Meet the Governors

Pen Portraits

Paul Stewart
“Paul Stewart has been a Governor of Willow Wood Primary School for nearly 30 years and since 2013 our chair of Governors. Spending most of his career working for Local Government, Paul was a support officer for 12 years dealing primarily with school finances, before changing direction to become a Human Resources Business Partner. He brings with him extensive knowledge of employment law and initiating successful change management within organisations.
As a local Councillor he was previously Chair of the Port of Sunderland and the Portfolio Holder for Education. Most recently, he led the council move to become a “Co-operative Council” with the aim of promoting a closer working relationship with other local not-for-profit stakeholders. He is currently Chair of Bishopwearmouth Co-operative Nursery and a member of the Board of Gentoo.”

Zoe Hepplewhite

My name is Zoe Hepplewhite and I have been a co-opted Governor at Willow Wood Primary School since 2015.  At present I am on the School Improvement Committee and link Governor for Maths.  I have worked in the Further Education sector for almost 20 years delivering various ICT, maths and English courses in the community as well as being a NVQ assessor for Business Admin.  Prior to this I worked for Sunderland City Council.  I look forward to working with the Head teacher and staff to continue moving the School forward.

Iain Kay

Iain Kay has 33 years experience as a Governor across 10 schools in the city – primary, secondary and special. He is currently also an LEA Governor on the KS1 PRU. He was invited to join the governing body here in November 2018.

Between 1987 and 2012 he was involved a regional Education Business Partnership that assisted schools to make better links with industry and the world of work.

He has managed his own consultancy businesses since 1995 and is involved in areas such as supporting small business development, improving child mental health, working with homeless individual and those recovering from drug and alcohol misuse as well as supporting community and voluntary groups across the region.

Bob Brammer

After retiring from a relatively successful career in first the manufacturing industry and then the financial services sector, I believe I can use my skills and experience to support Willowfield School in its efforts to help children achieve their aspirations and be the best that they can be. I am currently Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Willowfields Finance, Risk Management, Premises and Personnel Committee. I have several decades of management experience behind me, including working with national regulatory bodies and managing large and complex projects, and I have good negotiation, communication and analytical skills. My background includes particular experience in operational, financial and people management, and I aim to use that knowledge and expertise to help Willowfields set – and meet – aims and objectives in line with national policy, and make the best possible use of resources to the benefit of its children. I believe very strongly that every child has the right to a good education, and one that will underpin their long-term success and happiness, and I would like to play a small part in helping that become a reality for every child in our society.

Megan Thompson

My name is Megan and I have recently been elected as a parent governor. This is the first time I have been a governor and I am looking forward to the challenge!

I have a keen interest in education and I am a qualified primary school teacher, with my main interest being within Early Years education and more specifically in Special Educational Needs. I have worked within Early Years settings prior to completing my degree, however, I have spent the last few years working for charities supporting vulnerable people within the community struggling with drug and alcohol issue and, more recently, domestic abuse. I feel my time spent in these roles has provided me with a good understanding of the problems faced by some families and the impact this can have on their children’s education. I hope to use some of this knowledge within my role as parent governor.

Suzie Mason

My name is Suzie Mason, I have been a qualified teacher for ten years, and I have spent eight of those as part of the staff at Willow Wood. I have enjoyed getting to know all of the children in school over the years and their families. I have been a staff Governor since September 2018 after being elected by other staff members of the school. I have enjoyed developing my understanding of our school from a different perspective. I am looking forward to helping the school to continue to move in a positive direction in the future.

Ronny Davison

My name is Ronny Davison and I have been a Co-opted Governor on Willow Wood Primary School since 18/07/19. Presently I am also a member of the school Standards and Resources Committees. 

My working career included being employed at Littlewoods where I became a union representative involved in supporting and negotiating on behalf of GMB members. My years of being an active trade unionist, I believe, gave me the confidence to become more active in our community. This resulted in me taking the decision to stand for Sunderland Council back in 2012, for which I was successful. During that time I have held a number of posts including vice chair of Sunderland North Area Committee.