Members & Directors

Trust Members

Lyn Brown MP

Lyn Carol Brown is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for West Ham since 2005. She has been a Shadow Minister at the Home Office since September 2015.

Steve Denton

Steve is currently Chief Operating Officer and Registrar at Nottingham Trent University, where he has responsibility for all University professional and support services, including finance, estates, HR, IT and legal and governance matters.  He is responsible for an annual budget of c£80m and leads a team of 800 staff.

Steve has a law degree, and worked in local government.  Steve was Registrar and Secretary of Leeds Metropolitan University, Pro-Director and Chief Operating Officer (Strategy and Organisation) at the Institute of Education, University of London, where he led the merger of the IOE with University College London in December 2014.  Steve has served on many national committees and working groups, including the Board of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education as Honorary Treasurer of the Association of Heads of University Administration and was a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Association of University Administrators.  Most recently, he was a key member of a national group which produced the CUC HE Code of Governance.

Eve Trayler-Wilkinson

Eve is Director of Wilkinson’s Estates.  She is a self-made businesswoman with a strong local connection to Newham and a keen interest in local schools.

Steve Cameron

Steve was formerly Director of Newham Community Education and Youth Service.  He is now retired.

Jan Tallis (See below)


Trust Directors

Jan Tallis (CEO of Trust Board)

Jan was previously CEO of School Home Support Charity and was the former Chair of Governors at FGCS.  She is a Chartered Director with over 15 years’ experience of leading service delivery organisations run on strong business principles, with extensive expertise in strategic and financial business planning and key skills in organisational development and growth, income diversification, complex change management and service innovation. She has restructured and reorganised the governance at FGCS and is a National Leader of Governance.

Simon Elliott (CEO)

Headteacher of FGCS, Ofsted rated outstanding, previously DHT in Edmonton County School.

Steven O'Reilly

Steven is a senior HR professional, working in the public sector and currently specialising in change management at the Post Office. Before moving to the Post Office, Steven held various change management and HR generalist roles at Visa Inc. and Tesco PLC supporting various corporate or technology teams.

Steven has a degree in History and Politics from the University of Southampton, a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources Management from the University of Hertfordshire and a certificate in cross cultural negotiations from Ecole de Management de Normandie in France.

Prior to entering industry Steven worked as President of Southampton University Students' Union and sat on the governing body of the University of Southampton.

Tony Scawthorn

Tony Scawthorn is the Chief Operating Officer and Board Member at Liberum Capital.  With over 30 years of financial services experience, Tony is an executive director and performs a FCA significant influence function for Liberum. Tony has extensive experience of managing and developing business infrastructure, utilising internal and external resources and overseeing IT systems, project management, HR, compliance, legal and support services.  In particular, Tony has had involvement at hands on and board level with respect to the strategic development of growing financial businesses within a regulated framework of governance and control.

Seyi Akiwowo

Seyi is currently a locally elected Councillor in East London and an international, non-formal education facilitator and speaker for Global Sustainable Development.  She has worked for Teach First and the European Youth Forum (Brussels) and prior to this worked as a parliamentary assistant.  She and is currently the locally elected Borough Councillor and deputy chair of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Commission. 

Seyi has spent eight years working in social policy in the UK and internationally.  As a writer and researcher, Seyi has produced various scrutiny reports, reviews, proposals and recommendations which have resulted in both organisational change and influenced ministerial and key decision makers.

Chris Rutt

Chris qualified as an ACA in PwC's audit practice, then joined Man Group where he held various roles there including UK Financial. He undertook various systems implementations and process improvement projects, and worked on deal and due diligence teams on most of the Group's corporate finance transactions including a $250m disposal and the $1.6bn acquisition of GLG Partners. 

Chris has also run his own business and worked for NASDAQ where he worked on the launch of the NLX interest rate derivatives exchange as head of finance and a member of the management committee.  He is currently at River and Mercantile Group PLC as Deputy CFO.  Thus, he has strong experience in financial control, reporting and analysis.

Alison Burns

Alison Burns is a solicitor specialising in employment law and governance. Since 2009 she has worked in the local government sector. Prior to 2009 Alison was in private practice, and between 1991 and 2004 she was the Chief Executive of the Mary Ward Legal Centre in Holborn. Alison moved to Forest Gate in 2014.


Supporting the Board

Peter Mellon
Director of Finance and Operations

Peter has over twenty years of experience in finance and resource management at senior management level in large public sector organisations.  He has extensive experience in leading the finance function and developing robust systems for the preparation and monitoring of budgets and reporting of year-end accounts.  He has successfully worked with governors and senior colleagues developing financial governance and risk management arrangements.  He has wide knowledge and experience of procurement process and managing outsourced service contracts.  He has a comprehensive knowledge of human resource management and advises and guides colleagues providing personnel management advice and systems including Health and Safety. He has led and managed several major building projects including the £12m refurbishment of Forest Gate school.

For the last 15 years he has been a member of the senior management team at Forest Gate Community School holding the post of Business Manager. Peter joined Forest Gate after 6 years with the Metropolitan Police Service where he held the post of Finance and Resource Manager for the L B of Newham where he led on amalgamating the finance and resource functions of two distinct policing divisions during the introduction of borough policing. Prior to this Peter gained a broad range of commercial experience across a diverse range of roles from Quantity Surveyor to Marketing Manager. Peter holds the following qualifications: BA (Hons) Business Studies; Diploma in School Business Management; Advanced Diploma in Administrative Management.