiatives. Assessment, attendance and parental engagement have been key areas that she has improved over the years. Mathematics has been her strength and she was a leading maths teacher in Sandwell for many years. Suzanne has been a Deputy Head Teacher for 10 years in 2 schools. Her passion is to engage pupils in active learning; designing curriculums that are inspiring and purposeful and finding ways to involve parents further in their child’s learning. Suzanne was a keen sportswoman in her younger days, in which she played in her school netball team and was a competitive swimmer. She values the importance of finding each child’s talents, seeking to create a school environment where pupil talents are celebrated and recognised alongside core curriculum subject talents. Suzanne is a strong believer in growing the talents of her own team to ensure everyone is reaching their true potential.
Lisa Crook – Chair
Lisa has extensive teaching and leadership experience in both primary and secondary education, and across two continents. In her recent roles as a Head, Senior Leader and School Improver, she has contributed to schools’ rapid progress to outstanding. Lisa has a Masters in Applied Educational Leadership and Management and is dedicated to ensuring that all children are successful, both within the curriculum and in the world beyond their school.
Lisa Guest – Head of Bramford
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, and 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.
Mike McCreedy has a career which includes over 30 years of public sector experience. In addition to this Mike has held senior roles at the Commission for Racial Equality and the BIG Lottery Fund. Now retired, Mike is currently a governor at a local sixth form college and a secondary school. For GST, Mike serves on the West Midlands Local Governing Board and draws on his experience on an Interim Executive Board to Chair the Stantonbury International School Improvement Board. Mike is dedicated to the GST vision and values.
Anne is a music graduate who found her vocation in teaching in the least affluent communities in East London. As a primary Head and then Executive Head, Anne has led and supported rapid and sustainable improvement journeys in several GST schools, primary and secondary. Her leadership saw two long-term underperforming schools speed from special measures to confidently outstanding. The first GST Head to become the CEO on the strength of her record, Anne presides over the further realisation of the Trust’s vision. She is driven by a belief that good exam outcomes are the corollary of a great education and not its sole focus.
Alison is a modern foreign languages graduate who has a passion for leading ambitious school communities and opening up the world to its students. As an experienced Secondary Head, Executive Head and School Improver, Alison has developed teams, mentored new leaders and supported schools through significant periods of change. Her belief in championing every young person, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is at the heart of everything she does. Alison is an advocate for promoting sports and arts provision, and celebrating the achievements of young people in these areas.
Philip has served on Bramford’s Governing body as a parent governor since 2011. In 2016 he became the Chair and is proud to be part of the school alongside the other members of the governing body and staff. As a parent Philip has two children currently in the school so has a keen interest seeing the school have positive growth in education and also ensuring that the school continues on its journey to become Ofsted Outstanding and Griffin Great. He has over 20 years’ experience the in I.T. sector working in public and private organisations including schools, colleges, universities and other government organisations. Outside of work Phil has a keen interest in Music, Theatre and Golfing.
Mandy Lloyd – Clerk
0121 675 9833
Address of Chair:
Chivenor Primary School, Farnborough Road, Castle Vale, Birmingham, B35 7JA