Our Governors

As a federation we have a single governing board covering eight schools, with an individual local advisory board for each school. One of the underpinning principles of the Primary Advantage Federation is to ‘promote a collaborative approach whilst developing the capacity of each school to serve its own community and retain its distinct identity.’ The structure of the current Governing Board ensures decisions can be made at local advisory board level and the local advisory boards can closely monitor the work in their school.

Annual Governance Statement

It is also good practice for the board to publish an annual governance statement to explain how it has fulfilled its responsibilities – particularly in relation to its core functions. To view our Annual Governance Statement for 2017-18, please click here.

To view our attendance for the Central Governing Board, please click here.

To view our Business and Pecuinary Interests, please click here.

To view our archived Business and Pecuinary Interests, please click here.


Name Role
John Clark Chair - Foundation
Sian Davies Executive Principal
Gwen Gutzmore LDBS
Donna Thomas Local Authority
Anna Case Staff
Vacancy Foundation
Andrew Bedford Foundation
Rev'd Graham Hunter Foundation
Ralph Eliot Foundation
Heather Rockhold Foundation
Melissa McIntyre Parent
Nina Pope Parent
Bridget Fagan Foundation
Francesca Vinelott Foundation

Our Governor Biogs

Andrew Bedford              Foundation              Bishop of Stepney              Chair of the Business Committee / Finance Link Governor

Andrew has lived in Hackney for 20 years and has two children at St John and St James. He attends St John at Hackney Church and has led the children’s work at the church for the last couple of years and serves on the Parochial Church Council. Andrew has spent the last 25 years working in the voluntary and public sector and is currently the Head of Parks for Islington Council. Andrew cares about how schools give children a joy and passion for learning and supports them in becoming good citizens. Andrew is also passionate about the role the natural world can play in supporting learning.

Anna Case              Staff

Anna has been working within the Primary Advantage Federation since 2009 and have been a Staff Governor for the last 2 years. Anna has worked in education for the last seven years as a teacher and in a senior leadership role. Anna brings a lot of relevant and valuable experience to the governing board. Anna is an Assistant Head teacher at Springfield Community Primary School, where her role focuses on leading Mathematics and Assessment. Her position within school, gives her a thorough understanding of teaching and learning, assessment and the curriculum. Anna also work across the federation with our Teaching School, delivering training on phonics and assessment to teachers from a range of boroughs. Anna is passionate about education and feels that as a Staff Governor her experience can be of service to our pupils, parents and staff.

Bridget Fagan              Foundation              Deanery Synod

Bridget has worked in education since graduating from the University of Sussex. Her passion for teaching developed while working as an Adult Literacy volunteer. Following a primary PGCE in London, she taught in Essex and Tower Hamlets, spending 22 years as a deputy and Headteacher.  During this time, she spent 2 years in Teacher Training, developing the Local Authority’s partnership with schools, supporting Teacher Education and lecturing on Professional Studies and SEND.  She currently works as a tutor for UCL IoE. Bridget has lived in Hackney for over 30 years with her husband and two sons, where she enjoys playing tennis with Hackney New Age Games!

Gwen Gutzmore              LDBS                       Acting Chair of the Central Governing Board

Gwen trained as a Nurse, then qualified as a State Certified Midwife in 1967. She has worked in a number of midwifery roles including a Clinical Specialist for Delivery Suite before her transition to Midwifery Manager at the Homerton Hospital.

Following her retirement from the National Health Service Gwen became a school Governor in 2006 and was actively involved in the advent of the Primary Advantage Federation of 2 schools progressing to 6 and more recently to 8 schools. She has been Chair of Governors for 6 years. In 2016 she was awarded the St. Mellitus Medal for services to schools and parish over the years. Gwen believes she brings a blend of wisdom, warmth and serenity to the community of schools within the Federation.

Graham Hunter              Foundation              Bishop of Stepney

Revd Graham Hunter has been Vicar of St John’s Church in Hoxton since 2010 after completing his Curacy in Islington. He trained for ordination at Ridley Hall in Cambridge, where he also completed an MA in Pastoral Theology. Before ordination, Graham worked as a Youth Worker and Lay Minister in a UPA parish in Paddington. His first degree was in Theology at King’s College London. Graham has served as a school Governor since 2011. In 2015, he was admitted as Freeman to the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers’ - a City Livery Company with origins in the 14th century and a special interest in education. He serves as Director / Trustee for the Diocese of London, the Hackney Foodbank, and for the Streetlevel Youth Trust. He is married to Sara and they have 3 primary school age children.

Melissa McIntyre              Parent                 

Melissa McIntyre has been recently been appointed as a Parent Governor in April 2017. She is a former pupil of St John & St James Primary School and has over 15 years’ experience within Finance, Legal and the Property industry. With this experience she has developed a strong legal disposition, business acumen and leadership skills which will be beneficial to the governing body. She has a combined Law & Business degree and runs her own Business Consultancy. Melissa also engages in other voluntary roles such as the Anna Fiorentini Film & Theatre School and the Hackney Music Development Trust.

Nina Pope              Parent

Nina is an artist and lecturer who cares passionately about excellent, inclusive education for all – from primary to further education. She is particularly interested in the different ways that people learn and think creatively and how teaching practice can be adapted to best include all students.

Since 2003 Nina has co-directed a small not-for-profit arts organisation known primarily for documentary films and public art. Creating films and projects has allowed her to work in collaboration with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds.

Nina has worked as a part-time lecturer in higher education for over 20 years tutoring MA design students at the Royal College of Art and most recently BA students at Goldsmiths college. This is the first time Nina has been a school governor but she has previously been a trustee for 2 different charities including 'The Friends of Abbey Gardens' - a charity she helped to establish which now run a public ‘harvest garden’ in Newham, which Nina co-designed.

Heather Rockhold              Co-opted Foundation              SEND Link Governor

Heather has been involved in education for over 40 years as a pupil, student, teacher, parent, grandparent and Headteacher, all of which has given her a real insight into educational needs and the entitlement of all pupils to the best possible educational experience.

Heather’s teaching experience covered the entire primary age range and also specialist work with secondary pupils with special and behavioural needs. Until she retired she was a primary school Headteacher in Hackney for twenty years.

For 9 years, Heather was a non-executive director on the Board of the Learning Trust. She has also been a member of several Advisory Committees and an Expert Panel at the DfE on matters such as the review of EYFS, SEND, and the review of the National Curriculum. Heather has an MBA in School Leadership (International).

Donna Thomas              Local Authority              Safeguarding Link Governor

Donna has been a local authority governor on Primary Advantage Federation governing body since 2011 and she has been the Chair of St John and St James local advisory board since 2016. Donna works for London Borough of Hackney Education Department within the Early Years service at Hackney Learning Trust. Donna is committed to supporting good educational outcomes for all children irrespective of their background or starting point.

Frankie Vinelott              Foundation              Deanery Synod              Health and Safety Link Governor

Frankie has had a varied career, starting in the theatre before spending 4 years in Asia and Australia. This led to a degree in Japanese as a mature student followed by 3 years living and working in rural Japan in a local Board of Education. On returning to the UK, Frankie started working in IT and for the past 15 years she has worked in the data and analytics area.

Franke firmly believes her education gave her the foundation of opportunity, ambition and critically, choice in the possibilities that she has sought or that have been offered to her and that a good, all round education based on excellent teaching, high expectation, rewarding achievement, firm boundaries and mutual respect and kindness is essential for all children from all backgrounds as an enabler of life opportunities and personal ambition.

Frankie sat on the board of governors for Gainsborough Primary School for 6 years and have held the position of Chair of the Finance and Resource Committee and Vice-Chair of the governing board for the last 2 years.

Frankie’s interests include open water swimming, tennis, yoga and martial arts. I was part of the UK Kendo Ladies team for 5 years and participated in 2 world championships. I also love gardening and grow a significant proportion of my own food.

What is a Federation?

A federation is a group of two or more schools that have made a formal commitment to work together under a single governing body. This enables the schools in the federation to:

  • work together efficiently and sustainably to raise standards,
  • improve services and increase opportunities for pupils and staff; and
  • share resources, staff, expertise and facilities.

The legislation that allows schools to federate is set out in regulations made under sections 24 and 25 of the Education Act 2002. The decision to create or join a federation is usually taken by governors, although in some circumstances the local authority can require schools to federate. In recent years, it has become increasingly common for schools to work together in a federation. Some of the other federations in Hackney are:

  • The Horizon and Downsview Federation, which is made up of two special schools
  • The Federation of Grazebrook and Shacklewell Primary Schools which have two schools across the borough.
  • The federation of Orchard and Southwold Schools which have two schools as a Federation and a partnership school.

The benefits of federation

Working together in a federation brings important benefits to Primary Advantage. It means the schools are able to:

  • Share the knowledge , expertise and ideas of individual members of staff
  • Negotiate discounts and deals with suppliers because we are buying for all eight schools instead of just one
  • Provide staff with excellent training and development opportunities within our federation such as:
    • Assesstival (a Festival of Assessment, an INSET day centred around Assessment and Deep Learning.)
    • Working with other teachers across all schools

Leadership of our Federation

The Leadership

All of our schools share the same governing body and Executive Principal, while each school has it’s own Headteacher. 

While the Primary Advantage Schools work together very closely, they continue to be separate schools. This means that:

  • Each school has its own name, identity, logo and uniform.
  • Pupils stay at the same school site for all their lessons.
  • Hackney Learning Trust considers each school separately when they are processing applications for school places.
  • Ofsted carry out separate inspections of each school.
  • The Department for Education publish separate entries for each school in the performance tables on their website. 

Contact Details

The Chair of the Federated Governing Body, Louis Coiffait can be contacted in writing or email at the following address:


Chair of the Federated Governing Body,
Primary Advantage c/o Holy Trinity CE Primary School

C/O Holy Trinity Primary School
Beechwood Road
E8 3DY

Tel: 020 7254 1010