Corringham Primary School

Trust Directors

ORTU Federation

Meet Our Trust Members


Mr Steve Nash – Member, Chairman of the Trust Board

Mr Nash, a former Head of Boys PE at Gable Hall School (now retired), has lived in Thurrock for over 50 years. He has been a Parent Governor at Gable Hall since 1982 and has been Chair of Governors since April 2011, when he led the Governing Body through the complex process of conversion to Converter Academy status in July 2011, followed by Multi Academy Status in October of 2013.  A qualified Maths and PE teacher, and former Assistant Headteacher, Mr Nash has a track record in Alternative Education having been one of the founding partners in Action Learning Alternative Education, a Not-for-Profit organisation specialising in the reintegration of vulnerable young people who do not thrive in mainstream education and are at risk of exclusion. He is an expert in behaviour management, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Community Relations and strategies for engaging disaffected students. He leads a high challenge - high support team of five members of the Stanford & Corringham Schools Trust Board. He has repeated Headteacher selection experience.


Dr Sophina Asong -Trust Chief Executive Officer (Ex Officio Member)

Dr Asong joined Gable Hall School as Headteacher in April 2011 after 5 years as Deputy Headteacher and then Acting Headteacher at Forest Gate Community School in Newham, inner London. Holder of a doctorate in Education (Organisational (Systems) Management and School Improvement), her leadership style can best be described is as pacesetter, completer-finisher and shaper. A high achiever and change agent with a strong bent for distributed leadership and social inclusion, Dr Asong has since led Gable Hall through an early Academy conversion (2011), Multi Academy Trust formation (2013), the complete physical transformation of Gable Hall School (2011-Date), a 5% jump to 71% in the percentage of 5 or more A*-C GCSE passes including English and Maths (2012), through to a high point of 74% 5 or more A*-C including English and Maths (in 2014).  She has led Gable Hall School though three Good Ofsted inspections in four years (2012, 2014, 2016) and supported Hassenbrook Academy, which joined in 2016, through their first encouraging Ofsted Monitoring visit (2016). Gable Hall School is a multi-award winning school (Investment in People Gold, Arts Mark Gold, Sports Mark Gold, Equalities Award, Leading Edge, RoQA (Carreers), Diversity Award Bronze, Leaders in Parent Partnerships Award and Healthy Schools Enhanced to name but a few), as this benchmarks the school’s performance against best practice nationally. As Executive Headteacher, she played a key role in the rapid improvement of Corringham Primary School from an Ofsted Category to Good via a mention in the 2016 Parliamentary Review as being one of the top 10% most rapidly improving Primary Schools in the country in 2015. Joint winner of Headteacher of the Year Award (2014) in the Thurrock Education Awards, she leads an experienced, transformational and highly motivated team of four School Headteachers, and 11 Deputy Headteachers / Vice Principals within the Trust.


Mrs Georgina Clark – Member, Vice Chair of the Trust Board

Until 2012 Ms Clark was Public Affairs Manager at the Coryton Refinery Thurrock, where she was responsible for internal and external communications and community projects.  She led the Refinery's Schools Links programme which enabled her to work with teachers and students in several local schools (Corringham, Hassenbrook and Gable Hall included). This gave her useful insights into how important it is for industry and education to work together to shape the future employability of our young people.  Since the refinery closed, she has been a consultant with Witt O'Brien's, a company which trains organisations to have robust systems in place in the event of a major incident at their site. She is a passionate social champion for Stanford and Corringham and leads the organisation of the celebrated Annual Orsett Agricultural Show, which has run in this area since the 19th Century. Her areas of expertise are Public and Community Relations, Risk Management, Events management, and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Primary School Phase).


Mr Philip Burr – Member, Trust Board Director

Mr Burr has spent the last 40 years of his life living in Stanford and Corringham and as a youngster attended Gable Hall School finishing his O Levels in 1981.

On leaving school he managed to obtain an apprenticeship with British Telecom which gave he a grounding in a number of areas. During this time he I attended Basildon College and obtained a HNC in Microelectronics.

After a few years he had the  opportunity to work on large infrastructure projects in the City. Mr Burr  was sponsored to complete a 3 year distance learning degree in Cost Management at Nottingham Trent University, which he was lucky to graduate from in 1999 with a 1st Class Honours Degree.

During this time he had two of his three children and the third shortly followed. They attended a local primary and junior school where his wife, Heather worked as a LSA and continues to work to this day as a MDA.

In 2004 and he became a Governor of Hassenbrook School. The first few years of being a Governor he found quite difficult, being inside an alien environment, with so many new terms, goals and objective to get his head around, especially not coming from an education background. After a couple of years he managed to contribute more particularly in areas of finance, management and HR related matters.

Following an Ofsted visit the school was placed in special measures which had a significant impact on the school we realised  the best way to try and secure a future for Hassenbrook would be by joining the Stanford and Corringham Schools Trust.  We are now 18 months in and although times are still really tough we have a fantastic new HT and continue to work together at local and Trust Board level to address the issues that need to focus on to give our local pupils the education they deserve, which is the absolute best we can deliver.

Mr Burrl continues to do all he can to support the school and the Trust and hopefully to make a positive impact on some young people’s lives. 


Mr Tony Eatherton - Member, Trust Board Director

Tony Eatherton was a former Chair of Governors of Gable Hall School for 14 years up until 2003. He served as a Fire Officer for 29 years in the London Fire Brigade before retiring in 1994.

He has  two grandchildren and their education and that of your children is of paramount importance to him. He is passionate about every child achieving "The very best they can be" whilst at the schools and when they go on to further education, so they can fulfil all their aspirations and this is championed by the school as part of the Ortu Federation.


Mr Phil Edgar – Member, Trust Board Director

Mr Edgar has been Governor of Gable Hall School since 2009. A Shift Supervisor and Shop Steward at Purfleet Paper Mill where he worked for 40 years, Mr Edgar was instrumental in introducing the European Works Council Regulations at the Mill.  He brings considerable industrial relations and negotiating skills to the Board.  Mr Edgar was also the long serving Responsible Officer for Gable Hall, visiting the School on a monthly basis to carry out Internal Audit and Corporate Governance checks and validation. He has a keen eye for financial due diligence. He is the named Governor for Governor Development and attends Governor Training courses on behalf of Gable Hall LGB and keeps the Board up to date on best practice in school governance. A keen local historian, he has a passion for improving the quality of education locally. He first became a Governor to support the local schools raise aspirations in Thurrock. He is a local resident and so has an instinctive feel for community sentiment about the Trust. His areas of expertise are Industrial and Community Relations, Staff and Student Disciplinary matters and Governor Development.


Robb Harman - Member, Trust Board Director

Born in Stanford Le Hope and a Hassenbrook Academy Alumnus, Mr Harman, has been a Gable Hall School Governor since 2005 and is a founding Member of the Stanford and Corringham Schools Trust. All his three children went through and succeeded in Gable Hall School. Mr Harman is Managing Director of his own small specialist printing components distribution and services company and is experienced in the management of companies and financial accountability. This business has a designated policy for charitable distributions for local families hit by economic and social hardships, including the local church where he leads the 24/7 Prayer Stanford Community. He brings with him a wealth of Small and Medium sized business expertise. He has an intimate understanding of accounting rules and regulations with which he is able to hold the Finance Director properly to account.

He is the Trustee with the most detailed knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of all the schools within the Trust, given the hours he volunteers as part of the Chaplaincy for students with Social and Emotional Barriers to Learning. He has multiple headteacher selection experience.


Carey Jacobs - Member, Trust Board Director

Carey Jacobs is an Alumnus of Gable Hall School and a former Head Girl of the School. She has been a School Governor since the late 1990s. In the Autumn of 2016, she was appointed to the Stanford and Corringham Schools Trust Board. Carey is a Managing Partner at Palmers, a Law firm with branches across the South of Essex. Her expertise is in property law.

Alongside her legal knowledge, she brings with her well-honed skills in business analysis and negotiation, horizon scanning and business strategy. Carey is an active influence broker in the Essex Business Community, leads several annual business training and professional networking events and is a member of the Basildon Business Group. She routinely provides legal strength to the processes of the Trust.


Jeremy Finnis - Member, Trust Board Director

Jeremy went to Gravesend Grammar School in Kent, from which he gained an Open Exhibition in Biochemistry at University College, Oxford, although his final honours degree was in the rather easier discipline of Agricultural Sciences. He then joined the Ministry of Agriculture where he became a County Adviser to the farming industry in Surrey and then Hertfordshire. After a spell as a private consultant advising on 50,000 acres in Essex, he went back into the Civil Service Fast Stream in Whitehall where he worked for various Agriculture Ministers and for the President of the National Farmers Union on secondment.
Since 1997 he has been farming in partnership with his wife Diana Cole in south Essex, based around Orsett, Bulphan, West Tilbury and Paglesham. The business includes large-scale arable and vegetable cropping, contract farming, grain haulage, liveries, industrial units, renewables and holiday lets (in Scotland).
Jeremy’s voluntary work has included Vice-Chairman of Governors at Writtle University College, Eastern Region Chairman of the NFU Mutual Insurance Company, Trustee of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and its Essex Chairman, Vice-Chairman/2018 President of the Orsett Show, Council Member/Essex Chairman of the Institute of Agricultural Management and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers and Chairman of its Livery Hall in the Barbican.
Jeremy has 3 children and lives at Horndon on the Hill.