Governance & Funding

Willow Brook Primary is a school within 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 children enjoy personal fulfillment 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) according to the Scheme of Delegation. The more successful a school is in serving all its pupils, measured by outcomes for pupils, their engagement in school life and the richness and breadth 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 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 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.


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


The Governing Body of Willow Brook Primary is:


Graham Clifford

Graham is Head of School at Willow Brook. Being both a poet and a teacher, Graham first studied Fine Art and Creative Writing before going on to complete his PGCE. Graham’s teaching career has seen him design and run creative writing workshops, teach poetry and introduce children to Modernist, Romantic and Contemporary Poets. Throughout his poetry career, Graham has appeared at a number of festivals and events, had his work translated into Romanian and German, and has one of his poems chiselled into the paving in Walthamstow, East London.


Justin Creasey – Head of School

Justin was appointed Head of School at Riverley Primary School in April 2015 after working there as an Assistant Head and Deputy Head from September 2013. His leadership experience across primary schools includes Art and Design, Head of year 6, Assessment and Mathematics Subject Leader. He has a Certificate in Mathematics Specialist Teaching and has a keen interest in school improvement and curriculum innovation. As a former professional dancer and musician, Justin values all areas of achievement including performance art and musical theatre. Currently, Justin plays the French horn and performs with a London Wind Band and a semi-professional London Orchestra. Justin’s interest in early development and child psychology drive his ambition to develop pupil voice throughout all areas of school life. He believes that a GREAT school is a place where every decision made is driven by, and centred around what is best for the children in it.


Sharon Hinkson – Disabled Children and SEN

Sharon is a Secretary and PA within the NHS. She has been a Governor at Riverley for approximately 8 years, starting off as a Parent Governor, then becoming Chair of Governors and is now a Community Governor. As a Mother and Grandmother Sharon is very passionate about education, including Special Education Needs, where she herself has had personal experience. Having has children attend Riverley, Sharon has been able to watch the proud traditions and wide horizons of Riverley grow from strength to strength. In her spare time, Sharon loves listening and dancing to soul funk and rare groove. She is also a good listener and a keen problem solver.


Denise Omard – English, Early Years and Foundation Stage

Denise is the Mother of a child currently at Riverley. As a Governor she believes it is her duty to guide and support the school in their decision making process as well as represent parents to ensure all children receive an outstanding education. She is currently working for the North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) which is part of the NHS and has experience as a Projector Trainor for Coutts. When she is not at work, Denise is looking after her daughter, reading or enjoying physical pursuits like Zumba. She is extremely approachable and happy to talk to parents about any concerns or just to say hi.


Alison Perisic – Health and Safety

Alison has many years of experience as an Office Manager in the private sector. Starting her career in education in 2012, Alison is now a School Business Leader for a local school in Waltham Forest. Having helped successfully open a new school in 2015, Alison is actively involved in all areas of HR, finance, health and safety and premises. Not only does Alison act as a governor at Riverley, she also serves on the Finance Committee. Alison became a governor at Riverley to support the school deliver a rich and outstanding education for all, including her son.


Anne Powell – Executive Head

Anne has a long and proud association with Riverley Primary School. She was appointed Head in April 2013 after working there as a teacher and leader for many years. Her leadership experience includes key curriculum and inclusion priorities across all primary key stages. Leading in diverse, inner-city schools was always Anne’s ambition and she has devised innovative approaches to working with hard to reach communities. As a music graduate, she is always looking to promote the arts in education and was proud that Riverley hosted the first Griffin Arts Festival (GAF) in July 2014.


Ange Tyler – Chair

Ange has worked as a consultant for DfE and local authorities on a variety of change management, leadership support and school improvement projects. She has transformed the quality of provision and standards in a number of challenging schools. As Executive Head of a London boys secondary school and an inner city primary school, she led both in transition to academy on behalf of the DfE or the sponsor, securing leadership for the new academies and standards for the students in the predecessor schools. Ange has developed, articulated and driven a sophisticated school improvement model, proven since 2004 in a range of schools. She is a founding member of the Griffin Schools Trust.


Margaret Upama – Maths and Vulnerable Groups

Margaret is a retired teacher who taught at and was a member of the Senior Leadership Team of Church Mead Infant School and was working at the school when it was rebuilt and became Riverley Primary School. Having been part of Riverley since it opened, Riverley is very close to her heart and she continues as a Governor to develop the school using her experience, skills and knowledge. Margret’s experience ranges from working in Children’s Homes, to teaching in schools, to being a Professional Tutor at the University of East London. Her expertise are in Mathematics, where she holds a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education. Now retired, Margaret enjoys handcrafting, reading and writing.


Jo Weeks – Clerk 

Jo’s contact details:

020 8539 4535