Hollybush Primary School

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Governors - Who are we?

Briony Robertson - Head teacher

I have worked in Education for over 25 years and became a school governor at Hollybush Primary School when I took up the role of Headteacher in September 2017. I joined the school when it had been through a time of significant changes and since 2017 we have been on a journey of rapid transformation. 

It has been a privilege to work with the children, governors, the school team and community to define the Hollybush visions and values. Our commitment to these values has underpinned a rise in expectations and aspirations, along with huge improvements in behaviour, ethos, learning and progress.  It is brilliant to see what can be achieved by our children when we work together to nurture respect, a love of learning, growth mindsets determination and self belief - the sky is the limit!

Janice Priestley (Co-opted Governor)

Chair of Governors

I joined Hollybush as a co-opted governor in October 2020. I have lived in the area all of my life and, as a child, I attend Sandford Middle School, which previously stood on the Hollybush site. My aim is to support Hollybush in delivering to a high standard in developing and inspiring our local children to be the best they can be, and to have fun too.
I work as a HE Research and Projects Manager in the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Leeds Beckett University. I manage projects to support and develop academic staff in their role and to help improve the student experience. My background is in IT systems development and I graduated from Leeds Beckett, as a mature student, in Law with Information Technology.
Before becoming a school governor, I spent many years volunteering in road safety and crime prevention. My hobbies include computing, driving and watching Leeds United. I love pets and have a large cat named Milo, and a small fluffy Maltipoo dog named Bailey.

Councillor Caroline Gruen (LA Governor)

Chair of Teaching and Learning

I have been a Leeds City Councillor representing Bramley and Stanningley ward for eight years. Originally a Primary school teacher, I went on to become the Deputy Head of Blenheim Primary school before taking on a number of school improvement roles with Leeds City Council and then Kirklees and Doncaster Authorities. I retired from the post as Director of Education in Calderdale and then stood to be in my current role. I have a good knowledge of the area and its communities, and have led a number of local initiatives including establishing the Bramley War Memorial, the refurbished Bramley Hub and alongside Bramley Elderly Action, the community acquisition of Bramley Lawns and Bramley Community Centre. I am a member of the Bramley Baths Board and do voluntary work as a Director of Leeds Cares Charity which whilst an independent charity, works for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
I am passionate about education, children and young people, and contribute to the Council’s Scrutiny Board on this as well as being on the Corporate Parenting Committee.

Luis Cantu (Co-opted Governor)

Chair of Resources

I have supported Hollybush since June 2021 as a co-opted governor. I'm originally from Mexico but have been a part of the Leeds community for over 8 years and am happy to call Leeds home. I support businesses in the UK that are launching products and/or services abroad, with a strong focus on identifying the need that the product/service addresses, defining the value proposition, setting out the go-to-market strategy, and leading the commercial rollout and growth strategy.
Moreover, I bring my financial expertise having worked with the biggest Coke bottler by volume, where I led the launch of a new business area dedicated to ensuring that all strategic capital investments (capex) were both delivering on their financial and operational targets and aligned with the company's corporate strategy.
I am an avid reader and enjoy taking walks in the Yorkshire Dales and our beautiful English countryside. You will also find me savoring the rich foodie scene and traveling to experience new cultures.
I am honored to support Hollybush as Chair of the Resources Committee and Link Governor for Early Years.

Lisa Buxton (Staff Governor)

I have worked at Hollybush for 5 years as a Teaching Assistant and gained my HLTA qualification with the support of the school in early 2023.  

I have worked across various key stages and enjoy my role supporting and furthering children’s education. It is a privilege to work not only within the education sector, but as a proud member of the Hollybush team - where all staff ensure children’s well-being and learning are undertaken in a nurturing and respectful environment helping the children to aspire to be the best version of themselves. 

I have been a School Governor since 2022, I enjoy this role as I am able to gain insight and further my understanding in different aspects of the education sector.  I am also able to build on my existing knowledge, which helps me support the children to the best of ability. 

Zoe Blogg (Co-opted Governor)
I joined Hollybush as a co-opted governor in January 2024; serving on the Resources Committee. 
Background-wise, I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Marketing from Leeds Beckett Uni in 2014 and have proudly lived in the area ever since. As an Operations Director for a large digital marketing agency, I bring with me years of expertise in managing operations and strategic communications.
I am dedicated to leveraging my skills (keen insight into resource management, marketing and digital PR) to support Hollybush Primary School's growth and development.

Rowena Walmsley (Co-opted Governor)

I started working with Hollybush during my time as a HR Adviser at Leeds City Council. When I left the Council in 2019 to work in Human Resources at the University of Leeds, I became a governor because I wanted to continue working with Hollybush to positively impact the children at the school.
Having worked in the public sector since I finished my degree in English Literature in 2014, I am passionate about equality of opportunity and giving back to my local community.
When I'm not at work, you'll often find me with my head in a book, swimming, or doing yoga classes at the gym.

Trevor Patterson (Co-opted Governor)

My name is Trevor Patterson. I have been a governor at Hollybush since 2022. I was previously in primary education for 34 years with 10 years as a headteacher and 5 years as an executive headteacher. I was brought up in west Leeds and I know the value of a good education and that a good teacher can transform lives. I enjoy working with staff to ensure Hollybush children are the best that they can be.

Matt Holden (Parent Governor)

I joined Hollybush as a parent Governor in June 2022. I have one child who has been in the school since 2020 and another due to start in September 2024. I am not originally from Leeds, but moved here for university and then returned for work in 2010 and have been here ever since. I've lived in Bramley since 2012 and we really like the local area and Leeds as a whole. Hollybush is our nearest school and we are happy to send our children there. I joined the governing board as a parent governor to try and help give something back to the local community. I have been a Civil Servant since 2006 and work as a lawyer for the Government Legal Department. I hope to be able to use my experience to help the school as a parent Governor. 

Harry Croft (Co-opted Governor)

I joined Hollybush as a co-opted governor in January 2024. After graduating from University in 2018, I joined the Teach First movement which placed me as a Geography teacher in a school in Dagenham, East London. I then became a department head and later a Head of Year, before relocating with my partner to Leeds in 2022. Here, I became a Humanities teacher and Head of Year in a prominent academy trust secondary school before leaving the profession in 2023.
Despite leaving teaching, I remain passionate about education and the transformative impacts it has on our young people. I am really pleased that I've been given the opportunity to remain involved in education and I hope I can have a positive impact on Hollybush, and the community as a whole.

Kirsty Tomson (Parent Governor)

I am a parent of a ex student of the school and a member of the PTA. I am a university graduate from the University of Leeds. One day would like to become a teacher and help inspire and develop children’s learning.

I joined the PTA to help the school but to also give back the kindness and support myself and my daughter received throughout the whole primary school journey. I love a good book and a big animal lover, with a cat and a dog.

I feel becoming a governor will give me a better insight of how the school is ran and where I can get involved and help.

Bridgitte Causer (Associate Member)

Business Manager

I have been at Hollybush for 10 years in my role as Business Manager. Previous to being in school I worked in the private sector and I was on the Governing Body of another primary school in Leeds.
My role is very varied which means I get involved in many different aspects of school life. I absolutely love working with our children and the Hollybush community, watching the children grown and develop into confident and able young people.
When I am not in school, I enjoy going to the gym and spending time with my family and our 2 cats!