Trustees

The Role of Our Trustees

The Trustees are also the company directors and have ultimate accountability for the schools and the Trust. Our Trustees' combined skills offer a wealth of experience to support the Trust in its activities. The Board of Trustees manages the business of the Trust and focuses strongly on the three core functions of governance: 

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction 
  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the Trust and its pupils, and the performance management of staff 
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the Trust and making sure its money is well spent.
Deborah Absalom
Chair of Trust
Rebecca Johnson
Vice Chair of Trust

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca is our Vice Chair and the Chair of the Education Committee. Rebecca has been a trustee since September 2017, having previously served as the Chair of Northumberland Heath Primary School. Rebecca has worked in the education and charity sectors as a teacher, professional trainer and leadership coach. Having worked for a large secondary academy chain, a leading national education charity and a small start-up, she is currently working at the Department for Education, leading learning and development, and equality diversity and inclusion, for the teams working on academies and free schools within the department. Rebecca is passionate about the quality of teaching and learning, and enjoys working with Trust leaders through the Education Committee to ensure teaching delivers excellent outcomes for children through a broad and balanced curriculum, including how the Trust can make sure the professional development of teachers is outstanding and makes a real difference for the children.

Peter Anthony
Trustee
Sue Butterfill
Trustee

Sue Butterfill

As a mother and grandmother, Sue has been involved in Education in her own employment and for her family, as a Governor, at her children’s school, for many years.  As a Trustee, Sue delights in the privilege of watching pupils grow and develop in our schools. She see this journey as an extension of her own family, in that our children deserve to have as many opportunities as possible, to find their passion, self-expression and talents.  Sue believes it is fundamental to understand the responsibility to support our pupils in a safe and positive learning environment; educating them to develop socially, emotionally as well as intellectually. Sue feels the involvement of the local community, families and friends of our children are essential in working together with the Trust. This connection aids and helps enormously in providing a caring and supportive learning environment inside, and outside, of school life.

Kamal Giwa
Trustee
Alison Mullan
Trustee

Alison Mullan

Alison was a leader in business and management in the software industry for 25 years before retraining in Counselling and Psychotherapy. With a passion for mentoring and teambuilding during her time in Industry, she has taken this into her private practice to help build resilience and self-actualisation in her client base. Heading up the People Committee on the Board of Trustees, Alison's focus is on the wellbeing and safeguarding of all our children, staff, families and the wider community. "The systemic approach provided by the WAT values helps us become a major part of that village it takes to raise a child"

Sophie Powell
Trustee

Sophie Powell

Sophie has worked in education for over 20 years, mainly in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. She first became a Headteacher of Heronsgate Primary School, an outstanding school, in 2010. She went onto become the Headteacher of South Rise Primary School in 2012 and then took on the leadership of Wingfield Primary School, as an Executive Headteacher in 2014. She has worked for The Compass Partnership of Schools since 2014 as an Executive Headteacher and is Trust Lead for CPL, Leadership Development and Induction. She has also been the Executive Headteacher at Fairview Primary School in Medway since January 2019. Sophie is passionate about designing learning that engages children in deeply meaningful experiences and placing these at the heart of the classroom. She is an advocate of a well-designed, purposefully sequenced curriculum that facilitates knowledge acquisition over time. She has a particular interest in children’s outcomes, learning in the Early Years and the use of digital technologies to enhance learning in schools.

Neil Riddington
Trustee

Neil Riddington

Neil went to a Bexley primary school, as did all of his children.  He lives in the Borough and feels very strongly attached to the community. He was previously our Chair of Governor at Peareswood Primary School and is currently a valued member of our Trust board. Neil is committed to supporting the Trust’s values and ethos in continuing to build a proud and respectful learning environment and wants the Board of Trustees to ensure that the Trust and its staff create the very best opportunities for the pupils to excel.

Nav Sanghara
Trustee

Nav Sanghara

Before joining the Trust in January 2021, Nav was an executive leader of a nine-school trust founded in Greenwich. She has gained significant experience in the UK education system beginning her career as a teaching assistant, experiencing school leadership in a range of contexts and becoming a Headteacher in 2012.

Throughout her career, Nav has been driven to serve schools with ambition, equity and excellence firmly at the heart of her vision for children and communities. She is passionate about high-quality professional development and building inclusive, learning communities that are underpinned by relationships and connection.

Nav is recognised as National Leader of Education, working with schools to drive forward improvements in challenging contexts. She is a member of The Headteachers’ Roundtable-a non-party political headteachers’ group operating as a think-tank providing a vehicle for the profession to influence national education policy. She is also a trustee for STEP Academy Trust.

Nav hugely enjoys speaking publicly on a range of educational themes including curriculum, leadership development and diversity and inclusion.

Louise Wolsey
Trustee

Louise Wolsey

Louise’s career has spanned working across the public, voluntary and private sectors, working with large corporate partners on the development of CSR strategies, adding value to and creating social change in communities nationally. Currently, Louise is the Chief Transformation Officer for London & South East Education Group, which incorporates London South East Colleges and London South East Academies Trust. With a turnover of £70m the Group serves 12,000 children, young people and adults, and employs 1300 people. As the GCTO Louise provides the joined-up thinking and action required to promote the position of the Group externally, whilst designing and implementing change and transformation programmes internally, improving effectiveness and efficiency across all aspects of the group’s activities to enable sustainable growth. Louise is the Executive lead for Group Marketing and Communications, Recruitment and Admissions, Student Experience, Policy and Research, Strategic Growth, National Campaigns and External Affairs. Louise also leads the implementation of the Group’s strategy, which has embedded the ambition of creating social value and building community wealth across organisational practice. Externally Louise is also a Board Member for the national school improvement charity Challenge Partners and the South East London Chamber of Commerce.